Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Vegas to Grand Canyon to Zion to Bryce to Yellowstone

Vegas to Grand Canyon to Zion to Bryce to Yellowstone

Old Mar 21st, 2023, 10:49 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Vegas to Grand Canyon to Zion to Bryce to Yellowstone

My husband and I have planned our 25th anniversary trip which begins with us flying into Vegas, renting a car and traveling to the Grand Canyon, Marble Canyon, Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Jackson, WY, and then to Yellowstone. We have the trip planned over the course of 9 nights and we never stay in any one place more than one night. Neither of us have ever been out west. Below is our tentative itinerary. We already have hotels booked in every place. Just wondering if anyone has ever done anything similar to this. Suggestions? Are we crazy to think we can do all this in 9 nights??

Day 1
12:00 p.m. - Land in Vegas and pick up car, drive around, check into Venetian5:00 p.m. - Dinner and a show


Day 2 9:00 a.m. - Leave Vegas for Hoover Dam - 40 min
10:00 a.m. - Leave Hoover Dam for Valle, Arizona, I-40 Purple Heart Trail
2:00 p.m. - Arrive in Valle, find lunch
3:00 p.m. - Check in to dome at Clear Sky Domes
Day 3 9:00 a.m. - Leave for South Rim Grand Canyon - 30 miles
10:00 a.m. - Tour Grand Canyon, eat lunch at the village, Mather Point,
1:30 p.m. - leave for Marble Canyon
4:00 p.m. - arrive at Marble Canyon
5:00 p.m - Leave Marble Canyon for Kaibab Lodge (2 hr drive)
Day 4. 9:30 a.m. - Visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Bright Angel Point, Le Fevre Overlook (north rim)
12:00 p.m. - Leave and head north for Zion National Park
2:00 p.m. Arrive at Zion National Park
4:30 p.m. - Leave Zion National Park
6
:00 p.m. - Arrive at Bryce Canyon National Park for sunset
8:30 p.m. - Leave Bryce Canyon for nearby hotel
Day 5 9:00 a.m.- Horseback ride at Bryce Canyon(booked)
12:00 p.m. - Leave Bryce Canyon for Park City, UT
4:30 p.m. - Arrive in Park City and Check in
Day 6
9:00 a.m. - Leave for Jackson Hole
2:00 p.m. - Arrive in Jackson Hole, look around
4:00 p.m. - Check into hotel-Cowboy Village Resort
7:00 p.m. - Anniversary Dinner
Day 7
8:30 a.m. - Leave for Teton National Park and Yellowstone
11:00 a.m- Visit Old Faithful Geyser, Grand Prismatic Springs
12:00 p.m. - Leave for Bridge Bay Marina
1:00 p.m. Rent motorboat at Bridge Bay Marina
3:30 p.m. Check into the Yellowstone Lake Lodge
6:30 p.m. Dinner at Yellowstone Lodge Dining Room - need reservations
Day 8 9:00 a.m. Leave Lake Yellowstone Hotel
10:00 a.m. Stop at Canyon Village
12:30 p.m. - Whitewater rafting at Yellowstone Raft Co. Gardiner, MT (Booked)
3:30 p.m. - Visit Albright Visitor Center
4:30 p.m. Check in at Mammoth Springs Hotel
7:00 p.m. Dinner at Mammoth Springs Dining Room
Day 9
10:00 a.m. - Explore west Area of Yellowstone
1:00 p.m. - Leave for Bozeman, MT
3:00 p.m. - Arrive in Bozeman and check into hotel
Day 10 Fly Home from Bozeman, MT

christinasojourner is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2023, 11:17 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 71,072
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Welcome to Fodors.

"Neither of us have ever been out west."

That was sort of obvious
Sorry to say but your itinerary is much too rushed and will mostly be spent watching the scenery fly past out that car window.

Just picking one day:

Day 4. 9:30 a.m. - Visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Bright Angel Point, Le Fevre Overlook (north rim)
12:00 p.m. - Leave and head north for Zion National Park
2:00 p.m. Arrive at Zion National Park
4:30 p.m. - Leave Zion National Park
6
:00 p.m. - Arrive at Bryce Canyon National Park for sunset
8:30 p.m. - Leave Bryce Canyon for nearby hotel

From Kaibab Lodge to Springdale is a 2.5-3 hour drive even without stops at the overlook etc, so you arriving at Zion by 2 PM is unlikely. Not arriving at Zion til late-ish afternoon and waiting for the shuttle buses etc leaves almost no time at all in Zion. Then driving the same day to Bryce Canyon is 2-ish hour drive so no time at Bryce Canyon either.

Visiting the North Rim, Zion and Bryce is not a 1 day jaunt. The rest of your plans are equally rushed and some are impossible. You have about a 2.5+ week trip squished into 9 days.

Itineraries broken up into 1 and 2 hour segments almost never go to plan. One traffic jam, one herd of animals on the road, one construction zone and the entire day is shot. (and there is likely to be a lot of road construction on many of your routes because all the winter damage can only be repaired in the summer.

Last edited by janisj; Mar 21st, 2023 at 11:26 AM.
janisj is online now  
Old Mar 21st, 2023, 11:28 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11,852
Received 26 Likes on 4 Posts
A reasonable plan would be either the AZ/UT parks OR Tetons/Yellowstone. Don't ruin a potential trip-of-a-lifetime with bad planning.

MmePerdu is online now  
Old Mar 21st, 2023, 11:29 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 71,072
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Oh -meant to ask WHEN it the trip? That makes a difference which roads are possible etc. I just assumed it was in summer
janisj is online now  
Old Mar 21st, 2023, 11:51 AM
  #5  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11,544
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Are we crazy to think we can do all this in 9 nights??

In a word, Yes... you are.


If you add up the time spent in the car vs time spent actually seeing anything you're trying to see, it may open your eyes.


I don't have time for a wholesale edit, so just a few things pop into mind.
  • Your driving times on the highway might be accurate but they do not account for time anywhere spent finding parking, no time for bio breaks, or once you find an open parking spot walking from your car to a sight of interest, getting on a shuttle bus (required at Zion to see anything, and advisable at GC to be able to get around to different vistas.
  • Forget GC north rim. Add that time to other locations.
  • If you're going to drive to Valle, then why not just book a place in GC Village. Then you can wake up there and see more of the Grand Canyon than your 2 or 3 hours booked allow you,
  • At Zion, 2 hours will barely get you to the visitor center, and not even onto a shuttle to ride the length of the canyon/valley floor. Let alone any time to actually get out and see anything. If your minute by minute plan is running an hour late to plan you cut that in half....
  • Booking 1hr for a meal? Good luck getting to the front of the waiting line in that time if places are busy.
either cut the number of destinations in half, or double the time would be my recommendation.




J62 is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2023, 12:48 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 117
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, while technically it's possible, you didn't allow any time for even a slightest delay. Also, you didn't state when will this trip take place. Simple delay when checkin IN or OUT from the hotel could mess up your plans. Do you realize that it may take hours for you just to pass the Yellowstone entrance when it gets really crowded in the summer? And Zion in 2 hours??? I see it doable in 1 day, without major hiking. But, it may take you a couple of hours just to board the shuttle during the busy months. You do realize you have to take the shuttle, right? You must have done some research, since you booked all the hotels for your trip. Did you?
I'd never try to combine Yellowstone with any Canyons Between Moab and Las Vegas.
andyg5056 is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2023, 01:19 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,247
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Originally Posted by MmePerdu View Post
A reasonable plan would be either the AZ/UT parks OR Tetons/Yellowstone. Don't ruin a potential trip-of-a-lifetime with bad planning.
I agree with this. To have a more meaningful and enjoyable trip, choose between AZ/UT or Tetons/Yellowstone.
MichelleY is online now  
Old Mar 21st, 2023, 01:44 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,999
Received 83 Likes on 5 Posts
Welcome to Fodor's.

Are we crazy to think we can do all this in 9 nights??

Absolutely starkers.

2.5 hours for Zion? 16.5 hours in Park City?

Any itinerary that is broken down by the hour is a bit mad, IME, and unfortunately, this one is completely unrealistic.


Last edited by Melnq8; Mar 21st, 2023 at 01:51 PM.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2023, 01:50 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 22,567
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since you have been on the South Rim at the beginnng of your trip, save time by skipping the North Rim.
Michael is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2023, 06:47 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,234
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree: way too rushed and you won't have enough time to enjoy most of the sights. The Grand Canyon is lovely but I would cut the North Rim to give yourselves more time. I haven't been to Marble Canyon so can't comment on that part of your trip but I would want to spend at least one night at Zion.
KTtravel is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2023, 07:59 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 23,394
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bonkers.
mlgb is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 03:31 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 830
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with the other posters and we often do one or two night stays. At the very least, omit the north rim of GC, spend more time in the parks. If this is summer, all the parks will be busy, if it is not summer, expect snow in Yellowstone, we saw it in late June. Drive times are unrealistic.
oldemalloy is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 04:48 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for the feedback. We would really like to get GC, Bryce Canyon, and Yellowstone in the same trip. I've cut back a lot of stops and moved around some hotels. The only purpose of staying at Park City is to break up the drive from Bryce Canyon to Jackson. We would be going late June/early July.

Would this itinerary be more feasible?Day 1 - 12:00 p.m. - Land in Vegas and pick up rental car
Day 2
- 9:00 a.m. - Leave Vegas
3:00 p.m. - Arrive at South Rim of the Grand Canyon, stay at South Rim
Day 3 - 12:00 p.m. Leave Grand Canyon
6:00 p.m. - Arrive at Best Western Plus in Bryce Canyon
Day 4
Explore Bryce Canyon
2:00 p.m. - Horseback ride in Bryce Canyon
Stay the night at Best Western Plus in Bryce Canyon
Day 5
9:00 a.m. - Leave for Park City
2:00 p.m. - Arrive in Park City, spend the night
Day 6.
9:00 a.m. - Leave for Jackson Hole
2:00 p.m. - Arrive in Jackson Hole
4:00 p.m. - Check into hotel-Cowboy Village Resort
Day 7.
8:30 a.m. - Leave for Teton National Park and Yellowston
11:00 a.m- Visit Old Faithful Geyser, Grand Prismatic Springs
3:30 p.m. Check into the Yellowstone Lake Lodge
Day 8.
9:00 a.m. Leave Lake Yellowstone Hotel
12:30 p.m. - Whitewater rafting at Yellowstone Raft Co. Gardiner, MT (Booked)
Day 9. 10:00 a.m. - Explore west Area of Yellowstone
1:00 p.m. - Leave for Bozeman
Day 10. Fly out of Bozeman
christinasojourner is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 04:58 AM
  #14  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11,544
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
More feasible, yes.
More enjoyable, not to me, but I have a different (slow) travel style....You know your own style better and if that type of scheudule works for you then go for it!
J62 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 05:13 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 71,072
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Originally Posted by christinasojourner View Post
Thank you for the feedback. We would really like to get GC, Bryce Canyon, and Yellowstone in the same trip. . . . .

That is your biggest problem -- those are not really feasible together on such a short trip. JUST the straight drive (without any other detours/driving around/sightseeing) Vegas > GC south rim > Bryce > Lake Yellowstone Hotel > Bozeman is nearly 1500 miles. Don't know where you're from but that's about the same a Miami Fl to Boston -- without an I-95 connecting the whole thing. You won't be going 70 on most of those roads. You really do need to either do AZ and UT - or - Yellowstone and nearby - or - add several days to the trip.
janisj is online now  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 05:31 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 71,072
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Oh -- I you are traveling in late June/over July 4th - Places will be very busy.
janisj is online now  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 05:51 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 117
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
May I ask another question? Where is home? I have a feeling you're coming from different country than US. This would help understand why you packed so much in such of short period of time. Also, some could think of better advise other than calling you Crazy 😁.
andyg5056 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 06:44 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ambitious? Yes!

My family just spent 6 nights doing ONLY Zion and Bryce flying in and out of Vegas.

Your new itinerary dropped Zion, but is is soooo worth seeing. Bryce is beautiful. Since you donít have much time, be sure to go to Bryce Point and Observation Point. Great views and will only take 15-30 minutes.

hartman32 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 07:27 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 23,394
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do you think you will never have another vacation?

You can do the "Grand Circle" from Las Vegas rather easily in about a week, then FLY to Bozeman. Still a bit too fast for many people and everywhere will be overcrowded.


Day 1 Land in LV, get rental car and drive 3-4 hours straight to Zion/Springdale for 2 nights
Day 2- Zion (1 full day)
Day 3-leave for Bryce (2 nights), drive about 2 hours to Bryce. Horseback ride in PM, sunset from rim.
Day 4 full day Bryce, hike to bottom of canyon
Day 5 Full day drive to Grand Canyon south rim, arrive for sunset (one night at Yavapai Lodge or Grand Canyon Village).
Day 6 sunrise, walk along rim in morning, drive to LAS and return car, (one night LAS).
Day 7 FLY LAS to BZN
Day 7 to 10 Montana as above.


PS I think it's worthwhile to try to get lodging inside Bryce and Grand Canyon, but Springdale is not bad for Zion.

Last edited by mlgb; Mar 22nd, 2023 at 08:07 AM.
mlgb is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 10:54 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 117
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OK, let's assume you can't come back and must iclude Yellowstone in this trip. Kind of busy right now, but, the first think I'd try to do is combine driving on day 5 & 6 into 1 day. It's like 560 miles drive, but 2/3 is driving in I-15 and I-80, the Interstate Highways. Wide and fast. I'd start the day earlier than 9AM as well, you'll get your beauty sleep back home 😁.
That would apply to all mornings accept the one in Vegas, I'm sure you'll want to see it at night, the Strip ( Bellagio fountains) or the Fremont Street. As far as Yellowstone itself, need to verify the Gardiner entrace roads, after a major flood washed them off.
UPDATE: just confirmed that the North Entrance road is repaired and fully functional.
https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/flood-recovery.htm

Last edited by andyg5056; Mar 22nd, 2023 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Update on North Entrace roads.
andyg5056 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -