Realistic itinerary for GC-Zion-Bryce

Feb 8th, 2009, 01:28 PM
  #1  
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Realistic itinerary for GC-Zion-Bryce

Howdy,

I am planning a rim to rim hike in the Grand Canyon in May. (Yes, I have my reservations

I can't take more than a week off of work, but would love to squeeze in Bryce and Zion on this trip. Does the potential itinerary below look realistic? Do the driving times look accurate (quick estimate from Google maps)? It looks like Zion is slightly closer to GC, but I might rather drive further to Bryce to get it "out of the way" and have less driving back to the airport. Any insight is much appreciated!

5/26 - Drive from South Rim to Bryce, approx. 5 1.2 hrs
5/27 - Hike Bryce
5/28 - (Morning hike) Drive from Bryce to Zion, approx 2 hrs
5/29 - Hike Zion
5/30 - Drive to Las Vegas airport

If I can add one more day, which location do you advise spending the extra time in?

Lastly, according to Google maps, the drive from Bryce to Las Vegas airport is just a few mins shorter than to Salt Lake City. Do you agree? If not, and SLC is closer, I might consider going to Zion first, then Bryce and fly out of SLC.

MANY THANKS!
_cjw_ is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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I would add the day to Zion.
In Bryce hike Queens Garden/Navajo Loop Trail.

In Zion, Must hike The Narrows, and Angels Landing. Emerald Pools Trail is nice. If you have time sneak in Canyon Overlook Trail.

It is possible in May that The Narrows might be flooded and not a good time to hike. Check conditions before entering. Canyoneering would be fun as well in Zion.

You might like Angels Landing better than the rim to rim. A lot of folks think it is more rewarding. It takes about 5-6 hours for that hike. The Narrows is about 4-5.

Lake Powell or Page would be nice addition to your trip if you decide on skipping Zion or Bryce. Can't go wrong with any them.
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 04:21 PM
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If I remember correctly, you might find the drive from Bryce tp SLC faster than to Vegas. More highway.

I happen to be a bigger fan of Bryce, Zion and the Page sights (Horseshoe Bend & Antelope Canyon than GC.

Just my opinion.
Myer is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 06:09 PM
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I agree with Meyer. The Grand Canyon is very nice and one spectacular view. I have rafted it and that was great. But, the parks to the North are more complete and much more to do. I guess it really isn't fair comparing them as they are all unique in their own right. I will say that the first time I saw the Grand Canyon, it was very stunning. Something I have only felt a couple of other times. Perhaps the birth of a child(just one of those for me).
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 08:06 PM
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Yes, if you have an extra day, add it to Zion. We went there after our rim to rim hike in late September, and we were amazed at the beauty. It's a nice place to unwind after the rim to trim hike.
enzian is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 02:52 AM
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If you hike from the south rin to the north rim it will place you much closer to Bryce.
peterboy is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 03:33 AM
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Only 10 miles closer. LOL. Just had to say that. Hard to believe that 10 miles is worth 3 hours of drving.
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 03:47 AM
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Mapquest comes up with 3 hours 31 minutes to Bryce from the North Rim and 158.5 miles.

South Rim to Bryce 5 hours 4 minutes and 290.17 miles.

Big difference.
peterboy is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 03:52 AM
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Oh...I get it spirobulldog LOL.
peterboy is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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If that's Memorial Day weekend, Zion will be the most crowded. If you hike, start very early to avoid the mobs.

Also, be certain to have your reservations in advance!
Dayle is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 05:58 PM
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Peterboy,
Have you ever been on a trail and seen those people that run the trail. We saw that on Angels Landing Trail in zion. So if you are in top shape, you can reach the otherside on foot faster than a car. I suppose this is still the record.

Single Crossing (N. Kaibab - S. Kaibab) on 10-4-81 in 3:06:47 (20.6 mi.)



spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 06:00 PM
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CJW,
Sorry to get off the subject. Did you come up with any ideas for your extra day? Generally I think you need to allow 2-3 days in each park.
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 07:48 PM
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Hearing several hike suggestions for Zion (Thanks, spiro!) and taking a quick glance at some Google images is making me think of doing GC and 2-3 days at Zion instead of adding Bryce as a third destination. How's the rafting on the Virgin River in Zion?

Yes, I'll be doing this near Memorial Day. I'm not a fan of crowds, but it's when many of us get an extra day take off work, right? What can ya do...

I may look up some info on Lake Powell and Page, too, but I'm warming to the idea of just two main destinations, GC and Zion.

Also, fwiw, I hear ya that some other areas may outshine GC...but a rim to rim hike at GC is a must do for me.

Thanks for the input, any other insights are welcome!
_cjw_ is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 08:21 PM
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I don't know about rafting on the Virgin, but Zion offers such great hiking it is well worth your 2 or 3 days. I believe you will be there after the Memorial Day weekend, right?

According to Zion Adventures, late May is prime time for hiking the Narrows:

http://www.zionadventures.com/introd...n_narrows.html

Check with them the night before on possible flood danger from rain in the area, and do rent the special shoes---they really help make hiking on the slippery rocks fun and easy.

Other hikes are the Angel's Landing as Spirobulldog mentioned; you can combine this with Emerald Pools in one hike if you like, starting at Zion Lodge.

Another hike I would highly recommend is Canyon Overlook. You end up on the rim looking down onto Angel's Landing from the other side of the canyon.

Enjoy your rim to rim. I guess I have a greater love for the Grand Canyon than others here, as we love that place and keep returning to hike to the bottom. Which direction are you going?
enzian is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 02:51 AM
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Being so close to Bryce, it would be a shame to miss something so different and amazing.

I would put aside part of a day and do the following:

Leave Zion for Bryce about 6PM. Sleep over in-park and get up for sunrise at Bryce Point.

Grab some breakfast and hike Navajo Loop - Queens Garden.

Drive over to see Natural Bridge (you will have already seen Sunrise & sunset points as part of the hike and Bryce Point for the sunrise) which is the only really different viewpoint that you haven't seen.

Then return to Zion by mid-afternoon. In time for Canyon Overlook hike on the way back on the East Entrance.

It's a 90 minute drive and worth it. This way you'll see a Bryce sunrise (which Zion doesn't have) and experience a nice little hike down into the Hoodoos.

Myer is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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I agree with Myer: don't miss out on Bryce.

MY
MichelleY is offline  
Feb 18th, 2009, 12:33 PM
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thanks, all. as of now planning on a couple of days in zion, w/ a possible run to bryce. the hike information is very helpful. has anyone done the entire 16 miles of the narrows? wondering how difficult it will be in a single day? the guides say about 12 hrs for agile, athletic hikers...

re: rim to rim, we're going north to south.

will be looking at places to stay...desert pearl seems very popular. how is zion lodge? this is much lower tier, but has anyone stayed at the quality inn in springdale? i might be able to get a room there for too low a price to pass up...

any foodie recommendations in these areas?
_cjw_ is offline  

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