Zion/Bryce Itinerary - Late March

Old Feb 8th, 2020, 05:38 PM
  #1  
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Zion/Bryce Itinerary - Late March

Hello,

We are two travellers doing a 6 day trip to southern utah in late march. We are a decently good shape and enjoy day hiking, beautiful drives etc. We have drafted the following itinerary and are hoping to get some suggestions:

Day 1: Arrival in Las Vegas, and drive to cedar city (stay in cedar city)
Day 2: Explore Zion (stay in cedar city)
Day 3: Explore Zion (stay in cedar city)
Day 4: Explore Zion, drive to bryce canyon area (stay in bryce canyon area)
Day 5: Explore bryce, (stay in bryce canyon area)
Day 6: ???, (stay in bryce canyon area)
Day 7: drive back to Las Vegas

We wanted to get some suggestions on whether 3 days in zion and 1 day in bryce are adequate?
Should we spend more time in Bryce?
What else could we do on day 6/are there other interesting things to do in the area?
Where should we stay in the bryce canyon area? We want to stay in a town with some grocery stores and some amenities

Any suggestions on the itinerary would be appreciated!
AjGupta is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2020, 05:45 PM
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J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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At that time of year 1 day in Bryce should be adequate. It'll still be winter weather so be prepared for sub freezing temperatrures and snow.
Zion that time of year, 3 days is ok. You won't be able to hike the narrows but the valley floor and hikes around there should all be fine.

Why are you staying 60 miles away in Cedar City? Either stay in the park at Zion lodge, or in the town of Springdale (my preference). My go-to place is cable mountain lodge, right outside the pedestrian entrance to the park, but any Sprindale location would be ok.
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Old Feb 8th, 2020, 06:01 PM
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I agree - why Cedar city?? Stay in the park or in Springdale
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Old Feb 9th, 2020, 06:43 AM
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I will add another agreement with Janis. Get lodging in or near the parks. One overnight in Bryce is fine at that time of year, there has always been snow on the trails but the roads and overlooks were fine. Zion is lower In elevation so hiking there has been fine.

if you have trouble finding lodging, take the phone numbers and keep calling back as people do make reservations a year ahead and cancel as time gets close.

on the wat to or from Zion, stop at Valley of Fire state park, a little north of Vegas.
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Old Feb 9th, 2020, 08:43 AM
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I was looking at accomodation at Springdale, but it seemed expensive. Are there alternate options close to zion? I saw Hurricane, UT was a decent option. Is that true?

I also see that near bryce, there is Grand Escalante Monument and Kodachrome state park. Are those good options to spend some time in? Are there others? I suspect that since Bryce can be done in one day, we will have an extra day in the area.
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Old Feb 9th, 2020, 09:13 AM
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From Cedar City, the only easily accessible part of Zion is the higher elevation Kolob Canyons section (road can temporarily close due to snow). For the lower elevation Zion Canyon which is where most people want to go, you'll want to stay in the town of Springdale or at Zion Lodge inside the park. Access to Zion Canyon at that time of year is by shuttle bus only https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvis...tle-system.htm

Bryce is much higher in elevation than Zion and will likely have snow/ice on the trails. You may want to consider traction cleats and hiking poles. For Bryce there's Ruby's Inn and two other motels right at the entrance. The town of Tropic is also close by.

East of Bryce off of Hwy 12 is Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. There are some nice hikes but I don't know about the condition of unpaved access roads to get to the trail heads in March. There are visitor centers in the towns of Cannonville and Escalante but I'm not sure if they're open in March https://www.blm.gov/learn/interpreti...VisitorCenters Also east of Bryce is Kodachrome Basin State Park and the road to that is paved. West of Bryce off of Hwy 12 is Red Canyon and there are trails starting right off of the highway.

You could also go to Page AZ which is lower in elevation and go to Horseshoe Bend, take a tour of lower or upper Antelope Canyon and hike at Paria Rimrocks on the south side of Grand Staircase Escalante (the trail starts just off of Hwy 89 so no access issues). The visitor center in the town of Kanab is open year round and can tell you what else is accessible at that time of year.
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Old Feb 9th, 2020, 09:45 AM
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If you click on my user name, you will see trip reports for Zion, Bryce, and Escalante--Grand Staircase Monument. Zion will be really pleasant at the end of March. We have had a lot of snow this year, so Bryce could be cold and trails still have snow. Valley of Fire will be nice at the end of March. I might do 2 days in Zion and 1 day in Bryce and a day in Escalante. Yes, lodging is expensive in these places--supply and demand. Hurricane is much closer than Cedar City. So if you can't find something in your budget in Springdale, then try Hurricane. At Bryce--go for Ruby's Inn, which I think is the least expensive place there.
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Old Feb 9th, 2020, 10:44 AM
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"I was looking at accomodation at Springdale, but it seemed expensive. Are there alternate options close to zion? I saw Hurricane, UT was a decent option. Is that true?"

Hurricane would certainly be better than Cedar City - about an extra 45 minute drive into the park -- or 30-ish minutes to Springdale where you can catch the shuttle in.

But what is your budget? There are lots of options in Springdale and not all are expensive. Sometimes there are false economies -- you save a few $$ on a hotel but end up having to drive an extra 90 minutes each way (from Cedar City)
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Old Feb 9th, 2020, 01:29 PM
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At that time of year you have to park in Springdale and shuttle in unless you're staying at Zion Lodge and even then I believe you can only drive as far as the lodge.

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Old Feb 9th, 2020, 06:27 PM
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I stayed in Hurricane as a base in Zion. I didn't mind b/c I was able to leave early and get into the park before the crowds. But it is a long drive and it's not for everyone. I did look in Springdale but couldn't find the dates I needed.
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 12:39 AM
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1 Day in Bryce canyon will be enough if you do it right. I was there in October and I got in 10 hours worth of hiking and saw all the main things I wanted to see in the park! Its best to wake up early and be as close to the park as possible. In March though, the temperatures will still be cold though so you need to count on those hours of sunshine.
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