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Las Vegas to South Rim Grand Canyon to Bryce & Zion -- reasonable daily driving distances?


Oct 3rd, 2001, 09:06 AM
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Las Vegas to South Rim Grand Canyon to Bryce & Zion -- reasonable daily driving distances?

I'm in need of sound advice! Will be travelling in Mid-March with 10 & 7 year olds
for their first trip to AZ & southern Utah.
We have 8 days to do a circuit starting and ending in Vegas. Since we'll have approx. 5 hour flights to consider on first & last travel days, I'm wondering what I should reasonably plan for driving destinations (we are not planning to uses any nights to stay in Vegas). For example, would we be crazy to
shoot for first night at Flagstaff? I'm hoping to allow 2 nights each at Grand Canyon, Bryce & Zion. We would like to use driving time between major parks for other nearby sites that would provide convenient resting stops to relieve fatigue. Currently, my plan requires 2 days of driving 300 miles each, with shorter drives in between. We want to keep our itinerary sane while getting to explore the parks to explore as much as weather / time allows. Any tips? Thanks!
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Oct 3rd, 2001, 09:43 AM
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We did part of this trip a few years ago except we visited the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Fewer facilities but great otherwise. This really makes the drive between the canyon shorter and easier to manage.
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Oct 3rd, 2001, 10:38 AM
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A good suggestion. Since we're travelling in March the North Rim is closed so the south Rim becomes our
destination. Perhaps the excitement of the first day of vacation in a brand new setting will help carry us through
a long travel day without making everyone too grumpy from exhaustion
(i say wishfully).
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Oct 3rd, 2001, 11:00 AM
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Driving conditions are quiet excellent in this area. I found the drive from Las Vegas and Flagstaff quite easy in one day. We and most locals drove from Phoenix to LV in one day(Also Salt Lake to LV in one day.) In summer heat can be a problem but not likely in March. There are long streaches where there is very little to see(dessert etc) and few places to stop. Other areas where you will want to stop. I suggest a drive from Flagstaff to Sedona. We did not make any reservations but just went with the flow and stopped when we wanted too. No problem finding places to stay(in larger towns) at that time of year if you are not overly particular. At Grand Canyon you should make reservations. We camped there right near the rim of the canyon.(Great!) But even in early May the camp grounds were full before noon. You can go in from Flagstaff and out to the east and on to Utah.
All driving was easy, but I enjoy driving. It depends on what your family can stand.
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Oct 3rd, 2001, 02:13 PM
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We have just done a trip from LA to Las Vegas, the South Rim and return over 4 days. We have 2 children 4 & 8.

The drive from Vegas to the canyon was about 5 hours, allowing for the inevitable sanity stops. Depending on whether it is open again to the public -the Hoover Dam is worth a visit.

We didn't stay in Flagstaff. Instead we went up to the Canyon itself. There is a range of accomodation within the park. Try www.amfac.com. We ended up at the Moqui Lodge as everything else was full. It was clean and comfortable if somewhat basic.

The advantage of staying in the Park is you can take in the sunsets and sunrises without treking back to Flagstaff or Williams each night.

We drove some 1200 miles in 4 days - and our children said it was worth every mile.
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Oct 3rd, 2001, 05:48 PM
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You might consider the following:
Day 1 = leave LV and drive to Williams - about 220 miles
Day 2 - Drive to Gr. Canyon - 80 miles
Day 3 - Gr. Canyon - leave Gr. Canyon late afternoon and drive to Lake Powell - 150 miles to overnight
Day 4 - Drive to Bryce - 150 miles
Day 5 - Bryce
Day 6 - Leave Bryce in morning and drive to Zion - 90 miles
Day 7 - Zion
Day 8 - head back to LV - 160 miles
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Oct 4th, 2001, 06:18 AM
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Thanks for your recommendations. Actually, I chose Flagstaff over Williams as Day 1 destination because of some earlier posts I believe you made regarding the beauty of nearby
National Monuments (Sunset Crater, Wupatki and Walnut Canyon) some of which could be incorporated into a Day 2 drive from Flagstaff to South Rim via the Eastern GC entrance. For the comparatively short additional push from Williams to Flagstaff, I thought
the Eastern route might be well worth it. I like your idea about Lake Powell & will further investigate. Would just a
partial day be at all rewarding or should we save this for a trip that allows time to explore by boat & hiking?
Alternatively, if we forego Lake Powell
& make Bryce a long day's journey from the South Rim, do you know whether Rt 89
to the north through Page, or Rt. 89A through Fredonia / Kanab would be more enjoyable in Mid March?

Thanks for your help!
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