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One long August day...help me plan!

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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One long August day...help me plan!

We want to drive up to Zion from Las Vegas while on a family trip next week. We will only be able to go up and back, not stay over, but are willing to make it a long day. Bringing along two sons, 16 & 19, one who is NOT a fan of heights, which rules out Angel's Landing. I might be able to get him to Scout's Lookout, but I'm going to have him watch a couple youtube videos to see. Best use of our time? All suggestions welcome!

Canada
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1. Re: One long August day...help me plan!

Aye aye aye. Vegas to Zion is about 3 hours non stop....

Assuming you're in your car by 7h00am, arriving at Zion at 10h00 and temperature are rising....

Parking-wise, by 10h00 you should still be able to find some spots. By 10h30 you're in the shuttle and by 11h00 you start hiking Scout's Lookout, which should take between 2h00 and 3h00 return pending on your speed. The thing is: Hiking to Scout's will require you guys to hike beside cliffs so I don't really know what will be the impact of those cliffs on your son.

Alternatively, Weeping rock is flat and easy but lasts about 15 minutes... so not a good use of your time.

You can use the shuttle to go have a look at the Narrows and get you feet wet for about 2 hours or so in the river bed (turning back after 1 hour). With the walk on the riverside path leading to the entrance to the Narrows, it should require about 3 hours of your time, discounting the 45 minutes or so shuttle ride from and to the park entrance. So all in all, approx 4.5 hours, lunch excluded...

Since you have a car, you can also go on the other side of the tunnel (on route 9) and have a look at Checkerboard Mesa and the other spectacular rock formations over there.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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2. Re: One long August day...help me plan!

Thanks for the thoughts! We are ready for the long drive...figure it's worth it. What about Observation Point if my son is not up to Scout's Landing?

Kipling. SK
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for Zion National Park
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3. Re: One long August day...help me plan!

Observation Point via weeping rock is a longer more strenuous path, about 5 hrs RT from the bottom. Unless you are keen on wearing out the two boys, I would concentrate on seeing the points along the main canyon/shuttle route instead, and save the longer hikes like West Rim/Angels Landing, East Rim/Observation Point, and the Narrows for another trip when you have more time.

For your trip, concentrate on the shuttle route(1.5 hrs w/o stops) and features along the way. If you still want to do some hiking, look for Lower Emerald Pools(and send the boys along the upper spur). Also look for Riverside Walk at the end of the shuttle route, which will give you some good insight of what the Narrows is like. If you still have some time, drive the very scenic SR9 route to the east entrance and back(1 hr driving time approx w/o stops) Look for the Canyon Overlook trail(1 hour RT) at the east side of the Zion Mt Carmel tunnel.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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4. Re: One long August day...help me plan!

If it were me, I'd get right on the shuttle, take it to the end (Temple of Sinawava), walk down the Riverwalk and hike the Narrows. Take a picnic lunch. Wear shoes that you don't mind getting wet and have hiking poles if possible. A dry bag for valuables, or at least a good ziplock bag, is recommended. This is a really fun hike and, to me, the best at Zion. Angel's Landing is cool, yes, and has that "I did it" factor but, imo, as great hikes go, the Narrows beats it by a mile.

If you have time afterwards, I think it's worth driving your vehicle through the park to the east entrance to the Canyon Overlook. This can be done in an hour, and you get to see the whole canyon below you. The tunnel is pretty neat to drive through.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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5. Re: One long August day...help me plan!

So 4 replies and 4 different ideas. I think in the end it wouldn't matter too much, you'll enjoy whatever you do. One of my more memorable visits was about the same amount of time.

A possible timeframe with a little bit of everything the park has to offer.

7 am leave Las Vegas... 3 hr drive with time change arrive at Zion

11 am Stop at Visitor Center, get oriented, take the shuttle drive to the main canyon getting off at the various stops and maybe get something to eat at the lodge. Eat it out front if possible. (or pick up a picnic lunch in Hurricane or Springdale and eat it in the park).

1 pm arrive at Riverside Trail and hike it to the entrance to the Narrows hike. If you bring appropriate shoes and something to change into afterward then hike up the Narrows an hour or so. It will definitely be a great hike.

3 or 5pm finish Narrows. shuttle back to the Grotto and hike the Kayenta to Emerald Pools hike (about a mile, for some nice views of the main canyon. Say 1.5 hrs for this.

Afterwards take the beautiful drive to the east entrance, then back to Springdale for dinner

Leave by 9 pm. 3 hr drive back with time change arrive by 11pm.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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6. Re: One long August day...help me plan!

Thank you all for your thoughts...they are very helpful!

7. Re: One long August day...help me plan!

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