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  1. #1

    Default Road trip to Bryce/Zion from Dallas, TX in 3rd week of November

    Hi all,

    Planning a road trip to Bryce/Zion from Dallas, TX during Thanksgiving week. Would like to know about weather/road conditions around this area. Will have 3 kids in the car (age 13 to 4). Greatly appreciate any help/tips.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,384

    Default Unpredictable weather.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums!

    Whereas it is impossible to predict the weather this far ahead of time, you can get an idea of averages for the time of year by either looking at a weather site like wunderground or the weather channel, or at the nps.gov site and select your park. Bryce is at high elevation and you can at the least expect it to be cold, and well below freezing at night.

    The roads, although mainly 2 laned are all paved and in good shape and under "normal" circumstance shouldn't offer much of a challenge, of course weather can also play a part in how that pans out.

    You can expect it to be 2 very long days of travel to get there, which might prove too long with kid's in the car, so 2.5 to 3 days with some stops either way would be better suited I would think. Have you got just the week for your travel plans or longer ?

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the reply

    Will check the web sites you suggested. We have the week + the weekends so 9-10 days.
    My plan is to start Friday night and drive till Amarillo and then Saturday drive may be 10 hours and stop somewhere. The trip from Amarillo to Bryce says 14 hours and I do not want to reach late night since with kids it will be another 2-3 hours more. Can you please suggest good place to stop about 8-10 hours from Amarillo?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,906

    Default

    Keep in mind that mapping programs travel times are typically quite optimistic, and there is no way that you could actually make it from Amarillo to Bryce in 14 hours. 15-16 really would be the bare minimum before you factor in the extra stops you'll want to make with kids.

    For a stopping point, the 8-10 hour mark would put you right in eastern Arizona where your lodging choices are going to be quite limited. If you are planning to cut north at Gallup, your next spot with lodging would be Tuba City (and that's going to be limited and rather expensive), if you were going up through Farmington, you could shoot for Kayenta, which will have more choices but is still rather pricey. If you want more affordable choices, you'd be better off sticking on I-40 and heading to Flagstaff. All of those places actually will be at least 10 hours, and are really the far end of what you should be looking at.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,332

    Default

    On I-40, I can recommend the Motel 6 in Holbrook AZ. It's a franchise, not a corporate operation, and they apparently take pride in their hotel. I've stayed there, it's the cleanest Motel 6 I've seen and rooms are quite inexpensive.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks for the great suggestions. Both places look convenient to stop - may be I will stop at Flagstaff on my way to Bryce (that will give me just 4-5 hours of drive in the last part of the journey and I will reach Bryce day time) and stop on Holbrook on my way back (then I have to do about 15-16 hrs in the last day coming back home). Either way I am looking at long day of driving both directions. On the way-back I don't mind coming home late night so should be fine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,384

    Default Fri night ?

    My plan is to start Friday night and drive till Amarillo
    At what time are you planning on leaving Dallas at night ? I am not sure it is a good idea to start off on a long journey when your body clock is used to winding down for the evening. If you left at 7pm you wouldn't arrive in Amarillo until 1am and then you have a long days drive ahead of you again next day. If you have already done a day at work it will be even more exhausting. I know it's good to spend time at your destination, but there is no point in everyone being cranky during the journey, and you have the time to make that a little more relaxed and comfortable. How about considering a shorter night Friday and perhaps get 3 hours of driving done to somewhere around Wichita Falls, get a good nights rest and then drive to the Albuquerque/Grants area in NM and then continue to Bryce.

    Equally, you could do the same thing on the way home, leave town [Springdale is good for Zion] late PM and stop for the night at Flagstaff [for instance] and stop around Amarillo, and then have a relaxed drive home next day. If you really want to get home in 2 day's, Holbrook wouldn't be the place to stop really, I would be looking to get an early start and making it to Santa Rosa and then home. These are still full days on the road but manageable.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,906

    Default

    I really have to agree with Dave.

    First, I forgot how far it is from Dallas to Amarillo and trying to drive more than 350 miles in the evening is a very tough way to start - especially since you'll inevitably get started later than you plan and are planning a very long day on the road the next day. I often do the kind of thing you're talking about, and I figure if I can make it 250 miles on the first evening, I've done a great job.

    I also agree that trying to drive from Holbrook to Dallas in one day is a really bad idea. Its nearly 900 miles, which is a brutally miserable day on the road in the best case, and you've got all sorts of things working against you. You'll be a little tired being at the end of a long trip, it will have been the second day in a row on the road which adds to the fatigue, you're traveling with a family which means you'll be stopping more frequently plus your 3 kids will be miserable (justifiably so - and you know they're going to make sure that you know they're miserable, just adding to your stress), and on top of that you'll be traveling east across a time zone losing an hour. And that doesn't even include the safety aspect that its simply dangerous to try to drive that much in one day (for comparison sake, you'd be trying to do about 50% more than professional drivers are allowed by law to do). As Dave mentioned, if you want to get back from Utah in 2 days, you need to plan on them both being very long days, but trying to do as much as you can on day one.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks a lot Dave and Michael

    On Friday I plan to target 5 PM to start (will eventually be 6). I have done this stretch before in one evening and agree with you it is quite a lot of driving for an evening. Only thing is that road is quite flat and weather permitting should be uneventful. But since the next day is long, it would be a good idea to stop early and get a good night rest

    On the way back I definitely agree - Holbrook to Dallas is a long stretch. I have done couple of 14-15 hr day drive trip and it is no fun after some time. Wanted to get back late Sat night (get a full Sunday before school starts Monday!) but stopping earlier and taking part of Sunday to drive is definitely more relaxing.

    I may have some more questions as things get lined up.

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