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Vegas to Bryce/Zion-Grand Canyon itinerary help 3 days!

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Sep 6th, 2011, 10:36 PM
  #1
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Vegas to Bryce/Zion-Grand Canyon itinerary help 3 days!

Here is our itinerary so far, it will be my gf and I (late 20's), and our 2 yr small dog.

Day 1 - drive from LA to Vegas, stay overnight
Day 2 - drive to Zion/Bryce in the morning then Grand Canyon North Rim during the afternoon, stay overnight in Flagstaff
Day 3 - drive to South Rim the next morning, visit Phoenix and back to LA.

Here are some questions we had
We will be bringing our small dog with us, do any of the mentioned Nat'l Parks allow pets, if not we do not plan on hiking, just stopping for the view and will bring a kennel to put the dog in.

Is it worth it to visit or stay in Sedona instead of Flagstaff, I chose Flagstaff because it is closer to the South Rim for Day 3.

Is there anything to see or do in Flagstaff that is interesting. Say a farmers market or interesting site or natural wonder. Any other info will be appreciated.
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Sep 6th, 2011, 11:01 PM
  #2
 
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Have you mapped your itinerary with Google map or similar software? It is a long drive from Zion to the North Rim, and perhaps even longer from the North Rim to Flagstaff.
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Sep 6th, 2011, 11:15 PM
  #3
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yes 5 hours, that is why we will see the south rim the next morning.
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Sep 7th, 2011, 12:26 AM
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There is no way you can see Zion, Bryce, & the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and make it to Flagstaff in one day and see anything but the entrance and exit signs of these three wonderful parks!

You are looking at just over 600 miles in one day. Most of which is not interstate driving so it's going to be slow going. Especially though the parks and from Jacob Lake to the actual North Rim.

Do yourself, your girlfriend and your two dogs a favor and reconsider doing so much in three days.

If you really pushed it you could see Zion and Bryce in one day. With your limited time, I'd skip one of the rims of the Grand Canyon. If it were me, I'd skip the North Rim just because the road into it is a slow curvy road that that can take a long time to drive...and then you have to drive that same road back out.

To answer your question about the dogs. Dogs are allowed in the parks. They are not allowed on trails or shuttle buses. They need to be on leashes if they are out of the vehicle. I would find someone at home that can take care of the dogs while you are gone and not subject them to three days of just being in a car. You would have more freedom to see some of the sites.

To actually see Zion Canyon you will have to ride the shuttle buses. You can driver though the park on Hwy 9, but you won't see the most spectacular part if you don't take the shuttle. I would strongly recommend not leaving the dogs in the vehicle while you rode the shuttle in Zion. It takes 90 minutes to make a round trip. Longer if you get off and back on a shuttle.

At Bryce and Grand Canyon (N. & S) you can just stop at overlooks. At Grand Canyon Village, S. Rim you might have to park quite a ways from an over look. Again, I strongly recommend NOT leaving your dogs in the vehicle for any length of time. It gets hot fast in a car in the summer!

Day 3 is a little insane too at around 700 miles. I'd drop Phoenix and just go from the S. Rim to Los Angeles!

Good LUCK!

Utahtea
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Sep 7th, 2011, 04:25 AM
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Since you mentioned Bryce, Zion, North Rim & South Rim of GC you must have done some reading.

I'd like to know what you expect to see in each park in the time you've allocated.
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Sep 7th, 2011, 05:07 AM
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Wejjust did the first part of your trip, Bryce, Zion, and Noerth Rim of the Grand Canyon in 10 days. It is a long drive to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (about 3 hours from Bryce and a little less to Zion) but that is to the park entrance, and it is still about 20 miles to the rim. You don't see much from the top. You need to hike into the canyon.

You can drive through Bryce and see some of the views because you look into the canyon. Zion you could see some views from the car but I wouldn't recommend it.

I think it was 7 hours from the North Rim to the South Rim. the roads can be slow at times.

I would make a choice, see some things then see others another time. You can find my trip report if you want to see our driving times between these places.
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Sep 7th, 2011, 06:30 AM
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Just to give you an idea how impossible your plan is:

Day 3 . . . Flagstaff to the South rim, back out of the park and down to Phoenix, and across to LA (depending on where in LA) is nearly 700 miles and easily (very easily) 11 hours nonstop driving w/o ANY breaks let alone sightseeing.

You can decide to drive all day for 3 straight days if you have no interest in seeing anything -- but leave the poor dog at home.
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Sep 7th, 2011, 07:19 AM
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Wow, I'm with Myer. What are you expecting to see? Your plan is truly unrealistic.

Do yourself and the dog a favor and decide just ONE of those places to see.

My choice with a dog would be the South Rim. You can take the dog on a leash to the overlooks and on the rim trails. None of the other parks will allow the dog on the trails (or the shuttle at Zion)

So day 1 drive LA to LV
Day 2 drive LV to Grand Canyon south (about 5 hrs). Spend the rest of the day enjoying the park, stay for the sunset, spend the night in Tusayan just outside the park entrance in order to give yourself the maximum amount of time in the park. Though you could stay Flagstaff if you wanted more nightlife. If you stay Flagstaff you might be able to take the drive out the east entrance of the park and enjoy the viewpoints along the way.
Day 3 Drive to LA.
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Sep 7th, 2011, 07:26 AM
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Thanks for the replies.
We decided Day 2- drive from Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon/Zion and driving back to Las Vegas that night, then drive back to LA from Las Vegas on Day 3.

Also, the place we are staying at accepts dogs to be left in the room unattended. I think our dog will be OK for several hours in a crate.

At Zion/Bryce, do you take shuttle for both of them. We are expecting spectacular views, not sure what else we can see/do in 1 day. Thank you.
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Sep 7th, 2011, 07:48 AM
  #11
 
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It is a 5 hr drive from LV to Bryce. That means a 10 hr day just driving (and that doesn't mean through Zion which would add about another hour). That is more than "Several hours" in a crate for your dog. It is ALL day. Please don't do that.

Kanab is a dog friendly town. Bring the dog with you, skip Zion and spend the night in Kanab. You could drive through Zion the next day on the way back to LA and see a little of it.
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Sep 7th, 2011, 07:50 AM
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I'll be a little more positive about your trip, but be prepared for long days of travel. On day 1, bypass Las Vegas and go right up to Zion or Springdale for the night. Get out of bed early, visit Zion, do a short hike there then head for Bryce by early afternoon, visit the overlooks and take a hike there. Then make a decision, either North rim or south rim. If it is a time of year that north rim is even possible, stay in park or in Kanab area then do your visit then back to LA. If south rim, then after Bryce, head for either Page or better yet Cameron (Cameron trading post has pretty nice accommodations for not too much) for the night then on to South rim and back to LA.

Lots of driving, but through beautiful country.
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Sep 7th, 2011, 07:51 AM
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I meant to say you could see a little of Zion without taking the shuttle.

You don't need to take the shuttle in Bryce. For the most part the viewpoints are near to the parking areas so the dog could be left in the car while you look. You just wouldn't be able to hike, (but you don't have time for that anyway).
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Sep 7th, 2011, 07:59 AM
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Your dogs will be left unattended for at well over 8 hours because that's how much driving time will be involved to get to Bryce, Zion and back to Las Vegas. You are looking at a 4 hour drive to Bryce going the fastest route, another 1 to 1 1/2 hour to Zion Canyon, then 3 hours drive back from Zion to Las Vegas.

Both Zion and Bryce have shuttles. In Bryce it's optional to take their shuttle buses but parking can be hard to find when the park is busy. In Zion you will needed to take the shuttle buses if you go before October 31, 2011. If you are going in November then the shuttle buses only run on the weekend and they are optional.

To see Bryce you have to get out of the car and at least to the rim to see the best views. In Zion you are in the canyon so you can see it from the Shuttle bus, but don't short change yourself. Get off the shuttle bus and at least walk around at a few of the shuttle stops. Maybe stretch your legs on the Riverside walk.

You don't mention when you are going. If you are returning to Los Angeles from Las Vegas on Sunday, be aware that there is ALWAYS a lot of traffic going back to Los Angeles on Sunday and it can take longer to get home than getting there!

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Sep 7th, 2011, 10:52 AM
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So you have three full days, two nights, starting and ending in LA?

You want to see something in the way of a national park, and you want to bring your dog? If this is correct then I suggest:

Day 1 - drive from LA to Bryce. It's almost nine hours but if you leave early you'd get there for late afternoon/sunset. The best places to view the sunset (and the whole place actually) are Sunset Point, Sunrise Point, Bryce Point (which are all near each other). If you are going this fall then it should be cool enough at that time of day to leave the dog in the car for an hour or so to walk around these viewpoints.

Day 2 - get up for sunrise - the best time in this park. If you did it just after sunrise you could do part or all of the Navajo Trail/Queens Garden Trail. Depending on the temperature you could leave the dog in the car or motel room (assuming you are staying at Ruby's). Then drive to Zion (less than 2 hours). The Rt 9 Zion-Mt Carmel Junction drive is 24 miles and absolutely gorgeous (included in that 2 hours). Park in the visitor center parking lot and hike the Pa'rus Trail which DOES allow dogs. Then check into a motel in Springdale (I think I saw several that allowed dogs).

Day 3 - get up early and leave the dog in the car or motel while you take the shuttle bus into the main part of the park and do a hike (Emerald Pools or Riverside, depending on how much time you have). Collect the dog and drive back to LA (about seven hours).

If you do this you will actually get to see some of these parks and you can do it (unless there is a heat wave or something) while still being kind to your dog - you'd only be leaving it for a few hours at a time, early or late in the day.
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Sep 7th, 2011, 11:04 AM
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I like Isabel's plan. I think the root of all your problems is the idea that you wanted to stay in Las Vegas. It does have some cheap lodging these days, but it's not what you want to do to maximize your time if you really want to see the parks. If your dog is ok with staying in the car for an hour or two, then this plan works, but mine definitely is not ... she'd go crazy in the car with me gone for that long. But if your dog is crate-trained, then leaving him/her in the motel room for a few hours isn't a completely unworkable idea.
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Sep 7th, 2011, 11:56 AM
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". . .cool enough at that time of day to leave the dog in the car for an hour or so to walk around these viewpoints."

" If your dog is ok with staying in the car for an hour or two, then this plan works,"

Only thing is . . . you can't. from the National Park website: "Pets are not recommended in Bryce Canyon National Park. Pets are not allowed on any of the park trails or overlooks. Pets must be on a leash at all times, (no longer than 6 feet), and never left unattended. "

(BTW, Same w/ Zion, Yosemite, Yellowstone and many other National Parks. At Yellowstone they specifically state you can leave them in a car, but only while nearby viewing sites from the roadside . . .)
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Sep 7th, 2011, 12:46 PM
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If you care anything for your dogs you won't leave them in a car even for a short time, let alone an hour!

http://www.mydogiscool.com/x_car_study.php

http://www.mydogiscool.com/
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIP...ip_HotCars.php
http://www.usatoday.com/life/columni...hot-cars_N.htm

Utahtea
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Sep 7th, 2011, 01:37 PM
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The OP did not say when they were going but in my response I said "if you are going in the fall" ....

If they were to drive 9 hours from LA to Bryce they wouldn't be arriving until late afternoon. The average temps in Bryce in October are between 27 and 57 degrees. Leaving a dog in a car for less than an hour when the temp is in the 40s or 50s is not dangerous. Since the OP did specifically mention the dog I am assuming they care enough (and know enough) not to leave a dog in a car when it is warm out. The plan that I offered up would leave the dog in either the motel or the car for short periods of time early in the morning or late in the afternoon, and as I said, it's on the assumption that this trip occurs in cool months. Obviously there are stupid people out there who do leave pets, some even leave children, in cars when they shouldn't. But that fact should not prevent people who have the ability to use common sense from doing so.
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Sep 7th, 2011, 01:44 PM
  #20
 
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"The OP did not say when they were going but in my response I said "if you are going in the fall" .... "

"it's on the assumption that this trip occurs in cool months."

Fall, Spring, Winter . . . It makes no difference. (I didn't mention temperatures in my post). Pets can't be left unattended.
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