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Grand Canyon/Zion/Bryce Itinerary Suggestions?

Grand Canyon/Zion/Bryce Itinerary Suggestions?

Old Mar 25th, 2012, 09:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 94
Grand Canyon/Zion/Bryce Itinerary Suggestions?


My son and I are going to GC on April 1- it was a bit of last minute decision to use his spring break time. Obviously, the lodges were booked a year ago but we found a place in Tusayan in GC, where we will be for three nights ( first night just arriving) and then drive to Zion/ Bryce area for another three nights (again, first day is travel time). It's my first time there and given there short period for research, I would appreciate any itinerary suggestions.

I like us to go down to the valley and the river if possible. My son is 18 and a big guy, but has special needs and while he is physically strong and capable,he will not do very steep slopes, or highly difficult trials. I don't think he will agree to ride a mule, either. Having said that, we do tend to push it as much as possible, and he does what he can. He loves water features, like waterfalls and the like.

We are arriving on the night of April 1st (flying to Phoenix and driving from there). Staying at Best Western in Tusayan. Will be at GC on April 2 and 3. On the 4th, we will head north to Utah, staying at Zion Mountain Resort. Will be there on the 5th and 6th and the go to Las Vegas to fly back home ( so that we don't drive 8 hours back to Phoenix).

We are booked to dine at El Tavor's dinning room on the night of April 2nd. I am also thinking of driving to Sedona, time permitting, but the focus will be on hiking and exploring the natural wonder of the parks. Would be great to add some interesting activities for him, possibly a train ride, etc. We are also foodies and will travel for good restaurants!

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
Safa1 is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2012, 02:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,148
Since GC isn't one of my favorite places, I think you are staying there one day too long.

I think others will tell you more about snow conditions in the various places and what may or may not be open.
Myer is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2012, 03:31 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Do a helicopter tour from the south rim.

If there isn't to much snow in Bryce, there are some great hikes there without the risk of cliffs. They are slightly steep.

Do the Riverwalk in Zion. Emerald Pools trail has a couple of small waterfalls.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2012, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,905
You can hike/walk along the rim trail at GC. It is quite flat but does go near the edge in places, but is fairly wide and paved along much of it. West of Bright Angel there is a shuttle, so if you get tired, stop at a bus stop and take it to the next stop where you can get of and walk some more.

I love GC and go whenever I'm in the area but you might find that you would be better changing your nights so that on your 3rd day you do a half day in GC then go up to Page. If the raft the river people are doing the half day smooth water raft trip from the dam to Lee's ferry, that might be fun for your son. An alternative would be to go to Antelope Canyon which is near Page. You could then head for Bryce/Zion for your last three days. I have some pictures of these activities at in the 2008 set I think.

Have a great trip.
emalloy is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2012, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 441
If you want to see the Colorado river one good place to see it at river level is at Lee's Ferry. It is north of Cameron and would be a short detour off your route to Bryce and Zion (assuming you take the southern route). The Navajo Bridges are also a fun place to stop. You can walk across the old one and look down at the river gorge.
InSandy is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2012, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 73
If your son is, as you say, a "big guy," then he probably wouldn't be able to ride the mules as they have a very strictly enforced 200 lb. weight limit. They are booked up 1 year in advance anyway. However, if you'd still like to get to the bottom of the canyon, there are other ways to accomplish this goal where weight is not an issue. You might consider an activity such as the Inner Canyon Jeep Tour, which does take you to Indian Tribal Lands outside the park, but is accessible to most everyone. Here's more info on that if you'd like it ->:

Or consider as others have suggested driving over to Lees Ferry, or perhaps do a Smooth Water Raft Trip from Page.
K_Bot is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2012, 09:31 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 94
These are excellent suggestions - thanks everyone. Yes, it does seem like mule ride is out. I will definitely look into the jeep tour, hoping it doesn't have a one year reservation period like everything else!

Page and Glen Canyon and the dam also sound like great ideas, especially as it seems on our way to Zion -

A friend suggested also going to Monument Valley - any thoughts or similar suggestions?
Safa1 is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2012, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 73
@Safa1 - the Inner Canyon Jeep Tours are definitely obtainable now for the first part of April. Only the mule rides have that 1 year advance booking requirement due to supply and demand, or lack of the former and too much of the latter!

As for Monument Valley, it is about a 3.5 hour drive from Grand Canyon South Rim, then it would take about 2+ hours to get to Page/Lake Powell from there. 1 night is usually sufficient to enjoy the area, maybe take a backcountry tour. Prime lodging is at The View or Goulding's, but willing to bet $$$ that these are already sold out. You might still be able to find lodging in Kayenta AZ or Tuba City AZ. If unable to find lodging for the night in the immediate area, you might make it a "detour" en route from Grand Canyon to Page (though it would make for a long day's drive). Another way to fit it in would be to take a fixed wing airplane flight from the Page Municipal Airport. 90-minute overflights or 1/2 day air/ground tours are offered by Grand Canyon Airlines and Westwind Air Service. On the air/ground package, you land at the Goulding's airstrip and take a 4x4 tour with a Navajo Indian Guide before flying back to Page. Here's more info on these packages ->:
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