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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Auckland, New Zealand

    Default Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce and Monument Valley

    I am looking at doing a road trip to some of the national parks to the east of Las Vegas with a friend at the end of May. We have 3 (maybe 4) nights and would like some help regarding what we can and should try and fit in and accom options.
    3 night option:
    Day one: Leave Las Vegas and travel to the Grand Canyon, I have struggled to find any cheap accommodation close by to the south rim that is still available. Seems all the hotels are charging about 3 times the price they are in Williams for example. For this reason we would look at staying in Cameron
    Day two: Travel to Page to stay, via Monument Valley (is Monument Valley worth the detour, and how long will it take?). The alternative to Monument Valley would be to spend longer at the Grand Canyon.
    Day three: Travel to somewhere like St George to stay via Bryce Canyon.
    Day four: Do Zion Canyon and then return to Las Vegas for our evening flight.
    An alternative would be to stay an extra night at the Grand Canyon and then go from Page to Las Vegas in the last day via the two Canyons (is this too far?). Our flight out of Vegas leaves at 11:55pm this night.

    4 night option:
    Day one: Leave Las Vegas and travel as far as Flagstaff or Williams (taking our time adn seeing the sights
    Day two: go to the Grand Canyon and then onto Cameron that night
    Day three: Same as day 2 above
    Day four: Same as day 3 above
    Day 5: Same as day 4 above

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know the time is a little limited but I would like to fit in as much as possible without spending too much time in hte car!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Here is an easy option

    Quote Originally Posted by Beno View Post
    I am looking at doing a road trip to some of the national parks to the east of Las Vegas with a friend at the end of May.
    Here is a field trip I did that went to several of the places on your list.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tustin, California, United States


    Hi Ben,

    I can provide a few tips for you, since my folks and I hit some of those points last October, and will be hitting some more this May.

    I studied your route, and although possible to hit everything you want to see, you might be a little rushed if you do so. There are certain things you can sacrifice if it doesn't sound interesting to you. I'm not sure if you're early risers or not, as that will help you reach all your destinations.

    For Day 1, if you can leave Vegas at 7am, you can probably make it to the Grand Canyon by noon. That should give you a good half-day to hit all the major points. I'd recommend staying to watch the sunset. You'll love it. After that I'd book it to Cameron. (If you can sacrifice 90 minutes, I'd recommend the IMAX Grand Canyon show in Tusayan, which is a town one mile from the south entrance. Tickets are $13 each, but SO worth it!)

    For Day 2, you can get to Monument Valley in 3 hours from Cameron using highway 160. I'd say it's totally worth it. Being a desert fan myself, I totally enjoyed this stretch of road. Stop and see the "Elephant's Feet" north of Tuba city. They'll be on your left. (You can't miss 'em!) Take 163 north at Kayenta to Monument Valley. Make sure you don't mind getting your vehicle dirty, as you'll spend at least 2 hours on bumpy unpaved roads looking at the different "points" along the trail.

    If you had extra time, I'd even go so far as to recommend visiting Four Corners, but that's another 2 hours to get there. You could make it back to Page, AZ in another 3.5 hours after that. If you're not geographical nerds like me, then don't worry about it. It's 2.5 hours back to Page from Monument Valley.

    For Day 3, I'd go up and see Bryce Canyon first using highway 89 to 12. I'll be going there in mid-May for the first time, but I heard there's a lot to do. We're doing a horseback ride in the morning, and seeing all the different points in the afternoon. That will be an all-day event. When you're done, head for St. George.

    For Day 4, go back along highway 9 and spend your morning and early afternoon at Zion NP. Again, my first time there will be mid-May, prior to visiting Bryce. You should make it back to Vegas with plenty of time to spare.

    I'm more of a speed-run traveler. I like to get in lots of little things in a short amount of time. The schedule above is moderately-paced. If you want to actually enjoy your time in more places than others, feel free to skip things you don't mind sacrificing.

    Whew, hope all that helps. Mr. Editor also has great articles you can read. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Auckland, New Zealand

    Default Revised Itinerary

    Thanks Team,
    I have taken on board what you guys have said and gained an extra day!!
    We do want to take a bit of time travelling and looking around so thought the extra day was better spent here than elsewhere. Here is what i have come up with:

    Day one: Leave LV mid morning and travel to Williams via stopping at the Hoover Dam, some sights along Route 66 and possibly Flagstaff (is there much to see here?)
    Day two: Spend the whole day at the Grand Canyon and end up in Cameron this night
    Day three: Out to Monument Valley and back to Page
    Day four: Perhaps go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (wondering if this is worth it?) then onto Bryce Canyon to spend the night
    Day five: Zion Canyon and on to Las Vegas in time for our 11:55pm flight.

  5. Default

    Doubt if the North Rim will be open in May - it gets pretty heavy snows and usually doesn't open until well into June.
    If you're going to spend the whole day at GC, you'll have time to hike down to Indian Gardens/Inspiration Point and back - 4 mi. one way - gives you a better sense of the magnificence of the canyon to go down into it a bit - or hike down the trail a bit from the last stop by the tram at Hermit's Rest.
    Ditto in Bryce - take time to go down a trail or two, or walk the rim trail. Zion- fun to walk up to the Virgin River and walk a ways IN the river upstream. Take a hiking stick and tevas - take the tram all the way to the end, walk 1.0 mile up to the river. Awesome!!
    May is a lovely time to do all this - it'll be a bit warm, but not yet rediculous.

  6. #6

    Default Bryce and North Rim

    Glad you decided to go to Bryce Canyon, personally, I prefer it to Grand. Has all these beaituful spires that fire up at sunset, and when you go on a hike into it, you really see the age and layers of it- plus, you get some really good pictures :) -bring your polarizer filter!

    The North Rim was beautiful, if it's open, then I suggest you go there. It's surreal- you pass the burnt out landscape where they had a fire last year (I think), then the forest. There is also a decent campsite on the north rim- I was camped about 10 feet from the rim! It's a higher elevation than the South Rim, less visitors, more points to see. Hope you get clear skies for the sunset!

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