Lodges in Bryce and Zion. Are they worth it?

Old Jan 21st, 2002, 03:06 AM
  #1  
Cecilia
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Lodges in Bryce and Zion. Are they worth it?

We're planning a trip to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park in early May. At the moment there is still availability at the lodges in the parks and we are considering booking these.I'd like to hear from anyone who's stayed there so find out if it's worth the rather high cost? Or should we book a motel outside the parks? How convenient is it to actually stay inside the park borders? How long would it take to drive in and out every day? Are the locations worth the extra money?
 
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 05:17 AM
  #2  
ron
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cecilia - we did both parks two summers ago. lodging was basic, but 'inside the park' is the way to go; zion is quite a ways from civilization; bryce has a gigantic motel/restaurant/tour bus/rodeo/gas station/grocery & gift store complex a few minutes outside of the park (if you like crowds); how do you define "high cost"; if i remember, we paid $100 or less per night in both parks. by the way, amfac runs b, z and gc lodging & food service. the running joke w/ our 4some was how the menus seemed recycled from park to park.
 
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 05:40 AM
  #3  
don
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Did I make a mistake? I also booked for both parks the last week of April. My understanding is that it was best at Bryce Canyon to stay in the park because outside of the park motels were very limited and that the cabins (which we booked) within the park were a short walk to the rim. The lodging in Springdale, located just ouside of Zion offer a greater choice, as well as a greater choice of eating establishments. We booked at the Desert Pearl Inn, which I had read really great thing about on this site. Should I have booked inside the park there as well?
 
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 06:50 AM
  #4  
Sara
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Don, I don't think you've made a mistake at all. I don't know what Ron means by Zion being "quite a ways from civilization"; Springdale is right outside the park entrance, and a short drive to the visitors center. We stayed at Flanagan's in Springdale a couple of years ago and thought the location was fine. I suppose that staying at the lodge might be slightly more convenient, as you could hop on the shuttle bus right there, but I don't know how the rooms compare to the lodging you can get in Springdale. Of the nine different motels and lodges we stayed in during our three week tour of the Southwest, we thought that Flanagan's was the nicest by far (and least expensive for what we got), and the Desert Pearl may be comparable.
 
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 07:04 AM
  #5  
sluggo
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The best argument for staying IN the parks, for me, was the convenience to sunrise viewing. Zion's beautiful sandstone cliffs are visible from outside the park so it isn't necessary to stay inside Zion to catch a nice sunrise view. We loved the Desert Pearl Inn. It's near the bus stop for the shuttle that goes into the park and the park entrance is nearby. On the other hand, Bryce's canyons are only visible inside the park so we stayed in a cottage in the pines, close to the rim. Loved it. We were there the same time of year you are going and the parks were not crowded. Have fun!
 
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 08:00 AM
  #6  
Dayle
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Hi Cecilia, I would agree with the above. I've been to both many times. At Bryce definitely stay inside the park. At Zion, the Desert Pearl is very nice and prefectly convenient. Yes, be sure to see sunrise at both parks it's worth it! Also, be sure to do some hiking. You'll get a much better appreciation for their uniqueness & incredible beauty.
 
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 01:24 PM
  #7  
Patrick
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Definitely stay inside the parks. At Zion the cabins are really nice with their own little fireplaces and porches. The same is true at Bryce. Last summer at Bryce we had to split our group of four. Two were in a cabin which was wonderful, and the other two of us took what is called a "deluxe suite" in the lodge itself (I think there are only four or five of these rooms in the actual lodge building). Although it was huge with separate living area and large bath, we found it very unattractive and furnished like a cheap Florida condominium, nothing like what we expected at Bryce. The cabins are very atmospheric, and yes, just a couple of steps from the rim with the spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
At Zion, if you are staying at the lodge or cabins, you can drive right to them and just hop on the shuttle busses, or even start a few of the hikes from right there. If you stay outside the park, you now must park outside (at the visitor center) and take the bus all the way in. I think having your place inside the park is a lot more convenient. At night after dinner, the grounds of the lodge are filled with deer and various other animals.
I have also stayed at Ruby's Inn, the big complex outside Bryce. It doesn't begin to compare with the surroundings of the lodge and cabins inside the park.
 
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 05:14 PM
  #8  
rqf
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The lodges in the park offer basic accommodations - the level of a budget motel. The best thing about staying in the park is the convenience. A disadvantage is dining places are limited. You can overcome this problem by going for dinner outside the park. Springdale is only a few miles from the park entrance. The same for the town of Bryce.
 
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 06:08 PM
  #9  
suzanne
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Definitely stay in a cabin inside Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park. You'll be able to walk 100' or so to the rim to get beautiful sunrise views. Unfortunately the last time I was there (April 98) there was such heavy snow that we got up at dawn and saw nothing!

I was never able to stay inside Zion...it was always booked. If you're unable to get a room there, try Cliffrose Lodge in Springdale. It's probably the closest lodging to the park entrance. Though the rooms are nothing special, there is a continuous balcony along the back sides of the rooms, facing the mountains--beautiful! The motel has a pool and lavishly landscaped grounds with rows and rows of colorful flowers, and the river runs behind it. There was even a fire pit our back...they let you build a campfire if you like. It was a little pricey, I guess ($159/nt, 3 years ago) but it was worth it!
 
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 06:43 PM
  #10  
Bob Brown
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Over the years I have stayed at the Bryce Canyon Lodge 4 times. In recent years, 2000 and 2001, I have stayed in the cabins once and in a motelunit once. The motel units were spacious, in fact, I think I preferred the motel unit we had to the cabin.
I thought they were a little expensive, but on the other hand, you are paying for housing in Bryce NP itself. The management of the concession had absolutely no trouble renting all the rooms during the summer months. I do not know how the situation post September 11, 2001, but I do know that in prior years, you reserved early or you relied on luck to get a room.
I think there is something to be said for being near the rim of the plateau where you can walk to those magnificent overlooks to see sunrises and sunsets.
The ranger programs in the lodge auditorium have been quite good in the past. I know that the quality is ranger dependent, but Bryce seems to attract the best personnel.

The new visitor center should be fairly far along now and it will add greatly to the interpretive program.

Bryce is one of my favorite places on earth and I think for at least one visit there you should treat yourself to a room in the park so you can enjoy closeness with the wonders of this gem.
 
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 11:17 PM
  #11  
janis
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I am planning a 10 day loop through Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, Grand canyon and Vegas. I was thinking of staying in one of the places in Springdale for three nights and use it as a base for both Zion and Bryce. Is this a viable option?

I was hoping to do 3 nights in Springdale, one night at Lake Powell, 2 nights at Gouldings, 2 nights at the south rim and then on to Las vegas for a couple of days before flying home.
 
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 02:56 AM
  #12  
rqf
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Unless you intend to do the longer hikes at Zion two nights in Springdale wouild be sufficient. Spend the third night at Bryce. Two nights at Gouldings could be one night too many since you can do Monument in a day, possibly less. Consider spending the second night at Canyon de Chelly. It is about 100 miles due south of Monument Valley
 
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 08:33 AM
  #13  
janis
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rgf - thanks. I sort of figured that 2 days was enough for Springdale - but my main question was is it reasonable to stay there 3 days and use one of them for a day trip to Bryce? I like settleing in a place when possible and not picking up (and packing up) every day or 2. If Bryce is a reasonable day trip from Springdale then I'd like to stay there longer.
 

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