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first trip to zion help needed

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first trip to zion help needed

We are planing our first trip and need as much help as posible,we are from the UK.

We plan to leave Vegas 6th March and have 11 nights travelling around and end up back in Vegas 17th March,We would like to do the following but are not sure which way round to do it

Zion National Park + Stay in Springdale 3/4 nights

Bryce Canyon

Grand Canyon,Stay at Bright Angel Lodge 2 nights,then stay in williams for 2/3 nights also visit Sedona

any other places you can suggest and routes

Cheers

Tony&Ann

tampa
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1. Re: first trip to zion help needed

I just pretty much made the same trip a couple weeks ago. Started in Vegas for the shows. Then we headed across the Hoover Dam down to Sedona. Sedona is beautiful and you should probably spend the 2 nights you put aside for Williams in Sedona.

Most people that stay in Williams do so for the Grand Canyon but since you are already at Bright Angel for 2 nights I'm not sure why you would want to stay in Williams. Williams is probably only an hour and a half from Sedona with the last 28 miles into Sedona very scenic.

From Sedona it was up to the GC. We stayed one night on the South Rim just outside the park entrance. The GC is majestic and a natural wonder and since you have multiple days you can get down in the canyon. From the GC we drove up through the Navajo land through Page and over the Glen Canyon Dam to Zion. We came in off the road through Kanab and turned at Mt.Carmel Junction. Once you pass the buffalo herd at the Zion Mountain resort and enter the park, WOW. From Checkerboard Mesa on in and thru the tunnels it is gorgeous. A bit of heaven on earth. In March you won't deal with crowds either. It was an easy day drive with great scenery from the GC.

Zion was the highlight of my trip and Springdale is a very nice beautiful town at the entrance to Zion. From Zion you can go to Bryce in about 2 hours. Bryce is better IMO from the hiking trails than from the road. At higher elevation you may be in for quite deep snow at Bryce in March. On the same day I was in Bryce and Zion, Bryce was about 20 degrees colder than Zion and also snow covered due to higher elevations. At Rainbow point, the highest point in Bryce, the snow was knee high in drifts and more than 3-4 feet deep where the plows had been. From Zion it is about a 3 hour drive back to Vegas. You have plenty of time to make the Grand circle with ample time to enjoy. I would recommend the Desert Pearl in Zion, but to tell the truth, most of the hotels in Springdale looked pretty nice. Much nicer than the hotels outside Bryce with many more dining options. Most of Bryce was shut down for the winter. While many places were shut down for winter in Zion as well, there were still enough open restaurants for a bit of variety.

Enjoy your trip, you will be covering some pretty incredible areas. From all the pre-trip research I did, the pictures did not do justice to any of the locations.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: first trip to zion help needed

malapraxis, I was glad to read you say that "zion was the highlight of my trip" considering you also saw Sedona,, Grand Canyon and Bryce that is quite a statement.

Tonythetank,,,I don't think it will matter too much which direction you go. I might just start with Grand Canyon/ Sedona, just in the off chance that it would snow on the northern end of the loop. By the middle of March you would have far less chance of that happening than at the beginning,,,,though anything is possible.

How much time you spend at each place will depend on how much you want to hike. I was in Bryce and Zions last year in March but with my mother so didn't hike at all. I think most of the snow was gone in Bryce and any of the trails would have been open. I have hiked Angels Landing (Zions) in March before and done just fine.

If you like to hike then 3 days in Zion and 1 or 2 in Bryce. At Grand Canyon I'd suggest a trip down South Kaibab trail to the Ooh-Aah viewpoint, it has the best views and wouldn't be nearly as hot in March, great time to walk that trail.

I agree, not sure why you would stay in Williams ---was Bright angel not available your whole expected stay?

You might could use one of your days and drive over to Monument Valley. It would be lots of miles,,,and I'm not saying it would be worth it, but some might.

Tour the Glen Canyon Dam near Page, stop for the overlook view at Horseshoe bend near there. You might also enjoy Coral Pink Sand dunes just west of Kanab, or stop at Pipe Spring NM for a quick look at how life was 100 years ago (though that is on the wrong road for Zions east entrance which you really should see).

tampa
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3. Re: first trip to zion help needed

Kb,

I guess every place can hit a chord with each individual. There was something about Zion that really struck me. It really felt like I stepped into Shangri la or a slice of heaven on earth. The majestic sheer rock wall cliffs with the mule deer foraging for grasses on the canyon floor by the crystal clear virgin river was very peaceful. It hit home for me.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: first trip to zion help needed

malapraxis, "Zion" can mean sanctuary. The park has always been this for me. A place of refuge and peace. I'm glad you were able to experience it that way as well.

Atlanta
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5. Re: first trip to zion help needed

I will give a differring viewpoint on Zion. The last 2 years I've been to several parks out west including the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Bryce, Yosemite, Sequoia, Sedona area etc etc and I'd have to say Zion was probably my least favorite. Thats not to say I didnt like it, but its definitely at the bottom of my list. Then again I only did 3 hikes...a few miles up past Scouts Rest, another to the Emerald Pools, and up The Narrows about 4-5 miles. It just didnt give me that "wow" factor that every other park out west gave me. That plus it felt like an amusement park with all the people stuffed into a relatively small area. But I'm guessing you wont have to worry about all the people in March, then on the other hand you wont get to hike the Narrows either.

I guess why I commented would be to suggest you not spend 4 nights in Springdale, but maybe spend only 2 nights and spend an extra day in Sedona, the Grand Canyon area, or drive further east of Bryce towards Escalante, UT or a combination there of.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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6. Re: first trip to zion help needed

Dude, your experiences are appreciated. There was another poster not too long ago who expressed the same experience. March and July are two different experiences for sure.

Michigan
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7. Re: first trip to zion help needed

Dude,

Just curious about your post on Zion being your least favorite.

Taking out the crowd factor would you mind comparing your other choices to Zion one by one?

Your post really interests us for the following reason.....I have only been to 3 parks in my life in this order...Red Rock Canyon, Valley Of Fire, and Zion. (each one being on seporate trips to Vegas). Just when I thought Red Rock could not be topped then we saw a year later VOF, and then another year later Zion (being the best).

Are you suggesting (in your own opinion) that this trend has a chance to continue?? For our 2008 Vegas Trip next November we have yet to decide where to get away for a whole day (not longer). Our choices would be DEath Valley, Mt Charleston,Bryce, or the Grand Canyon. We arnt big hikers , we just like to take videos and pics for the most part. Grand Canyon would be the least favorite choice (saw a big hole in the ground on one of the Zion hikes), however Death Valley interests us because it is rated so highly and yet we only think of it as a desert sandbox in our minds. How does a "sandbox" top a Zion?

If it wasnt for all the other choices we would go to Zion every year, and I still may make a special trip back exclusively to finish all the hikes we missed and didnt complete.

regards,

joncor

Atlanta
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8. Re: first trip to zion help needed

Instead of listing every national park I've been to and give an explanation individually, I can group them together and give you my reasons that way:

White Sands, Mojave Desert, Death Valley, Guadalupe Nat Park, Ft Bowie, -- Deserts seem to actually be some of my favorite places to go...they are so different from where I'm from. There are a lot of different plants in the Mojave and Ft Bowie had a lot of historical significance so deserts arent always a big sandbox. All that and its just so wide open and absolute silence can be experienced (Absolutely no sound at all at White Sands on the trail). For whatever reason I find it quite enjoyable. I want to go back to Death Valley and actually do some hiking when it isnt so hot.

Sequoia and Yosemite---A lifetime of hiking opportunities...The views cant be beat in Yosemite. I hiked to Cathedral Lakes...its a very peacefull and scenic place. Probably going back to Yosemite this summer.

Chiricahua and Bryce---After visiting Chiricahua in Arizona I discovered I have a thing for weird looking rock formations...Bryce offered some of the best photo opportunites on either trip.

Carlsbad Caverns---First time I'd ever been in a cave...I didnt expect it to be that big inside with so much to see!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park--You'd know what I was talking about if you'd been there in the Fall during peak leaf season.

Sedona---

A little bit of something for everybody...and Sedona is a nice city without going over the edge in being touristy or trashy.

Grand Canyon---I hiked to the bottom and back up in one day which was an experience on many different levels....mentally and physically.

Escalante River---This was more enjoyable then hiking up the Narrows...saw one person all day hiking down and back up the river...started at 9AM finished at 7PM. Great canyon scenery...cant wait to get back to this area either.

Zion---Like I mentioned before, the Narrows were the best part. I didnt find the views all that stunning...maybe there are some other more scenic areas that I need to try. But to be honest at this point I dont see a need for me to return here. Different strokes for different folks!

Atlanta
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9. Re: first trip to zion help needed

Also I forgot to add...orignially I'm from the midwest as well. I think since everything looks the same there once you get out west, yes, initially each new place you visit seems to almost be better then the last. Once you've seen a few places then I think you are able to compare and contrast them and find your likes and dislikes.

Michigan
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10. Re: first trip to zion help needed

dude,

thank you for your perspective of places.

regards,

jonccor

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