We're leaving in a couple days and reviewing our plans has brought up a few last minute questions -- I thought I posted the one about Zion a couple days ago, but I can't find it, so I guess I didn't. If that portion's a repeat, I apologize.
1. We're going to enter Zion NP through the main entrance (via Springdale). I understand we cannot drive our car into the park. Is it better to park in the town or the visitor's center inside the park? Are the shuttles efficient?
When we leave, my computer program says we should drive through the park and leave via the East Entrance. I know, of course, that this is impossible. Do we have any option other than backtracking all the way to the town of Hurricane?
2. Since we're going to Zion and it has such a varied geography, is it worthwhile to ALSO see Antelope Canyon a few days later? Of course, the obvious question is, "What's the trade off?" That is, if we skip Antelope Canyon, what do we gain? The answer is just more time to relax that evening.
3. Since we're going to Zion, is it worthwhile to ALSO see Arches National Park a few days later? In this case, the trade off would be getting to Denver earlier and being able to see The Rouge play at Red Rocks -- yes, we have teenagers, and this would be a great surprise for them.
4. I'm particularly excited about seeing Mesa Verde National Park. Would it be worthwhile to do BOTH the Balcony House tour AND the Cliff Palace tours, or would that be repetative?
5. One of the things the kids picked for the trip is a water park. We plan to stop at either Raging Waters or Seven Peaks, both in Utah. Any hints on finding discount coupons on the road? I ask because around here it's very easy to find discount tickets for Emerald Pointe, so I assume all water parks offer mid-week discounts.
6. What's the weather like this year in the west? We're having a particularly rainy late spring/early summer here in the Carolinas. Since we've had a serious drought for the last two years, we're very happy about this, but it does mean we're inundated (more than usual) with mosquitos.
THANKS for any help you can provide!