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Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

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Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

Myself and two friends are taking a road trip around California in July, and will be travelling to Vegas, Grand Canyon etc from Mammoth lakes before looping back around and heading to San Diego, L.A etc. My plan is to visit Vegas, then drive from there to zion NP, then drive to Page and stay there overnight, before visiting antelope canyon and horseshoe bend the next day.

My question is whether it is feasible to visit the Grand Canyon on the same day as antelope canyon, staying over night somewhere on the way back to vegas in order to minimise that journey, or is there a better option to take?

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Lewes, United...
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1. Re: Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

First, it would really help us to understand your expectations and appreciate of the scale and size of the area in question by telling us where you are from?

Second, you say 'in July'. This July? If so, do you have anything booked yet?

Like flights? If so actual dates, please and which airport arrival and departure.

Next, have you sorted out you rental car?

Do you have any lodging reservations whatsoever in place? Given your question, this seems unlikely.

Now to your actual question:

In one day you plan to visit Antelope Canyon (do you have a tour reservation for this yet? They book up early and may sell out for the more popular and more convenient time slots, and you can only visit by guided tour - you have a choice of Upper or Lower and a few different operators of the tours), then drive to Horseshoe Bend, park the vehicle in a crowded parking lot (although they were enlarging it last September, that must be complete by now), do the half mile return walk, grab some photos or selfies, and then drive to the Grand Canyon, breeze through that national park and be on your way to Las Vegas, and hopefully I assume you meant before nightfall?

You do know that there can be a lot of wildlife of all sizes on those dark roads in that area, driving after dark is not recommended?

Yes, you can do it, in the sense that it's feasible But only a fool would choose to do so. After you've paid your US$35 entry to the Grand Canyon, surely you'd want to stop at some of the viewpoints and check out the views?

Because I'm concerned that much of your trip plan might be in the same vein, that's why I'm asking for more info for this trip plan. I appreciate you don't know the area, hence why I'm offering to help make the plan not just feasible, but also enjoyable, and equally importantly, suitable to what you hope this trip will achieve for you.

There are potentially many other options, but until I have enough info about the whole trip, I don't think anything I say will necessarily be relevant or suitable. As more than just this day may need adjustment.

SWT

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2. Re: Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

You should have an overnight at the Grand Canyon and probably an overnight between the Grand Canyon and San Diego.

Because of the logistics required to navigate Zion and the crowds there, you should have two nights in Springdale Utah to give you one full day. Otherwise, you will very little of the park on just a drive thru basis. You will need to make advance reservations for a tour of either Antelope Canyon, Upper or Lower.

You will need to make advance hotel reservations in Springdale, Page and at the Grand Canyon. Do not plan one just showing up and hoping to find a room at any of these destinations.

Eastbourne, United...
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3. Re: Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

If you can get overnight accommodation on Canyon Rim take it.... the views at sunset and sunrise are amazing. Be aware these rooms often book up a year in advance so if you are travelling this July you would have to be lucky with a cancellation.

Lewes, United...
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4. Re: Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

FYI, in terms of distance. The drive from Page, AZ to (just for argument's sake, Williams, AZ - not a stop I'd actually recommend) is approx 200 miles. That's would be the amount of driving you are considering doing after leaving Page, after completing about a half day's worth of activities.

Without knowing what your plans are for the day before your Grand Canyon visit, it's impossible to know if moving Page activities a day forward is viable or makes any sense. You say you are coming from Zion NP, and that's another awesome destination that short changing would be a crying shame.

Oh, you know all these places will be searingly hot in July?

SWT

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5. Re: Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

Thanks for the quick replies!

I'll be travelling from Ireland on July 8th, first leg of the trip is san fran, lake tahoe and yosemite and all is well planned and spaced out with accommodation booked. The middle leg is traveling from Mammoth lakes to Bishop and onto Vegas (arriving in vegas around the 18th) which we then want to use as a base to travel to GC, Zion NP and then anything else we have time for (i.e. my original post), and the next leg will be to loop back through Vegas before continuing on to San Diego, West coastal road and back to San Francisco. The trip will be 3.5 weeks in total.

The only accommodation booked with regards to the grand canyon etc is in Page for one night (can be extended) having visited Zion NP for a day. My plans after this aren't yet clear, so any further advice would be great!

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6. Re: Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

Flights are booked in and out of San Fran so its a round trip, and no rental car has been sorted yet but will be in the coming days

Salt Lake City, Utah
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7. Re: Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

It isn’t clear to me if you plan on using Las Vegas as a base to visit Zion and the Grand Canyon. That won’t work, at all. I hope you are planning on doing this leg as a loop out of Las Vegas with the number of nights needed as stats inmy post #2. Trying to do this leg any other way will mean the majority of your time will be spent in the car driving from place to place.

To be clear, here’s an itinerary out of Las Vegas.

Day 1: Las Vegas to South Rim Grand Canyon. 4.5 hour drive. Overnight

Day 2. Grand Canyon to Page AZ with stop at Horseshoe Bend. 3 hour drive with 1.5 hours for Horseshoe Bend. Overnight

Day 3. Early AM Antelope Canyon tour. Allow 2 to 2.5 hours for Antelope Canyon tour. Drive to Springdale Utah. 3.5 hours. Overnight

Day 4. Zion

Day 5: Zion AM. Return to Las Vegas PM. 3 hour drive. Gain an hour entering Nevada

Bryce Canyon is usually combined with a visit to Zion NP. You would go there between Page and Zion and need an overnight.

I routed the trip by going to the Grand Canyon first because it gets the long drive out of the way at the beginning of this leg and brings you into Zion thru the iconic east entrance. But the route can also be done in reverse.

The key to whether you can even do this portion of your trip will be getting advance hotel reservations. Don’t leave Ireland with out having that sorted out. You must have a firm plan in place

Lewes, United...
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8. Re: Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

Please really read our responses, and provide a more detailed response.

It looks to me like you could really do with a ton of help, but unless you are forthcoming with info, nobody here will be in a position to offer practical help, simply random options, none of which may actual work or suit you.

Plus, unless you have endless funds, get your rental car sorted ASAP as well! We can help with that, too, but need far, far more info.

SWT

Edited: 12 June 2018, 01:26
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9. Re: Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

Second, you say 'in July'. This July? --- yes, this July

Like flights? If so actual dates -- San Fran arriving 8th July departing 4th of August

Next, have you sorted out you rental car? --- In the process, have to provide credit card

Do you have any lodging reservations whatsoever in place? Given your question, this seems unlikely. --- Yes I have accommodation booked up until I leave Yosemite on 16th July, nothing booked after that but was planning to spend from 17th of July till the 22nd seeing vegas/grand canyon/zion, seeing anything else in this time would be a bonus.

I'd ideally like to be driving to San diego on the 23rd to complete the final leg of the trip.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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10. Re: Best way to visit Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Antelope Canyon

Thank you for the bit more clarification. If you having nothing booked from July 17 thru 22 and you want to go to the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Zion, etc., you are probably going to have a challenge in getting hotel reservations.

So to put dates to the itinerary I listed in my post #7...

July 17: Las Vegas to South Rim Grand Canyon. 4.5 hour drive. Overnight

July 18. Grand Canyon to Page AZ with stop at Horseshoe Bend. 3 hour drive with 1.5 hours for Horseshoe Bend. Overnight

July 19. Early AM Antelope Canyon tour. Allow 2 to 2.5 hours for Antelope Canyon tour. Drive to Springdale Utah. 3.5 hours. Overnight

July 20. Zion

July 21: Zion AM. Return to Las Vegas PM. 3 hour drive. Gain an hour entering Nevada

If you have an extra day, go to Bryce Canyon between Page and Zion.

You want to stay as close to the national parks as possible. For the Grand Canyon, that means one of the 6 lodges inside the park or in the nearby town of Tusayan, not in Williams or Flagstaff. Use these websites for booking in park lodging.

https://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/

https://www.visitgrandcanyon.com/

Page has a good inventory of hotels. Use TripAdvisor to listings and reviews, then book directly with the hotel.

For Bryce, try to get a room at the Best Western Ruby's Inn complex.

For Zion, you want to stay in the town of Springdale, Utah which is literally at the park entrance. As a last resort, look in Hurricane or LaVerkin, Utah.

Get to work NOW on getting these hotels booked. Also book your Antelope Canyon tour NOW.

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