Zion and Bryce May itinerary

Old Mar 22nd, 2022, 01:33 PM
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Zion and Bryce May itinerary

Here's my tentative itinerary for Zion and Bryce, feedback would be great. Traveling alone and focus would be to do a good amount of hiking.

Day 0: fly into Las Vegas, drive to Zion late in the evening

Day 1: Zion: Hike Observation Point, maybe 1 more hike later in the day.

Day 2: Walk up West Rim as long as views are good + another short hike if time permits

Day 3: Bryce

Day 4: back to Zion, Narrows if open, else Kolab Canyon, or any other hike inside Zion

Day 5: early morning drive back to LAS



Questions:

1. Should I drive to Bryce on day 2 post sunset, and experience the sunrise at Bryce on day 3? Or is the drive best done in the day for the scenery?

2. Any other suggestions for day 4?

3. Any pointers for sunset at Zion and Bryce?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ashwinb
Here's my tentative itinerary for Zion and Bryce, feedback would be great. Traveling alone and focus would be to do a good amount of hiking.

Day 0: fly into Las Vegas, drive to Zion late in the evening

Day 1: Zion: Hike Observation Point, maybe 1 more hike later in the day.

Day 2: Walk up West Rim as long as views are good + another short hike if time permits

Day 3: Bryce

Day 4: back to Zion, Narrows if open, else Kolab Canyon, or any other hike inside Zion

Day 5: early morning drive back to LAS



Questions:

1. Should I drive to Bryce on day 2 post sunset, and experience the sunrise at Bryce on day 3? Or is the drive best done in the day for the scenery?

2. Any other suggestions for day 4?

3. Any pointers for sunset at Zion and Bryce?
1st glance it looks like a good plan

I did a similar trip about 10 yrs ago to Zion. Solo, hiking focused.

obs point is a lot of elevation gain but can be a relatively quick morning hike. If you jog down it’s even faster.

West rim is a great, long wilderness hike. I would not say it has iconic views. I’ll dig up my gps logs and tell you how far I went - maybe 10-12 mi total out & back.

I would add in the hike up to the
approach to Angels Landing over West Rim. You can hike to Scouts lookout and stop before the final, harder (on the nerves) stretch to AL

Narrows (bottom up) is another hike I’d reco ahead of west rim. You don’t need to go far, even 1mi upstream will take you beyond where 99% of the visitors go. When I did it (solo) early may the water was around 40F, so a dry suit was called for. Glad I had it on. I was the 1st one on the trail that day and didn’t encounter another soul until my return trip. I think I want 4 or 5 miles upstream.

For sunset, I recommend lounging poolside at a hotel in Springdale and admiring the sun & shadows on the cliffs above you.


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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 11:35 AM
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I would not drive to Bryce after dark. There are animals that are hard to see on those narrow curvy roads, like, deer, elk, Antelope, free range cattle, horses, etc, Stay overnight at Bryce to see sunrise then go back to Zion.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 11:41 AM
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None of your driving should be at night --as oldemalloy says, just isn't a good idea on mountain and rural roads.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 11:52 AM
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We went early May 2015 then again 2017 to both Zion and Bryce (as well as Arches/Canyonlands). Narrows was open in 2015, closed in 2017 due to high water and don’t know how often that happens. When doing Observation point do the side Hidden Canyon trail, interesting and only adds about an hour. This is a fairly strenuous hike so we just did Emerald Pools afterwards. Agree with J62, try and do Angels Landing when on West Rim trail.

On Day 2 I would leave Zion by say 5 PM so you can get to Bryce before dark. It is a scenic drive and there can be animals on the road after dark you may not see until too late. Try to snag a room at the lodge and get out to the rim after dark to see the night sky, dress warm then and at sunrise as it was downright cold.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 01:38 PM
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This is the track of my West Rim hike. 5.5mi each way out & back.
While I enjoyed the hike, it was the 1st part - the 2mi to Scouts Lookout that was the highlight. Anything past 2.0mi was a nice walk in the woods, but no remarkable vistas.




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Old Apr 1st, 2022, 01:27 PM
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Thanks a lot J62, I will go past only Scout's lookout, till I get great views and return. I missed the AL lottery, so that's out of question.
Thanks DaveS and janisj, I will avoid the dark, go out for the stars and hope that the Narrows are open, thanks for the pointers!

Any preference between the Emerald Pool, Watchman peak, Lower Emerald pools, Pa'rus trail, Kayenta trail to Emerald pools? Looks like Hidden Canyon is closed, so is Observation point, but can be accessed from the East Mesa trail.
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Old Apr 1st, 2022, 01:39 PM
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Another question: on day 3, would you recommend that I stay the night at Bryce ( 2nd night at Bryce), and leave for Zion on day 4 morning? The con of this is that I lose some time on day 4 at Zion, I would likely arrive at Zion at 9 AM or so, so I might miss some of the morning quiet hours at the park. This is going to be a weekend in early May.
Or is it better if I leave for Zion later in the day, and arrive by evening on day 3? I'm likely going to stay at La Verkin, so most of the route runs by I-15, is it ok to this one after dark?
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Old Apr 1st, 2022, 05:11 PM
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IMO the best scenery is in the 2 parks, with the terrain betwen them a whole bunch of nothing to see....

At Bryce, you can certainly hike the queens garden/Navajo loop but that trail is busy and worn. A more remote trail is the Peekaboo loop - something like 8 miles or so, more if you add on the QG/NL section. An even bigger hike is the remote Fantasyland trail but it's a big one.

I'd recommend stay the 2nd night at Bryce, then get an early start to Zion. That way you arent alone, on the open road when tired and after dark.
The other section of Bryce that is definitely worth seeing is the drive out to the far end of the park road, to where the bristlecone pine trail loop is located. I don't recall the exact name, but it's a short trail among some of the oldest living trees on the planet. There are several stop off points along the way - worth a quick stop for a view, but not much more... That drive might be a nice early morning drive/ walk, before you head back to Zion.


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Old Apr 6th, 2022, 08:28 PM
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Thanks a lot, I think it does make sense to stay in Bryce for the 2 nights and exploring more in Bryce.
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Old Apr 24th, 2022, 04:41 PM
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How does this itinerary sound for Bryce:
Day 0: reach later afternoon, spend time on the Rim trail at sunset.
Day 1: Peekabo trail in the morning, post lunch, drive up to the Bristle Pinecone trail area, do a hike, return back, sunset at sunset point or one of the points near the visitor centre.
Day 2: early morning small hike, and head back for Zion, any suggestions?
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Old Apr 25th, 2022, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ashwinb
How does this itinerary sound for Bryce:
Day 0: reach later afternoon, spend time on the Rim trail at sunset.
Day 1: Peekabo trail in the morning, post lunch, drive up to the Bristle Pinecone trail area, do a hike, return back, sunset at sunset point or one of the points near the visitor centre.
Day 2: early morning small hike, and head back for Zion, any suggestions?
Very nice plan.

On the drive out to Bristlecone pine area you'll pass some viewing points that may interest you for a brief stop.

If you are going in early May be prepared for cold weather at night, as soon as the sun goes down. Maybe even snow. It would (should) not impact any plans as it'll warm up during the day, but be prepared nonetheless.

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Old Apr 25th, 2022, 01:01 PM
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On the way back to Zion stop for the short Canyon Overlook trail just prior to the tunnel.

We were last at Bryce May 3rd a few years back. Following on J62's advise do not underestimate how cold it will be at night or early morning. We hiked shorts/t-shirts during the day and were cold with sweatshirt/rain coat at night/early morning. Sunrise below.



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Old Jan 14th, 2023, 06:56 PM
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So I finally ended up going in December, here's a link to my trip report: https://ashwinbahulkar.wordpress.com...yce-canyon-np/ Had an amazing trip, winter truly is a great time to visit, if you can bear the cold and uncertainty of weather.
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Old Jan 19th, 2023, 05:42 PM
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Your photos are awesome!!! Award-winning worthy! My hiking days are over, and I don't like the cold, so I appreciate your beautiful photos!
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