Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Zion NP / Utah experts..Please review our trip itin.

Zion NP / Utah experts..Please review our trip itin.

Old Apr 13th, 2008, 07:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 167
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Zion NP / Utah experts..Please review our trip itin.

Hello! As some of you know from previous post, my wife and I are headed to Zion NP from May 21st -26th. We will be staying at the Desert Pearl Inn until the night of 25th. After doing some research, here is a list of hikes with approx. times we are interested in. I have also included our itin. with some final questions. Thanks for your thoughts!

Zion Hikes:
1) Angels Landing – approx. 4-6 hours
2) The Narrows – ½ day to a day if you can get in (water low enough)
3) Riverside Walk – 2 Hrs.- starts at the Temple of Sinawava. The last shuttle stop. Allow about an hr. on the shuttle to reach this stop.
4) Hidden Canyon Trail -3-6 hrs. depending on exploration- starts at Weeping Rock
5) Observation Point -4-6 hrs. Starts at Weeping Rock
6) Emerald Pools -2-4 hrs. – Starts across from Zion Lodge
7) Canyon Overlook Trail in the upper east canyon – approx. 1 hr.

Day 1 (Wed.): Arrive Las Vegas around 12:25. Hope to be out of the airport by 1:15 (2:15 Utah time). Grab lunch at In & Out and then hit the road for Springdale Utah. Arrive sometime between 5pm & 6pm. Check into hotel, get our barrings etc.

Day 2 (Thurs.): The Riverside Walk leads to the Gateway of the Narrows. Maybe do the riverside walk in the morning then the narrows if we can get in. Water levels might be too high for the Narrows?

Day 3 (Fri.): Angels Landing in the morning (8am-12pm). Lunch at Zion Lodge then do the Emerald Pools hike in the afternoon. Done late afternoon to early evening.

Day 4 (Sat.): Bryce Canyon National Park. Leave around 7:30-8am & arrive at Bryce around 9:30-10am. Spend the day at Bryce. Hike the Navajo Loop down & Queens Garden Loop back to the top. Head back to Springdale late afternoon /early evening. We realize this schedule won't allow us to see sunrise or set at the park but I think staying until sunset would be too long of day.

Day 5 (Sun.): Hidden Canyon Trail in the morning. Head back to Las Vegas around 1pm Utah time (12pm Vegas time). Arrive back in Vegas 3pm-4pm. We could push Vegas off a little later but my wife has only been once and would like to have some time on the strip to walk around etc. We are also considering trying to visit the Las Vegas Premium outlets.

• If the water levels are up and we can’t hike the narrows we could hike observation point or the canyon overlook trail


1) Does this look like a good itin?

2) We are considering renting a convertible but have never really had one and don't know if it's worth the extra $. Don't know if we would be able to drive with the top down for our commute to Springdale or if it would be too windy? Might be fun to have for a few days?

3)Silly question, if we want to purchase wine or beer to have at the hotel in Springdale, do we need to do that in Nevada?

4)Does anyone know if the pool at the Desert Pearl will be open? I can email them but thought I would ask here as maybe someone just got back from a springbreak trip. I've read that pool doesn't typically open until Memorial Day weekend (saw that in a post on fodors I think) & that they typically open the pool in March.

5) Finally, has anyone been to the Premium Outlets in Vegas. They look to have some nice stores, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, J. Crew etc. Are these really outlet stores where deals can be found if the timing is right or a mix use mall with some outlet stores and some standard stores?

Thanks again for the help. We think we have a nice trip planned that will allow us to enjoy our NP system as well as have a little time in Vegas. We look forward to your thoughts!
jbjayhawk is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2008, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,976
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
bkmk for future reference
J62 is online now  
Old Apr 13th, 2008, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,204
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Even if for convenience you might have to pay for 2 motels for the same night, I would stay over at Bryce Canyon to see sunrise at Bryce Point.

At Bryce I would also go to a few Observation Points.

Bryce Point, Inspiration Point and natural Brudge.

Then leave to return to Zion and do the Canyon Overlook on the way back in.

It's at the East entrance that you must go thru upon returning.

As you mentioned, Riverside Walk is the start of the Narrows. So put them both together.

I would allow a bit more than an hour for Canyon Overlook. Great views at the end.
Myer is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2008, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,240
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Allow most of the day for the hike to Observation Point. It's a big hike, but well worth it.

Definitely pick up wine/beer before entering Utah.
elnap29 is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2008, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,740
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi jb,

Like Myer, I think you are not allowing enough time for Bryce. 1 nt there would do it. Only a few hours (1/2 day) will not.

We're having a huge snow year in UT, and I'm not an expert on which mountains drain to exactly which rivers, but the Virgin River may very well be too high even by mid-May. I believe it's the mountains in central UT east of Cedar City that drain into the Virgin and they have had plenty of snow too.

I was in Zion one year the first week in May during a really big snow year and the Virgin River was absolutely frightening! It was at flood stage, a raging, muddy torrent with entire trees and boulders coming down in it. A very good visual reminder of how Zion narrow and canyon were made!

You may want to do the Emerald Pool hike when you get into town. Sunset will be late at that time of year and it's an easy leg stretcher. Lovely in the early evenings. I doubt that it will take you 3 hours even going to the upper pool. The waterfall will be great!

Have fun!
Dayle is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2008, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,265
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Contact the Zion Adventure Company, www.zionadventures.com upon your arrival in Springdale to ask about the conditions in the Narrows. You can also call the Ranger station for any advisories. If the river is hikable, I highly recommend renting the proper equipment from Zion Adventure Co. You will get much farther and feel more secure.

I've been to both outlet malls in Vegas. The one at the south end of the strip and the one downtown. The downtown one is newer and more upscale. There are some good deals to be had, but it is no better or worse than any other premium outlet mall in the U.S.
lvk is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2008, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 54
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, jbjayhawk....My family and I were at the Desert Pearl for Easter weekend and the pool had just opened -- it was delightful. I agree with Dayle that the Emerald Pools hike would not take three hours -- maybe 1.5 going to the upper pool? Angels Landing is quite a hike; we did the Pools and up to Scouts Landing (the stopping point before the scary ridge up to Angels Landing) in the same afternoon and were pretty worn out -- hopefully you're better hikers than we are!

I loved the Desert Pearl so much I see nothing wrong with doing Bryce for the day and coming back to Springdale. And, YES, you can buy alcohol in Utah. Just not on Sunday! There is a liquor store in the Switchback Grill building in Springville...ask for directions when you get there, but they close at 8, I believe. Have fun in our beautiful state!

katyslc is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2008, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 797
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's likely the narrows will be too high, I hiked it when it was october and then there were places the water was almost waist high, but it was running totally sluggish so the hike was quite doable then. May hmmm I doubt it will be safe. the rangers will have up to the minute info.

hidden canyon is a fairly short hike, i recall doing it carrying my morning coffee with me in a travel mug!

angel's landing is a great hike, not sure if it will be icey at all in may, maybe other posters will have info. it is a great hike and what a view. If you hike with hiking sticks, they get in the way once you start your rock scrambles so make sure you have the tip covers so you can fold up the sticks and put them in your pack...
justme22 is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2008, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,825
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I too did Bryce in one day. I like to settle into my lodging once I arrive at my destination and that is why we didn't spend the night. The DPI is a lovely place to settle in, but then I haven't seen the sunrise at Bryce. Had I stayed over in Bryce, I would have done it the first night to avoid unpacking and repacking twice, and preferring the shorter drive to LV from Zion since it's closer when departing. Like you, we were there for five full days plus we had two travel days.

We did the Narrows and it was very cool. Once you have the hang of moving over the rocks, it's lots of fun. It took me about a half hour or so to get the hang. I followed my dd's lead. The Narrows was our favorite hike.
claire_bluesky is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2008, 05:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We did a short trip to Zion once with a day trip to Bryce. Bryce doesn't really stand out - what I remember is the long drive for some nice views and the harrowing experience of driving through a herd of deer on the way back. I don't even remember whether the sunset was lovely - though I am sure it must have been. My memories of Zion, on the other hand, are wonderful - loved Desert Pearl, enjoyed dinners in Springdale, had several really lovely hikes. If you are going to do Bryce please give it enough time to really enjoy, take a hike, do more than just a looksee. I like the suggestion to drive straight to Bryce - enjoy sunset and sunrise then go to Zion (or splurge for the two rooms).
I think the Vegas outlets are ok at best. Not as good as many others I've run across. More fun to window shop (or atually shop) at Caesar's and other big hotel shopping collections. Maybe schedule a nice dinner or some spa time (a massage after all that hiking) at your Vegas hotel to finish the trip.
POlson is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2008, 05:31 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have rented a convertible twice. One time (wife,myself, daughter) rented a Mustang and did Niagra Falls in it. The trunk was smaller, but was still enough room for us. On a different trip my daughter and I rented a Chrysler Crossfire. This was a two seater and very sporty. When the top was down, there was very little room for a suitcase. Actually we have one of those collapsable suitcases, and we had to take everything out of it to get it to fit. It is windy going down the HWY, but in Zion or Bryce it would be awesome to have one then. Zion, you could really look up at things. It sounds like you are adventurous. You should check out canyoneering at Zion Adventure Company. You could also rent a wetsuit or drysuit from them for the Narrows.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2008, 07:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,785
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Allow most of the day for the hike to Observation Point. It's a big hike, but well worth it."


This made me smile. We did this hike in 2 hours and 45 minutes, and I am not a fast hiker! I am 37 and in shape and play sports and stuff, but my boyfriend had to keep waiting for me. Of course, he's a personal trainer.... Since it sounds like you guys are hikers, it'd be less than 6 hours, I would think. It is a pretty tough hike, but very beautiful and hardly any people.

We rented a convertible and thought it was a lot of fun in Utah. We went in July, and kept the top up in AZ and Vegas because it was too hot.

kaudrey is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2008, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,740
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Note: in Zion the shuttles will be running which means no cars allowed in the canyon. A convertible to see Zion Canyon inside the park would be pointless, but the rest of the driving would be nice. Just remember the sunscreen!
Dayle is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2008, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,740
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

How was your Europe trip? Can we get a trip report?? Hope you had a good time!
Dayle is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2008, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,204
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Ok. I'll tell you about a place in Zion that very few people know about or see (apparently 2-3 people a day visit). It was in my report of last year's trip.

For a long time the lodge restaurant had a picture of a waterfall on the front of the menu.

Eventually they changed it but people asked about that photo. The water fall is now known as Menu Falls.

While it's very close to the main road on the shuttle route, there's no shuttle stop there. You'll have to ask the driver if he'll stop for you.

There's a small observation deck that unfortunately sort of blocks part of the falls. You have to work for an unobstructed view.

Visit the falls on the way back from the Riverside Walk direction as you may have to walk to the next shuttle stop below the falls. It's easier walking down hill.

I have a photo of it on my web site together with the rest of them from last year's trip to Bryce & Zion at:


Myer is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2008, 05:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 167
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello! As always, thank you all for your thoughts and feedback. I'll look into possibly making Bryce our first stop then going to Zion. I'm leaning toward the convertible. Sounds like we def. headed down the right path. Thanks again!
jbjayhawk is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Aug 29th, 2013 10:59 AM
United States
Apr 16th, 2010 12:29 PM
United States
Mar 2nd, 2010 06:13 PM
United States
May 10th, 2007 04:27 AM
United States
Jan 23rd, 2007 08:37 AM

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 - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:18 PM.