Grand Canyon/Zion/Lake Powell itinerary help

Feb 1st, 2010, 08:22 AM
  #1  
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Grand Canyon/Zion/Lake Powell itinerary help

DH and I have never been to the southwest and want to do a self-driving tour in late April. I will be 5 months pregnant but am very fit and active and plan to do light hiking (nothing too strenuous though.) I have a rough draft itinerary based on reading lots of trip reports and browsing the forums; please let me know if this is doable or could be improved. I'm concerned about the driving times but I think this is the best I can do. We've done a similar self-drive tour of Ireland and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I think we'll be OK.

Day 1 – fly into Vegas, land in afternoon, rent a car, drive to Springdale, UT, overnight there
Day 2 – Explore Zion NP, overnight in Springdale, UT
Day 3 – Wake up, drive to Page, AZ; afternoon in Page (Antelope Slot Canyon), overnight in Page
Day 4 – Lake Powell activities (undecided as of yet), overnight in Page
Day 5 – Wake up early, drive to Grand Canyon NP South Rim, afternoon here; overnight here (I realize that the most highly-rated hotels are booked; we will work it out)
Day 6 – Morning in Grand Canyon, leave after lunch for Vegas (5 hours), overnight Vegas
Day 7 – Vegas red rocks trip, overnight Vegas
Day 8 – fly out in the morning
LotusBlossom is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 08:31 AM
  #2  
 
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Sounds like a nice trip. Do be aware that toilets may be far between some of your sites. You could stop at Hoover Dam on your way back to Vegas from GC. Don't be discouraged about staying in the park at GC, make any reservation they have and keep calling back to see if the one you want becomes available due to cancellations. You can then cancel the less desirable location. We've driven without reservations into the park in April and got a room at Yavapai once and elTovar another time. It will probably be worth your while to get a park pass at your first National Park, they are good for a year and work at all NP's.
emalloy is online now  
Feb 1st, 2010, 08:46 AM
  #3  
 
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I don't know how flexible your number of days is.

It would be a shame being in Zion and not getting to Bryce Canyon.

It's 90 miles and less than a 2 hour drive.

I think if you could get there late in the afternoon, sleep over, get up for the sunrise at Bryce Point, then do a relatively easy hike down into the hoodoos (Navajo Loop down and Queen's Garden back up) you could get a good feel for the park.

In Zion there are 2-3 hikes that you could do in your condition. Riverside Walk, Emerald Pools.

On your way into Page you can stop at The Best Dam View. I'm not sure if a hot 3/4 mile (level) walk/hike each way will work for you but the view of Horseshoe Bend is spectacular.

I didn't do your day 4 but this is what I did.

I got up in the morning at Zion, walked the Riverside Walk, then left for Page, saw all three sights at leisure and then continued on to GC South Rim. I got there about 5PM and stopped at several viewpoints on the way to my lodging.
Myer is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 09:02 AM
  #4  
 
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I think I would definately make some time for Bryce as Myer suggests, perhaps cut out red rocks trip. I think you might have a bit much planned, especially since you are 5 months pregnant. I remember taking my wife on a trip when she was 5 or 6 months. She was in good shape, but ended up with very swollen feet after the plane and just a small amount of walking. Just be really careful and take it easy for the first day to see how you adjust. Enjoy the overlooks and the short, easy hikes. maybe take a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. Boat to Rainbow Bridge might be nice in Page.
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 09:39 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the replies...I know that I have a lot planned, but I honestly can't see a way to cut things out. It seems that when doing a trip like this, you are restricted by the fact that you have to get yourself back to the airport in Vegas, which means either doing an out and back trip or making the circle around the GC. If anyone has a suggestion for an equally interesting 7-8 day itinerary that follows a different route, I'd be glad to hear it.

About Bryce - do you suggest that I stay at the canyon itself for a day, cutting out the last day in Vegas? (We've been to Vegas before and don't need to do the strip or anything.) It adds a night at a different hotel, which I don't love. Or can we do Bryce from Springdale as a day trip? That would make the itinerary as follows:

Day 1 – fly into Vegas, land in afternoon, rent a car, drive to Springdale, UT, overnight there
Day 2 – Explore Zion NP, overnight in Springdale, UT
Day 3 – Bryce Canyon; either as day trip or stay at Bryce
Day 4 – Wake up, drive to Page, AZ; afternoon in Page (Antelope Slot Canyon), overnight in Page
Day 5 – Lake Powell activities (undecided as of yet), overnight in Page
Day 6 – Wake up early, drive to Grand Canyon NP South Rim, afternoon here; overnight here
Day 7 – Morning in Grand Canyon, leave after lunch for Vegas (5 hours), overnight Vegas
Day 8 – fly out in the morning
LotusBlossom is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 09:56 AM
  #6  
 
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Normally, I say spend 2-3 days in each place and could easily come up with many things to do in each place. But, given the fact that you are pregnant, not sure how much hiking you would want to do. I think even Navajo/Queens Garden in Bryce might be a bit much- it is at higher elevation. We spent 3 full days in Zion a couple of years ago. I like your 2nd plan better. For me, I would stay "in park" at Zion, GC, and Bryce if they are available.
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 09:57 AM
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I would never suggest Bryce as a daytrip from Springdale.

When I look back two things stand out.

That sunrise at Bryce Point and a hike (even one of the shorter and less-challenging ones) down into the hoodoos.

It's difficult to see the sunrise if you're not there. You'd have to leave Springdale pretty early to get there for sunrise. If you are there dress warm as the viewing deck protrudes into the Canyon and it's quite cold and windy.

In addition to the above, the one viewpoint that's really different from the rest is Natural Bridge don't do that right after sunrise as the sun will most likely be in your eyes in the morning.

You can see my photos of the trip at:

www.travelwalks.com

Select the 2007 trip to Bryce, Zion, GC and Sedona.
Myer is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 11:30 AM
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Sounds like a good plan. Do check with your doctor about hiking in Bryce as it is about 9000 feet above sea level and might strain your respiratory system while pregnant. Just a suggestion for the Page area. There are half day smooth water raft trips on the Colorado River from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry go to http://www.explorearizonatours.com/h...ur.crd-01.tour if that interests you.
emalloy is online now  
Mar 6th, 2010, 06:38 PM
  #9  
 
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I have traveled with my wife twice in the second trimester, (london and Paris) and (Spain for number 2) luckily we never had trouble and we are a stay in a different city/hotel every night or so.

Bryce is a must see, I would cut out "lake powell activities" unless your desire is to rent a boat and just float around. A day in page with a picnic in the Vermillian Cliffs was more than enough, a bit of driving east would get you to Monument valley and back to page (maybe an hour or so each way), it was very nice.

As for rest etc. I always found driving to my destination even late allowed my wife to wake up in the best shape for the day, instead of waking up and driving first thing. Plan out some nice spots for breaks, breakfast or lunch at Cameron Trading post near GC is very pleasant (get the fry bread).

For a break in your efforts do not underestimate the relaxation of just laying in place in Zion, Bryce or the grand canyon and watching the world spin. A cold drink and a nice blanket with these surroundings will make everything seem right with the world. Short hikes are great but enjoy the views and don't rush each location.
alexislovesspain is offline  
Mar 6th, 2010, 06:40 PM
  #10  
 
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Sorry Just thought, if driving from south rim of GC to Vegas via the Hoover dam, you can take a "short side trip" from Peach Springs onto the Indian Reservation (someone will be at the gate to charge $20 each or so. But you can drive a four wheel drive vehicle to the bottom of the grand canyon and stick your feet in the water. takes a bit of driving on a gravel road, but it is a good way to get to the bottom and not need to hike it.
alexislovesspain is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 06:41 AM
  #11  
 
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I will be about 6 months when we go next month... hope they have bathroom, only point that will be the same with you is Las Vegas- Zion, we MIGHT head to GC from Vegas, then to Zion and Bryce, try to do both if you can......
CaribbeanChick is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 10:00 AM
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@ Caribbean Chick .. my DH wrote the post above. We travelled from the East Coast to PAris and London when I was 6 months preganant with our first child .... no problems .. yes .. bathrooms are always a good find. ;0
alexislovesspain is offline  
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