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LV to Bryce, Moab, Page, Zion and back to LV - thoughts?

London
Level Contributor
2 posts
3 reviews
LV to Bryce, Moab, Page, Zion and back to LV - thoughts?

Hi all - we're planning a family tour of southern Utah, northern Arizona with the current itinerary of:

Day 1 - Arrive Las Vegas from London

Day 2 - Las Vegas - Hoover Dam

Day 3 - Drive to Bryce stopping off at Cedar Breaks for lunch

Day 4 - Bryce

Day 5 - Bryce

Day 6 - Drive to Moab - visiting Goblin State NP on the way

Day 7 - Moab - visit Arches NP

Day 8 - Moab - visit Canyonlands NP

Day 9 - Drive to Page visiting Monument Valley on the way

Day 10 - Page - visit Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon (upper)

Day 11 - Page - rafting/slot canyon tour

Day 12 - Drive to Zion - visiting Coyote Buttes/the Wave on the way

Day 13 - Zion - Angels Landing, the Narrows etc.

Day 14 - Zion - the Subway

Day 15 - back to LV for flight home

Its a long drive, but we did a similar tour of California (Yosemite, Tahoe, DV, Joshua Tree etc.) this year and enjoyed it a lot.

If anybody has done a similar tour and thinks there are problems with this itinerary I'd be interested in hearing from you.

Specifically, we decided to miss out the day trip to GC north rim as most reports think its a long way and there are better things to see elsewhere in the vicinity - really?

Also - we are visiting in the first half of April - any road or park closures I need to be aware of? Will there still be snow at that elevation? Will I need an AWD like we hired in California last April?

Likewise if you have hotel suggestions (I like to be close to the main attractions).

Thanks

Ohio, USA
Destination Expert
for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
Level Contributor
7,743 posts
455 reviews
1. Re: LV to Bryce, Moab, Page, Zion and back to LV - thoughts?

Not a bad looking plan. I do have a few suggestions for you.

First of all, check out this link:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28965-c177493/Utah:U…

It is a travel article on touring the Grand Circle and has a lot of good information for planning a trip such as yours. The article is a primer for this type of trip and has suggestions on loding, dining, routes, things to do, etc. Also check out the Top Questions in the UT forum; the first item in particular is "How can I see all the parks in southern UT?" and it has maps and suggetions for itineraries. The big loop from Las Vegas is very close to what you have planned.

Early April can be a mixed bag in terms of weather. It will certainly be cooler (perhaps even cold) at the higher elevations, like Bryce Canyon or the North Rim (if you do end up going there). Plan on dressing in layers so that you can adjust as needed throughout the day.

OK, as for the itinerary, again it is a very good starting point. My suggestions are:

Day 2: Skip the day trip to Hoover Dam and head into Utah. You can see the just as impressive Glen Canyon Dam while in Page (GC Dam is less crowded and less expensive to tour), or you might consider a reroute to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon after Page, so you could see Hoover Dam on the return trip. Either way, I think the day trip to Hoover Dam is not the best use of your time.

I would trim back a day at Bryce Canyon. It is a beautiful park, but can be covered easily in one day. I suggest after two nights at BC that you head up scenid route 12, and take your time to enjoy the drive, and stay the night in Torrey. Next day, you can take a little time for Capitol Reef and Goblin Valley on the way to Moab.

Time time in Moab and Page looks good. If you can spare the time, a night at Monument Valley would be good. This would give you an opportunity for sunset and sunrise, and maybe time to include a back country tour. It also looks like you have a good amount of time set aside for Zion.

Now, how to get the Grand Canyon into the mix. It is call the GRAND Canyon for a reason? I would certainly try to fit in at least a night on the way from Page to Zion. However, there is another route that you could take. How about moving Zion to the front of the plan and adding the South Rim at the end, so your route would be: LV - Zion - Bryce - Torry - Moab - Monument Valley - Page - South Rim of the Grand Canyon - LV. or the day-by-day:

day 1 - arrive LV

Day 2 - Head to Zion

Day 3 and 4 - Zion

Day 5 - up to BC for the night

Day 6 - head to Torrey via route 12

Day 7 - Onward to Moab with stops at Capitol Reef and Goblin Valley

Day 8 and 9 - Moab, Arches, Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point

Day 10 - Explore your way to Monument Valley for the night

Day 11 - MV in the AM, then over to Page

Days 12 and 13 - Page

Day 14 - To the South Rim of the GC

Day 15 - back to LV for the flight home

That might work for you as well.

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
Level Contributor
19,481 posts
16 reviews
2. Re: LV to Bryce, Moab, Page, Zion and back to LV - thoughts?

The north rim of the GC does not open until May 15, so that won't come into play.

Depending when the spring runoff starts, the Narrows and the Subway will be a wait and see thing.You may be able to do them, or not.

Cedar Breaks usually opens in late May.

Edited: 17 September 2012, 05:44
Ohio, USA
Destination Expert
for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
Level Contributor
7,743 posts
455 reviews
3. Re: LV to Bryce, Moab, Page, Zion and back to LV - thoughts?

dez: Good catch on the opening dates for Cedar Breaks and North Rim.

Kipling. SK
Level Contributor
7,052 posts
132 reviews
4. Re: LV to Bryce, Moab, Page, Zion and back to LV - thoughts?

On day 3 you can have lunch at Red canyon, and hike a couple of trails.No idea when in April the visitor center there opens. They do not have SR148 to Cedar Breaks open when you are visiting. The monument is open for winter activities, but you would have to come from the north i believe.

At Bryce for day two you could at least plan some activities along SR12 East of the park. The trails will likely be muddy and icy in spots. Do expect some of the area businesses/activities to be closed. Stay at one of the two Best Westerns.

I think it would be correct to say that the roads at Coyote Buttes/Wave might not be in the best condition. Inquire about that separately(form another thread) especially as it relates to your vehicle choice The wave or a part of it is regulated by a permit system, but you probably are familiar with that.

At Zion, I would have a plan that does not include the river based hikes. The runoff will likely have the Narrows closed. Likewise the snow/ice/runoff would likely make the Subway miserable You can keep tabs on the conditions closer to your travel dates. The subway would require a permit, inquire at the wilderness desk for conditions.Stay in Springdale for Zion.

London
Level Contributor
2 posts
3 reviews
5. Re: LV to Bryce, Moab, Page, Zion and back to LV - thoughts?

Ohio, Dez, Widmarsh

Thanks for all your comments and insights.

This is the only time we can do the trip so your advice is useful in planning our activities.

You think an AWD could be required? We hired one for Yosemite in April this year and it was useful to have. I don't mind the cost if it cuts down on the risk of missing something or being caught out in cold conditions.

Thanks again.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
67,735 posts
250 reviews
6. Re: LV to Bryce, Moab, Page, Zion and back to LV - thoughts?

AWD is not a must. A high clearance vehicle might increase the chances of driving the loop at Monument Valley on your own, but I recommend a back country guided tour there anyway.

Coyote Buttes and The Wave are not a drive by. If you can get a permit for the hike, you'll need to dedicate a day for the adventure. And you'll need a high clearance vehicle there for sure. But absent a permit, enjoy other BLM lands instead.

7. Re: LV to Bryce, Moab, Page, Zion and back to LV - thoughts?

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