How Much Time in Bryce and Zion

Old Mar 4th, 2013, 08:56 AM
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How Much Time in Bryce and Zion

I'm planning a trip to southern Utah for late April/early May and the primary reason for the visit is a stay at the Red Mountain Resort for about 5 - 6 days.

Since Bryce and Zion are fairly close by, I'd like to spend a few days there as well. I'll go back another time for Arches, Canyonlands, etc.

Here is a tentative plan:
Day 1: Fly into St. George, rent a car and drive to Zion, evening arrival.
Day 2: Zion full day; overnight.
Day 3: A.M. in Zion, drive to Bryce, arrive mid afternoon.
Day 4: Bryce full day; overnight
Day 5: A..M. in Bryce; drive to Red Mountain Resort in early afternoon.

So this amounts to 1 1/2 days in Zion and a little more than that in Bryce. How does that sound?

I have a Natl. Parks Guide that suggests 1 day in Zion and gives a 3 day itinerary for Bryce, but some opinions I've read here seem to conflict with that so I'd appreciate your input.

My time is flexible, so I can add or subtract a day here and there if necessary. TIA for your thoughts.
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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P.S. I'd like to do 1 or 2 hikes in each park and some scenic drives, although I understand that a shuttle bus is required for Zion instead of private vehicles.
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 09:19 AM
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panecott, it looks like a fine plan. If you find you want more time in Zion, get up early at Bryce, see sunrise, head for Zion and take another hike there on your way back to St. George.
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 09:22 AM
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panecott, We spent the same amount of time in Bryce but less in Zion and it was just barely enough for a first visit. Ideally we would have liked to have had a little longer at each park.

For what you outline that you wish to do I think you have enough time but I'm sure you'll be encouraged to stay longer!
BTW, I prefer Bryce to Zion so I think you have the right balance but there are longer hikes at Zion that could necessitate a longer stay.
Do you intend to hike the Narrows? Angels Landing?
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 09:24 AM
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That's a good suggestion from emalloy! We didn't back track as we flew out of SLC but you can revisit Zion!
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 09:55 AM
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Thanks for the info, emalloy and sassy cat, and yes, great suggestion about backtracking to Zion. In fact, I'm pretty sure the resort has a day trip to Zion, which would also be an additional option if I feel I'd like to see more.

I'm pretty sure I won't attempt The Narrows, but I might give Angels Landing a shot. I guess I can always turn back if I get too intimidated. Or maybe I'll just stick to the tamer hikes. I'll play it by ear.
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 10:09 AM
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I'd suggest 3 nights at Zion and one at Bryce. That gives you 2 full days in Zion, then leave the morning of day 4 for Bryce. You'd have most of that day plus the next morning for Bryce.

At that time of year I think Zion will be more hiker-friendly, Bryce is at a higher elevation and there will be snow/ice on some of the trails.

You can expect an average high/low of 60/upper 20s in Bryce, whereas Zion would be upper 70s/50 for averages.

But really, your original plan would be fine too. If you find Bryce too cold/snowy, you can just leave early the last morning and go back to Zion before St. George.
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 01:50 PM
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I think Zion is beautiful but Bryce is one of a kind.

I would schedule more time in Zion.

For Bryce you can get there in late afternoon, go to Sunset Point for sunset. Get up very early in the morning and go to bryce Point for a spectacular sunrise.

Then if needed go back to you room for a bit of a nap and/or a bite to eat.

Go to Sunset Point and hike down Navajo Loop and up Queens Garden. You'll come up at Sunrise Point so walk along the rim for the half mile back to your car at Sunset Point.

You can then drive up the scenic road and stop at Natural Bridge which is the only viewpoint that's reall different from the ones you will already have been to. Maybe also Inspiration Point.

The above will give you a really go taste of Bryce.

Zion has several hikes that are all very different.

On the way between Zion and Bryce plan for it to be early afternoon and stop just outside the tunnel and park for the Canyon Overlook hike.

The Narrows and/or Angels Labding are up to you.

The very easly Riverside Walk is actually the first part of the Narrows hike and beautiful.
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Old Mar 5th, 2013, 09:37 AM
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Thanks for the info about the weather, WhereWeAre. I didn't realize there'd be such a difference between the two parks, and such a range of daily temps.

And thanks for the detailed itinerary, Myer. Very helpful.

I'll now be leaving either 5/1 or 5/2, due to the better choice of awards flights on Delta, and will probably do the 3 nights at Zion and spend day 4 and half of day 5 at Bryce.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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panecott,
I responded to your question on aisa9900's thread.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 01:28 PM
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OK, thanks. I'll check it out.
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Old Mar 7th, 2013, 03:37 PM
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Zion is a hiking park and Bryce is a park with a lot of point of view.
Myer is right: I would spend more time in Zion to have time to do the Narrows and Angels Landing hikes.
1 day in Bryce is enough.
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Old Mar 8th, 2013, 05:08 AM
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Actually, there are plenty of hikes in Bryce. It's just that most people hike Navajo Loop and Queens Garden.

And Bryce is much smaller.

Most of the Zion hikes look much different wehear this in Bryce mostly have the same feel.

So, in a way sarahlambart is correct.

However, nothing will beat a very early morning sunrise at Bryce Point.

The layout of the two parks is opposite. In Bryce you are at the top and see down. So when the sun comes up you see it.

In Zion you are at the bottom and often hike up. Not much in the way of sunrise or sunsets. Not compared to Bryce.
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Old Mar 8th, 2013, 06:29 AM
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Nothing beats hiking amongst the hoodoos at Bryce! Great views but it's definitely worth hiking in the park.
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