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last minute very short trip. seeking advice.

Scottsdale, AZ
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last minute very short trip. seeking advice.

Decided to go to Zion tomorrow for a last minute long weekend getaway. We'll be driving from Phoenix and should arrive around 4:00 p.m. and are staying at Driftwood Lodge in Springdale. We will have the evening to explore a bit and then all day Saturday, leaving Saturday evening for Page.

I am recovering from some health issues so am not able to do any strenuous hiking. I realize this trip will only give me a taste of Zion and I'll have to plan another trip to really explore. But am excited to get out of the house, take a little road trip and see some scenery. Given my timeframe and health circumstances how do you recommend we best see Zion. Can we just ride around on the shuttle on Saturday to some overlooks or can we do a scenic drive? Is it possible to see any waterfalls without doing a major hike? Emerald Pools Trail perhaps (is this an easy hike)? Or are waterfalls even running this time of year?

And lastly, since I'm not able to do any real hiking do you think we would have time to see Zion on Friday evening/Saturday morning then head to Bryce in the afternoon, spend late afternoon/evening there and head to Page that night.

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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1. Re: last minute very short trip. seeking advice.

If you are coming into Zion via route 9 from the east, be sure to stop at Canyon Overlook just before the Zion tunnel.Its about 1 mile r/t and a great introduction to the park.

You could just walk on the flat paved Pa Rus trail during sunset, The canyon is pretty open at that point and you will see some nice colors on the canyon walls as the light changes.

For a nice dinner Parallel 88 is in the same complex as the Driftwood.

The next day you can take the shuttle into the park. Head to the end to Temple of Sinawava then walk the Riverside trail to the start of the Narrows. The Narrows is a great hike up the river, but if you are not up to it , just check it out from the end of the Riverside trail.

On the way back you can see the other stops like Big Bend, Weeping Rock.

You won't be seeing many waterfalls right now, unless there is a thunderstorm, then the whole canyon turns into waterfalls.

Emerald Pools is a fairly easy trail,you might see a little water coming off the cliff at lower emerald.

With no hiking, you could head to Bryce that afternoon, then see sunset and move onto Page, but that will be five hours of driving,Two hours to Bryce, three to Page. Ideally you would spend the night at Bryce, then get up early for sunrise, then head to Page. There are lots of deers on that route. If you drive at night, you need to be careful.

Chapel Hill, North...
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2. Re: last minute very short trip. seeking advice.

Definitely do the Riverside trail in Zion. It's paved and pretty level, so wheelchair friendly if need be. The Zion visitor's center is also really nice.

Dez, if she can't do hiking, not sure about Canyon Overlook.

Bryce is pretty non-hiker friendly. You're at the top of the canyon looking down vs in the canyon in Zion looking up, so the overlooks in Bryce look out over the amphitheater of hoodoos. If you're up for a walk (not hike) you could do part of the rim walk near Sunset or Sunrise points.

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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3. Re: last minute very short trip. seeking advice.

Thanks Pancho for catching that about Canyon Overlook. I was thinking ahead of myself! I guess she could check it out and see how it goes.No harm in turning around if she is not up to doing that.

Kipling. SK
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4. Re: last minute very short trip. seeking advice.

Another poster just said recently that there was still water trickling at the end of lower Emerald. Might want to try that first.

Do take advantage of the shuttle stops, take a short walk at the Temple of Sinawava, as said. Get off at the grotto and take the trail to the lodge. Take a short stroll around the campgrounds. Not sure how pine creek is running right now along hwy 9. I always felt it was soothing.

Fremont, CA
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5. Re: last minute very short trip. seeking advice.

For the first day evening, I would suggest the scenic drive in the Kolob Terrace Road. I wouldn't suggest to cover Bryce in the time you have.

Scottsdale, AZ
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6. Re: last minute very short trip. seeking advice.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Zion was more beautiful than I imagined and we were blessed with perfect weather. On our drive in from the Kanab side we saw two big horn sheep right along side the road and were able to stop and get some great photos of them. Then further along our drive into Zion we saw a group of deer (one doe and two bucks). It was really great sightseeing. Once at our hotel we just relaxed on the beautiful patio, cracked open a couple beers and walked along the river behind the property. There was some rain that night so took y'alls advise and the next morning hopped on the shuttle to Lower Emerald Pools. This hike was the perfect amount of exertion for me and the water was flowing off three different parts of the cliff. Really really beautiful. We then continued on the shuttle to the end of the route, did part of the riverside walk and decided if we left then we could still visit Bryce. We did that and were really happy we got to see both parks even we though we had limited time at both. We now know for the future visits what to expect and I can't wait to visit Zion again when I'm fully recovered, healthy and ready to take on some of the longer hikes.

7. Re: last minute very short trip. seeking advice.

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