Las Vegas, Canyon, Bryce, Zion

Jan 24th, 2007, 10:09 AM
  #1  
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Las Vegas, Canyon, Bryce, Zion

Hello,

I'm arriving from England with a friend into Las Vegas for 11 nights at the start of May. We arrive at 5pm. I'm wondering what is the best itinery to fit this into 11 nights? We will be visiting a friend in Las Vegas for part of the time so I think we'd be wanting a full 3 days in LV. We'd like to also fit in Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion, but I'm not sure the best way to do it.
jazzy_22 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 12:53 PM
  #2  
 
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Just the way you posted it would be great. I like doing the Grand Canyon first. It's a little longer drive but then you get the long drive out of the way first. Visit the Hoover dam on your way to the Grand Canyon. Try and spend at least two nights here. You might want to add one or two nights at Page, AZ to see Lake Powell. You can do the Upper Antelope Slots Canyon &/or the Horseshoe Bend Hike &/or a 1/2 day float trip on the Colorado River &/or a boat trip on the lake. Bryce for one or two nights and Zion for at least 2 nights. It's a fast 3 hour drive from Zion back to Las Vegas.

Utahtea

utahtea is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 04:14 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for that. It's hard to get an idea of driving times/distances etc. How does this sort of thing sound?

Day 1 Arrive 5pm, stay at friends in Las Vegas. (Overnight Vegas)
Day 2 Hire car, drive to Grand Canyon via Hoover Dam (O/N Canyon) What time roughly would we arrive at South Rim??
Day 3 Grand Canyon (O/N Canyon)
Day 4 Drive to Page (O/N Page) How long does it take to drive to Page? Would Day 3 in the Canyon be enough, so we would set off first thing in the morning?
Day 5 Drive to Bryce (O/N Bryce). How long to drive from Page to Bryce?
Day 6 Drive to Zion (O/N Zion)
Day 7 Zion (O/N Zion)
Day 8 Drive back to Vegas in evening (O/N Vegas)
Day 9 Vegas(O/N Vegas)
Day 10 Vegas - possibly do some trips out (O/N Vegas)
Day 11 Vegas (O/N Vegas)
Day 12 Flight home 10am

Not quite sure of the timings for seeing Page/Bryce etc. Would it be better missing Page out? Depends what time we arrive and leave I guess?

Thanks
jazzy_22 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Village is 280 miles and about a 5 hour drive. In early May sunrise will be just before 6 a.m. and sunset at 7:30 p.m. so that's plenty of time to get to Grand Canyon with a side trip to Hoover Dam. I've stopped at Hoover Dam but have never taken the tour so I have no idea how long it will take or how early they do tours. We have toured the Glen Canyon dam at Page.

I think 2 nights and one full day at the Grand Canyon is plenty unless you want to hike down into the canyon...then you might want 3 nights and 2 full days.

Page is on your way to Bryce.

Grand Canyon Village to Page, AZ is 137 miles and will take about 3 hours to drive...but plan on a an hour or so more because there are some really great overlooks to see as you exit the park on Hwy 64 going to the Desert View entrance station. There is also the Little Colorado Canyon that's a nice stop with a lot of Navajo Indian booths selling their wares. On the way to Page, AZ is when you will pass the parking for the Horseshoe Bend Hike.

Page, AZ to Bryce via Hwy 89 is 155 miles and another 3 hour drive. If you leave early in the morning for Bryce and spend the night and leave late for Zion the next day, you should be fine with just one night at Bryce.

Bryce to Zion east entrance station is 74 miles and about a 2 hour drive. The drive though Zion tunnel down to the Zion Canyon is another 12 miles and will take 20 - 30 minutes depending on the delays at the tunnel.

Zion to Las Vegas is 164 miles and will take a little less than 3 hours to drive. This is a pretty fast drive because it's mostly driving on Interstate freeway.

If you were going to do a day trip to Valley of Fire State Park, NV from Las Vegas, then I'd recommend spending a second night in Zion and leave around noon and detour to Valley of Fire on your way back to Las Vegas. This will add 25 miles and about an hour of driving time to your trip from Zion to Las Vegas. If you do the Valley of Fire as a day trip from Las Vegas then you are looking at 110 miles round trip and at least 2 1/2 hours of driving time. This will also mean you cover the same section of Interstate 3 times...and this section is more on the boring side compared to the rest of the trip.

Just in case you are wondering, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is usually closed due to snow until Mid-May.

Utahtea


utahtea is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 07:54 AM
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P.S. If you don't plan on doing any of the activities in Page, then I'd skip spending the night there.

Utahtea
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Jan 25th, 2007, 10:56 AM
  #6  
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Thanks. I don't think we'd be hiking down into the Canyon, so one full day there should be enough then.

So we would head up to Page in the morning of day 4. I've had a look at what we would possibily do at Page. I've seen the 3.5 hour boat trip on Lake Powell which run at 9am and 1pm, and the tour of Antelope Canyon which seems to be 8am, 9.30, 11.30, 1.30 and 3.30 (lasts 1.5hrs). If we tried to do both of these it would mean using up some time in the morning of Day 5, so we'd arrive at Bryce later. Do you know if the boat trip is worth it? Would we be rushing to get to Page for 1pm if we decided to do the boat trip that afternoon and the canyon the following morning? So we'd arrive late in Bryce and leave at some point later the following day to move onto Zion. Would this give us enough time to enjoy Bryce?

I guess another option would be to just to Antelope Canyon in the afternoon after travelling up from the Canton, stay the night, then head upto Bryce the next morning.

I've read on another post about doing the Canyon Overlook trail between Zion and Bryce. I doubt we would do it on our drive to Zion espeically if we were going to be doing that fairly late in the day. Is this something we would return to whilst staying in Zion maybe?

As for detouring to Valley of Fire on our way down to Vegas, that sounds like a good option, becuase I had been thinking maybe that would be a daytrip out from Vegas. How long roughly would we want in the Park?

Then perhaps we could do Death Valley or Red Rock canyon as a day trip from Vegas?
jazzy_22 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 11:15 PM
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I'm probably the wrong person to ask about Lake Powell because I really love this area while others can take it or leave it. It think this is the most beautiful lake I've ever seen. The contrast of the blue and the orange canyon walls is breathtaking to me.

I would think you could get to Lake Powell in time for one of the later Antelope Canyon tour on the day you leave the Grand Canyon. If you are going to arrive very late at Bryce, then you might not have enough time at Bryce. Many people prefer Bryce to Zion, but there again, I prefer Zion to Bryce. It's always hard to know which park someone else will like.

The Canyon Overlook trail is in Zion National Park, but you will have to travel up though the tunnel again...which is a beautiful drive and I'd do it just for the scenery. Make sure you take the shuttle buses into the canyon and at least do the easy 2 mile round trip Riverside Walk.

Valley of Fire will depend on how much hiking you will want to do and how hot it will be.

I've heard that some people have done Death Valley as a day trip from Las Vegas, but that's a far drive and Death Valley is a BIG park. I'd think you would be spending all day in the vehicle and not have much time to spend in the park. Red Canyon is nice for a couple of hours, depending on how much hiking you like to do and how hot it is outside.

In all honestly, I'd forget the day trip to Death Valley or Red Canyon and add a night to Bryce so you can really enjoy this park and Lake Powell.

Utahtea



utahtea is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 04:06 AM
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I think I still need those 3 full days in Vegas at the end whether we do a day trip out or not, because we're visiting an old friend who lives there, so I don't think I can really cut a day out there and add another night in the parks!

I've noticed another cruise on Lake Powell instead of the 1pm 3hr cruise to Navajo tapestry, there is one at 4.15pm for 1.5hrs to Antelope Canyon. Perhaps we could do that one instead on our day up from the Grand Canyon, then do an early tour of Antelope Canyon itself the following morning before heading upto Bryce? Do you know much about the cruises, would the cruise to Antelope Canyon be just as nice as the other one, although obviously you wouldn't see as much of the lake because it is a shorter cruise? Thanks
jazzy_22 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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Oh...I'm sorry, I forgot about visiting the friends. I'd do Red Canyon as a day trip then. I've never done Mt. Charleston, but I hear that's really nice too.

It's been over 30 years since we did one of the short cruises on the lake and I don't know which of the two we did. That short curise gave me a small taste of the lake and wanted me to come back and do more.

Utahtea


utahtea is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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We did Red Rock Canyon in a 1/2 day, but maybe you'd want nore time to hike and explore. I plan to do Mt. Charleston in a 3/4 day trip this June.
trippinkpj is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Oh, we did Hoover Dam in a 1/2 day and I think you could combine that with Valley of Fire in one day.
trippinkpj is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 09:47 AM
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Still trying to work out how to fit activities in Page and be able to get to Bryce the following day at a reasonable time.

I've tried to find info regarding the boat trips and the Antelope Slot canyon. Wonder if it would be possible to arrive from Grand Canyon for the Slot tour around 1.30pm, then do the Antelope Canyon cruise at 4.15pm. Then we would have done both of these, so could head upto Bryce first thing the next morning, giving us the rest of that day, and most of the following day before driving to Zion in the evening maybe?

I've noticed that you recommend the float trip in other posts. Should we think about doing that instead, maybe the 1pm trip then an early Slots canyon tour the following morning. (or I suppose we could do the longer boat trip to Navajo Tapestry if we were going to do it this way). Without knowing the area it's hard to know what the difference between all these boat trips are!

Just one more thing about the Antelope Slots canyon, on one post someone recommended the cheapest way to do the tour is just to drive yourself to the canyon and book on a tour with the Navajo guides in the car park - have you heard of this, is it possible or not?
jazzy_22 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 10:44 AM
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Utahtea...you say the north rim of the Grand Canyon is closed till mid May due to snow...We will be there in early October...will we have any problems with snow then?
jannieween is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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jannieween,

According to the Grand Canyon website the North Rim closes around mid-October.

You can read more here: http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/hours.htm

Utahtea
utahtea is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 09:11 PM
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jazzy--be sure to book your lodging at Grand Canyon as soon as you know the dates: www.xanterra.com

They fill up well in advance!

I think we spent a bit over an hour on the Hoover Dam tour; it was mid-April and lines were fairly long due to spring break. Mid-week you should be fine.
enzian is offline  

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