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Zion/Bryce/GC/Page/Sedona - Family RV - What to skip&do in summer

Zion/Bryce/GC/Page/Sedona - Family RV - What to skip&do in summer

Jan 23rd, 2011, 12:15 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4
Zion/Bryce/GC/Page/Sedona - Family RV - What to skip&do in summer


Planning a three week visit in July. After a few days SFO/Yosemite we will end up in LV, where we have 5/6 nights to spend before needing to return to LA.

Skipping Arches, Moab and Monument Valley to begin with, the trip is reduced to (LV)-Zion-Bryce-Page-GCSouth-Sedona-JoshuaTree-(LA). So a 3hr trip each and every morning... Furthermore worried about the heat. I'm told from this list ZIon, Sedona and JT are the warmest.

The staigh return from LV to LA, only visiting GC, would obviously be the shortest. Adding any of the other destinations would require me to do the loop Zion-Page, and then yo''re tempted again to keep adding the good stuff.

So I need to skip, trying to be a few nights at the same place, some hiking, horseback riding, perhaps canoeing if local waters permits (with childs of 8&10 rafting is a bit too much).

Possible options
(LV)-Zion-Page-GC-South(3 nights)-JT-(LA) - Approx 16hr nett drive
(LV)-Zion (2nights)-GC North (2nights)-Page-JT-(LA) (warmer in ZIon, GCNorth less crowded, only 1h30 longer but resulting in a long drive from Page to Joshua Tree)
(LV)-GCNorth (2 nights, via Zion)-Page-Sedona(2 nights)-JT-(LA) (with 19hrd definitly the longest, probably the most diverse with everything in it)
(LV)-GCSouth (2nights)-Sedona(2nights)-JT-(LA) (definitly the shortest, but busy South side and skipping ZIon, Page, ...)

Q1: Do I understand correct that the best places to stay a few days would be ZIon and Sedona, but these are also the warmest, and that the best places for a view are Bryce and GC, but these add the most miles to the trip?
Q2: Any suggestions/recommendations, with the family in mind?

Regards & Thanks,

Ton Wesseling
tonwes is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 04:35 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Last August we did a RV-trip including Las Vegas, Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon,Yellowstone. If I had to do it again I would probably skip Zion although it is beautiful(because it was too hot!) and for sure Las Vegas. The heat was unbearable (115 !!) and it was just not worth it. Just tacky! The only good thing I have to say about Las Vegas was that the Mandarin Oriental Hotel was outstanding. We also stayed at the Palazzo and did not like it too much.
KarenE is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 07:46 AM
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How about: Las Vegas-Zion-Bryce Canyon-Grand Canyon (south rim)-Joshua Tree-Los Angeles? (Or possibly skip JT because it WILL be hot, but some people like that.)

I wouldn't do more than a night or two at the GC unless you plan to do some trekking.

I'd include Bryce Canyon if possible; it really is beautiful -- more so than the GC, IMO. (In fact, I will be returning there this year.) The GC has scale for its awe factor, but it is also crowded.
Narnya is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 12:03 PM
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Thanks for your thoughts.

So, conclusion is to keep LV to the bare minimum (we will night one night though, traveling in from Yosemite/Lee Vining).

Then depart to Zion for lunch and hike, afternoon drive to Bryce for two nights, two nights at Page, including some canoeing, and then a night at GCSouth, skip Sedona/JT and go straight to e.g. Barstow for a last stop.

Then, departing at 8, we would plan a 10AM arrival at Anaheim so we can give the kids a day of Disneyland in return for their patience.

Thanks, All,

tonwes is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 04:32 PM
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I would definitely not skip Sedona. It will be hot, but much less so that Barstow. In fact, most people do everything they can to AVOID Barstow.

I would not do two nights at Page. It will be hot also, and there really isn't even any shade. I would just drive there from Bryce (drive the southerly 89a, along the base of the Vermillion Cliffs, see Horseshoe Bend and Upper Antelope, then right to the GC. Do drive from the GC to Sedona via Oak creek Canyon, it is a great drive. And Sedona (the red rocks, not the town) is something that is really special. Make sure you visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Red Rock Crossing, cathedral Rock, and Bell Rock.
MikePinTucson is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 05:00 PM
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Barstow?? OMG! I'd avoid it if at all possible. What day of the week are you driving through Barstow?

Instead of stopping there, and then having to drive all the way to Anaheim on a weekday morning (which would take more than 2 hours w/ the traffic) I'd personally just press on and drive through to Anaheim that night.
janisj is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 05:58 PM
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Is there any GOOD day to stop in Barstow? That place is a real hole, isn't it?
MikePinTucson is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 07:21 PM
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>>Is there any GOOD day to stop in Barstow?<< Nope

Though my point about the day of the week was mostly about the drive from there into Orange county. It is never nice staying in Barstow-- and doubly so if it means driving all the way to Anaheim on a weekday morning.
janisj is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 11:04 PM
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Ok, Barstow was just a sleepover before visiting Disney. I will have a look for a RVcamp near Disneyland.

Not sure about Sedona, following all advices I will end up with the full trip, Bryce, Page, GC, Sedona. If I keep Sedona the only destinations removed will be Zion and Joshua Tree, but these doesn't save me many miles, merely stops.

Mike: Were you suggesting to limit Page to a lunch stop? With a nett 5h15 from Bryce to GCSouth this would mean a challeging travel day with the kids.
tonwes is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 07:57 AM
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Not necessarily limiting Page to a lunch stop. But, after driving there from Bryce, you could see the dam, Upper Antelope and Horseshoe Bend and maybe stop for the night at the Cameron Trading Post. From there, you can take the east entrance to the GC and spend a leisurely morning along the east rim drive, stopping at all or most of the viewpoints before getting to GC Village.

Looks like driving time would be under 4 hours, total, but with several hours break in / around Page.

Also, on the way to Sedona, or while you are there, do take the kids to Slide Rock State Park, in Oak Creek Canyon.

MikePinTucson is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 08:33 AM
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Just to add:

You could also stay overnight in Page. I just think the Cameron Trading Post is kind of neat. For dinner (or lunch) there, try the Navajo Taco. Really good!

MikePinTucson is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Sedona is beautiful, but I don't think it fits well into this trip. It's a healthy enough drive from the GC with kids and it can seem slow en route. Plus, it's kind of its own "off shoot," whereas the rest of the trip has a nice loop. I think the time is better spent heading to Disneyland, especially for the kids' sake!
Narnya is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 12:59 PM
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I would skip Joshua Tree. You will see enough of them while driving on I-15 through Mojave National Preserve. You can spend the night in your RV behind Buffalo Bills in Primm (for free).
The kids might want to ride the roller coaster there.
That's a lot better option than staying in Barstow. BTDT
tomfuller is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 11:03 AM
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Sedona and Joshua Tree are removed from the plan. Some campgrounds are booked, I leave the rest

The trip now comprises:
- LV hotel, a bit of luxury on a camping trip
- 1 night Zion/2 nights Bryce, or 3 nights Bryce depending on energy level, Zion heat etc.
- 2 nights Page, Lake Powell/Wahweap, and yes, we will take lunch at Cameron Trading Post
- 1 night GC-South
- Long drive to Canyon RV Camp in Anaheim, here two nights with Disney inbetween

Thanks for all your input,

tonwes is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 11:24 AM
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I love all these locations, but for this trip with only 5 -6 nights, I would just go to Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon North Rim. I've done all of these in the summer, and while Zion is the warmest, if your RV has air conditioning and you plan your days well, you will be OK. Do your walks early in the day or in the evenings when the shadows begin to fall. Spend the hottest part of the day relaxing, swimming, going to the visitor center or other air conditioned place. Bryce and Grand Canyon North Rim are at higher elevations, so they are generally cooler. We've had hot days there too, but again we do outside activities early in the day or in the evenings.

Las Vegas is the most horribly hot of them all, but you'll have the hotel AC and pools.

Otherwise, your latest plan is fine but certainly involves a lot of driving. I wouldn't say Page is worth that much driving. And Grand Canyon North Rim will give you almost the same flavor as the South Rim.
elnap29 is offline  

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