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  1. Default 3 Days in Sept - LV, GC, Bryce

    I need to plan a trip. I have 3 days. Arriving Aug 31st afternoon and leaving on Sept 3 morning/afternoon. Wanted to cover LV (1 day), Bryce Canyon(overnight stay), Zion NP(half day) and Grand Canyon(South or North). Wanted to know whats the best option.

    Is it a good idea to fly to LV and then rent a car and move around or fly to Salt Lake City and drive from there towards LV covering the places en route ?

    Also it would help a lot if you could suggest which order to cover the places.


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

    Default bad math

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I really don't think there is a way to do what you want to do, with the time you have available.

    First, as far as which way to go, doing a loop from Vegas is your best bet. Distance wise, it wouldn't make much difference, and flying in/out of Vegas is likely going to be cheaper.

    But I don't see how you fit it all in.

    Here's the best case I can see:
    You see Vegas on the afternoon you arrive (31st)
    (1st) Drive to Bryce in the am, see the park in the pm.
    (2nd) Drive to the North Rim in the am, see the park in the pm, drive back to Kanab for the night.
    (3rd) Drive back to Vegas via Zion.

    The problem is your flight is on the 3rd, and you've got a full day of stuff to do there. Between spending a half day at the park, and having 4 hours of driving, I don't see how you make it back in time to make even an afternoon flight.

    That's also an extremely rushed itinerary, where I don't think you could do things any faster. At the very least, I think you have to cut either Bryce or GC just to have a chance to make things work.

  3. Default

    If I cut out Bryce, how much time can/should I spend at GC ?
    If anyone can help with suggesting time it takes to cover major viewpoints with either a sunrise or sunset, without hiking in the GC ?
    Also is just driving through Zion NP enough or is it recommended to take shuttle and hike in Zion ?
    Appreciate the help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Although the drive out of Zion is good, I would try and spend 2 or 3 hours in Zion NP by catching the shuttle bus into the canyon and strolling along the Virgin river, wonderful ! In that case I would get an early start from Vegas on the 1st and drive to the North rim, [6 hours] have a walk and enjoy a sunset. If your budget can mange it [and there are availabilities], stay at the North rim and witness the sunrise. On the 2nd drive to Zion and stay in Springdale the night before heading back to Vegas,[3.5/4 hours to airport] providing you have a pm flight that is.

    For a more relaxed and focused trip you could simply head to the South rim of the Grand canyon and take in all that this wonder of the world has to offer. Hoover dam, Sunset Crater and Cameron Trading post are a few other quick visits you could consider doing this.

  5. Default

    Hello All,
    Sorry to post late and add to the same post. I have had to change my itenary. I have almost 5 days at hand now. I will be arriving in LV on Oct3 night and leaving LV on Oct 8 evening(7 pm). My plan is to spend about 1.5 -2 days in LV, a day in GC, a day in Bryce and whatever time I can, in Zion NP. Are there any better spots to choose over Bryce and Zion NP ? I am unsure whether Grand Canyon North rim is the best choice around first weekend of October ? I read that it closes around mid October ? Would Grand Canyon South Rim be a better option at that time of the year ?
    Also I earlier thought to do the loop from LV--> GC --> Bryce --> Zion NP --> LV. Is there a better route ?

    I am not a very experienced road tripper., thus appreciate any help/hints that can be provided. Thank you!
    Last edited by ramangouda; 08-15-2012 at 10:08 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you plan your time very carefully, you should be able to see the GC south rim, Bryce, and Zion, in that order.

    Rough drive times with no significant stops or delays:

    LV-GC : 5 hours
    GC-Bryce: 6 hours
    Bryce-Zion: 2 hours
    Zion-LV: 3 hours

    I don't recommend you drive in this part of the country off the Interstate highways after dark, because of the open range. Animals on the road (especially black cows) are hard enough to see in the daytime.

    You probably need a full day to properly see the GC, 1/2 a day is doable for Bryce, and close to a full day for Zion.

    So -

    Oct 5 - drive from LV to the GC, spend the night in the park or in Tusayan.
    Oct 6 - finish seeing the GC, drive to Bryce, spend the night at Ruby's or in Panguitch or Tropic.
    Oct 7 - see Bryce, drive to and through Zion, spend the night in Springdale.
    Oct 8 - see the rest of Zion, get on the road early enough to make it back to LV in time for your flight.

    You would give yourself a much better cushion if you leave LV on the afternoon of the 4th and try to get as far as Williams. You could do this in the dark, but I wouldn't go north of Williams after dark. LV to Williams is 4 hours.

  7. Default

    Hello all,
    So the plan is like
    Oct 3rd -reach LV..
    Oct 4 afternoon - Leave LV for GC North Rim reach GC by midnight or later
    Oct 5 - explore GC till sunset then leave for Bryce Canyon
    Oct 6 - explore BC till sunset then drive to Zion. (Does Zion NP have any lodging or hotel facilities nearby ?)
    Oct 7 - explore Zion. Option to stay back in Zion on 7th night or drive back to LV
    Oct 8 - reach LV by afternoon either way.. explore half day in LV and then fly back in evening.

    Does the above sound doable and is it a right choice or going to GC north instead of south Rim ( the drive from GC South Rim to BC is a long one :( )
    Also I thought of doing most of the driving after dark as in Oct the days being short, I don't want to use most of daylight in driving.

    Would appreciate it if you could let me know if this sounds a fair enough itenary.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I think your plan to do most of your driving in the dark is a bit problematic.

    First, you'll be missing out on some great scenery, but more importantly, you're talking about driving in pretty remote areas, with limited cell phone coverage, with plenty of wildlife that could cross your path.

    The other aspect is that your current route involves a lot of backtracking. You'll be driving through Zion to get to the North Rim, and then backtracking again to get back from Bryce to Zion. It would make more sense to do Bryce-GCNR-Zion, or vice versa.

    There is very little lodging at the North Rim. Based on your current plans, having only one day at the Canyon, I think it would make more sense to stay in Kanab before and after your visit.

  9. Default

    But if I am going from LV to BC, even then wouldnt I be driving through Zion ?
    Also while going from BC to GC, would I be going through Zion again ? Google maps shows that as the path, though there might an alternate route ?

    I could see Kanab being 2 hours from GC. Any idea if there are any lodgings nearer to GC ?

    I wish I could make the trip a little earlier with more daylight and the weather warmer :(
    So need to make the most of what I can :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    From Vegas to Bryce, the fastest way is to take I-15 past Cedar City to UT-20 (which is the Google default). You can also go through Zion, which is a bit shorter, but slower too.

    A big reason that the North Rim of the Canyon is less crowded is because it is in a much more remote area, and yes Kanab UT/Fredonia AZ 80 miles away is the closest town of any significant size. There are a couple of lodges that are closer, but don't expect them to be cheap.

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