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  1. Default Michigan to Canyons

    I am planning a road trip starting May 20th for 2 weeks from West Michigan to Mt. Rushmore, yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Santa Fe NM and back to Michigan. However I am interested in zion and bryce nat. parks as well but I am not sure if I should or have enough time to fit it in.

    I like to know how much time I should plan for each place to see the highlights and what are the highlights of each place. The Mt. Rushmore is the obvious but appreciate any suggestions with others. The pictures from Zion national park seemed more interesting than yellowstone. Any other must sees on the way that I shouldn't miss?

    Thanks for your advice

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Zion and Bryce are basically right on the way between Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, so distance wise it would be easy to fit them in.

    The time issue is the more tricky one. You are talking about a lot of distance to try to cover in 2 weeks. Its not impossible but you do have to pick and choose carefully. How much time to spend in each place is completely up to you, and you'll really have to research each park (the best place to start is to look at the nps website, but books upon books have been written about all the places you are talking about.) and figure out what is most interesting to you. For example, I think I stopped at Mt. Rushmore for at most an hour when I was out there last year, and that was plenty for me. However, I spent about a day each in the Badlands and Custer State Park and could have easily used much more time in both areas. You may decide that Zion is more interesting to you than Yellowstone, although with Yellowstone I will warn you that you are talking about a massive area that is larger than several states. Also with yellowstone, you will have to look at what is available to you, as the park really is just starting to open up for the season in late may. In fact, you really could be best off starting with the Grand Canyon, so Yellowstone is during the second half of your trip.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the tip. I wonder if I need more than a day in each zion and Bryce.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    You can do a quick tour of Bryce/Zion in as little as a half day each. That's about the minimum, and if they look really interesting to you, then you'd probably want at least a full day and if you had time, you could certainly spend several days each without running out of things to see.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    If you are tight on time, say 2 days, I would recommend spending a full day in Zion and travel to Bryce the next day and have a half day or so there [1 night]. Both parks are spectacular, but Bryce can be enjoyed quicker from the viewpoints along the edge of the rim that overlook the stunning Red rock spire formations. Zion has many easy and short walks available through the canyon and takes a little longer to explore and enjoy IMO.

  6. Default

    I just got back from a trip through the Utah parks, and Zion could easily be done in 1 day if you just want to check out the viewpoints. If you want to Hike you can spend as long as you like, especially if the narrows are open, unfortunately the River was to high so we couldn't do it.

    You can't drive through Zion for the most part, they have a bus that takes you in and out and stops at each viewpoint. Plenty to do if you have the time and don't mind heights.

    Bryce's big attraction is the Hoodoos which if you want to hike you should spend at least a full day, not sure how it will be at end of may but the end of April was very sloppy with mud from the melting snow. We had to cut the hike short because of this so be prepared.

    We also went to Arches and Canyonland. We camped down the road from Moab on BLM land for $4 a night. usually it's $8 but we got a NPS pass, so half off and it was some amazing scenery.

    Both of those parks are awesome, i never been to yellowstone but you might want to think about just staying in Utah. The 4 parks we did are all very close and very different. Also between Zion and Bryce there is a cool National Forest between, Dixie NF which has the Red Canyon, wish we had more time, but was a great drive through.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Thanks for adding your first hand experience to benefit others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roaming Buffalo View Post
    ..... wish we had more time, but was a great drive through.
    Yes, I am afraid, that is always the case. Never enough time for all you want to see.


  8. Default

    I did the math and you are looking at least 4,400 miles in 14 to 16 days. You are looking at some long hard days of just driving with maybe two days in Yellowstone and one day at each of your other locations.

    If you can, I'd spend at least two days in Yellowstone but a week is hardly enough to see everything. It's a lot more than just Old Faithful.

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