Grand Canyon Zion Lake Powell

Jan 3rd, 2012, 03:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 13
Grand Canyon Zion Lake Powell

We are finally planning this trip and wanted help with
1) How many days to allocate at each place.
2) Skipping Bryce (I was ther e but family wasn't)
3) Houseboat in Powell ?? Is it worth the money??
I feel like 2 days may be too much time at some places. We have three boys who will be - 15, 13, and 8 when we travel. We will do some light hikes and like exploring.

Saturday to Monday - Fly into Vegas and drive directly to Zion, stay 2 nights at Zion in Springdale (not fans of Vegas)
Monday to Wednesday - Drive from Zion to North Rim, stay 2 nights at Rim (the GC Lodge)
Wednesday to Friday - Drive from North Rim to Lake Powell, Page Ar (houseboat experience - is it worth it?)
Friday to Sunday - Powell to South Rim area, stay 2 nights in South Rim (El Tovar)
Sunday to Tuesday - South Rim to Sedona - Sedona 2 nights (nice hotelm finish off vacation in luxury)
Tuesday - drive to Phx and fly home that night or next morning
Any other suggestions helpful!!!!!! Thank You
travelinleaps is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,851
Sounds like a nice vacation. I can't help with the houseboat, but when we were in Page we took a half day smooth water raft trip on the colorado from the dam to Lee's Ferry which was great. Also go to Antelope Canyon and walk out to the Horseshoe Bend overlook.

The kids would probably enjoy the Pink Jeep tour in Sedona.
emalloy is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 06:50 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,304
What month?

Why fly into Vegas and out of Phoenix? You're going to spend several hundred dollars on the car rental dropoff fee, and usually flights from Phoenix cost more than Vegas. If you just want a shorter drive on the last day, you could fly in/out of Vegas and reverse the order of your trip, saving Zion for last.

Never done the houseboat but I would skip it for 2 reasons: 1) you can rent a houseboat all over the country, so why spend 2 days on a lake when there are so many other things to see in that area and 2) I would think a houseboat would be a great vacation for a week or so, giving you time to just relax. But 2 nights seems too short to really settle into the experience, and a lot of work for such a short time. By the time you pick it up, learn how to drive and get out there, most of the first day is gone. So then you have just one full day remaining on it.

I would add a night at Bryce and let the rest of your family see it.

I think you can keep the night at Lake Powell and do a float trip or some sort of boat trip on the lake for something different, I just wouldn't do a houseboat.

Possibly cut out one night at either the North or South Rim - the North is quieter, the South has the bigger views and crowds.

Look at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park - maybe rent some ATVs or dune buggies?

Stop at Snow Canyon State Park on the way to Zion (depending on month, it is very hot in summer)?
WhereAreWe is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 06:55 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 439
Are there even houseboat rentals less than a week? I wouldn't do it for less than that. I didn't see when this was for. If in the summer and you only have a day or so take a one day power boat rental, rent some toys as well (tube or knee board would be the best as the boat won't have enough power for ski/waterboard), take a huge picnic lunch and just go play on the water. You can get quite far up the lake and it is gorgeous. Take the side trip into see Rainbow Bridge. Fuel up at Dangling Rope. It would be the highlight of the trip for the boys, I guarantee.
There is also the Horseshoe Bend hike by Page that has an amazing but dangerous view of the Colorado. Well worth the time.

I wouldn't go less than two nights at any of the places you've mentioned. But you would need to plan activities the boys like... Hiking can get old. I try to mix it up with water activities, vehicle tours, maybe a horse ride??
InSandy is offline  
Jan 4th, 2012, 12:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,189
I'd skip the North Rim and just do the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I'd also do Bryce to let the rest of the family see it. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to their "favorite park" so let them decide.

Three days is the shortest time you can rent a houseboat on Lake Powell.

If the lake is low and the short cut is not open because of low waters I DO NOT RECOMMEND renting a boat to see the lake. You have to go though Antelope Canyon (not to be confused with the Antelope Slot Canyons which is on land). This is 12 miles channel of very rough waters just one way and it makes for a LONG day trip if you want to see Rainbow Bridge. If the short cut is open and you rent a boat, then make sure to have a good map of the lake. If you want to see Rainbow Bridge and the short cut isn't open, then I'd recommend doing the all day boat tour. Other great options are the 1/2 day float trip on the Colorado River. The Upper Antelope Slot Canyons (on land) and the short hike to Horseshoe Bend are two other activities to do in the Page area.

Two nights at Zion only gives you one full day there. I'd opt for three nights to have two days so you can do more of the hikes. Or two nights and spend most of the third day before traveling to your next destination.

utahtea is offline  
Jan 4th, 2012, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 53
I think you can skip grand-canyon North rim, if it's your first time inthat area. B'coz south rim is well developed for visitors, specially for kids/teenagers.
Rather, add another day to Zion and a day to Page/lake powell. Zion NP has couple of short hikes (riverside walk, viewpoint hime just after tunnel etc.) that your kids would enjoy for sure.
ansh is offline  
Jan 4th, 2012, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,079
So after mixing my preferences with what others have written.

You can either go clockwise or counterclockwise. For no good reason I'll go clockwise.

Start in Las Vegas
a) Zion
b) Bryce Canyon
c) Page, AZ, Lake Powell, Antelope canyon, Horseshoe Bend
d) Grand Canyon South Rim
e) Sedona
End in Las Vegas

Depending upon how much time you stay in each place there are some very worth sights part of a day east of Bryce canyon.

I don't know anything about Lake Powell or houseboats so I'll defer.

I think there are some places of interest between Kanab and Page. A ghost town used in movies (?) and a few other stops.

My preferences.
Zion - Angel's landing to Scouts Lookout, Riverside Walk, Emerald Pools, Canyon Overlook exiting the east exit on the way to Bryce.

Bryce - Sunrise at Bryce Point, hike Navajo Loop down and Queens Garden back up

East of Bryce - Willis Creek slot canyon, Devil's Garden Escalante, Lower Calf Creek Falls.

Page, AZ - Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend.

Sedona - Sunset at the Crescent Moon Picnic Area - Cathedral rock across Oak Creek, Broken Arrow hike or Broken Arrow Pink Jeep (I hiked it), Boynton Canyon Vista (not the full Boynton Canyon).
Myer is offline  
Jan 4th, 2012, 10:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 13
Thank You Thank You all so much for your wonderful tips..I am going to take all of these tips under strict advisement!! By the way we are going end of June/beginning of July - I know probably really hot!! Thank You for the houseboat tip - won't do!!!
travelinleaps is offline  
Jan 4th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Oh and note to WhereAreWe..I guess the reasoning for flying into Vegas and then leaving from Phx...was that we are driving from Sedona down to Phoenix to see Diamondbacks on last day so we didnt want to have to go all the way back to Vegas. Thanks for letting me know about car drop off fee....
travelinleaps is offline  
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