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  1. Default Grand Canyon/Bryce/Zion in early November?

    I am planning on doing a road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, then to Bryce and Zion, then back to Vegas. I've never really done a road trip by myself before and I have some questions:

    1. Will it be unpleasantly cold to visit these sites around Nov. 7-12?

    2. Should I do the North Rim or the South Rim? Other than doing some easy-medium hiking, I don't have a particular agenda and don't feel like I need to see the Grand Canyon in a comprehensive way. I know the North Rim is much closer to Utah, but will it be too cold in November?

    3. If I go to the South Rim instead of the North Rim, approximately how long will it take me to get there from Vegas and from there to Bryce and Zion? What about if I do the North Rim instead of the South Rim?

    4. Can you give me a sense of how much time I will need to do Vegas/North Rim/Bryce/Zion/Vegas and Vegas/South Rim/Bryce/Zion/Vegas? Like I said, I just want to get a feel for these places and do a bit of hiking. I don't imagine I would want to spend more than a day or a day and a half at the Grand Canyon. I will be staying in hotels, lodges, or motels and not camping.

    5. Any other advice for me? Any suggestions for cool/quirky/funky places to see, eat, and stay at along the way? Any reasonably priced accomodations you recommend? I'd love to spend under $100/night, or even less, if it's a great value spot.

    Many, many thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Unpleasantly?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It will certainly be cool to cold. I find such weather 'bracing', but then I looked forward to the occasional 20 below nights when I lived in Maine. At Bryce Canyon, probably the coolest place on your itinerary, daytime highs are likely to be around 45║F with nighttime lows dipping towards 20║F. Plan on going to the South Rim as the North Rim closes for the season in mid-October. The South Rim is a good half day's drive from Las Vegas, so a drive there one morning and an overnight in the area with a drive back the next evening would fit your bill. You can make a loop trip around the canyon (Las Vegas, South Rim, Page, Bryce, Zion, and back to Las Vegas) in two days of driving, add a day and half at the Grand Canyon and a day each at Bryce and Zion and you're looking at 6 days for the loop.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Only can tell you our own experiences. Last visit to the area was november 2007.
    1.Drive from Las Vegas to GCNP south rim is 5 hours. Make sure you stop at Seligman and have a bite at Delgadillo's Snow Cap. Last year day temps at the canyon where 65-70, short sleeves during the day, freezing after sunset.
    2. North rim will be closed that time of year as mentioned before.
    3. Yes, 5 hours between LV and south rim. Direct drive between SR and Bryce is 5-6 hours depending on your stops. Most direct way is via Page. Just a little longer via Jacob Lake but that route is more scenic with stops at Marble Canyon and Navajo Bridges. Bryce to Zion only is 2 hours.
    Zion still was 75F begin of november last year. Lot warmer than Bryce. Bryce is over 8000 ft.
    I would suggest one day at GCNP. After your drive to Bryce stay for the night, explore Bryce and maybe drive to Zion that day. You easily can spend all day in Zion. The drive from Zion to LV is 3 hours but you'll gain one hour because of timedifference. Make a reservation for GCNP at Grand canyon lodges If the website shows no vacancy phone them at 303 297 2757 and ask for cancellations. Maybe also stop for the night in Page before Bryce and see Horseshoe Bend overlook, Antelope Canyon and Glen Canyon Dam. A nice stop between Page and Kanab is at milemarker 21 for the Toadstools. Other places on your way are Coral Pink Sanddunes near Kanab and Red Canyon before Bryce. On your way to Zion make the short hike on the Canyon Overlook Trail just before Zion tunnel.That'll app. takes a one hour roundtrip.
    Yeehaw
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 10-06-2008 at 12:49 AM. Reason: preferred link format

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you plan on staying the night in Tusayan (the little town just outside the SR entrance), all the name brand hotels are well over $100 a night. There is one little mom and pop joint - I wish I could remember the name - with 21 rooms and it's in the $80's per night. They do not take reservations, they seldom answer their phone, it's show up, first come first served. The rooms are comfortable and clean, and the lady that owns the place will talk your ear off. Good people. If money is an issue, stay in Williams or Flagstaff if you can't get reasonably priced lodging in the park.

    Park admission is $25 a car, it's good for a week, unlimited ins/outs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    Hi,
    With a relatively short visit to these three places you will find that Zion offers the best variety of hikes, and if that's what you want to do, look to spending more of your time here. The main difference is you see it from "inside" the canyon whereas G/C and Bryce can be largely seen from viewpoints close to the roadside.

    As said, expect cold temps at Bryce but as Buck suggested it bothers some people more than others. Make sure you have plenty of layered clothing rather than relying on a single top and thick coat to keep your body temps up, this is vital if you don't want to feel cold. Although it got down to -11 when we were there last October it was a crisp cold and nowhere near as bad as the damp cold we get in the U.K.

    Here is a bit of data for recorded temps on Nov 10.

    Have a great trip.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jhandler
    I am planning on doing a road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, then to Bryce and Zion, then back to Vegas. I've never really done a road trip by myself before and I have some questions:

    4. Can you give me a sense of how much time I will need to do Vegas/North Rim/Bryce/Zion/Vegas and Vegas/South Rim/Bryce/Zion/Vegas? Like I said, I just want to get a feel for these places and do a bit of hiking. I don't imagine I would want to spend more than a day or a day and a half at the Grand Canyon. I will be staying in hotels, lodges, or motels and not camping.
    Hello,

    I went to all these places in December of 2006. GC was moderately cold, Zion was quite pleasant, but Brcye Canyon was bitterly cold. I am going to guess that all of them would be slightly milder in November.

    If you really want to get a feel of things, I recommend at least 3 days each (maybe 2 for GC). I spent around these number of days and still felt it wasn't enough.

    I stayed in motels/inns for all these parks.

    For GC - I was in Flagstaff. It's within 2 hrs. A very nice and pleasant drive. Cost around $55-$60.
    Zion - There are a bunch of motels just outside the park. $60-$65.
    Brcye - I stayed at the lodge just outside the park. $60-$65.

    I think I went during the off season and the rates were low. I am not sure if Nov is off season.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-06-2008 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Fixed Formatting

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Springdale.

    The best located accommodations for Zion [referred to by dinesh] are in the lovely little town town of Springdale.

    For Bryce Ruby's inn is very popular.

  8. Default Thanks everyone for all these recs!

    This is my first time using this forum and I really appreciate it!

  9. Default Death Valley?

    Here's another thought.... You guys are making me think that maybe I ought to skip Bryce, given the cold weather. I'm in Las Vegas for a few months now working on a campaign, and I really want to use the week after the election to decompress. So now I'm thinking I'd like to see Death Valley since it will be nice and warm. What about going from Vegas to Death Valley to Zion to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon? The only thing is, it's apparently about 8 hrs (according to Google Maps) b/w Death Valley and Zion. I don't want to stop at Vegas in between and I don't want to drive that much in one day. Is there somewhere in between I should visit or some other route I should go? How much time do you think I would need to see DV, Zion and the GC SR?

    Many thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Bryce is beautiful, cold or not

    I understand your concerns about the cold as I like to be warm myself but Bryce is so amazing that I would probably brave the cold to see it. But Death Valley is certainly a great place to visit, too. How to choose? Personally, I don't think you need to choose. You can easily see Death Valley, Zion, Grand Canyon and Bryce in one week.

    I'm not sure what points you're choosing for your Google map estimate but, when I choose a location in the west-central area of Death Valley and then another in the heart of Zion, I come up with about 320 miles which should take you about 5.5-6 hours. And that includes time for quick stops for food/fuel/bio breaks. That's a relatively pleasant driving day so I wouldn't worry about it being a long drive. If you'd like to break the drive up a bit, you might consider stopping by Valley of Fire State Park. If you stopped for the night in St. George, you're only driving 270 miles which is only about 5 hours driving so this would give you several hours to enjoy Valley of Fire and still get to your hotel for the night at a decent hour.

    If you have a week, if it were me, I think I would do something like this:
    Day 1: Death Valley, stay overnight (150 miles)
    Day 2: Valley of Fire, stay overnight in St. George (270 miles)
    Day 3: Zion, stay overnight in Springdale (130 miles)
    Day 4: Bryce, stay overnight in Kanab (80 miles)
    Day 5: Grand Canyon, overnight near Grand Canyon Village (207 miles)
    Day 6: Grand Canyon

    Well, if you have 7 days, you can spend an extra day at any of these places or continue on. An option would be stopping for the next on Day 5 at Page and enjoying beautiful Lake Powell before heading onto Grand Canyon.

    As you can see, all the drives are relatively short which should give you plenty of time to explore and decompress.

    I'm not finding any route between Death Valley and Zion that allows you to totally avoid Las Vegas without adding many miles to your trip, but you don't have to go through Las Vegas. You can take the 215 from I-95 to I-93 north of Las Vegas proper. Possibly some folks with more local experience and knowledge will have a better alternative.

    Actually, the best route to take also depends on where you're going after your trip. If you're driving home and you need to go north, you might change the order by doing: Las Vegas-Death Valley-Grand Canyon-Zion-Bryce. Either way would work.

    Hope this helps a bit.

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