Yellowstone, Tetons, along with Zion & Bryce?

May 1st, 2012, 12:14 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
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Yellowstone, Tetons, along with Zion & Bryce?

We are planning a trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone in the beginning of June. We have 3 nights booked in Yellowstone (1 at Old Faithful Inn and one at Canyon cabins). In planning our flights are trying to decide whether to fly into Salt Lake City or Las Vegas (for a $300 savings). I know it is much further, but would then include Zion and/or Bryce for a couple of days, spend at night in SLC and then head to Jackson for two nights. Is that way too much driving? Should we add another night to Yellowstone or Jackson? Thanks for your input!!!
trisher51 is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 01:11 PM
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1 and 1 don't add up to 3. I'm not following you. Do you have reservations for Tetons? Another day might be nice in Yellowstone. You could also drive The Beartooth HWY(may not be open at the first of June). Is this 2012 or 2013? I love Bryce and Zion. I also love Moab/Capitol Reef and everything between Bryce and Moab. There is a good 2 or 3 days worth of things to be done between Bryce and Moab. Check the price of car rentals in both places as the saving might be more or less based on that too. Plus figure in that night in Salt Lake and the gas.

I wouldn't spend more than a day or two in Jackson, spend as much as you can in Tetons and Yellowstone. Another option is to include Mt.Rushmore/Black Hills area.
spirobulldog is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 01:16 PM
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How many days do you plan to spend on this trip? If it is not more than 7, you might do better to leave out the southern portion. Yellowstone/Tetons is well worth a week in my view.
kayd is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 04:17 PM
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thanks. no just firming up our plans now, we are going this June and can probably be gone 12 days. Good point about the rental car. Just wondering if I am being too ambitious about driving that far in 10 or 12 days.
trisher51 is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 04:29 PM
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I'd do it all. Get an early flight into Vegas, head for Zion, spend 2 nights, head to Bryce, spend 1 night, head for Jackson/Tetons spend 2/3 nights, then Yellowstone spend 2/3 nights. That is 7 to 9 nights. Head back to Vegas with a stop in SLC if you really want.

The ride from Bryce to Jackson is about 8 hours or so and from Jackson to Vegas is about 11 hours. You would probably want to spend a night on the way back to Vegas, but it is would be totally doable for us.
emalloy is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 04:53 PM
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Bryce to Jackson is 10 hours according to Google. Is it worth it?
Michael is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 05:13 PM
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thanks. this is just what i'm looking for. don't know much about Bryce or Zion. We are from Michigan and don't know if we'll get out that way again.
trisher51 is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 05:15 PM
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12 Days, I agree with emalloy-do as much as you can. I would do Bryce and Zion first as the longer you wait for the, the hotter Zion will be later.

Probably 2 days zion-dependin on how many hikes you want to do
Probably 1 day in Bryce
4 Days Yellowstone
2 Day Tetons

That still leaves 3 extra days. Driving, Jackson, Salt Lake City, or an additional day in one of the parks. You could do some rafting or a snake river float

Save everything between Bryce and Moab for a later date, you wouldn't have time for that.

Stay "in park" when possible. Old Faithful Inn is probably my favorite, but Zion Lodge and Bryce Lodge are nice too. We did really like Lake Hotel and Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone. At least have a meal in them, if you don't stay there-even if it's just breakfast. Plan a lunch or snack under the big tree just outside Zion Lodge. We really like Whiptail grill in Springdale.

June is prime time for watching the baby animals in Yellowstone, plus the waterfalls will be going full blast.

Buy a National Park Pass--$80 for a year
spirobulldog is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 05:23 PM
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Zion--Angels Landing and The Narrows. These are two of the very best hikes in all the National Parks. Most people would certainly put them in the Top Ten day hikes. The Narrows, you would want to rent shoes(maybe wetsuit pants too) from Zion Adventure Co. If the water rate is to high, or rain is threatening-DO NOT do this hike. Angels Landing is tough physically and then tough mentally for some the last 1/2 mile. Very exposed dropoffs- you can always stop. My wife stopped, I didn't think it was that bad, my then 13 year old daughter pretty much scooted across on her behind. There is a chain to hold on to. Amazing panoramic views.
Checkboard Mesa is nice sight to see. Emerald Pools are a nice hike too. This park doesn't allow cars, so you will be on the shuttle. You can park your car at Zion Lodge, if you have reservation for there.

Bryce-Do Navajo Loop/Queens Garden Hike. I rode horses on Peekaboo Loop too. Sunset/Sunrise pretty good at this park. They have a "night sky" program here too that is good-allows you to view thru large telescopes. Many good viewpoint along the drive.

Yellowstone-spend a full day geyser gazing near Old Faithful. You can catch old Faithful about every 90 minutes. Mid-day expect 1000 people or so at each eruption. Get up and watch it at 6:00AM and it will be just you and maybe a couple of others. Castle Geyser goes every 10 hours, but you may have to wait on it 3 hours or so-very much worth it. Riverside goes every 4 hours-very unusual as it archs over the river. Castle goes off for about 30 minutes where Old Faithful only 2 minutes.
spirobulldog is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 05:24 PM
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Thanks! very helpful.
trisher51 is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 06:01 PM
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Don't worry. You WILL be back. Utah is kind of like Italy. Once you get a taste you can't stay away!

Have fun!
Dayle is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 09:23 PM
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Yellowstone to Vegas is a long drive I usually do it in 2 days so a stop overnight but Zion and Bryce are well worth the long drive plus Las Vegas if you haven't been there is pretty fun!
So i would do it all too! Two days in Zion is a good amount of time -you could easily see the must see things in the park and hike too-angels landing if you like to climb! You could also consider doing Bryce as a day trip form Zion-its only hour and half from Zion. Not much going in in SLC.
Travellingsolo is offline  
May 1st, 2012, 10:14 PM
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Bryce and Zion are absolutely worth the effort if you don't mind driving. We did an iconic 12-day road trip from LA to Yellowstone. Can't remember exactly how long we stayed everywhere, but it was something like this:

Vegas (1 night),
Zion (no overnight, but stopped and hiked on the way to Bryce)
Bryce (1 night - Bryce Lodge)
Tetons/Jackson (4 nights - Teton Mountain Inn) Snake River rafting, rodeo, Tetons
Yellowstone (3 nights - Old Faithful Inn/Lake Yellowstone Hotel)
Chico hot springs in Montana (1 night, only stop that was not so great)
Sundance (1 night)
Vegas (1 night)

Bryce was a major highlight. We had intended to stop in SLC on the way to Jackson, but the kids wanted to forge ahead...We left Bryce at about 1pm and arrived in Jackson at midnight. One of our best trips ever. We went in June, got primo reservations at the last minute, and it wasn't too hot...Generally did hikes early in morning. You'd have more time than us if you fly into Vegas and out of Jackson or SLC. Go for it!
crosscheck is offline  
May 5th, 2012, 05:21 AM
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We also did an epic road trip to from south Texas to Yellowstone, Zion, Bryce and more and have the trip report to prove it!

So won't say not to do something you think you might want to.

You may have trouble at this point finding lodging in parks.
So decide and book soon.

Have great time!
texasbookworm is offline  
May 5th, 2012, 11:34 AM
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Bryce Canyon and Zion are both worth the time (I haven't actually been to Zion yet, but we plan to go there).

Here are links to the National Park Service pages for both parks.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
May 5th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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The cheapest (not fastest) way to SLC is on the California Zephyr (Amtrak) Riding the Wolverine from Detroit to Chicago with a 2.5 hour layover in Chicago before getting on the Zephyr to SLC will cost $166 PP. The Zephyr leaves Chicago at 2:00 PM every day and gets to SLC at 11PM about 34 hours.
My wife and I rode the Zephyr from Sacramento to SLC where we rented a car early in the morning to go to Arches and the Moab area. I agree, once you go to the National Parks in southern Utah, you will come back.
tomfuller is offline  
May 7th, 2012, 04:45 AM
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Thanks, hadn't thought about the train. Great idea.
trisher51 is offline  
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