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Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

pgh,pa
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Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

Thanks to all from TA our recent family trip was a huge success

Flew from Pittsburgh to Las Vegas on a Wed PM, smooth process to rent a car from National and drove to Bills Gamblin Hall for the Night ( except for being noisy a great location in the middle of the strip and only 50bucks). Ate lunch at the World Carnival Buffet at Rio Hotel because I had seen it on the Travel Channel. Biggest buffet I have ever seen and the food was quite good for a buffet. Walked up and down the strip, rode roller coaster at NY,NY and Eiffel Tower at Paris, collapsed and used ear plugs to sleep.

Day2 Left LV for Bryce, was a very nice ride through Virgin River Gorge( stopped for pictures) Stopped in St George to visit Dinosaur Tracks at Johnsons Farm, we all enjoyed and was only 6.00 pp Arrived at Bryce later in day and checked in at the Best Western Grand hotel accross from Rubys Inn. Very nice new hotel with decent breakfast and nice big rooms. Very close to park entrance.

Day3 Woke up early to 27degree temps and very overcast. Went to visitor center to see exhibits and watched the 20 min video. Then drove into the park and stopped at quite a few of the observation points beautiful. Saw mule deer and a bunch of prairie dogs. In the PM rode horses at Red Rock Canyon through Rubys Inn. A very nice ride in a very beautiful setting even though the ride was in a snow/sleet/ice storm for about 30min Ate picnic lunch and drove back to the park to see more areas.Ate dinner at a small restaurant on rte 12 good pie, and to bed early

Day4 Up early and hiked Navajo/Queens Garden Loop trail into "canyon" This was a very pleasant hike but steep. From Bryce we then drove to Page Az Arrived at Page and had a tour of Upper Antelope Canyon with Chief Tsosie awesome place. Ate Mexican dinner and to bed at the Days Inn and Suites

Day5 Walked to Horseshoe Bend and after my wife fell and hit her cheek on a rock went down to the bend and spent 30min getting too close to the edge but enjoying the views ( wife was ok, put pressure on her bruise and was good to go. Since we stayed out of the ER it was a good day) We then went to the Lower Antelope Canyon. We just drove to it and paid the fee to Kens tour and our guide took us down. I must say the Lower was more fun than the upper but there are steps to take and it takes a little more effort. It was then off to the Dam Tour which from what I remembered not much different from the Hoover Dam glad we didnt spend the time at Hoover -Ate Chineese and since Page closes early, again to bed early

Day6 Today was our scheduled 5 hour kayak tour with Hidden Canyon Kayay Tour Co. They took us on a support boat to a quiet area of the Lake and we then kayaked to a slot canyon. Since the water was low we had to get out of the water and walk to the end of the slot. We ate lunch and then kayaked more. While we had a great time I think it would be even better later in the summer when the water would be higher. We had a vey good meal at Bonkers and yes, once again to bed early

Day7 From Page we drove to Zion. Since the construction had not begun we drove through the East entrance Stopped at CheckerBoard Messa and while there saw a herd of Big Horn Sheep by the road. Drove through the tunnel and the switchbacks to our hotel. After driving there I was glad the construction had not started ,would not have wanted to miss that part of Zion. We stayed at the Desert Pearl Inn for two nights and it was indeed a super place to stay. After checking in we went and hiked all three Emerald Pools. Dinner was at Oscars quite good

Day 8 This was our day to go up Angels Landing or at least past Walters? Wiggles to the lookout area. My daughter decided she had to go the rest of the way to the top, so she did. While we waited, we continued on the West Rim trail for 30 min or so. After a 2 hour wait she returned, frightened but glad she did it. Had I known someone fell to her death 3 weeks before we went Im not so sure I would have let my daughter go, even though she is 22!! Ate lunch at the lodge snack shop which was good. We then hiked the River Walk trail and Weeping Rock. We were so tired we ate sandwiches in our room. I must say Zion is a very people friendly park and the bus system is very simple to use.

Day 9 We went back into the park for some minor hiking and picture taking and then it was off to LV. We once again stayed at Bills Gambling Hall. We saw a show and walked around and gambled a little.Stayed up late this night because it was our last

Day 10 Left LV for 4PM flight home

Sorry for the length of this report, but to us everything we did was important and since so many people helped me plan this trip I wanted to share my memories with you.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

No trip report is too long. Especially when it has such good info in it.

I love to hear how it all turns out, what you end up doing and what you have to leave out.

Sounds like you got it all in. I'm glad to hear you stopped at the Johnson Farn Dinosaur museum, and glad to hear you enjoyed it.

A horse ride in the storm, that should be one you remember for awhile.:-)

Going to bed after sunset is fairly standard when you do as much outside as you do. plus that gets you up early for more great scenery.

Glad your wife wasn't seriously hurt, that wouldn't have been good.

Yes, the Hoover and Glen Canyon dams and tours are very similar. I checked once and I think Hoover was taller, but Glen Canyon was wider. Certainly the operation of any dam is very similar.

Was the kayak tour worth it or do you think a power boat to take you further would have been better?

Angel's Landing is certainly nothing to fool around on. Your dtr will remember it forever.

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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2. Re: Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

That was a nice TR,it was not too long.Sounded cold at Bryce.

Glad your wife is ok.Any trip to ER usually takes at least 4 hours.( I know from my motorcycle racing days)Takes forever.Glad you avoided that.Which trail did you do near Red Canyon?

Glad your daughter conquered Angels Landing.That trip up west rim trail is a great alternative.

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

No, not too long at all! Thanks for posting, enjoyed reading and agree with the "early to bed" thing....

Tet

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

sounds like a great trip! a few question, if you don't mind

1.How long did it take to enjoy the dinosaur tracks stop.

2.Did you do the 1 1/2 hr. ruby's ride? Was there any scary rim riding, would you recommend? Just thought if it wasn't to hairy, I could prop up my bad knee (instead of holding on for dear life).

3.I'm also curious about the kayaking, and if you think you would have enjoyed power boating more. Do you think it was the location they dropped you, the extra scrambling you didn't expect, or the outfitter that didn't make the kayaking as you had hoped?

Thanks, just 2 weeks till we leave, getting very excited!

Buenos Aires
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5. Re: Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

Thank you, Robross50, for your detailed description. I would like to add another question. When did you go, exactly? I am planning on early June in Bryce next year and was surprised to read about the horse ride in the snow.

Thanks!

Sedona, AZ
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6. Re: Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

Sounds like a late May trip. We had a last blast of winter much later than usual this year. Snow in Utah and even in Flagstaff and at the Grand canyon. It can happen, but this year was later than normal. There would be no steep cliffs or drop offs at Red Canyon like there are at Bryce. . Am I right? The big edge is at Horseshoe Bend Overlook. And no wall or rail. Always be cautious there, especially with kids.

Also curious about the kayak tour. But why would you expect higher water later in the summer? Spring melt produces the depth. As summer goes on the lake gets even lower.

Hoover Dam is indeed just a few feet higher than Glen, but Glen is wider and the amount of concrete in Glen is even more than Hoover. Both dams are equally impressive IMO.

And yeah, we go to bed early out here. partly because of the altitude and fresh air and of course all of the outdoor activities that we love so much. And when you visit from the east your body stays on your home time zone too, so if you were retiring at 8PM it was 11PM in the Eastern time zone.

pgh,pa
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7. Re: Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

The Dinosaur Track stop took about 1 hour. We then did some shopping at WalMart and ate at Red Robin for dinner. St Georg appears to be a very nice place and it was easy to get on and off of Rte 15

We did the Red Rock Canyon horseback ride which was 3 hours long. It did not go into Bryce and therefore there was no high areas. Im not sure which trail it was or which area, but there were hikers and bikers. This ride was booked at the Rubys Inn and they took us to the area in their van. There were only 6 of us but it must be popular since the cowboy said they take up to 20 at a time with 2 cowboys in the busy season

I think I left the wrong impression about the kayak tour, I looked into both a motorized and a kayak tour and we decided we wanted to paddle rather then just ride. We enjoyed the hiking part and overall we thought the trip was very enjoyable. I just think had we gone later in the year with higher water it might have been more fun. We went when it was better for us and the flip side was the crowds were not present.

pgh,pa
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8. Re: Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

Our trip was May 12th through the 21st. The cowboys at Bryce said the cold just wouldnt leave. Even though it was cold, it still was a super time to go, no crowds and it was kind of interesting to see sun on one mountain area and be in snow on another, talk about microclimates.

As to the water at Lake Powell, the owner said they were expecting more of the winter runoff to enter the lake and to raise the water level enough in a few weeks after our trip to enable further penetration into the slot canyon we entered

Buenos Aires
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9. Re: Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

Thanks for your replies! Very useful information.

Cleveland, Ohio
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10. Re: Southwest Utah Trip Report-Very Long

Great review! I enjoyed reading. Just curious, do you remember about how long it took you to drive from vegas to bryce?