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Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

Vancouver, Canada
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Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

We are doing a 2-day trip to Zion and Bryce, but have read somewhere that the one is better than the other during sunset hours and hikes ... of course cannot find where we read it now. We are planning our overnight spot, so wanted to stay close to the one with the better sunset and then move on the next day to the other. Any help?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

Who told you one was better?? They are both fabulous. The sun hitting Watchman tower in Zions turning it into a red glow is stunning.

The soft evening light deepening the shadows of the amphitheater in Bryce and highlighting each hoodoo in turn is amazing.

Any reason you wouldn't be staying at "the other" one a night as well? If you are only devoting a part of a day to them I would stay near Zions and give Bryce the shorter day.

Winston Salem...
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2. Re: Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

I like Bryce better at sunrise than sunset because the main amphitheatres face the morning sun. And I like the Kolob Canyons of Zion for sunset (but you probably hadn't intended to go there with your limited time.)

Charlotte, North...
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3. Re: Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

I was just thinking how could something say one is better than the other? Both are spectacular! Perhaps whatever you read was referring to Zion if it was talking about taking a hike at sunset. Generally at Bryce people don't hike a trail for a good view at sunset, they watch it from one of the overlooks. That's why I'd say whatever you read must have been meaning Zion.

However, I think I might do what both Cathy and KJ recommended. Either watch sunset in Zion overlooking Kolob Canyons or the Watchman and watch sunrise from Bryce Point OR watch sunset from Sunrise Point in Bryce and watch sunrise from the Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion. That's if you're looking for both sunset and sunrise. I don't see why you wouldn't be able to watch sunrise at one and sunset at the next, but I guess maybe that's just because I'm not too familiar with what your schedulue looks like.

Sean

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

Thanks for all the helpful info. I know there is too much to see for our schedule. It is just that we will leave LV early on the Tuesday morning, drive out to either Bryce or Zion first; and have one overnight only and have to be back at LV the Wednesday evening - therefore only one opportunity each at sunrise and sunset. Trying to make the most of our very limited time ... and stay somewhere where we will have quick access from our hotel to do whatever makes most sense.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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5. Re: Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

Since you only have one night make it in Springdale outside of Zions. Much better accomodations and a great sunset from almost anywhere you are.

Then your short day will be Bryce which is fine. Don't try to drive the whole length of the park, just stay by sunrise, sunset, inspiration and bryce points.

Then of course it will be a long drive back but you will have made the most of your trip.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

Excellent! That is exactly what I will do! Thanks so much for the very specific guidance, exactly what I was hoping for.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

One more question ... going from Springdale to Bryce Canyon - can you take Highway 9 through Zion during the summer months or is it only for the shuttle? What is the shortest alternative route? I would love to drive through the tunnel and have heard good things re the Mt Carmel drive too.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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8. Re: Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

Yes you can take your car on hwy 9 through the tunnels to the Mt Carmel hwy. The main canyon is a left turn off of it where you would not be able to go.

If you feel you have the time take the Canyon overlook trail (trailhead is as soon as you exit the tunnels). It is about a mile long. It is best in the morning and is a beautiful view of the main canyon from above without having to hike up the cliffside.

Roosevelt, Utah
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9. Re: Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

The tunnel drive is the best part! I just love the little shots of the canyon you get through the windows. I think driving into Zion is more beautiful than driving out (your always wanting to look over your shoulder on the way out!), so if you can, do the tunnel BOTH directions!

I, too would vote Bryce at sunrise and Zion at sunset. There is nothing more beautiful than Zion at sunset (well, maybe Arches at sunset...) :o)

Have a wonderful time in Utah!

*Pixie*

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Sunset - Zion vs Bryce?

WOWOWOWOWOW!!! Bryce was FABULOUS!!! Our first time there and we just couldn't get enough! Unfortunately we couldn't do much hiking as we had a storm coming in and warnings of flashfloods were urgently delivered. But we did manage to do Bryce Point and both Sunset and Sunrise Points - thanks so much for indicating that these are the must-see spots, we could easily and quickly get to these before we rained out. So we need to go back ... soon! A terrific place to get back to nature after spending a few days in LV.

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