Question abt driving routes in canyon country

Old Sep 18th, 2004, 05:59 AM
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Question abt driving routes in canyon country

Our trip (and the accommodations we were able to get) takes us from Vegas to Grand Canyon north rim to Bryce to Zion. Question: I see on the map how to do that route, but I'm wondering if in going to Zion from Bryce whether it makes sense just to come back down route 89 (even tho presumably that's how we'll have gotten up to Bryce from GC) or-- to go west from Bryce all the way around route143 thru Cedar Breaks and Cedar City,down route 15-- and get to Zion that way. Or: would it make better scenic sense to head east on route 12 from Byrce and see Escalante for a few hours and then head back down 89 again to Zion? This'll be our first time out in that area, so I'd like to see as much as possible in our 8 days (without pushing things too much). Thanks!
P.S. Does anyone know anything abt the restaurant that is supposedly being built at Desert Pearl Inn? We're scheduled to stay there for 3 nights-- but I don't enjoy staying places where construction is in progress.
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 06:28 AM
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The drive on Hwy 89 between Zion and Bryce is quite pretty. It goes through the Sevier River valley and is usually very green. Easy, short drive to Bryce.

You don't say when you are going, so here is my recommendation. If summer or fall and you have time to visit the Kolob Canyon section of Zion, then go back to I15. However, ONLY if you have already spent the time to see the Escalante area. It is NOT to be missed. It would even be better if you could spend at least overnight in Escalante or Boulder, especially if you enjoy hiking!

115 route to Zion: The windy road through the mountains between Bryce and I15 goes to a high elevation near Cedar Breaks and snow will be a factor in the winter months. The aspens will be glorious in the fall - from right now and the next couple weeks.

You will love it all!
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 09:32 AM
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Dayle-- Thanks very much for responding. Though I stare at the map, it's difficult to know just what those roads are like. It's great to have first-hand in-put.
We leave (from MD) this coming Thursday. Arrive in LV late and drive to St George for the night. Next morning drive to north rim, 2 nights. Then on to Bryce for 1 night. Can you tell me, please, how long it will take to drive from Bryce to Escalante? In fact, how long from GC to Escalante? I wonder if it would make logistical sense to go from GC right to Escalante and hike there for whatever number of hours we have-- and then move on "back" to Bryce for the night. But that would mean we'd have only the one day-- that following day to "do" Bryce before we moved on to Zion. Perhaps we don't need 3 nights at Zion? Or perhaps one night would do for GC-- so that we could stay one night in the Escalante area? (I wish we could stay at Boulder MT Lodge-- sounds great.) So difficult to know how to "play" these things when one is infamiliar with the territory. I've done lots of reading, but still...
Any suggestions much appreciated.
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Old Sep 18th, 2004, 09:44 AM
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The drive from Bryce to the town of Escalante is only 50 miles and it's scenic, BUT the MOST scenic area is between Escalante and Boulder, Utah. That's another 30 miles so you are looking at a total of 4 hours of round trip driving time back to Bryce.

From the N. Rim to Escalante (the town) is 210 miles and could be done if you are spending the night. Explore the area and head towards Zion the next day.

The drive over Hwy 143 from Panquitch is scenic but slow. Make time for a stop at Cedar Breaks (mini-Bryce) You might want to spend a night in Cedar City before heading into Zion. Just make sure you have at least 2 nights for Zion.

Utahtea
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Old Sep 19th, 2004, 06:11 AM
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Hi again Poss,

Utahtea is the expert on drive times on routes between the parks. Since I live here, I usually head to one area at a time rather than needing to do the loop thing.

We are expecting our first high altitude snow tonight, but you should be in plenty of time to see the aspens! There probably won't be any fall colors yet at Zion, but maybe at Bryce and Cedar Breaks, possibly at North Rim. Bring warm jackets, gloves, hats. Although the weather prediction is for warmer weather again by next weekend, it still gets cold at the higher altitudes, especially at night.

Have fun!
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Old Sep 19th, 2004, 07:05 AM
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Utahtea, I seem to remember you saying what trip planner you use, but now can't remember which one. Would you mind sharing again with us? I know you said Mapquest isn't always accurate, to which I agree! Your times and distances seem to be accurate though, so please tell us (again) what you use when people request help. Thank you.
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Old Sep 19th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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wanderluster,

I use Microsoft Streets and Trips. I have the old 2001 version and I think I just saw the 2005 at Costco last week. What I love about it is you can put in all your destinations and then pick the speeds you want to do for the different kinds of roads like Interstates, highways, secondary roads, etc. We travel a lot slower in our motorhome than we do our Expedition so I can adjust for the two different kinds of vehicles and get an estimate of how long it will take to drive.

Just be aware that even this program will route you on roads that are not paved! Most of the time when I post it's from a combination software and experience.

Utahtea
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Old Sep 20th, 2004, 11:39 AM
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Thank you for the tip, Utahtea! I had no idea but we've had Microsoft Streets and Trips for quite some time!
I'll definitely be putting it to good use now!
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