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  1. #1

    Default November trip Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion and Death Valley

    Hi,

    I have a week off in November and I was thinking of flying into Las Vegas from Canada. I was hoping to split my trip so that I'd have some days in Las Vegas and some days visiting the famous scenery in the area.

    My concern is that I will be rushing too quickly from point to point and spending too much time on the road and am wondering if I should cut some points out or plan it a little differently. Here is an approximation of what I want to do and see (and take pictures of which is why I'd like to be at the various canyons sort of at dawn or dusk):

    Hoover Dam
    Sedona
    Grand Canyon - south rim
    Bryce Canyon
    Zion Canyon
    Death Valley
    Las Vegas

    Saturday, arrive around noon in Las Vegas at the airport. Pick up a rental car and drive via Hoover Dam to Sedona where I would spend the night (276 miles - 4:50 from google maps).

    Sunday morning, look around Sedona, then later in the morning head to the south rim of the Grand Canyon (119 miles, 2:20) and spend the day. I would hopefully manage to get a reservation to sleep somewhere close to the south rim that night.

    Monday morning, I would leave the Grand Canyon and head for Bryce Canyon (289 miles - 5:44), getting there mid-afternoon. Look around Bryce Canyon late afternoon and sunset. Sleep somewhere close by.

    Tuesday morning, get up early to look around Bryce a little more then head for Zion Canyon (90 miles - 2:10). Spend the day at Zion Canyon and late afternoon or evening, head to Las Vegas (189 miles - 2:45).

    Wednesday or Thursday, I'd probably take an SUV tour (organized tour) of Death Valley and spend the rest of the week till Sunday morning discovering Las Vegas.

    Does this seem reasonable? Are there some places where I should really spend more time? Other things on the way that I should see? Are there any spots I should cut out (Bryce makes for quite a detour)?

    Any suggestions would be welcome!

    Thanks and regards,

    Christopher

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Add 20% to the travel times predicted by Google and recalculate. Plan on the possibility of a significant security delay to cross Hoover Dam.

    With that in mind, I'd think about spending Saturday night in Las Vegas and hit the road on Sunday morning. By the time you get your luggage and get the car rented, it's going to be late afternoon and there's no way you can make it to Sedona before dark. Just move everything up one day. If you are set to go early enough on Saturday afternoon, you COULD head for the dam and plan on a night in Kingman. However, if there's anything going on in town that night, rooms may be hard to find.

    In November, you shouldn't need reservations at the south rim - there are several chain hotels in Tusayan right outside the park entrance, but plan on $100+ for a room.

  3. #3

    Default

    Glc, thanks for your reply.

    I wasn't aware of the security checkpoints to cross Hoover Dam. I'll either stay in Las Vegas for a night or Kingman, if I can get a hotel reservation there. I'll also add 20% to my estimates as a safety margin. I'll look up Tusayan, as if I can stay right at the Canyon, I'd prefer that.

    Thanks again,

    Christopher

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

    Default

    If you want to stay inside the park, you can try for a reservation.

    There's also the Cameron Trading Post outside the east entrance on US89. It's about 20 minutes outside the park.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default not much time

    Personally, I think you're going to want more time at these magnificent parks. Really, right now you're trying to squeeze everything into getting to the parks where you'll at most have a couple hours at each. These areas are really quite interesting, and there a lot of areas to take pictures, but you aren't really going to have much time to see anything other than what is right in front of you.

    You certainly can physically get between these places at stay fairly close to your schedule, but I think you could end up feeling pretty rushed. But, you know your own desire for pace more than anyone else.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks for your feedback Midwest Michael.

    You are very probably right. I would be spending a lot of time on the road. As it is the first time I'll be in the area, I was hoping to see a lot, but quality is better than quantity.

    My question would then be, what should I cut out? I would still like to spend 2-3 days in Las Vegas, which leaves about 4-5 days for the rest. I'm just not sure if I should cut out the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion or Death Valley. Most people that I've talked to have preferred Bryce and Zion to the Grand Canyon.

    Any sugggestions?

    Thanks again.

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

    Default interesting perspective

    I've got to say, I think Zion and Bryce are both great parks to visit and explore, but in my opinion they just can't compete with the sheer massive scale of the Grand Canyon. If given the choice between the two, I'm going to the Grand Canyon, and it really isn't a close call.

    If all you are doing is showing up to spend an hour, take a quick look, and move on then I could see where you might enjoy Zion or Bryce more, as these places are much smaller, and if you just show up in the Grand Canyon Village and peer over the edge you won't really be able to get a full apprecation of the many many different aspects and angles and views you can take in while viewing one canyon.

    As far as cutting things out, its a tough call. Death Valley would probably be the easiest to cut, as it simply is on the other side of Las Vegas. However, if you're looking for the most diversity, I'd probably cut out Bryce, as it is a bit more out of the way than the other locations.

    Actually, Sedona is another place you might look at cutting, as it is a bit out of the way, and with what you've got right now, I'd rather spend that extra time at the Grand Canyon.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    The first thing I'd cut would be Sedona. What you COULD do is go the opposite direction - it's only about a 3 to 3.5 hour drive from LV to Zion - which may be possible Saturday afternoon. Go from there to Bryce to the GC.

    Defer DV till you get back to LV - and decide then whether to visit.

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