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  1. Default Roadtrip! Las Vegas to Bryce to Arches back to Vegas

    Hi everyone! I need help! I'm going on a road trip that has been on my bucket list for a very long time - so excited to finally do it! However, I have a few questions and concerns that hopefully you all can help with.
    Here's my itinerary:
    - Day 1 - Fly into Vegas, pick up rental car and drive to Bryce Canyon. Planning on staying 3 nights here as I want to do a full moon hike. Has anyone done the hike? I am not a seasoned hiker so anything you can tell me will help (I know I'll need hiking shoes). My hotel is the Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand. Thoughts? Planning on doing easy hikes throughout my stay there.
    - Day 4 - Drive to Arches for 2 nights. Booked at Days Inn Moab. Thoughts?
    - Day 6 - Drive back to Vegas for 2 nights. Next day, drive to Death Valley Furnace Creek. Spend the day there, then drive back to Vegas. Would you suggest driving or booking a tour company? The NPS website kind of indicates that it's a very very remote area.

    Here's my main concern - I'm traveling alone and am a female. How safe are the roads? I plan on driving during daylight hours. What about cell phone reception? I'm worried about getting a flat tire (no I've never changed one in my life) or other car mishaps that could happen.
    I've mapped out everything on Mapquest. Any roads to avoid? Any hazards to watch out for?
    Thanks for any help you can send my way!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Day 1 ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Firstly, all the roads are paved and quite safe to travel. They are not remote either so if you didn't have cell phone reception, help would not be far away. Rentals are generally in good shape and any ' other mishaps' would be down to the rental company. Although a flat tyre is unlikely, I think you should use that thought and get a family member or friend to teach you how to change a wheel if you are able, just for the security it might offer on any journey including those just a few miles from home.

    I am wondering at what time your flight arrives and from where. By the time you have got out of the airport and picked up your rental a 5 hour plus drive could make it a long tiring day. Personally I would have considered spending one of those 3 nights and stop at Zion NP which is another true wonder. Driving from Moab back to Vegas via Interstate is certainly possible but you should know that mapping software is over optimistic with travel times as they are based on 'start to finish' times and do not allow for rest, food and bathroom breaks or to fill with gas. It could be done in 8 hours with those breaks.

    On the way from Bryce to Moab you could take Utah scenic by-way 12 through Escalante to Torrey and UT24 through Hanksville to I70 for a scenic drive, and to alter your route from that coming back. It's very scenic, but is twisty in parts and will take up to an hour longer than heading direct to I70 on US89. It might not be for you but it's certainly worth checking out as an option.

    As for Death valley, you will be fine driving out on your own and Furnace creek is only about 2.5 hours from Vegas [5 hour round trip] and just south of Furnace creek is Badwater basin, the lowest point in the USA. You would need to carry water and snacks plus sun protection, it will be EXTREMELY HOT in the summer months. It's a wonderful place but if it were I, I might just consider skipping Death valley and take an overnight stop back from Moab and have just one night in Vegas. The 'pay off' would be an opportunity to drive down through Monument valley to the Grand canyon and then back to Vegas on I40/US93.

    You are in for a wonderful time whatever you decide !

  3. Default

    Thank you so much! That makes me feel better about driving alone. I've done dozens of road trips but never alone, and didn't really think about it until reading up on Death Valley. And yes, I guess learning to change a tire might be helpful huh!
    I'm flying in from Orlando and into Vegas at 10am. I've done long drives -from Orlando to Cleveland, to Atlanta etc, so I'll be ok with the 5 hours. I'll be able to rest up and start the next day fresh. I'm planning on picking up a small cooler before starting my journey and stock up on water, snacks etc.
    I go to Vegas quite often and I've done Grand Canyon with a tour company. I did think about going back there as it was a bit rushed with the tour company. I thought about Zion as well, but I'd like to spend at least 2 days there, and so I thought of saving it for another Vegas trip. I've also done Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, so I was looking for something different that I could do in a day from Vegas as my flight leaves early the next morning. There are day tours to Death Valley. Your recommendations?
    Thanks again for all your help!!
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-22-2012 at 08:47 AM. Reason: In line response. No need for quote so removed for easier reading..

  4. Default

    So if I was to stop overnight coming back from Arches instead of driving to Vegas, where would you recommend so that I could stay so that i could go to the Grand Canyon for a few hours? Also, I'd have to spend that last night in Vegas, so I'd like to be in Vegas before it gets dark coming from the Grand Canyon. I thought about Lake Powell as well? So much to see and not enough time! I haven't been to Red Rock Canyon yet. What are your thoughts on a day there?
    I am going to take Highway 12 to Arches. I read it's one of the most scenic drives in the U.S. so I'm looking forward to that!

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

    Default You are most welcome.

    I was more concerned about the time you will need to get to the airport from home, check in and then the flight time etc on top of the 5 hour drive. It could be past 11 am before you are in the car and on your way and I would imagine you would have been up since the early hours. Just a lot on your own, but you know your capabilities. ;-)

    It's quite possible that as you "done a tour" from Vegas to the Grand canyon, you did not see the National park. Most go to the west rim which is on Indian lands and not the same experience. Even so, there is always another day as you rightly said.

    If you enjoy the journey as much as the destination I would take a look at the Utah scenic 12 option.

    Have fun !

    Edit] I see you posted again while I was still typing this reply. Cameron Trading Post [as mentioned by glc] is a nice place and although a little touristy, the Trading post is a destination in itself. Good food too !
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-22-2012 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Updated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    What I would do is try to book a room inside the GC national park. This would be about a 7 hour drive from Moab - and would also let you see Monument Valley. If you can't get a room in the park, I'd look at the Cameron Trading Post or Tuba City.

    From the GC back to LV is about 5 hours, add an hour if you take old 66 from Seligman to Kingman.

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