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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Chichester West Sussex UK
    Posts
    5

    Default Road Trip Vegas Zion Canyon Bryce

    Hi

    My wife and I intend visiting Vegas in March of 2007 for two weeks, we will be staying in Vegas for about 3 nights we then intend to travell to the Grand Canyon returning to Vegas say for the last 3 nights before travelling home.

    I do not wish to do the trip to the Canyon in one day therefore my idea was to stay at Zion National Park for say two nights on to the Canyon for say 3 nights then on the return journey stay at Bryce Canyon for say 3 nights before heading back to Vegas. - Being completely new to all this I have a number of questions which I rather hoped you lovely people might be able to help with.

    (1) Would it be best to do this trip in March or say May

    (2) What are the travelling times by car between the various stopovers Vegas to Zion - Zion to the Canyon - Canyon to Bryce - Bryce to Vegas

    (3) We have looked at various places to stay on our trip and would welcome your opinion - In Zion we intended staying at Cliffrose Lodge and Gardens - at the Canyon El Tovar Hotel - and in Bryce Sunlower Hill at Moab or would you recommend any alternatives.

    Any help you can give would be very much appreciated

    Thanking you in anticipation

    Del

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default North or South Rim?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I would say March would be a better time to travel, because it is cooler and there are fewer tourists. However, the North Rim will not be open yet, so if you want to go to the North Rim, you would have to wait until May.

    Otherwise, I'm a little confused about your plans. Zion would be on the way from Vegas to the North Rim. The El Tovar is on the South Rim, which is the more popular side, but Zion isn't on the way.

    And then are you planning to go to Moab in addition to everything else, because while it is a pretty neat area, it isn't what I would call close to any of the other things you said you want to see.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Grand Tour

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delbon
    Would it be best to do this trip in March or say May
    In March, temperatures can still get quite chilly at night, down to around 39F (4C) on average, but are quite pleasant during the day - around 69F (21C). Your chances for rain are a bit more likely in March than in May, but still not great. By May, nighttime low temperatures will be averaging 55F (13C) while daytime highs will be pushing on up to about 87F (31C). Since you don't seem to have camping on the agenda, I think you might like March a bit better. The days will be cooler and the crowds smaller at the parks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delbon
    What are the travelling times by car between the various stopovers Vegas to Zion - Zion to the Canyon - Canyon to Bryce - Bryce to Vegas
    Times will vary depending on exactly where in the parks you're going, how you drive, and how often you stop along the way, but some rough estimates are:

    Las Vegas to Zion: 3.5 hours
    Zion to Grand Canyon: 3.5 hours (North Rim) or 6 hours (South Rim)
    Grand Canyon to Bryce: 4.5 hours (North Rim) or 6 hours (South Rim)
    Bryce to Las Vegas: 5 hours

    El Tovar is on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, so there is a bit more of a drive involved in getting from the Utah parks (Bryce and Zion) which are on the north side of the Colorado River, but it's not too bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delbon
    We have looked at various places to stay on our trip and would welcome your opinion - In Zion we intended staying at Cliffrose Lodge and Gardens - at the Canyon El Tovar Hotel - and in Bryce Sunflower Hill at Moab or would you recommend any alternatives.
    You have picked some of the classic lodgings for the grand tour of the American southwest. You could certainly do this cheaper, but hardly any better.

    In general, I'd say you have a great trip ahead of you. I particularly like the relatively leisurely pace at which you're going to take it. The one thing I would suggest is to at least look at staying on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is a much quieter venue, but in March that really shouldn't matter. Just so you know there is another option.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Chichester West Sussex UK
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Many thanks for all your advice - you will have to excuse our ignorance only we will be travelling from England and although we have been to America before we have never been to Vegas and therefore we are completely unaware of the distance and timings involved in our proposed trip hence the reasons for the questions. for instance we had no idea that the distance was so great between the South Rim and the North Rim

    We could of course travel on a package deal but that way the choice of accommadation is made for you and the length of stay at each place is not a variable.

    The whole idea of the trip was to travel from the Vegas to the Grand Canyon with one stop over and from the Grand Canyon back to Vegas with one stop over to save 6 hour plus drives is there anything you could suggest.

    We are very grateful for your help so far, what a fantastic site.

    Del

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Birds can do it

    Quote Originally Posted by Delbon
    Many thanks for all your advice - you will have to excuse our ignorance only we will be travelling from England and although we have been to America before we have never been to Vegas and therefore we are completely unaware of the distance and timings involved in our proposed trip hence the reasons for the questions. for instance we had no idea that the distance was so great between the South Rim and the North Rim
    Well, if you were a bird, you could do it much faster, but if you look at a map, you will see there are no direct connect roads between the north and south rim.
    We could of course travel on a package deal but that way the choice of accommadation is made for you and the length of stay at each place is not a variable.
    Yep, which is why there are som many roadtrippers -- we like making the choices ourselves.
    The whole idea of the trip was to travel from the Vegas to the Grand Canyon with one stop over and from the Grand Canyon back to Vegas with one stop over to save 6 hour plus drives is there anything you could suggest.
    I think I am still confused. How many days total do you have for the trip between Las Vegas, the grand canyon and the return trip to Las Vegas? If the trip is only a total of three days, I would spend both nights at the South Rim and really get the chance to see it!

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Two Options

    If you can wait until late May for your trip, then the North Rim will have opened up. BUT - this depends on the opening of the road, AZ-64, which may be delayed by heavy snows. Once the highway is open, your drive into and out of the north rim of the canyon is more like 3 and a half hours rather than 6 hours around to the south rim. The north rim is not as heavily developed as the south, but does have a great hotel, the Grand Canyon Lodge, as well as mule and/or horse train rides into the canyon. Because of its remoteness, I have actually enjoyed my stays at the north rim a bit more than those at the south, but again, the north rim is only open seasonally. On the other hand, a 6 hour drive is not a terribly unreasonable price to pay to see the Grand Canyon if you do go to the south rim. Those really are your only two choices. The canyon is just too wide to make putting a highway bridge across feasible, so you will have a fairly long drive around the canyon from one side to the other.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default I'm still confused

    Are you looking to visit the North Rim, the South Rim, or Both?

    Las Vegas to the South Rim can be done in about 5 hours, and its a pretty easy drive. You could take a tour of the Hoover Dam along the way to break up the trip.

    From there you can loop around to either the North Rim or the Utah Parks, but you will be looking at 4-6 hour drives either way. However, long distances are just one of the realities of the American West. They aren't bad drives, though, and there are plenty of things to look at along the way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Chichester West Sussex UK
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Well, if you were a bird, you could do it much faster, but if you look at a map, you will see there are no direct connect roads between the north and south rim.
    I think I should point out we are not quite as ignorant as Editor seems to think what I was indicating was that I did not realise that the North and South Rim were so far apart in road distance

    I think I am still confused. How many days total do you have for the trip between Las Vegas, the grand canyon and the return trip to Las Vegas? If the trip is only a total of three days, I would spend both nights at the South Rim and really get the chance to see it
    As stated in my first post we were thinking of a two or three day stop over going to the Canyon from Vegas,three days at the Canyon and two days stop over on the way back to Vegas this is very flexible.

    As we are intending to travel in March I think the North Rim is out of the question as it does not open until mid May therefore our trip will be from Vegas to the South Rim staying say three nights at the EL Tovar or Thunderbirds we would welcome any suggestions on stop overs between Vegas and the Canyon and an alternative stop over for our trip back to Vegas

    By the way AZBuck I am fully aware that the Canyon is just a little too wide to put a bridge across.

    Thanks for your help

    Del

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Great plan but don't backtrack, imho

    I think you have a great plan with a fun roadtrip ahead of you. However, I'm not into backtracking, i.e. driving the same road both ways, if I can help it.

    If I were you, I would leave Vegas heading toward the South Rim first. Like Michael said, you can enjoy a tour of Hoover Dam on the way. And you might just want to enjoy a few other points along the way like Kingman and Seligman which have remnants of Route 66 to explore. This is an interesting drive and would make a good day trip. Then spend a couple of nights at El Tovar on the South Rim and enjoy exploring the beauty that is the Grand Canyon. You would be taking 93 South, 40 East, and 64 North. About 280 miles.

    From there, head towards the North Rim and Bryce and Zion via 180 East. Beautiful, awesome drive with many interesting stops before you leave the Grand Canyon. Then head north, then west on 89. You will go near Glen Canyon National Rec Area. In fact, if you have time, you might enjoy a night in Page so you can explore this area more fully. If the North Rim happens to be open, go ahead and enjoy driving in and taking a look around. The views of the GC from the North are very different than the views from the South. If it's not open, continue heading west until you get to the junction with Cottonwood Road. Then head up to the Bryce Canyon area by driving north on Cottonwood. You will be driving through Escalante/Staircase along this road so I bet it's a beautiful drive. Although I have never driven it myself, I went into Bryce from another direction, so I really don't know what the road conditions are. Hopefully somebody here has driven it and can chime in. It is about 225 miles from El Tovar Lodge to Ruby's Inn...the place that I would recommend staying at in the Bryce area.

    Then, from Bryce, head toward Zion via 63 West and 89 South, then 9 West. This is a relatively short drive of about 105 miles.

    After that, zipping back to Vegas will be an easy day trip.

    I'm not getting the Moab detour. Are you going there instead of Bryce? If so, then I guess I'll have to change my recommendations. But, in the time you have, I'd do Bryce instead of Moab and really enjoy myself in these three fantastic parks.

    On the way back to Vegas from Zion, enjoy a stop at the Valley of Fire. You might enjoy taking time to play somewhere on Lake Mead during this time as well.

    Enjoy!

    (And I don't think anyone was being snarky. Just trying to be humorous, I think.)

    After Bryce, head toward Zion via

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Chichester West Sussex UK
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Judy

    Thank you for your very detailed recommendations if we wished to stay over night prior to our visit to the South Rim from Vegas is there anywhere you would recommend - we could then stay at El Tovar at the Canyon , Rubys in Bryce and say Cliffrose lodge at Zion before travelling back to Vegas.

    On more thing could you recommend a map I can find on the internet covering the area under discussion as that would give me a better picture of the area and your recommendations.

    Thanks again for your very much appreciated help and recommendations
    I am sorry about Moab but when I requested details on the internet about accommadation at Bryce Canyon, Sunflower Hill at Moab was suggested and being completely new to this part of America I accepted that Moab was at or near Bryce.

    Plonk me in most of Europe and I'm fine but this part of America I need help

    Once again sincere thanks

    Best wishes

    Del

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