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Which order and how much time?? Bryce, Zion, Sante Fe, Taos

Which order and how much time?? Bryce, Zion, Sante Fe, Taos

Jul 9th, 2019, 09:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 284
Which order and how much time?? Bryce, Zion, Sante Fe, Taos


We have never visited the Southwest and are interested in correcting that !! Which order would you suggest, and how many days, to visit Santa Fe, Taos, Bryce, and Zion? How much time is reasonable to allot to this trip if we want to do it in a relaxed way? Is it too late for this September?

All suggestions appreciated: hotels especially.. We like to stay in the center of the action, but in clean, professional places.

mrsgo is offline  
Jul 9th, 2019, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,677
You have chosen two areas that are not easy to travel between, doable but a lot of driving on back roads.
Those two National Parks, Bryce and Zion, are usually combined with the Grand Canyon or other Utah parks such as Grand Staircase- Escalante.
And from Taos and Santa Fe you could visit Mesa Verde NP in SE Colorado.
All the places on your list are wonderful though.
At the National Parks, try to book rooms in the Park Lodges. Hopefully you can get rooms in them.
Be aware that cell reception is often non existent on roads in the Indian Reservations. There are some places to stay here and there but “ clean and professional” may be a stretch.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Jul 9th, 2019 at 10:10 AM.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 9th, 2019, 11:54 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,784
September and October are fine for visiting the area, but are busy so you would want to have lodging tied up asap. The National Parks have lodging that is clean and comfortable, but not fancy and you are paying for the location. They do fill up early, but places often open up as folks find they can't make the trip they planned last year.

Here is a map/etc. that was posted here a while ago that shows the Utah sites that folks often visit:

Southern Utah Map - OhioHick's Travel Tips

It will take 8 or 9 hours to get to Santa Fe or Taos from the Bryce/Zion area, but there are many of places to see in between.

How much time do you want to take for this trip?

What Airport do you want to fly into and will you fly in/out from the same airport or will you fly out from a different one? We usually do a loop and plan things to going and coming, to avoid boredom and the often high drop fee when you pick up a rental car at a different place from where you got it. You might find that it works better to say fly into Albuquerque and out of Vegas or Phoenix or the opposite, but there is enough to see to do a loop and plan so you go a little different out than on the way back.

Get a good map of the area and figure out what you most want to see/do.
emalloy is offline  
Jul 9th, 2019, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,156
For hotels @ Zion, my personal preference is to stay right outside the park in Springdale, UT. My favorite is Cable Mtn lodge which is steps from the pedestrian bridge/entrance into the park where you pick up the valley shuttle bus. I particularly like the location as it saves needing to drive or take the town shuttle (that drops you off at that same entrance). There are numerous other hotels, both chain and non-chain. Desert Pearl is a great property as well. Beautiful pool under the red sandstone cliffs.

For Bryce, my preference is to stay at Bryce Mountain lodge, right in the park. Any one of the out buildings is fine. Basic hotel room but you can't beat the location steps from the rim & trails into the amphitheater/canyon, surrounded by nothing but darkness & stars at night.
J62 is online now  
Jul 9th, 2019, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,742
More like ten hours from Bryce to Taos according to Google.
Michael is online now  
Jul 14th, 2019, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 246
Have you thought about going to Canyonlands and Arches instead of Bryce and Zion? I believe that the Moab area which is the main town near Canyonlands and Arches is about 6-7 hours from Taos and you would also be very close to Mesa Verde on the way so you could see that as well. We had planned a similar trip a few years ago although we are from New Mexico so we were picking up friends at the ABQ airport and staying in Durango the first night and also taking in Black Gunnison and the Million Dollar highway along the way, then heading back south to Moab from Grand Junction, CO since we have been to Mesa Verde. You could fly into ABQ, spend a couple of nights in Santa Fe, one or two nights in Taos, then 1 in Durango so you are close to Mesa Verde, then an easy drive to Moab for several nights to go to Canyonlands and Arches. This is also close to Antelope Canyon if that interests you. I could make tons more suggestions if you have specific questions or can talk about what you want to do. Oh, also, you could fly out of Salt Lake City to head home, it is only about 4 hours from Moab. This is a very rough plan but much less driving. A lot depends on your must sees and amount of time for your trip.
jet519 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2019, 02:24 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,784
As jet519 mentioned, if you are not wedded to Zion and Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands and Mesa Verde would fit nicely in your plans. If you click my user name and go to the public profile, then scroll down to the TRs, the 2013 TR ( I think it is the second down) involved a trip with friends which went to Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands, Banedlier, Santa Fe as well as other sites along the way and was a loop from Albuquerque.
emalloy is offline  
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