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Vegas to Grand Canyon to Zion to Vegas - too much driving?

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Sep 15th, 2012, 03:18 PM
  #1
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Vegas to Grand Canyon to Zion to Vegas - too much driving?

I'm trying to plan a trip combining Vegas, Grand Canyon and Zion, and the route I've come up with goes from Vegas to the GC south rim, spend a day there on the shuttle etc, then next morning on to North rim, with a day there, then next morning on to Zion. Does this sound doable? I have old folks with me who won't do any hiking so it's mostly going to be various stops to take pictures and then moving on. I'm mostly concerned with how to get to the North rim from South rim - nps.gov says it's 212 miles! After that, would I still be able to do some sightseeing at the North rim that day?

Also, I thought I'd enter Zion from the east on Hwy 9, then drive through and on back to Vegas, stopping in the village for the shuttle ride. Is that possible at this time of year - do they allow private vehicles in the tunnel on Zion-Mt Carmel Hwy?
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Sep 15th, 2012, 03:22 PM
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Even though I love driving and looking at the scenery - you might consider adding a 2nd night at the South Rim and bagging the long drive to the North Rim and go from the South Rim to Zion and enjoy Zion for another couple of days.

You can always do the North Rim if you return to Zion, etc.

Up to you.
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Sep 15th, 2012, 03:41 PM
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You can drive thru the tunnel. But you will need to ride the shuttle to see the interior(best part)of Zion. This takes you to the lodge, various viewpoint and hiking trailheads. Stop and see Checkboard Mesa right before you go into tunnel.
I would have a meal at Zion Lodge.
If you can allow even one more day, I would include Bryce too. the viewpoints there are amazing.

If the old folks are up for a couple of hours an a horse, you can do that at GC,Zion, or Bryce. I really like the ride in Bryce.
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Sep 15th, 2012, 04:38 PM
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How old is old? Are they over 60, 70 or in their 80's? Pick either the north or south rim of the GC. If you skip the South Rim, you could go from LV to Zion, N. Rim and add Bryce and back to LV.
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Sep 15th, 2012, 06:18 PM
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Thanks, all! I was planning to do the shuttle ride in Zion for sure, since I haven't done that myself I was planning to go through the tunnel to get to the shuttle ride, since I wanted to see Checkerboard Mesa.

I was very tempted to add Bryce to the itinerary, but thought it would be pushing it if I did North rim as well. Is North rim more or less the same as South rim? How would you get from south rim to Zion? Wouldn't that be a long drive as well?

Another option I considered was the slot canyons near Page.
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Sep 15th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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North Rim and South Rim. Not exactly the same. North Rim is much less crowded and has more trees. It is a higher elevation and is cooler. The facilities all close on Oct 15. South rim is what most people see(especially first timers). 90% of the people see the south rim.

If you cut out the South Rim, it would save you a lot more time to see Bryce and Zion. You do not have the option of riding the shuttle in Zion(march thru nov). You have to take it. You do not have to ride the shuttle for the tunnel.

If your parents can't hike at all then Page would be out. I would probably opt for Bryce over Page anyway. Slot Canyons are great to see, though.

I really like any of the lodges "in park" that you can get., They fill up far in advance usually, but you might can get a cancellation.
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Sep 15th, 2012, 07:08 PM
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Drop one of the rims and add Bryce.

Unlike Zion, in Bryce you start at the top of the canyon so anybody who is at all mobile can stroll along the rim. It's an easy walk and there are benches along the way to sit, rest and enjoy the view.
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Sep 15th, 2012, 07:16 PM
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When are you going?

Are you parents able to walk 30 minutes or an hour?

Are they up for riding horses if they can't walk.
My parents are nearly 70 and they only hike the shorter stuff, but would jump on a horse for a couple of hours.

There are a ton of options.
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Sep 16th, 2012, 04:26 AM
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spiro,

I've been hearing the "tons of" a lot of things expressions lately.

Can somebody explain how you weigh "options"?
What kind of scale do you use?
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Sep 16th, 2012, 06:40 AM
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There is a reason it's called the Grand Canyon - and attracts the most visitors. You could more easily get to the North Rim from Zion - but weather/timing might be an issue.

And while I like Bryce - I would not change it out for the Grand Canyon by any means.

Actually if I was doing it - especilly the first time - I would go from Vegas to the South Rim - 5 hours or so - spend couple of nights there (you could drive to Page for a nice float trip) - and then make your way back to Zion - and from Zion back to Vegas is less than 3 hours.
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Sep 16th, 2012, 06:41 AM
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BTW - one could substitute beaucoup for tons if you like - but "tons" still conveys many to moi.
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Sep 16th, 2012, 01:40 PM
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beaucoup mean "a lot" which is correct.

"Tons of" might only be one but very heavy.

And I would definitely not stay in GC more than one night unless hiking down to the bottom.

Difference of opinion.

I would never suggest to a person who hasn't been to GC that they should skip it. But how does it compare to all of the other sights in Arizona & Utah?
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Sep 16th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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I thought this site was pretty much entirely based on weighing options. Tons of them. lol


love2travel, you will be happy any way you slice it(or weigh it).
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Sep 17th, 2012, 06:02 AM
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IMHO the south rim is the one that has the iconic views and can be seen easily from a car or the shuttle with very short walks to the view points. The north rim is nice, but you really don't have the expansive views that you do from the south rim and it is a pretty long drive in through not too pretty landscape to get there. If you are planning a trip between mid October and mid May, the north rim will probably not be open.

If you leave Vegas early in the morning (before 9), You could be at the south rim by early afternoon. That would give you time to explore the rim from the shuttle or your car and see sunset, spend the night. Leave the next morning for Bryce, see sunset, spend the night, do the scenic drive and leave for Zion or north rim if you really feel the need for more GC then Zion.
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Sep 17th, 2012, 08:30 AM
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spiro,
You are cheating.

Yes, you could say another word for a lot is tons. However, that's when referring to weight. Not quantity as in the number of things.

No fair (or as they say in San Francisco "fare is fair").
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Sep 17th, 2012, 09:24 AM
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Las Vegas - South Rim - North Rim - Bryce - Zion - Las Vegas = 913 miles, 18 hours 39 minutes

Skip Bryce, keep the North Rim and it is 790 miles, 16 hours 1 minute

Skip North Rim but keep Bryce and it is 830 miles, 15 hours 53 minutes

The difference in mileage isn't all that much, 123 miles at most. Driving time for the longest route is almost 3 hours more than the shortest route, but I don't think that's really significant either.

It's more about how many days/nights you have for the trip, because you would generally want to stay overnight at each place rather than stop in, look around and drive to the next destination.

It is almost 5 hours from the South Rim to the North Rim, and then just under 4 hours from the North Rim to Bryce. So you *could* do all that driving in one day and just stop at the North Rim for the views, but that's kind of pointless. The views aren't as good as the South Rim, and the North Rim is more of a quieter, relaxed area so not really conducive to a quick drive by if you want to enjoy it.

I think you'd be best off skipping the North Rim and going to Bryce instead.
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Sep 18th, 2012, 05:20 AM
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Hey cspiro,

I copied the following from an article on a different topic.

"While tons of current and former players have come out and shown their support for . . .?"

Was tons intended to be weight or number. I believe it intended to show a large number rather than a large number of pounds and is therefore being used incorrectly.
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Sep 18th, 2012, 08:04 AM
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Who cares? 7 of 17 replies (now 8 of 18) are about the correct usage of 'tons'. How is that helpful? Take your quibble to the lounge where it belongs.
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Sep 19th, 2012, 03:46 AM
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It's not a quibble.

As we both travel to many of the same places, respond to questions about these places and agree the vast majority of the time, it's merely a diversion.
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