Vegas/Zion/Bryce Trip Report

Jun 10th, 2008, 08:33 AM
  #1  
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Vegas/Zion/Bryce Trip Report

Family and I flew in to LV from Newark 5/31. Rented an SUV from Dollar. The line at the pick up counter was out in to the lobby. Went downstairs to the Express Members area, no one was there so they gave me a car right away. TIP: Join the rental car company's frequent user program before you leave home to avoid long line at airport.

Drove to Zion with a stop for lunch and a stop at the WM in Mesquite, NV. Stayed at Flanigan's Inn in Springdale, very nice place, quiet and clean. I'm told that Flanigan's and the Desert Pearl are the 2 nicest hotels in Springdale.

In Zion we did the Emerald Pools, Riverwalk, Weeping Rock and some shorter misc. trails. Zion is beautiful and the views are breath taking.

In Bryce we spent the morning going up and down Queens Garden trail and then took the 2 hour horse back ride down the canyon. This was as awesome experience and highly recommend it.

In Springdale, we had dinner at the Bit and Spur (was just OK), a Thai restaurant just outside the park (very good) and at the Spotted Dog at Flanigan's( excellent food, mediocre service and expensive).

In Vegas, we stayed at the Mirage and had two of the renovated rooms. They are very nice and comfortable but we did have some fit and finish problems that housekeeping resolved.

Went to see Blueman Group and was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty good( my kids wanted to see it). My wife and I saw Elton John and he did not disappoint.

Had dinner at the Mirage Buffet (very good), Tao in the Venetian (excellent, try the Peking Duck), Hugo's Celler downtown at the Four Queens (always very good food and a lot of fun), and Joes Stone Crab in the Forum shops (good).

vppro is offline  
Jun 10th, 2008, 10:13 AM
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Doing similar in September and can't wait.
Hilary
planning_ahead is offline  
Jun 10th, 2008, 10:59 AM
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Doing exact same trip next week. How old are your kids and what did you do with them in vgas during the day. Also what horseback company in Bryce? Thanks
leftybigdog is offline  
Jun 10th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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My kids are not that young, 19 and 21. The horse back riding company is Canyon Trail Rides. If you Google them, you'll get their website. Day time in Vegas was pool 2 days and 1 day was a trip to Hoover Dam and Lake Meade area. We also stopped by Ethel M's for a factory tour and bought some chocolate.
vppro is offline  
Jun 10th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Thanks.

Actually here is our schedule. Open for comments or suggestions. We have 18 in our group of 3 families ages 9 - 50

Day 1-4 In Vegas for my eldest daughters wedding.
Day 5 Drive to Bryce. Staying at Rubys.
Day 6 White Water Rafting
Day 7 Open
Day 8 Drive to Zion via North Rim of Grand Canyon. Checking in with Zion Adventures for gear for Narrows
Day 9 Hike the Narrows.
Day 10 Open
Day 11 Drive home.

Would love suggestions on trails for Bryce and Zion. Also looking for some mountain bike rides, would love it if we can traverse streams.. What about locations for Sunrises at Bryce?
leftybigdog is offline  
Jun 10th, 2008, 11:42 AM
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Contraryy to what you may read, the place for sunrise at Bryce is Bryce Point.

Take with a sweater as it's notoriously windy. There's a walkway above the parking lot and to the left with a protrusion that actually sticks you out into nowhere.

I would also suggest one more overlook. natural bridge (actually misnamed and it's an arch).

In Zion I would skip Lower Emerald Pools and go directly for Middle or Upper. Lower is really not much.

In Bryce the most popular are Navajo Loop down and join Queen's Garden back up. If you left you car at Sunset Pt to start you'll walk back on the Rim for 1/2 mile from Sunrise Pt (the end of Queen's Garden).

Now that Navajo Loop is open again you have a dilema. Depending on time and weather I might consider doing Navajo Loop down and up and then back down whichever side you liked best and link with Queen's Garden. Some options there.

Since you'll be hiking the Narrows in Zion, you'll be in a real slot canyon. However, you'll be hiking in water.

For an easy surprise, drive about 15 miles east along Rt 12 to Cannonville. Stop at the visitor's center for final instructions to Willis Creek.

It's about 10 miles on a dirt road (take the right hand fork just bellow Cannonville) with a few sandy hills (not too bad if I did it) to an unmarked fairly large parking lot with a register box.

Willis Creek hike is a very level hike in a slot canyon. It alternates with open areas and at least 5 very nice slot canyon. The width is anywhere from 5 to 10ft and the walls go straight up. The first canyon is not very impressive but the rest are.

You reach the first within a couple of minutes of leaving the car.

In the canyon there's a very small creek only a couple of inches high and you can keep jumping over it as it meanders so you're not in the water.

There are also 2 very small waterfalls of about 6-8 ft.

Excellent little hike for those who want to experience a real slot canyon. I wish the sun had broken out when I was there a couple of weeks ago.

You can see photos at:

www.travelwalks.com

Select 2007 trip for Bryce & Zion (at the start of the series) and 2008 trip for Bryce & Willis Creek (unfortunately near the end of the series).
Myer is offline  
Jun 10th, 2008, 06:01 PM
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Dear Lefty:

Where are you white water rafting? The drive from Bryce to NR Grand Canyon is about 5 hours. Perhaps use the free day for the NR. You should call ASAP to reserve cabins or try Jacob Lake or even Kanab.

We just got back from a similar trip last Friday. Spectacular! It hard to choose a favorite park, since they were all unique and wonderful.

Good luck and have fun.

MY
MichelleY is online now  
Jun 10th, 2008, 07:32 PM
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Myer,
Your photos are fabulous! Thanks for posting the link. Do you have photos of Willis Creek?
elnap29 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2008, 09:52 PM
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Vacationed in Zion/Bryce last Fall and had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing.
claire_bluesky is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 08:06 AM
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Dear MY

We are rafting due to group request. There are 20 of us so majority rules. As for the North Rim. Many wanted to see it as they have never seen it before. On that day we have to drive from bryce to Zion anyways. This did add about 2 hours of driving time but again majority ....

Damn I hate Democracy!

My prefrence would have been to not do those 2 activities

Lefty
leftybigdog is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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leftybigdog
Where can you do White water rafting from Bryce, I thought the only water nearby was float trip from page. Any information would be great. Thanks
Hilary
planning_ahead is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 04:27 PM
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Found this website: http://www.alwaysrafting.com/expect.htm
Havn't done the trip yet so I don't know what its like. They told me it is about an hour and 1/2 from our hotel. Hope its not all hype.
leftybigdog is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 05:02 PM
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vppro,

When are you going?
Dayle is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 05:03 PM
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Sorry, leftybigdog,

When are you going?
Dayle is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 05:47 PM
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elnap29,

There are photos of Willis Creek near the end of the Utah 2008 trip photos.

Unfortunately, you've got to go thru them all to get there.
Myer is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 06:11 PM
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Dayle,

We are going the weekend of the 21st and 22nd later this month
leftybigdog is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 09:23 PM
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Myer, I must have blinked. Will try again.
elnap29 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 02:47 AM
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elnap29

The Willis Creek photos are #105 - 133.
Myer is offline  
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