Vegas-Zion-Bryce Trip Report

Apr 27th, 2002, 06:52 PM
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Vegas-Zion-Bryce Trip Report

My wife and I had a wonderful first time trip to this part of the country (from the East coast). Past postings were so helpful in our planning...I'll list here info that might be helpful to future visitors.
Friday, April 12---Arrived in Vegas at 10PM. It took 2 hours to get our luggage, check-in at the airport for the Paris Hotel for 2 nights ($129 plus lots of Paris restaurant coupons on a busy weekend. Clerk gladly took an extra $20 to upgrade the room,) and pick up a rental at Budget (new Grand Cherokee at $199 per week with unlimited miles with additional 10% off for AAA card). Finally arrived at the Paris at midnight.
Saturday, April 13- Interesting trip to the Hoover Dam. $25 for tickets & back to the hotel in 3 hours (9AM-12noon)
Sunday, April 14 - Checked out of the Paris which we liked very much. By the way, we loved their breakfast buffet! On the way to Zion National Park, 30 miles out of Vegas, we stopped at the Valley of Fire. This was an unexpected pleasure...we wished we had given ourselves more time than the 2 hours we had in order to hike and explore more.
During our 3 nights at Zion, we stayed at their western cabin which was just OK but so convenient to get up at 5:30AM to watch the canyon walls change color as the sun rises and the stars fade from view. Magnificent! The Lodge restaurant was just satisfactory - we perferred the the Zion Pizza and Noodle in Springdale (4 miles away). My wife and I (early 50's) are walkers...not really hikers with a strong fear of heights by my wife. Still, we enjoyed and had no problem with the following trails: all 3 Emerald Pool trails (twice), Riverside (twice), Weeping Rock, Court of Patriarchs, Grotto, Watchman,Pa'rus, Kayenta, and the West Rim until Walter's Wiggles on the way to Angel's Landing.
Wednesday, April 17 - Checked out of Zion and headed for Bryce Canyon for 2 nights at their western cabin. We liked the cabin and restaurant much better than at Zion. Staying at their cabins made it so easy to get up at 6AM and walk a few hundred feet to see sunrise at the rim. We walked the Queens Garden and Navajo Loop trails twice as well as the Rim Trail from Sunset Pt. to Bryce Pt. with no problem.
The 3 days in Zion and 2 days at Bryce seemed perfect for the length of time needed to explore. We are already planning our next vacation to Utah and/or Arizona for similar activities.
Friday, April 19 - We left Bryce and traveled back to Vegas. First we had to drop the SUV back off at the airport. Budget then drove us free of charge to our next stop..The Mirage for 2 nights. Another busy weekend, paid $160 per. Once again, they willingly took $20 to give me an upgrade. We spent the next two days shopping, eating (Bellagio dinner buffet was great!), visiting the various hotels (glad we stayed at the Paris and the Mirage which we liked better... in the future, would stay at the Bellagio & Venetian if lower rates were obtainable...didn't really like any other hotel we saw. We also saw "O" which was fabulous! By the way, we enjoyed the Mirage pool but as with the entire city, way too crowded (Paris pool was also nice - and not as crowded!)
Sunday, April 21 - Left the Mirage at 12noon for a 3PM flight. Everything went so fast that we were settled in at the airport by 12:45.
Overall, this trip was great. It made us wish that we had visited locations like Zion and Bryce decades ago! Vegas was interesting...and we would travel there again as a launching point to the beauty of the American West.
Apr 27th, 2002, 08:57 PM
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Thanks, that was an interesting report. Like you, we combined Vegas with Bryce and Zion about 18 months ago, although we also added in a quick day trip (we were pushed for time) to the North Rim between Bryce and Zion (basing ourselves at Kanab).
I particularly enjoyed the contrast between the natural wonders of the canyons and the man-made wonders of LV.
Apr 27th, 2002, 09:42 PM
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Hi Tom! So glad to hear you enjoyed your trip & that you got up for the sunrises! They are truly magnificent!

Hope both you & Rosemary put the Moab/Arches/Canyonlands areas on your itinerary for the next trip. Plan a full week!

Happy trails!
Apr 28th, 2002, 02:18 AM
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We made an almost identical trip in February. We got great deals since it was Winter, but it was quite cool in Zion and all the trees were bare. Is it fairly green in April? as we are thinking of going again one Spring Break. Bryce was beautiful with the snow but the lodge was closed in Feb. Nice to know the cabins are nice there as we plan to stay there next time. Did you think the cabins were better than the lodge rooms? We also like the Mirage, have stayed there several times and also got a chance to see O which was fabulous. Next visit, try to see Danny Gans as his show is great. I agree that you should try to go to Arches sometime, its beautiful. Chris
Apr 28th, 2002, 05:18 AM
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Hi Tom,
Glad you and your wife had such a nice time! Thanks for the trip report.
That's an incredible rate you got on the G. cherokee for the week. Lucky you! I've been checking car rental rates everywhere for late June and I can't find anything that comes close to your rate. Guess timing is everything.
Apr 28th, 2002, 05:20 AM
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Tom- We're from the East Coast and thought our trip itinerary might interest you. We also used Vegas as a starting point. Stayed there 4 nights/3days. Then drove to Grand Canyon- South Rim. Stayed at Bright Angel. While at the Canyon, we took a day trip(nice ride) to Monument Valley-not to be missed! From the Canyon we then drove to Sedona- took a horseback ride through some beautiful country. And from Sedona drove to Phoenix, dropped the rental car off, had a day to relax at the motel pool, then flew back home from Phoenix. About a 7-8 day trip and saw some great parts of the Southwest. Don
Apr 28th, 2002, 09:01 AM
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Chris - One day it was 85 degrees in Zion----the next day was the wind storm of 75 mph. It was a beautiful green! However, we did not see a lot of wildflowers due to the dry winter. We didn't walk into the lodge motel...but it certainly isn't as private as the cabin.

Tricia - Yes, we lucked out on the rental price which was done on line 3 months ago. We were told not additional discount(AAA). However, we were given it at pick-up (I had to ask for it).

Don - Thanks for your info. That is what we may do next!
Apr 28th, 2002, 10:28 AM
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Hey Tom!

You were in Zion the same time I was. Drove home to Park city the day before the big wind storm, but we palnned it that way.

Yes the early wildflowers were few due to extreme drought, but mid-April is early for the flowers anyway. All the beautiful golden columbine were growing & should be out in full force during May - as usual.

to Chris - trees in southern Utah usually start to leaf out in early April.

Spring is definitely a wonderful time to come. But - fall is glorious too with the additional contrast of fall leaves, blue sky & red stone!
Apr 28th, 2002, 01:55 PM
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We're planning a similar trip in August, with our two toddlers. Would only use Las Vegas as the beginning and ending point, and have about 7 days for the real thing. I'm thinking to stay 2 nights at Zion and Bryce each, 1 night at the North Rim of Grand Canyon, and 2 more at South Rim. Would you suggest we try camping at one of the parks at all? We're on a tight budget, so any suggestions on lodging and dining, etc. are greatly appreciated! It's our first big outing since we had kids (they are 2.5 and 4). We are so excited!
Apr 28th, 2002, 02:02 PM
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Glad you enjoyed your trip! I try to get out to Vegas/Southern Utah as often as I can!

Your Vegas-to-Zion distance was a little off, though. It's not 30 miles, it's 158.
Apr 28th, 2002, 02:04 PM
Posts: n/a said Valley of Fire was 30 miles bad.
Apr 28th, 2002, 05:19 PM
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May 22nd, 2002, 05:17 PM
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Jan 6th, 2003, 01:55 PM
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