Zion National Park in winter (from Vegas)

Dec 31st, 2006, 12:16 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 758
Zion National Park in winter (from Vegas)

Happy New Year!
My husband and I have fallen in love with the southwest and national parks. We would love to travel to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon over Christmas week next year; we are limited in when we can travel because I am a teacher.
1) Would it be possible to drive from Vegas to Zion in the winter? What are the road conditions? How about Bryce Canyon? I realize that Bryce is at a much higher elevation...
2) Would many trails be open?
3) It is a huge incovenience that the tram system does not run in the winter? We used the trams a lot in Yosemite.
Thanks in advance!
Kerry392 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2006, 01:05 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,412
Hi kerry,

Driving to Zion in the winter is no problem. Christmas holidays is a popular time to visit, so there will be visitors besides yourself, but not having the trams should not be a problem. You should be able to find parking at the various trailheads.

Part of the appeal of Zion, if you haven't been there before, is the oasis type feeling of the canyon floor. The beautiful trees and plants are in stark contrast to the red rock cliffs. In winter, the trees are bare of course, so less color contrast between red and green. I've taken some great January pictures at dawn with the sun lighting the cliffs and the bare black tree branches framing the views.

Some of the longer, higher trails will not be recommended for hiking due to ice. The short walks in the canyon should be just fine.

Road conditions to Bryce will be dependant on weather, but should be OK most of the time. There will be snow and it's beautiful, but trails down into the canyon will be closed due to icy conditions. Nice snowshoeing and x country skiing along the rim though!

It can be very cold, even at Zion, so take all the appropriate winter gear and clothings. Warm hats, gloves, layers and lots of water even in winter.

Make res in advance for sure and have fun!
Dayle is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 12:38 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 758
Hi Dayle!
Thanks for your information. It was very helpful!
This would be our first time in Zion.
Have you stayed at the lodge in the park? Another option would be to stay in St. George and drive in each day. Is this a viable option?
Kerry392 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 01:09 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 130
A really pretty and comfortable retreat, right in Springdale a shuttle ride from the Zion entrance, is the Desert Pearl. Site is on the Virgin River, amid great red walls. The units are large, have a micro and frig, and FABulous bathrooms. We stayed there a year ago and it was dynamite ... as is Zion!
Van_Ness is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 02:30 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,412
Hi again Kerry,

No you don't want to stay in St. Greorge. It's a 45 min drive one way and St. George is not anywhere near as small and funky as Springdale. Definitely stay in Springdale, it's just outside the park.
Dayle is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 09:48 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 19
Hi I am considering visiting Zion and Bryce in November and wondered if anyone has been at that time and what the weather is like.

Thank you.
popham is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 03:40 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,726
We've done Zion and Bryce from Vegas in January and were lucky with nice weather. We stayed in the park at Zion and you can drive right into the valley if you stay there.

If weather is too bad in the Zion area, check how it is in Death Valley, it is only 2 + hours from Vegas and makes a very nice day trip. It is awesome in spite of its name.
emalloy is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 04:22 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,240
I'd recommend staying inside the park at Zion Lodge. The rooms are very cozy and it is just so convenient to be right in the canyon. The rooms have been upgraded a bit and have down comforters, coffee makers, and fabulous views.
elnap29 is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 06:39 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,412
popham,

Zion is nice in November. Their fall colors happen in November and are beautiful with the blue sky and red rock. Thanksgiving weekend, however, is very, very crowded. An absolute zoo. Also, by then the shuttles have stopped, making parking, and even visiting the canyon at all, difficult. I would avoid Thanksgiving.

One of the nicest trips I ever had to Zion was for my birthday weekend, the last weekend in Oct. There were fall colors, the shuttles were still running and the weather was gorgeous. I had a wonderful bike ride all the way up the canyon and back. No traffic to deal with, very few people. Lovely!
Dayle is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:59 AM.