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Best Route Las Vegas - Bryce Canyon - SLC Please

Newcastle, Australia
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Best Route Las Vegas - Bryce Canyon - SLC Please

Hi

We are a family of five from Australia and will be holidaying in the USA in January 2015. This is our second trip at this time of the year and drove on snowy roads and through a snow storm on our way to Colorado last time. This time we are travelling from Las Vegas via SLC on our way to Driggs for skiing. I am wondering what is the best route between these two cities to take advantage of the beautiful National Parks and Bryce Canyon - including route 12. I have two in mind - the first via Zion and up to Bryce NP and then Route 12 or go to Cedar City and then through Dixie National Forest and then on to Bryce NP. Also could this part of the drive be done in one day - we are on a schedule but would take advantage of view points and short walks on the trip.

Many thanks

D Mac

Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Best Route Las Vegas - Bryce Canyon - SLC Please

Either route would be scenic and enjoyable.

One thing to consider is that if you take hwy 9 through Zion NP you will need to pay the entrance fee of $25 for what would amount to an hour maybe of drive time. Of course during that time of year you would also be able to drive up the main canyon in Zion and take a short hike along the Riverside trail for example. If you do the main canyon I'd plan at least two hours longer for the drive to Bryce.

HIghway 14 east out of Cedar City is also a beautiful drive, you can see Zion way off on the horizon at one point. If all you want to do is drive then this would probably be your better bet. Though of course since it is over the mountains it will have a higher chance of snow accumulations and so you'd need to watch the weather more closely.

While you will not be able to see any of Bryce from the road, you will be going through the Red Canyon area which provides you with hoodoos and pink and salmon colored rocks. You could also take the short hike to Mossy Cave which is accessed off hwy 12. If you wanted to see the main amphitheater (which is fabulous) then you'll need to detour off hwy 12 and again pay the entrance fee.

When you ask about doing it in one day are you meaning from LV to SLC? The drive up I-15 without going the scenic route will be about 7 hrs. Going up hwy 12 will take more like 10 or 11 just driving. So taking any time at all to hike or detour in the short winter days will make it a very long day. And thats if you don't have a snow storm.

Tacoma, Washington
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2. Re: Best Route Las Vegas - Bryce Canyon - SLC Please

How much time are you allocating to get up to Driggs? 1 day? 2-3 days? If you are doing 2 days, if you overniht in Bryce, then the drive to Driggs will be a long drive for winter given less sunlight.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: Best Route Las Vegas - Bryce Canyon - SLC Please

Nothing against Targhee, but you could save a lot of drive time by skiing or riding in the Wasatch. Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, Park City are all within 45 minutes of SLC.

As for the drive from Vegas. It depends on your time frame. The quickest route from Vegas to SLC is about 6.5 hours. Going through Zion, Bryce, and over Byway 12 would take at least one additional day. And that is blowing through everything. But you could see some highlights. In January, there could be significant snow in higher elevations like Boulder Mountain.

I think it will really come down to how much time you have to spend on the overall holiday. If time is limited, maybe do a drive through Zion, which would take you an hour from the Interstate. You could drive through Zion Canyon and do a short hike if wanted. It would add a minimum of three hours to the drive from Vegas.

Edited: 27 April 2014, 05:35
Newcastle, Australia
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4. Re: Best Route Las Vegas - Bryce Canyon - SLC Please

Thanks so much for the information it is such a help with planning our trip. We were originally going to take two days to reach Driggs but may have to look at three to enable us to see as much as possible. Will also look at the suggested ski resorts which may also save us a bit of driving back to LA for our return flight. Thanks once again.

5. Re: Best Route Las Vegas - Bryce Canyon - SLC Please

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