Southern Utah and Grand Canyon Trip Help

Old May 2nd, 2013, 11:13 AM
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Here are some photos of the route I took from Bryce (the north end at Mossy Cave), Route 12, Burr Trail, up thru the Waterfold Pocket part of Capitol Reef, and then ending at Hickman Bridge.
I went to Moab after that, then via Hovenweep and out through Phoenix back home. (This was a different trip than Monument Valley).

http://picasaweb.google.com/kiwifann...aksCapitolReef
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 02:13 PM
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WhereAreWe--Good point. I hadn't thought of it that way.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 04:06 PM
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Even if you rent a 4 wheel drive, You have to have a guide in MV to see anything that is off the main road. You can not leave the main road "on your own".
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 05:37 PM
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I think that we probably will do the guided tour. How far in advance do you have to make a reservation for that?

Also, back to the Hoover Dam visit....was just thinking that since we got an earlier flight arriving in LV at noon, we might be able to do a quick visit to the dam and then go from there to Zion.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 06:27 PM
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We just drove into MV and there were guides there who would put you on their vehicles and do the tour. There is a great difference in the quality of the tour you get, so you take your chances and hope for a good guide.

In September the day light hours end fairly early, Unless you get into Vegas by mid morning, getting luggage, a car, doing Hoover dam tour, and driving to Zion before sunset would be a stretch.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 07:43 PM
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Since emalloy mentioned daylight hours--do keep in mind the time differences in Utah, Arizona,Nevada, and Indian Reservations. I always manage to get this all mixed up.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 08:15 PM
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Don't worry if you can't get a room in-park at Zion. There are lots of hotels right outside the park in Springdale and it really doesn't take that long to get where you want to go in the park.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 09:14 PM
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Spiro is incorrect, you can self drive the 17-mile loop that starts at the visitor center. There are other areas open only to the guides. The main features that you see on my photos are taken from the self drive dirt loop, not the main road.

If you are worried about the rental car, or have no experience driving on a dirt road, then try to find a guide with an enclosed vehicle. I would not want to do one of the open air Jeep tours. They looked supremely uncomfortable and dusty. EG see this photo from Black's (their $75 per person tour is the same route that you can self-drive for $5).
http://blacksmonumentvalleytours.com/jeeptour.html
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 04:50 AM
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The 17 mile "scenic drive" is what I would consider the main road.
While you will see some of the main features of the park(like The Mittens and other things) you will miss a lot of things including some pretty nice arches(Sun's Eye, Ear Arch, etc) It does depend on the quality of guide as to what kind of information he/she provides.

http://www.fodors.com/world/north-am...362_tours.html

Above is a good link from Fodor's. The longer tour is 60 miles.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 04:53 AM
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The open air jeeps are fine. Why does someone who has not even been on a tour know so much about them. Of course, you don't have to take a tour, but my point is you will be missing a lot of what is there. If you are limited on time then skip the tour. But, if your spending the day there, do a tour, either hiking, horseback, or vehicle.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 04:59 AM
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http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...0IatW7FqybsWlX
Link to my photos to 4 Corners area(includes MV) a couple of years ago. Monument Valley starts at pic 71. You will notice that we went into a Hogan-I don't know if you can do the "on you own" or not.

Besides mlgb, I thought you hated Arizona according to your other post? At the very least, a strong dislike.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 06:01 AM
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Spirodog also had suggested Little Wildhorse Canyon to us 2 years ago when we asked the same questions.....Best hike ever!!!! Beautiul!! Can't wait to do it again!!!
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 10:26 AM
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"Why does someone who has not even been on a tour know so much about them".

Because as I was exiting the park I saw those poor people bouncing around in the back of those trucks, with the dust being stirred up all around them!

Compared to my own serene experience of being able to get out of the car anytime I wanted with no one else around.

To each their own.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 12:12 PM
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I am in the process of planning a similar but abbreviated trip in August tagged on to my husband's seminar in Vegas.

Keep in Mind that Vegas is on Pacific time and although Arizona is "Mountain" it does not go on daylight savings time so Arizona will also be on pacific time so you will not lose time going from Nevada/Arizona. However, Zion in Utah, is on Mountain time, so you will lose an hour going there from the Dam. It turned out that in Late August I could get in to the Bright Angel Cabins first and that is the biggest leg, so we switched to that route. We leave hotel in Vegas in the morning, pick up a car and heading to the dam. Dam tours only start at 9:30 and last one at 4pm.

We then go on to GC, Bryce and Zion for 2 nights each. We are stopping between GC and Bryce on Lake Powell for kayaking and between Bryce and Zion for a quick look at red canyon.

This way when we go to Leave Zion, we will be on mountain time at 8am (which will actually be 7am pacific - Vegas time) and will give us an extra hour plus a shorter drive to Vegas to get there and return the car. In Las Vegas, in case you do not know, you drop the car at a separate location and take a shuttle back to the airport (same with pickup) which you should allocate an extra 1/2 hour.

Also, the Zion Mt Carmel highway between the Zion Visitor Center and the East entrance is suppose to be fantastic and not to be missed. Convenient also between Zion and Bryce. However, it should be noted that they say it is only 12 miles and map quest will tell you 1/2 hour, but with hair pin turns, sheer cliffs, view/picture points and a possible hike, it most likely will take at least 3 times that amount of time.

After I booked our rooms and flights and began working out the details, wished I would have put in and extra day or 2.

Hope everything works out great for you!
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Old May 4th, 2013, 09:19 AM
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Thanks ReillyQ.....didn't know that about the rental pick-up in LV. Will take that into consideration when planning details.

Think I will get a rough trip plan together and start a new thread. This one is getting pretty long. All the suggestions from everyone are great and so helpful. Will need more help with planning this trip, so look for my new thread.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 10:05 AM
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Stay at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It far outshines the South Rim. But you need to get reservations early to stay at the lodge. It's an awe inspiring experience. There aren't as many tourists as the South Rim. We've done this trip and my suggestion is to rent a car in Las Vegas and spend a few days at Zion Try to stay at the lodge, although it's pricey. However there are lots of lodging options just outside the park. There are both difficult and easy trails to hike there. Kanab is also a nice stopping point and has quite a few good restaurants. Bryce is also worth the trip and there's a nice hike to the bottom that's not too strenuous. It can be hot, but we were cold at the top in October. Check projected weather. If $$ is an issue you can do all but the Grand Canyon by staying Kanab where the lodging is good, prices are reasonable the food is delicious. Actually if you like to get up early you can probably make a day trip from Kanab to the GC, but you would miss the experience of STAYING there. We found Kanab to be a good base station. Check it out on a map and you'll see how centrally located it is.

We never did Glenn Canyon, but it might be fun if you like being on the water. But if you rush through all of the places you mentioned, you will miss enjoying the sheer beauty of just being there.
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