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  1. Default SanJose to Las Vegas and then to Grand Canyon and Sedona

    Hi all,

    We are planning a road trip during the next month from San Jose to Las Vegas. Since we are there anyways and have couple of extra days , I thought of combining Grand Canyon & Sedona too. I know it's probably late compared to those of you who are planning at least a year ahead, but we are able to take the time off just now and don't want to miss the opportunity before something comes up :-).

    We'll have 10-12 days for this trip with 2 adults, one child ( 8 years ) and one senior.

    San Jose to Vegas - about 8 hours drive and 2-3 days stay. Since I have been there before, I am comfortable planning this. My question is - Is Zion National Park too far from Las Vegas ? If I give a extra day in Vegas, will I be able to make it a day trip ?

    Las Vegas to Grand Canyon - Based on Mapquest, it's about 278 miles or about 5-7 hours drive for us with stops in between. Do you guys have any recommendation for the place to stay ? North or south rim ? I am thinking of spending 2 nights here - Not planning much of hiking, but will probably watch sunset/Sunrise, do the skywalk and may the canyon landing tour.

    Grand Canyon to Sedona - I am seeing it's about in the 2 hours driving distance. What are the major attractions/ activities here ? Is it worth making Sedona as a home base for 4-5 days and driving back & forth to Grand Canyon ? Or can I stay somewhere in between GC & Sedona ( I am looking at Flagstaff in the map).

    And last, do I return by the same route to San Jose and halting for the night somewhere ? Or is there any scenic alternate ?

    I would appreciate any tips from those who have been there & done this.

    Thanks much,
    Hema

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

    Default ideas, issues

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!
    Is Zion National Park too far from Las Vegas ? If I give a extra day in Vegas, will I be able to make it a day trip ?
    Yes, Zion can quite easily be done as a daytrip from Las Vegas, however, considering you are planning to also visit the Grand Canyon, it would make much more sense to simply continue working your way around towards GC rather than backtracking to Vegas.

    Do you guys have any recommendation for the place to stay ? North or south rim ? I am thinking of spending 2 nights here - Not planning much of hiking, but will probably watch sunset/Sunrise, do the skywalk and may the canyon landing tour.
    You should know that the Skywalk is not apart of Grand Canyon National Park, its on an Indian Reservation a couple hours drive from the South Rim. The North Rim and South Rim are also a good 4-5 hour drive from each other. The South Rim is generally more accessable and has more services, however, the North Rim would work quite easily if you are coming from Zion. Its at a higher elevation, a little quieter, but you'll have fewer choices for things like motels.

    And last, do I return by the same route to San Jose and halting for the night somewhere ? Or is there any scenic alternate ?
    The obvious popular choice would be to go back via Death Valley and Yosemite. You'd certainly need to spend at least one night along the way, and actually spending 2 nights would be better.

  3. Default

    Thanks so much for your reply.

    Your suggestion on going directly from Zion to GC makes sense. Reading up a little bit more - I think with a kid and a senior it'll make more sense for us to go/stay in South Rim. However do I still have to do the 4-5 hour drive between the rims when I come from Zion ?

    I saw that thecanyon.com web site gives the total miles from Zion to South rim as 221 miles ( 4-5 hours).

    Is it really the case or will I be driving more ?

    I wasn't aware that the skywalk is not part of the park. Hubby is interested in that - Is it really worth the drive ?

    Thanks,
    Hema
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-22-2010 at 03:09 AM. Reason: Removed Link (didn't work)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default unavoidable

    The 4-5 hours between the North and South Rims is if you drive direct between the two - if you are going from Zion to the South Rim, you just wouldn't detour off to the North Rim. From the South Rim, both Zion and the North Rim are about a 200-250 mile drive.

    I've never been to the skywalk. The biggest things to know that it is very expensive. You have to purchase admission to the Reservation, and then pay a separate fee to actually walk on the skywalk, so that means it is $75 per person to visit it (compared to $25 for your entire group at the National Park), plus you are not allowed to bring cameras onto the Skywalk, and you're looking at a very rough gravel road for much of the drive out to the Reservation.

  5. Default

    Thanks again for responding. Here is the rough itinerary that I worked out for the trip. It's always fun planning a trip.

    Day 1 - Leave San Jose ( early morning) reach Vegas in the evening. Stay in Vegas
    Day 2 & 3 - Stay & play Vegas. Possible kid friendly hotel options that I am considering are Excalibar/Luxur/Mandalay Bay. Suggestions welcome.
    Day 4 - Leave Vegas in the morning & reach Zion National Park. Explore & stay possibly in Kanab ( Comfort Inn). Suggestions for other options welcome.
    Day 5 - Leave Zion in the morning & reach Grand canyon( south rim) late afternoon. Stay overnight in GC.
    Day 6 - Stay in Gran Canyon. we would like to stay inside the park but the options are expensive & I am not even sure on availability. I am looking at Kachina Lodge. What are the good lodging options inside the park?
    Day 7 - Spend the day in Grand Canyon. I am looking for some suggestions on must see & do. Leave late in the evening & reach Sedona. Stay overnight in Sedona ( Looking to stay in Kings Ransom hotel - Any other options ?)
    Day 8 & 9 - Explore Sedona, take pink jeep tour. Have any of you tried the Verde Canyon rail - Is it 4 hours to & fro or one way ?. Just wondering if it'll be too long for an active 8 year old who generally likes train. What are the other site seeing options in Sedona ?
    Day 10 - Leave Sedona in the morning & reach Vegas. Stay overnight Vegas.
    Day 11 - Leave Vegas & back home to San Jose

    Does this look feasible ? I didn't want to overdo with a kid & senior travelling. I am open to suggestions on changing the route and site seeing.

    Appreciate you all taking the time to look & respond.

    Thanks much,
    Hema

  6. Default

    One more quick question. Am I missing out anything by not including Bryce Canyon?. Since we are anyway spending the night in Kanab, Is it possible to do both zion & Bryce over the 1.5 days in my itinerary ?

    Thanks much,
    Hema

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

    Default Of Course

    Of course you'll be missing something by skipping Bryce Canyon - its one of the many great spots of the Southwest.

    However, missing things is just inevitable. As was already mentioned, your current plans have you skipping Yosemite and Death Valley. There are about a half dozen other National Parks in Utah that you'll be missing. There's just no way to fit in everything over a 10 day trip (you'd still be missing something if you had a couple months!)

    Considering how much you are already trying to fit in (and once you factor in drive times from Vegas and onto GC, you don't have a day and a half, you've got a little less than a day in the Zion area) I don't think trying to squeeze more in would be a wise move.

    One other note on your plans, Las Vegas is a bit out of the way on the drive from Sedona back to San Jose. Since you aren't planning to go back via Yosemite/Tioga Pass, I'd just stick to I-40 and save yourself a couple hours of driving.

  8. Default Trip Feedback

    Hema,

    Thank you for the details of your planning. I am trying to plan one similar to this except that I am not so interested in Vegas and trying to see if i can fit in Bryce and Yosemite instead of Vegas. Can you please share your experience and what you would do differently from this, if you have to do this again?

    Thanks
    STT
    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-16-2013 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Removed quote of entire previous post

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    The original poster has not been active on this forum since 2010, so it is very unlikely that you will get a response.

    This is an extremely popular trip outline, however, and you can find many more ideas and actual trip reports in this thread.

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