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  1. Default Need Raod Trip Advice-> Vegas, Utah, and Arizona National Parks


    I have 7-10 in Mid July that I want to road trip from Vegas. My main questions are how many days I should spend at each location, and what the route should look like. Also, if anyone could give me suggestions on some hiking routes that are must sees that will be great. We are interested in anything that's not so difficult, but want to get a good understanding of the places.

    These are the ones that I am interested in going:

    7/11 Las Vegas (Arrive around noon)->
    7/11 (afternoon), 12, 13(leaving early morning) Grand Canyon
    7/13 Antelope Canyon, then head to Zion National Park at night
    7/13, 14, 15, 16(Leaving early morning) Zion National Park
    7/16, 17(leaving in the afternoon) Bryce Canyon, UT
    17, 18, 19(leaving around noon) Las Vegas

    Now, does this route look fine? Is there a shorter route that I can take?

    Also, any suggestion on how many days I should stay at each location, am I missing out on any other places? My friend suggested to me Sedona but it's another couple or three hours driving, not sure if it will be worth going though.

    Now I just want to get a brief idea of everything, thanks!
    Last edited by takame2002; 05-21-2013 at 04:19 PM.

  2. Default

    Welcome to the RTA forum

    It makes a difference if you're planning to visit the south and/or north rim of the Grand Canyon as well as if Highway 89 opens. The shortest route from Grand Canyon Village (south rim) via Williams/ Flagstaff and through Oak Canyon would be about 3 hours of driving. A longer route is Desert Drive within national park continuing out to Cameron, south to Flagstaff and then down Oak Canyon to Sedona. We did the longer route starting from Sedona with stops at Wukapati National Monument/Sunset Crater (no sightseeing in Flagstaff) and had the afternoon in the national park.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A few thoughts.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Presuming you are going from the south rim and up through Page AZ [Antelope canyon] then I would head to Bryce canyon before going to Zion, it'll save time back tracking. With that in mind I would actually spend the night around Page to visit Antelope canyon and perhaps Lake Powell, Glen canyon etc and then continue to Bryce the next day where you could spend the night and continue to Zion NP. As you exit GC via the east entrance you will find the Cameron Trading Post on US89 where you might want to stop for a stroll around the store and depending on timing, if you were to stop in Page, you could detour and visit Monument Valley on the way.

    It's up to you how much time you spend in each place as to what attracts you the most, but generally speaking Bryce canyon can be seen quicker than some of the others like Zion for instance as the best viewpoints are seen close to the roadside and in Zion it is all about the walks in the canyon area. There are a couple of Trails in Bryce as well as the lovley rim walk around Sunset, Sunrise and Bryce Points in the Ampitheatre area. This would be a good area to stroll and witness a sunset on your first night there. The following day drive to the far end of the canyon and then visit the viewpoints on the way back up, they will all be on your side of the road and you won't have to keep pulling out across traffic.

    You could head to Sedona first from Vegas and then up to the GC south rim the following day. You could head for Prescott valley and to Red Rock State park and Oak Creek Village and visit Slide Rock State park from Sedona.

    Depending on where you are arriving to Vegas from, I would consider staying in Vegas on day 1 and hit the road next day. By the time you clear the airport [presuming your flying?] and collect a rental etc the clock will be ticking.

    So with that in mind, I would go something like this;

    11th Evening in Vegas
    12th Early[ish] start to Grand canyon, perhaps visit Hoover dam, drive through Seligman on route 66
    13th. GC to Page PM. [Poss Cameron Trading Post/Monument Valley]
    14th Sight seeing and to Bryce canyon for a sunset.
    15th Bryce canyon to Zion. [pm]
    16th Zion
    17th Zion to Vegas pm.
    18/19th Vegas.

    You could 'squeeze' things up a bit, leave Vegas same day, or have a day less in Vegas at the end of your trip to visit Sedona.

    You will get leaflets from the entry kiosks with Lots of NP info in them and the Rangers are only too pleased to tell you of their favourite areas of the park and the level of difficulty for the Trails etc.

    At the GC you can enjoy the rim walk near the village area and then hop on and off the shuttle bus on the way up to Hermits rest with easy access to the viewpoints. As you exit the park to the east along Desertview drive you can stop and enjoy a few more viewpoints along the way.

    Bryce canyon, again nice easy rim walk as described and then easy access to the viewpoints. You can take short walks [or long] part way into the canyon at either park.

    Zion NP. Riverside walk is a favourite easy stroll through the canyon. Other popular walks are to Weeping Rock and Emerald Pools among many others. From Bryce to Zion there is a Trail just before you enter the Mt Carmel tunnel, on the way into the park would be the best time to stop here. It's called the Zion canyon overlook Trail. It's not for everyone as there are narrow sections with drops along the way [mainly guarded] but you can find info on all the walks in all the parks using the NPS site.

    Last but not least, the parks are very popular and during the summer months lodgings can get booked up well in advance, it's something you should start looking into asap.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    To get to Page from the GC, note that US-89 between the Alt-89 junction and Page is closed indefinitely due to a mountain collapse. The detours add considerable time. South Rim to Monument Valley then back to Page makes a lot of sense if you have the time. If you are pressed for time, skip Page - just take Alt-89 to Kanab and go on to Bryce and/or Zion. The detour to Page is US-160 to AZ-98.

    I'd recommend you avoid traveling after dark - you will miss a lot of scenery and you will be traveling through open range country - there may be livestock on the road.

  5. Default


    Thank you all for the ideas! They are really helpful.

    Now I am facing a problem, it seems like it's too late to book the hotel inside GC Park. Any suggestion on where I should stay? I figured there's a town near by which is like 15 mins away but the hotels there are pricey.

    As for ideas for trials, I have a few ideas:

    In GC, I was thinking about doing South Kaibab Trail, Rim Trail, and see the Bright Angel Point. Want to fit all of these into a 2 days/1 night schedule.

    As for Zion- Riverside Walk, The Narrows, and Angel's Landing(maybe half way).

    My friend told me that I should be in the tour at Antelope Canyon in the morning because morning is the best time to see the views there, any suggestions?


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Nearest and dearest.

    Yes Tusayan is the nearest town, but there are no other options as close by. For other lodgings you have Williams and Flagstaff to the south or Cameron Trading post to the east, with Williams being the next closest and an hour away. You can get an idea of comparative costs using the RTA booking service to the right of the page.

  7. Default

    There are several hotels/ motels inside Grand Canyon National Park and if you keep checking you may be able to pick up a cancellation.

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


    Quote Originally Posted by takame2002 View Post
    In GC, I was thinking about doing South Kaibab Trail, Rim Trail, and see the Bright Angel Point. Want to fit all of these into a 2 days/1 night schedule.
    Bright Angel Point is located on the North Rim, which it does not appear that you'll be visiting on this trip.

    South Kaibab goes all the way to the river. You can do part of the trip, but hiking to the river and back in one day is strongly discouraged (and probably the single biggest reason for very dangerous rescues within the Canyon.) It is almost certainly too late at this point to spend a night at the bottom.

    There are shuttles so you can walk only parts of the Rim Trail, so you don't have to walk the entire distance to see all of the viewpoints, if you don't want.

  9. Default

    Thank you all for the advice!

    I changed my schedule up a little bit, basically I am following Dave's advice on the schedule:

    7/12 Las Vegas (AM)
    7/12-13-> Grand Canyon (Lodge)
    7/13-> to Page (PM) [Stay at Poss Cameron Trading Post/Monument Valley]
    7/14-> Sight seeing (Antelope Canyon morning tour) and to Bryce canyon for a sunset.
    7/15-> Bryce canyon to Zion. [am, pm?] (Somewhere in between Bryce and Zion)
    16th Zion
    17th Zion to Vegas pm.
    18/19th Vegas.

    My first question is on the 15th if I should go from Bryce to Zion AM or PM since I am not sure if I will be interested in staying long over there (Or I might love it).

    Also, I was thinking if I should reverse my schedule since the hotels might be cheaper if I do it this way.

    7/12 Las Vegas > Zion
    7/12,13 Zion (2 nights)
    7/14 Zion > Bryce canyon > Antelope
    7/15 Antelope > Grand Canyon
    16th Grand Canyon (Lodge)
    17th GC to Vegas pm.
    18/19th Vegas.

    Thank you Michael for pointing out that Bright Angel Point is on the North Rim. Now, do you recommend some must do rails especially in GC and Zion? My ideas now are part of South Kaibab, Rim Trail. Zion- Riverside Walk, The Narrows, and Angel's Landing(maybe half way)

    I am sure I'll have a better picture when I finally arrive there since there will be rangers helping me and stuff, but yeah, any idea will be helpful. Thanks a lot guys :)

  10. Default

    Also, is staying in GC only for only enough? Thanks

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