Tips for an Aussie

Old Apr 14th, 2016, 11:18 PM
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Tips for an Aussie

Hi,

I'm planning a road trip for myself and 2 teenage kids in mid-Jan 2017. I want to see some wide open country and natural beauty and thinking of driving from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon to Zion NP and then back to Vegas in 3 days 2 nights. I don't want to spend all my time in the car so wondering if I'm biting off too much. Coming from Australia I'm looking for some solid advice from people who have recently travelled in the same areas. Thanks...
andylk47 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 12:23 AM
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In short yes, Zion is North of Vegas and in winter I understand the north rim of gc is closed, and I would imagine Zion. Even the south rim is freezing and very prone to blizzards at that time of year, I would suggest spring or Autumn for such a trip
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Old Apr 15th, 2016, 05:25 AM
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You are biting off more than you think. That's a lot of driving for 3 days. It's at least 4 hours from LV to the Grand Canyon. It's 2.5 hours from the Grand Canyon to Monument Valley, though less than 2 hours to Page (if you want to see scenery, however, Monument Valley is breathtaking ... it's where John Ford shot a lot of his westerns). From Page it's another 2.5 hours to Zion (more like 3.5 hours from MOnument Valley). Then it's another 3.5 hours back to LV.

So that circular route will entail a full day (10+ hours of driving over your 3 days). Is that too much? Only you can tell us that.

You'd have less driving if you visited Death Valley (and then you'd have time to do some hikes in the desert) but about the same if you visited the Grand Canyon as well as Death Valley.

Another option might be to go to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree, but that's only slightly less driving than the original Zion + Grand Canyon plan.

Or you could do Zion and Bryce, which is what I'd probably recommend. Just be prepared for some snow, especially at Bryce.
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Old Apr 16th, 2016, 06:14 AM
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I have just finished planning our trip to this area in mid-May.

Looking at driving times and what there is to see and do, you will be pushing it just to visit both Zion and Bryce in 3 days. (It's possible, but you will need to plan carefully as the sun sets early and, like many places in Australia, you won't want to be driving after dark.)

Check out the National Park websites for these parks. They have brochures, maps, park newspapers, etc. to help you plan your trip. Facilities and activities may be limited in winter.

Zion: www.nps.gov/zion
Bryce: www.nps.gov/brca
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 01:00 PM
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Zion and Bryce are open in the winter--no problem. As long as you are prepared for snow in Bryce. Zion can get some snow, just depends on what the weather is that week. I wouldn't plan on doing the drive you listed in January--I might do it if I got there and the weather looked good. Remember, you don't want to drive after dark in those areas. There could be lots of snow, there could be none. I would find something closer to Vegas or just do Zion.
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 02:13 PM
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Bryce is much higher elevation is almost sure to have snow and Vegas to the south rim is more than 4 hours. One is not allowed to put tire chains on rental cars -- in your short time maybe consider just Death Valley and Zion instead.

Death Valley is a doable day trip and Zion is only 2.5 hours from Las Vegas.
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 02:39 PM
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That should have said >>Bryce is much higher elevation is almost sure to have snow, and Vegas to the Grand Canyon south rim is more than 4 hours.
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 12:19 PM
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As others have said, the distance doesn't seem too much for 3 days, but the problem comes if there is a snowstorm and your 2-hour drive turns into a 6-hour drive. Honestly, you'd probably be fine playing it by ear and waiting until you get here and have an accurate weather forecast before you decide what you'll do. Anything south of Las Vegas could be a great backup plan! And if you're interested in winter activities, there are two ski resorts in driving distance from Vegas.
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