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Late-June hiking trip itinerary... Zion and Bryce

Spartanburg, South...
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Late-June hiking trip itinerary... Zion and Bryce

My husband and I (in our late-twenties) are planning our annual hiking vacation, this year to Zion and Bryce at the end of June. My husband can hike forever, and while I can't go quite as forever as him, I am geared up to do a few strenuous hikes as well. We're "no frills" people, more into adventure than luxury. Our vacation philosophy is to go, go, go and to see as much as we can, although we're flexible enough to rearrange if we've gotten in over our heads.

Thought I'd run our tentative itinerary by this group of experts to see if there's anything we're missing, tips that we should know, etc... I'll double-post in the Bryce forum just to see if there's additional perspectives over there.

Saturday June 22

Arriving at LAS at 11am. Heading towards Zion National Park. We're staying at the Canyon Ranch Motel in Springdale for our four nights at Zion. Will probably head to the Visitor's Center to get the lay of the land and depending on timing, take the Watchman Trail... heard it was good in the evening.

Sunday June 23

Hike to Observation Point.

Any "can't miss" suggestions for the late afternoons/evenings after we hike all morning?

Monday June 24

Hike up the Narrows until the turnaround point. We'll plan to rent the footgear from Zion Adventures.

Tuesday June 25

Hike to Angel's Landing.

Wednesday June 26

We'll be driving to Bryce on this day.

Looking for something lower-key (not strenuous hiking!) in either Zion or Bryce to catch a little rest this day. I've thought about an ATV tour, tubing down the Virgin River, doing the quick hike at Canyon Overlook... any other ideas or specific companies to look into???

We're staying at the Bryce Canyon Inn in Tropic for our three nights at Bryce.

Thursday June 27

Haven't totally decided on hike(s) in Bryce yet... looking at Fairyland Loop, Sunset Loop and/or Navajo Loop.

Friday June 28

Depending on how our legs are feeling, either continue hiking in Bryce (see above) or take a scenic drive to Kodachrome Basin State Park or Grand Staircase National Monument.

Saturday June 29

Packing up and heading back to Las Vegas to catch our 5:30pm flight.

Thanks so much for all of your feedback!

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Late-June hiking trip itinerary... Zion and Bryce

Hi JayJay.

Sounds like you have a great itinerary if doing all the major Zion hikes aren't too much for you.

Saturday - Indeed, doing the Watchman in the evening is recommended.

Sunday - Hard to say how much energy you'll have after Observation. You might just want to stroll around Springdale after a rest, or perhaps do the steep but very short Weeping Rock hike and just take photo ops of the Great White Throne (Big Bend shuttle stop), Court of the Patriarchs, and/or the Temples behind the Museum.

General note - I see you're skipping the Emerald Pools. I would recommend the hike if you could possibly fit it in and find the energy. The scramble to the Upper Pool is worth it.

Wednesday - My advice is do the Canyon Overlook Trail and photo op of the Checkerboard Mesa on your way out of Zion, stopping at pullovers to look back down Canyon. Before you get to Bryce, you will hit a place called Red Canyon in Dixie National Forest. I would advise stopping at the Visitor Center and doing the Pink Ledges trail (all of which takes about an hour). This is a great introduction to the areas' famous hoodoos just before your arrival at Bryce.

Thursday - Bryce's signature hike is the Navajo/Queen's Garden loop, so I'd be certain to do that. Also, you might be a bit burt out by all those major Zion hikes, and Navajo/Queen's is the easiest below rim hike in Bryce. If you want to do more after Navajo/Queens, you can always walk the rim for a while.

Friday - I would drop Kodachrome and Grand Staircase and instead start the day by driving to do the easy Bristlecone Loop trail, with nice rim and forest scenery and a close up look at the famous Bristlecone Pines. Then, stop at all of Bryce's famous overlooks in a leisurely drive back on the Scenic Drive. You should have time for the Visitor's Center and a quick run out the park entrance to walk around the Mossy Cave area before evening and dinner.

Note: you might want to do the drive on Thursday and hike on your final day instead if you live near sea level and are not acclimated to the altitude.

Hope that helps. Have fun!

Edited: 21 May 2013, 21:20
Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: Late-June hiking trip itinerary... Zion and Bryce

Answered in the Bryce forum, but here it is again:

Hi JayJayBee... looks like a good plan.

Just double check weather... if it looks like it will turn against you for the Narrows hike then do it the day that looks the best.

I have a feeling Angel's Landing will not take you all day. If you feel like you can take another hike at that point then from Scout's Landing head on up the West Rim Trail. You get some great views of the upper canyon. Otherwise that day may be a good day to try the tubing on the Virgin. Or maybe even better to switch things up would be to rent bikes. You could ride them both directions up the main Zions canyon, or you could put them on the shuttle, ride it to the end of the road and then bike back to town (fairly level and mostly downhill). It would be a great way to experience the canyon without the crowds and the interference of the shuttle in the enjoyment of the canyon. (You do have to come to a complete stop when the shuttles pass)

Definitely do the Canyon Overlook trail on the way out to Bryce. You might enjoy stopping in Orderville at the rock shops there. There is a zipline just outside Glendale at Mystic River you might enjoy: mysticriveroutdooradventures.com/zip_line.ht…

Best hike at Bryce imo is the Navajo to Queen's Garden loop. You can make it more challenging by adding on the Peekaboo loop.

If you want more then try the Fairyland loop. But you might enjoy a taste of the Grand Staircase. Lots of choices if you aren't worried about taking the car down a dirt road. They are maintained and should be fine in June as long as it hasn't rained. Check at the Cannonville visitor center for the latest info on road conditions. Grosvenor arch, Willis Creek Slot, or Cottonwood Narrows would be some places to enjoy. You might be able to do them all in one day from Tropic. ( I think that is what we are going to try to do this weekend actually).

Kipling. SK
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3. Re: Late-June hiking trip itinerary... Zion and Bryce

With multiple days in Zion, I will agree to keep an eye on the weather, during and preceding your planned narrows excursion. Plan to hike the river when the weather has been and will be clear.

You may have Angel's landing and Observation point mixed up. OP is a longer and more strenuous hike. I can recommend doing this hike on your first long day when you are the most rested up. You can make a full day of this hike, as there are plenty of options to the East Rim trail, including the obvious OP spur, as well as Hidden Canyon or East Mesa. Also note you do have the option of hiring a shuttle that can drop you off at either east rim trailhead, or east mesa trailhead, so that you do not have to start and end your hike from Weeping Rock.

Kbec has a good list of options for how to fill your day after the AL hike, which you should plan for early morning or late afternoon(to beat the crowds, and heat). On this day you can also consider an excursion to the Kolob sections, either Kolob Terrace road (scenic drive and some trail options) or Kolob Canyons(North on the I-15)

ATV tours are best in Bryce Country on the plateau. Look for ATV tours/rentals from Rubys Inn and Bryce Wildlife Adventures.

As for a day trip out on SR 12 to the east of Bryce, there has been several ideas presented. Make sure to ask questions if you need further clarification.

Kipling. SK
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4. Re: Late-June hiking trip itinerary... Zion and Bryce

www.zionnational-park.com

www.citrusmilo.com

www.zionpark.com

these are three good area info and hiking guides

Newark, Delaware
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5. Re: Late-June hiking trip itinerary... Zion and Bryce

If you wanted to skip some uphill to save your legs a bit, you could take the shuttle and hike down from OP. Or that way you could do hidden canyon without overexerting yourself as much

6. Re: Late-June hiking trip itinerary... Zion and Bryce

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