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Really want opinions...What can we really fit in with 5 days in Utah

Really want opinions...What can we really fit in with 5 days in Utah

Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 10:06 AM
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Really want opinions...What can we really fit in with 5 days in Utah

You guys were great with the last question I asked so here I go again. My husband and I plan on taking a 6:00 am flight from ST. Louis to Vegas on Sat the 19th of Sept and returning sometime in the late afternoon (to be on the plane and ready to go home) by around 3 or so on Thursday the 24th. What I've been told so far is to get our car from vegas and drive into Zion (not sure how long to stay here but would imagine we will want to stay the night)...then onto Bryce Canyon (I'm the most excited about this place..expecting to want to stay at least 2 nights) Now, where I get confused is when people are recommending Antelope Canyon (which I would love to see), Lake Powell and the Arches. I have no idea how to fit all this in...is it possible? Can we stay in Bryce and do a day trip to Anelope Canyon with enough time to drive back and stay in Bryce again? Can we do the same with Powell Lake? I'm just having a hard time deciding distances and timing...no matter what we do, we will be happy...I'm just worried we may miss something since we are not familiar with the area...something we will miss and be told later...."why didn't you stop there, you were so close!!!"
Any advice would be so very much appreciated
noellev13 is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 10:22 AM
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Lake Powell is in Page, and Antelope Canyon is just outside Page on the Navajo reservation. You could do this as a day trip from Bryce, but it might be easier to just spend the night in Page.

I don't think I would try to fit Arches National Park into this trip. You can spend a night at Zion, drive to Bryce the next afternoon and spend a night or two there (sunrise and sunset are pretty incredible), then drive down to Page, and loop back to Vegas.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 11:35 AM
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Hi noel,

5 days is only enough to scratch the surface of a couple areas. You don't have time for Moab (Arches, Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point).

It doesn't sound like you plan to do any hiking, just the short walks out to viewpoints? If this is mainly a driving trip -

1 night Zion
2 nights Bryce
1 night Boulder (Escalante/Hwy 12/ Calf Creek Falls)
1 night Torrey (Capitol Reef Natl Park)
back to Vegas
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 11:44 AM
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You'll be arriving in LAS late in the morning and you've got to be back there not much after noon on the 24th.

If this is correct I would probably do the following:

From LAS drive thru Zion (3 hours) and stop at the east entrance for a relatively short hike to Canyon Overlook.

I would continue on to Bryce and arrive (a 1.5 hour drive) late in the afternoon or aerly evening.

I've been to Bryce twice so can plan it very efficiently.

Go to Sunset Point for the sunset. If you are pretty early I would visit Natural Bridge as it's the only viewpoint that is different from those I'll describe.

Make sure you're up in time for sunrise at Bryce Point. Then grab a snack breakfast and hike down Navajo Loop and either up the other side of the loop or up Queen's Garden. You will see Sunset & Sunrise points as the start and end points of this hike.

If you didn't go to Natural Bridge the day before do it after this hike. With this you will have experienced Bryce.

Depending upon you goal for Page/Lake Powell you have to plan. If you're not interested in Lake Powell itself, that makes it easier.

I would leave Bryce late in the afternoon and go back to Zion (It's shorter from Zion to Page than from Bryce.

Get up in the morning (second full day) and take one hike. If you want something easy you could do Riverside walk or Some of the Emerald Pools.

You can leave mid-morning for Page. It's about 1.5 hours if i remember correctly.

You want to be at Antelope Canyon when the sun is highest in the sky.

Within 15 minutes of Antelope Canyon there are two other worthwhile sights. Go before or after depending on your timing with Antelope Canyon.

The "Best Dam View" of the Dam and Horshoe Bend. Both are just of the north-south highway from Zion and just below Page.

You don't have to book a tour to Antelope canyon. Just pull into the parking lot, pay your parking and tour fee and they'll drive you there and the driver is your guide.

You can easily see these three sights without rushing in about 3 hours.

You can then drive back to Zion for the evening.

You've got two more days. I'd spend the last day doing some hiking in Zion.

That leave one more day. You could add something for lake Powell but that would probably require that you sleep there.

If you're looking for the spectacular I would squeeze in another day after day 1 to sleep over at Bryce.

If you opt for that, I would drive about 1.5 hours east of Bryce to Lower Calf creek Falls. This is a 2.5 mile hike on sand but not difficult. The 126 foot Falls are at the end.

On the way back to bryce, depending on your timing go south at Cannonville (15 miles before Bryce) and stop at the visitors' center. Ask for directions to Willis Creek. It's on a dirt road but it's a real slot cnayon. Once there it's a very easy walk. Even a few small water falls.

Willis creek isn't discussed much but i thought it's really worth the time.

You can see my photos at:


There are two utah trips so put together what's of interest.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Dayle got her reply in before I did.

Dayle's suggestions are very close to what I wrote except I replaced Capitol Reef with Page.

I found the Page sights quite spectacular.
Myer is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 05:54 PM
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With the time you have, I would just do Zion and Bryce. We spent two days at Bryce last May and three days in Zion. We wish we had had more time for Zion. It is one of the most beautiful places we've been. If you are just driving through, then one day would be enough. But to walk the trails and enjoy what the Valley has to offer, you need to spend more time there.

Are you not going to spend a night in Vegas? It's not my favorite place but I would want to stay one night if I was flying in and out of there.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 04:48 AM
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we weren't planning on staying in Vegas..we have been there 2 times and would rather see the beautiful sights more. Thank you for the suggestions..this site is so helpful due you all of you taking the time to help others..thanks again.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 07:16 AM
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"You don't have to book a tour to Antelope canyon. Just pull into the parking lot, pay your parking and tour fee and they'll drive you there and the driver is your guide." I was just going to post a question about this...We will be in Page on a Saturday in May...do you still feel no reservations are necessary?? Have a wonderful trip Noelle!!
Allison is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 08:10 AM
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I was there 2 years ago the first week of June.

When driving south on Rt 89 you pass "The Best Dam View" just after crossing the bridge near the dam.

A bit further south you come to Rt 98. About a half mile south of the junction on the right hand side is the parking lot for Horseshoe Bend. it's a 3/4 mile walk/hike on sand covered rock. Spectacular view.

If you turn east on Rt 98 and go a mile or so past the Trading Post in the direction of the power plant, you'll come to the Antelope Canyon parking lot on the right side of the road.

At that time it was $6. for parking and then $20 for the guide/ride to the Canyon.

It's an open truck that bounces around a bit. I brought a tripod (I'm into photography) because it's not very bright in the canyon. I also brought a plastic bag to carry my camera in the truck. That was to protect it from all the dust.

I waited about 10 minutes for the next truck to come back and there were about 6-8 of us next.

It's a 10-15 minute ride to the Canyon.

Inside, the Canyon is very flat and only about a couple of hundred yards at most. You're there for about an hour.

Make sure you go not far from noon so the sun is high in the sky and bouncing off the walls of the canyon.

I see no reason to go any other way.

If you want to see my photos, go to:


The are two trips to Utah (2007 7 2008). Antelope Canyon was in 2007.
Myer is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 08:50 AM
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We went to antelope canyon in Sept, 07 and got there in the afternoon, about 2:30 and there was only one other couple in our group and our pictures came out great and we didn't have to avoid people moving in the pictures. I'm sure noon would be great but as long as there is sunshine the place is spectacular.
emalloy is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2009, 06:14 AM
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In your first post, you said you wanted to make sure that you had time to relax and take in the scenery. That's why I recommended not going to the Grand Canyon and instead spending your limited time in Zion, Bryce and maybe a drive out and back on Scenic Highway 12 (basically what Dayle suggested). There is so much to see and do in the region that you are going to miss seeing many, many amazing sights - no doubt about it. Like the rest of us, you will have to go back again (and again...). We have done numerous trips to the region and continue to return to spend more time exploring the lesser known or more remote areas. You will enjoy your trip so much more if you don't try to see too much. Save Antelope Canyon for your next (longer) trip when you visit the Grand Canyon and head out to Moab (Arches). With only 5 days, you will have plenty to see and do in Zion and Bryce along with some exploring along Rte 12 through Grand Staircase Escalante to Boulder. It doesn't seem like you are planning much time in Zion and you'll regret that -it is a truly special place. Be sure to give it some time. And don't try to plan every minute of your trip. Leave time for exploration and also for weather-related changes. It took us three trips out to Utah before we could do the hike into Horseshoe Canyon to the Great Gallery. Each time, Sept rains forced us to completely change our itinerary. You cannot hike in the canyons if there is a threat of rain. But it gives you a great reason to have to go back....
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