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Zion/Bryce Trip Report September 2017

Madison, Wisconsin
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42 posts
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Zion/Bryce Trip Report September 2017

We just got back from an amazing trip to Zion and Bryce National Parks! Can't wait to go back and explore more of Utah. We traveled for seven days, Tuesday to Tuesday. Thanks to all the experts who helped us plan this trip. Hope this trip report helps others in their planning.

Day 1

Flew into Vegas and got in around 4pm. Took a lyft (cheaper than uber in Vegas) to our reservation at the Flamingo (great hotel; affordable and nice rooms). We've never done Vegas before so we did some touristy things. Promptly headed to Margaritaville for their 5 cent beers from 5-6, ate dinner at in-n-out, and walked the strip and enjoyed the fountain show.

Day 2

Woke up early, picked up our rental from Herz, and drove ~2 hours to Zion. We checked in the Watchman campground inside the park (we made these reservations 6 months in advance as the park is extremely busy). Took the shuttle bus (so easy to use!) into the park and did the Emerald Pools Hike and then got ice cream at Zion Lodge.

Day 3

We had lots of rain this morning but didn't let it keep us from enjoying the park we hiked to the weeping rock and enjoyed the shuttle ride; there were lots of waterfalls that showed up! Later on in the day, we walked the river walk. The rest of the day we shopped around Springdale and got dinner at the brewery right next to the park. That night, we went to a ranger program about the park's wildlife.

Day 4

Took the first shuttle to hike Angel's Landing. Amazing hike with sweeping views, but not for those who are afraid of heights! Took us about 4 hours to complete the hike. I would HIGHLY recommend starting this hike as early as possible as it gets packed. In the afternoon we did the Canyon Overlook Trail which provides views like Angel's Landing, but only a mile round trip! We also saw big horn sheep on this trail. We also checked out our hiking gear for The Narrows from Zion Outfitters.

Day 5

Took the first shuttle to hike The Narrows. Favorite hike in the park by far! We rented shoes and walking sticks from Zion Outfitters (right outside the park) and can't recommend them enough! Very reasonably priced and made the hike very enjoyable. I would not do this hike without the proper footwear. The Narrows were amazing! We hiked about halfway through the "wall street" area which took us about 2.5 hours. Again, don't wait until the afternoon to do this hike, do it right away in the morning. We were lucky enough to have the canyon to ourselves!

After the hike we headed out to Bryce Canyon. On the way out we saw the shuttle line and it was scary long! Again, get up early to take the shuttle for the best experience! Once we got to Bryce, we checked in at the Sunset campground, walked around sunset point and did the Navajo Trail which has great views of the valley and gets you up and close to the hoodoos. At night, we went to a lovely night time program focused on saturn and star gazing! They even had four telescopes for us to view saturn and other stars.

Day 6

We woke up early this morning to do the longest hike in the park, Fairyland Loop. The trail itself is pretty moderate, but not with the elevation gain! Beautiful dramatic and whimsical views, but we were definitely huffing and puffing! Another benefit of this hike is that it is much less busy than other areas of the park. That night, we went to Bryce Point to enjoy the sunset and boy was it beautiful!

Day 7

Woke up early and did the scenic drive to Rainbow Point and pulled out at all the viewpoints. After that, we drove back to Vegas to do a few more touristy things and return our rental. We got "New York style" pizza at New York New York where they have a deal for a slice of pizza and a beer for $8, pretty good deal! We stayed the night at the Linq.

Day 8

Fly home

I can't talk enough about how much we loved our trip to Utah! If you get anything from this post, let it be that the early bird really does get the worm! Wake up early and enjoy having the park to yourself!

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1 reply
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: Zion/Bryce Trip Report September 2017

Thanks for the TR. You had a good trip because you planned well in advance and you didn't rush. Well done.

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