Should we visit Bryca Canyon or Zion Park?

Old Mar 31st, 2000, 05:38 AM
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Should we visit Bryca Canyon or Zion Park?

We will be driving from Denver to the Grand Canyon in late April,and would appreciate some advice on what to see on the way. We'll be quite pressed for time and will have from Monday morning to Wednesday evening to get to the GC. Should we visit Bryce Canyon or Zion Park,or is it possible to fit them both in to the schedule? Is there anything else on the way that is worth stopping for?
Old Mar 31st, 2000, 06:57 AM
Bob Brown
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I think I might have expressed my ideas on this earlier. But, for anyone who has not read my verbose opinions, here goes: Of the desert parks, I like Bryce and Arches. Zion, the first time I saw it, was awesome. But it often crowded to the extent that parking is hard to find. My first time there, my dad and I were along the river when a downpour struck and the lazy stream turned into a raging torrent in very short order.

I guess if I had to pick one of the bunch, I would take Bryce. It is beautiful and small enough to feel like you are not totally overwhelmed. The GC is, of course, in a class by itself. But Bryce is more intimate in my view. And those delicate limestone spires are so colorful that I expose lots of film. I will be there in late May and can hardly wait to get back. It has been too, too long since I was last there.
Old Mar 31st, 2000, 08:19 PM
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My wife & I were at Bryce & Zion 35 years ago and we still dream about the "Ciudad D'Oro" at Zion. Unbelieveably beautiful. We camped under the stars, along-side a stream in Bryce & I swear I can still hear the rushing water that put me to sleep better than any pill I've ever taken. Bryce & Zion are just a short drive from each other ... go to both. You only live once & you won't regret it.
Old Mar 31st, 2000, 08:45 PM
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I think the best thing to do at Bryce is to ride horses (mules) into the canyon. We did a half day trip and I feel like I was in an old Western movie. It was really a wonderful experience. Zion was OK, pretty, but not to compare with the scenery at Bryce. Both sunrise and sunset at Bryce are also spectacular --the changing colors, etc.
Old Apr 9th, 2000, 04:54 PM
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I made my first trip to Zion 2 days ago (4/7). Although it was very beautiful (especially the drive from the east through Mt Carmel you should be aware that a great deal of construction is going on in the main corridor of Zion Canyon. This has greatly reduced the limited parking and unfortunately the park shuttle is not in service. In addition, the snack area at the lodge will not be open until the end of May so plan to eat in the main dining room, pack a picnic, or drive a few miles to Springdale to find food. The dining room is very, very slow, even with only a few tables in use and you will waste valuable time. Once they clean up this mess Zion will probably be glorious again but right now I'd vote for Bryce.

Definitely hike into the canyon. Do the combined Navaho Trail - Queens Garden hike. Fairly easy if you take it slow, and spectacular for close-up looks at the hoodoos. Drive to Rainbow Point and do the short, very easy Bristlecone Pine Loop to a stunning overlook.
Old Apr 15th, 2000, 04:18 PM
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We just returned from Bryce Canyon and Zion Park. If you have to make a choice, go to Bryce Canyon. The canyon is fascinating with the "rocks that look like standing man". Zion is pretty but cant compare.
Old Apr 16th, 2000, 09:21 AM
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We just returned from a four day swing through the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion. We spent first two nights at the Canyon, third night at Bryce and last night at Zion, staying in lodges inside the park at each location. It was a major haul from south rim to Bryce but worth it. I didn't think the traffic was bad at all in the parks, but closer to Easter break it may get worse. At the Grand Canyon it was not crowded at all and we got around very easily. There was some construction going on at Zion but we didn't have any problems getting around there either. We ate at lodge restaurants at both Bryce and Zion and enjoyed delicious meals at both. Also had an excellent meal at El Tovar at GC. The service at the restaurant at Bryce was a little bit slow though. A light jacket or sweat shirt was needed for mornings and evenings, but during the day we enjoyed beautiful spring days with temps in the 70's. Took the horseback ride through Zion. Don't ride "Big Red", he has a sore foot.
In the whole scheme of things its not that far from Bryce to Zion and you should experience both. I can't remember the name of the road, but the drive into Zion from the east to the Mt. Carmel junction is worth it alone. Our jaws dropped! You will drive through a mile-long tunnel on this road. If your time is limited, just drive this road and the scenic highway through the park (about 6 miles). I believe the drive from Bryce to Zion is about 2 hours.
The last part of our trip was 4 days in Vegas. I wish we had shortened that to 3 and allowed an extra day for Bryce/Zion. If you are pressed for time at Bryce, in their park newsletter they have a listing of 3 or 4 "must see" viewpoints, you can drive to these points and see the highlights. That's what we did, whatever you do, don't miss the one called Bryce Point, it is absolutely gorgeous. I believe the other three viewpoints were called Sunrise, Sunset and Inspiration Point. We also spent a couple of hours hiking Navajo Trail at Bryce but you may not have time for that.
Be prepared for some major driving.
Thanks to those on this board who helped me plan our trip, especially Bob Brown and Debbie!

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