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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default Driving from Las Vegas to do Zion,Bryce and Grand canyon in 4 nights with family.

    I would like to do the Grand loop taking in Zion, Bryce and the Grand canyon Sth rim. I will be travelling in early to mid December and I realize there may be some weather issues. What is the best route to take and am I being unreasonable in thinking I can achieve this loop in 4 nights. I would be leaving Las Vegas early on Monday morning and would hope to return Friday afternoon.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Am I being to ambitious with these parks,
    and what area should I stay for 2 nights or do I utilize one of the nights to get close to an area to reduce driving times from Vegas !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you're in very good shape.

    If you are leaving early Monday, that should give you time to drive to Zion and see the park, spending the night nearby. Tuesday you could drive up to and explore Bryce. Wednesday you could drive to Grand Canyon and spend a day and a half there. Friday morning, head back to Vegas, possibly detouring onto Route 66 and/or making a stop at the Hoover Dam.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default "Loop" is My Favorite Word

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You can do your proposed loop drive easily in the time available to you with plenty of time for each of the major parks on your list. You can, in fact, spend the better part of a day at each of them. Or, you can cut back a little and visit some of the other amazing but lesser known sites on the way. As far as scheduling goes, you might want to look at something like this. Drive to Tusayan on Day 1. Take your time, maybe take the tour of Hoover Dam, or drive the old Route 66 through Peach Springs, but arrive in time to check into your room and still have time to get to Grand Canyon Village by sunset. Enjoy the spectacular lighting and colors and then get to bed early so that you can have a good night's sleep and still get i[ before sunrise. Watch the sun rise over the Canyon and make note of the changing conditions as you work your way east along the South Rim to the eastern exit at Cameron. Then just continue working your way north at a relaxed pace. There are a number of great places en route that you haven't mentioned but are worth looking into including Vermilion Cliffs and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Plan on putting up for a couple of nights in Orderville, Hatch or Panguitch. On your third day, take in Bryce Canyon and then if you have time left over, head up through Dixie National Forest (there are some great hikes in there) to Cedar Breaks National Monument and Iron Mission State Park. You should check beforehand on what's open at Cedar Breaks, as when I was last there they were telling stories of one of the Ranger cabins having been buried under 30' of snow. Your last day on the road will include the drive down to Springdale and Zion National Park. Zion is a box canyon and so easily explored in half a day. That will leave you plenty of time for the three to four hour drive back to Las Vegas afterward.

    But, of course, feel free to alter the above to your own tastes.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default From one Aussie to Another.

    Hi, and Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    That loop certainly can be done in four days if the weather co-operates. You will need to do some research and decide at which of the parks you would like to spend two nights. With the limited time, I suggest you look into staying inside the National Parks. Check out the National Parks site.

    To give you a rough idea, and assuming no weather delays, it is about five hours drive from LV to the GC. Less than that to drive from the East entrance of the CG to Bryce, and Zion is nearby.

    For me, I would make it to the Grand Canyon on day one, and take the opportunity to witness both a sunset and a sunrise over the canyon. An unforgetable experience. Spend the next morning at the South Rim, before heading out along Desert View Drive to the Cameron Trading Post, and north on 89. You have the choice of continuing on 89 to Page, or taking Alt 89 over the Navaho Bridge, through Marble Canyon and past Vermillion Cliffs. Well worth it. You will also pass Horseshoe Bend, where there is a short hike to an overlook over the Colorado River.

    Continue on through Fredonia and Kanab to Bryce and Zion before returning to LV. If you find yourself spending time at the attractions along the way, Kanab is a lovely spot to spend the night. Then continue on to Bryce next day. A popular place to stay just outside Bryce is Ruby's Inn, though I have not stayed there. Springdale is the nearest place for accommodation outside of Zion.

    One suggestion - take your RACV membership with you. When in LV, visit the AAA and pick up free maps of the area. Do not be tempted to rely solely on your Satnav.

    Enjoy the planning.

    Lifey in Melbourne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default Another alternative

    First of all "wow" as far as replies go, talk about prompt. I feel more comfortable now knowing its quite achievable, if I was to go from LA a day before straight through and cut off Vegas until after the loop is there any advantage, and how long would the approx drive be from LA to the nearest point of interest as far as one of the Canyons are concerned, eg Sth Rim.

    Again thank you so far for all the advice.

    Regards Couta

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default LA rush hour is much worse than Melbourne.

    Depending on the day and time of day you would leave LA, and from where, you could drive as far as Williams, but you might like to consider a stop over at Lake Havasu City.

    Is this part of a larger trip? In which case it may be useful if you post your other plans. It is always useful to know where a certain leg sits within the complete picture.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Yes you are right it is part of a larger trip. I was in the US many years ago with friends touring (1984). In that trip time was not an important issue but staying on a tight budget was . In that trip we had a number of months but it included Mexico and a road trip from LA to New York.This time around I am flying with my wife and kids to San Fran. We intend to stay for 3 nights before driving via the PCH {2 nights} to LA (4nights) and then on to Las Vegas and the mentioned loop. We fly out of Las Vegas for the Hawaiian islands and then back to Australia.Our time in the US mainland is 17 nights in total.The loop that I have mentioned would be of longer duration but we have had to make concessions for the Hawaiian leg which includes Maui and Oahu. My wife and I intend to go back during the summer season in years to come, but at the moment we are only able to make the trip during the childrens school holidays.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Oh I almost forgot, the time spent in Vegas would be as follows, either 1 night after LA and then 2 nights after the loop or vice versa.
    I wanted an oppurtunity for the family to have a couple of days quick look around Vegas. If it was just me I would extend the loop trip but I am trying to accomodate two teenagers who are still yet to grasp what is on offer in a Canyon !

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

    Default Wonderful trip !

    It would save you almost 50 miles of unnecessary driving by going direct to the GC from LA and is what I would do to save going into Vegas twice. You could make the journey to GC with a full day on the road, [up to 10 hours]or you could stop on the way if you 'spared' a night. If you done so, Joshua Tree NP and parts of old route 66 would make for popular diversions and a night in the Lake Havasu City area [Home to London Bridge exported brick by brick from England] would work.

    Another alternative would be to make your way out of LA for a couple of hoursor so for your 'night 4' in LA to give you a head start next morning and avoid the 'rush'. Otherwise you will need a real early start to avoid it !!

    I would try to spend a full day at Zion, there are some wonderful walking Trails and [one of] the most popular is the Riverside Walk that can easily take 3 hours or so to stroll along on it's own, wonderful !! Bryce canyon is easier to see quicker, as the main attractions are easy access from the road to the viewpoints looking down into the canyon rather than walking through it. You would need to check conditions, but at Bryce it is going to be extremely cold as parts of the rim are located at over 9000ft in elevation. Pack layered and warm clothing.

    Between Bryce and Zion is Red Rock canyon on the edge of the Dixie Forest and worth a short stop to walk among the red rock spires. There is easy parking right by the road after you drive through the natural rock arch over the road.

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