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Trip report -Vegas and National Parks

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Oct 24th, 2009, 03:36 PM
  #1
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Trip report -Vegas and National Parks

We have just returned from Vegas and a 4 day tour of the National Parks and Canyon lands. We stayed in the Bellagio for the first 4 days and thought it was well worth the extra. We had a choice of a fountain view room or a back view of the mountains. Strangely we chose the back room view as hubby loves to see mountains.
The room was great on the 22nd floor, with floor to ceiling window and 2 comfy armchairs by the window.
It was hard to drag hubby out, the sunset and sunrise on the mountains was spectacular.
We left on the tour and stayed the first night at the rim of the Grand Canyon, we stayed in a lodge which was in keeping with the area. The Canyon was awesome, we have been before, many years ago, but we were still in awe of it's beauty.
Next day we moved on to Monument Valley and we thought we had gone to another planet! It was amazing. We recognised the area from all the Western movies we have seen. You travel the area in open top buses and although you get a better view of the area, if it is windy you need something to cover your head and maybe something to cover your face as the sand blows everywhere. The weather was beautiful, but very windy. So, be prepared.
We then moved on to Page and Lake Powell. It wasn't as we imagined. Page is quite a large town with Lake Powell nearby. We always imagined Lake Powell to be remote and in the middle of nowhere, but still it was a great sight and we had a view of the lake from our hotel window.
Next day we went on to Bryce Canyon, unbelievable!! It is a huge canyon like the Grand Canyon, but with huge stalagmyte-type rock formations sticking up from the canyon.
The colours of the rocks are amazing and the shapes are all different, some even have names as they resemble certain things like a sinking ship or a bridge.
We did not realise that Bryce is over 9,000 feet above sea level at some points and the temperature dropped like a stone.
Again, ourselves and many others on the tour were not prepared and had to buy warm jackets as we had left Vegas in the high 70's and were now looking at temps in the 50's.
Many on the tour had left some luggage in Vegas and brought only Summer clothing on the tour.
We stayed in a lovely Best Western hotel at Bryce it was only 6 months old, we also went to a cowboy evening with music and a barbeque meal included in the price. It was great. However the tour packed in so much that we had to have early nights in order to be up in time to leave next morning.
It seemed funny that when the band finished at 9.30pm everyone rushed off to bed!!
Next day we moved on to Utah and Zion National Park. This was very different again from the other places. This was huge rocks, but with the roads cut out of the rock and we travelled through them. Again it was breath-taking and beautiful.
We could not believe that the 4 -day tour could pack in so much diverse scenery, each place different, but just as stunning as the last place. Again the weather stayed cold.
Next day we made our way back to Vegas and felt the temperature getting warmer.
We stayed the final 2 nights in The Mirage and this time we had a front room with a view of the Volcano. We enjoyed The Mirage but did not think it was as special as The Bellagio. To complete our trip we visited Seigfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Seigfried himself was visiting the garden with his family, so I had a picture taken with him and spoke to him and his mother. They were telling me about the white tigers and the white lion and how they were only 7 months old. They are gorgeous. It really made our wonderful trip even more special.
Of course this trip report could have been longer and far more detailed, but it would have taken over the whole forum!
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Oct 24th, 2009, 03:49 PM
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Utah is very different as you move along. It is one of my favorite states. Glad you enjoyed your trip
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Oct 24th, 2009, 06:26 PM
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Thanks for the report, This is a fantastic, beautiful part of the world.
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Oct 25th, 2009, 05:59 AM
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Your comment about the people who had to buy jackets for the cooler temperatures reminded me of a friend of mine from the U.K. was doing a three-month world tour two years ago and after having been to Australia, Singapore, etc., was planning on coming to the U.S. and seeing the Grand Canyon in March. I asked if she would be coming to Pennsylvania (where we live), and she said, "No, I don't have any warm clothes." For some reason, she thought that since the G.C. was in Arizona that they would be experiencing a desert heat.... Needless to say, they also went on an unplanned shopping trip!
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Oct 25th, 2009, 07:41 AM
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Thanks for the report marley. We have not been to Utah for years and plan on doing some of the parks and Lake Powell in the near future so I read your trip report with a great deal of interest.
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Oct 25th, 2009, 09:07 AM
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Thanks for the trip report marly! I hope you get to come back again for a longer visit.

By the way, Lake Powell is very remote and "in the middle of nowhere". You happened to see it from the only town near the lake. Powell has something like 1,800 miles of shoreline. Seeing it from the water would really make you realize how remote it is.
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