Input on UT/AZ Trip?

Mar 5th, 2006, 05:50 PM
  #1  
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Input on UT/AZ Trip?

We are planning a trip at the end of March. Any input on where to stay, what to see, weather, drive times, etc, is greatly appreciated!!! We don't want to be driving too much, or not have time to enjoy it. Neither of us have been to this area. Thanks- Steph

3/29 - Arrive in Vegas Wed AM,
drive to Grand Canyon
3/30 - Stay in GC for a 2nd night
3/31 - Drive to Bryce, stay overnight
4/1- Drive to Zion
4/2- Stay in Zion a 2nd night
4/3 - Head back to Vegas, flight leaves early afternoon.
steph06 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 11:42 PM
  #2  
 
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The weather could still be cold and you could still run into snow at this time of the year. Otherwise, your plan looks good for the time you have.

Utahtea
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Mar 6th, 2006, 05:03 AM
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Is it too late to do an open jaw? It would be good to fly in to Phoenix and out of Vegas - a litlle less driving, and you'll see more of the country.
Even though I'm not a big Vegas fan, you might want to consider one night there, it is truly amazing at night.
zootsi is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 06:38 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. We already booked our flight into Vegas, so can't change that. Do you think we'll be too rushed? Any ideas on where to stay, we haven't reserved hotels yet. Also, my boyfriend read somewhere that after April 1st, we have to shuttle into Zion and Bryce, we can't drive? Is that true? He was thinking we should go to those parks first so we could drive around and do the GC last. But, I feel like we should do Zion last -so we are closest to the airport/Vegas. Thanks again.
steph06 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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The shuttle in Zion is mandatory, although I don't know the exact date it begins for spring. It's also the best thing to happen to Zion. Once you are there you'll understand. You don't want to drive. Bryce shuttle is optional and probably won't be in operation that early.

Yes, this is a quick trip. You'll probably want to return and spend more time.

Have fun!
Dayle is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 08:41 AM
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That sounds like a great itinerary for the amount of time you have. I assume you are talking about the South Rim of the Grand Canyon - you do know that the North Rim is closed until mid-May because it's at a higher elevation and has too much snow?

I checked the NPS web site, and you won't be able to get lodging in the park at the Grand Canyon this close to your dates, unless there's a cancellation, but the nearby town of Tusayan has lots of motels, including most of the major chain ones, and is only about a 20 minute drive to Grand Canyon Village. The Bryce Canyon Lodge is also unavailable on 3/31, but you should try Ruby's, which is right outside the park gates. It's a pretty big motel, fairly basic, but conveniently located, and many people seem to like it. Right now there is availability at the Zion Lodge for your dates, and that's where I'd recommend staying - it's right in the heart of the canyon, with spectacular scenery all around, and you can hop on and off the shuttle there, or walk across the road to hike the Emerald Pools Trail (highly recommended). Last time we were at Zion we stayed there, and thought it was great because it was so convenient. You can also stay in the nearby town of Springdale - we stayed at Flanagan's, which was wonderful, and has a very nice restaurant; people rave about the Desert Pearl, too. Have a great trip, I know you'll be blown away by the incredible natural beauty.
Sara is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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Last year the Zion shuttle started on March 25, so more than likely the shuttle could be in operation by the time you are on your trip. I wouldn't change anything for the shuttle, as Dayle mentioned, it's the best thing that has happened in Zion.

If you get lodging in Zion, then you can drive your vehicle to the Lodge, but no farther. You will have to ride the shuttle buses for the rest of the scenic drive.

The Bryce shuttle won't be starting until May 2006. As of last year, the Bryce shuttle was not manditory.

You probably won't be able to hike down into the canyon at Bryce because of snow, so one night should be plenty there. You have one full day at the Grand Canyon and on full day at Zion so that should be enough time.

Utahtea

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Mar 6th, 2006, 05:44 PM
  #8  
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Thank you all for your help! Its very helpful. We have CHANGED Our itenerary. We've decided to only go to Zion and Bryce. Ideas on what else is around there to see? (Other than the GC) We only have a few days so decided the drive to the GC is too much. Thanks!
steph06 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 05:47 PM
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Of these things; where should we try to go? Arches & Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef?
THANKS
steph06 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 06:04 PM
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Arches and Canyonlands will be a lot farther than the Grand Canyon.

With your short amount of time, I think I would stick to Zion and Bryce. If you really want to add something else without going to far out of your way, consider Snow Canyon State Park just north of St. George, Utah or Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.

You could possibly add Capitol Reef.

3/29 Arrive in Las Vegas AM and drive to Capitol Reef via I-15, I-70 & Hwy 24. 350 miles, approx. 6 hours drive

3/30 Capitol Reef
3/31 Drive scenic Hwy 12 to Bryce, spend night in Bryce
4/1 Spend day in Bryce and drive to Zion
4/2 Zion
4/3 Head back to Vegas.

Utahtea
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Mar 6th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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Hi Steph,

Yes, as Utahtea says, Moab is a further drive than the GC. You should save it for another trip, when you have about a week!

Including Capital Reef is a good idea, but there is a very good chance of snow on the pass over Boulder Mtn (approx. 8,000 ft.) between Bryce and Torrey. I would check the weather forecasts before deciding to make that part of the drive.

You could see the best part of Hyw. 12 by making it a day trip out and back from Bryce, going as far as Boulder and returning to Bryce.
Dayle is offline  
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