We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

MD
Level Contributor
120 posts
46 reviews
Save Topic
Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

Does anyone have any suggestions to improve my early Sept. itinerary? Any wonderful sights/hikes I’ve missed or have I included something not worth the time? Too much time at the South Rim? I have booked all the rooms, so that’s taken care of already. We will be stopping for groceries along the way as we generally only eat out only 1 meal a day. We are a fairly active couple in our early 60s. Last year we did many day hikes in Olympic National Park and Mt. Rainer. We have visited Moab and Canyonland so we won’t be going there again on this trip.

Day 1

Morning flight to LV, drive to Zion Lodge (3 nights, dinner suggestions?)

Pick up breakfast/lunch groceries at Walmart (Hurricane) or Sol Foods (Springdale)

Hike along Pa’rus trail or Emerald Pools trail depending upon energy level and time

Day 2 Zion

Take 6:30 am Zion Adventure Co shuttle to Observation Point trail and hike down

Emerald Pools or Kayenta Trail

Pick up Narrows hiking gear after 5pm

Day 3 Zion

Early morning hike up Angels Landing trail

Picnic lunch (nice place near Zion Lodge?)

Hike Narrows as far as we are able

Day 4 Zion/Grand Canyon N Rim

Sunrise photo at Court of the Patriarch (good place?)

Zion Overlook trail

Grand Canyon North Rim (3 nights, dinner at Lodge or is Deli in the Pines okay?)

Hike Bright Angel Point

(sunset photos opportunity?)

Day 5 Grand Canyon - N Rim

Cape Royal drive - do hikes/overlooks

Day 6 Grand Canyon - N Rim

North KaibabTrail to Coconino Overlook

Widforss trail (just 5mi round trip)

Day 7 Bryce

Drive to Bryce (1 night Bryce Lodge, dinner suggestions?)

Queens Garden/ Navajo hike

Yovimpa and Rainbow Pt

Sunset Point (or other viewpoints for sunsets)

Day 8 Bryce to Capitol Reef

Sunrise at Bryce Pt? Sunrise Pt? or Inspiration Pt?

Drive to Capitol Reef via Hwy 12 (Torrey 2 nights dinner Cafe Diablo and Rim Rock?)

Hickman Bridge trail

Fremont River trail

Sunset Pt

Day 9 Capitol Reef (any good spots for sunrise/set photos?)

Fruita ‘scenic’ drive

Capitol Reef scenic drive (8.2mi)

Capitol Gorge trail

Sunset Pt

Day 10 Monument Valley

Drive to Monument Valley (1 night The View)

Sunset tour with Monument Valley Safari (or wait and do sunrise?)

Day 11 Page AZ

Sunrise tour of Monument Valley if didn’t do sunset tour

Drive to Page, AZ (1 night - dinner?)

Antelope Canyon – Lower (Ken's Lower Antelope tour - accepts cash only?)

Antelope Canyon – Upper (Antelope Slot Canyon Tours by Chief Tsosie?)

Day 12 Grand Canyon S Rim

Horseshoe Bend in morning

Drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (3 nights At Thunderbird Lodge)

Stop at various points along Desert View Drive for overlooks and some hiking

Day 13 Grand Canyon S Rim

Early morning shuttle to South Kaibab Trail hike to Ooh-Aah Point or Cedar Ridge

Bright Angel trail to 1.5 mile Resthouse

Day 14 Grand Canyon S Rim

Rim Trail hike using shuttle bus when needed

Day 15

Drive to Las Vegas for an early flight next day

Anything along route to Las Vegas for a quick stop/overlook or a place to have lunch? Any route more scenic than another?

Mentioned in this post
Moab
Moab
Utah
Pa'rus Trail
Pa'rus Trail
154 Reviews
Zion National Park, UT
Emerald Pools
Emerald Pools
1,354 Reviews
Zion National Park, UT
Observation Point
Observation Point
595 Reviews
Zion National Park, UT
Kayenta Trail
Kayenta Trail
121 Reviews
Zion National Park, UT
Angel's Landing
Angel's Landing
2,434 Reviews
Zion National Park, UT
Sunset Point
Sunset Point
580 Reviews
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
The Hickman Bridge Trail
The Hickman Bridge Trail
261 Reviews
Capitol Reef National Park, UT
Fruita
Fruita
149 Reviews
Capitol Reef National Park, UT
Capitol Gorge Trail
Capitol Gorge Trail
148 Reviews
Capitol Reef National Park, UT
Monument Valley Safari
Monument Valley Safari
1,037 Reviews
Monument Valley, UT
Page
Page
Arizona
Rim Trail
Rim Trail
87 Reviews
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
American Luxury Tours
Multi-day Tours, Sightseeing Tours, City Tours, Private Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Exclusive Excursions
Sightseeing Tours, Taxis & Shuttles, River Rafting & Tubing, Hiking & Camping Tours, Ski & Snow Tours
Park City Paddle Company
Sightseeing Tours, Equipment Hire
Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
16,245 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

Oh, that sounds marvelous !!

Some things

Day 1- Dinner at the lodge is fine though you might want to head into town at least once.

Day 2, I hope you have your hiking poles for the way down :-)

day 3- Picnic right outside of the Lodge, or walk up to the Grotto (I'm almost positive there are picnic tables there). And not to throw your itinerary off, but check on day 1 what the weather and Narrows water levels are, so if it looks like there might be an issue you can adjust and go on the day when it will be open.

Day 4 Best Sunrise location is behind the History Museum on hwy 9. It will be a slight detour back for you, but great views of the sunrise on the Temples of the Virgin.

Deli in the pines is good for lunch, not sure I'd go there for dinner.

Sunset on the lodge patio.

Day 7, Dinner at Bryce Lodge would be your best bet, get reservations

Day 8 I'd do sunrise somewhere between Sunrise and INspiration pts.

day 10, the general feeling is to be back at the hotel for sunset and do the tour during the day. But it might be nice to be in the valley ??

Day 11- I don't know current situation, but when we went Ken did not have access to credit card purchases. He did accept our check. For upper Chief Tsosie would be fine, we went with Antelope Canyon tours and enjoyed it well. Good reviews for all the companies

Day 14. I hope that rim trail hike you mean the one out to Hermits Rest? Love that you have all day planned for that.

Mentioned in this post
The Narrows
The Narrows
2,775 Reviews
Zion National Park, UT
MD
Level Contributor
120 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

Thanks for your ideas! Everything planned is weather dependent - but I have to remember to be especially weather aware for this trip. I don't want to be a newspaper headline, 'tourist drowns in flash flood!'

I wasn't sure if eating at Zion Lodge was an experience not to miss, or to head into Springdale.

I have never used trekking poles, but I was looking at BAFX trekking poles on Amazon - amazon.com/BAFX-Products-TM-Walking-Trekking…

Thanks for the sunrise/set suggestions, one of my favorite photos is of a sunrise in Arches and last year we got some outstanding photos of the moon rising in Mt Rainier!

Yes, we will be doing the Hermit Rest hike/tour.

Mentioned in this post
Endless Mountains...
Level Contributor
1,667 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

Way overboard on Zion and shortchanging Page big time.....but its your trip...

Mentioned in this post
Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

For Antelope Canyons. You go to Lower first. Then you'll want to drive to Page, wait for the tour to Upper and go with Tsosie. The parkinglot for Upper is right opposite the parkinglot for lower. It gives you more flexibility to just drive to the Upper parkinglot and take a tour from there. Keep the $ 6,-- Navajo fee receipt because you don't have to pay twice for it then visiting Upper and Lower same day.

Between Torrey and Monument Valley stop at Hite Overlook, Natural Bridges NM, Moki Dugway and Gooseneck SP.

You are going to make a fantastic trip!

Tet

Mentioned in this post
Moki Dugway
Moki Dugway
263 Reviews
Utah
MD
Level Contributor
120 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

Thanks Tet14 for those helpful hints. Your idea of going to the Lower first makes more sense! I hadn't looked at what to see between Torrey and Monument, so I'll look into those places too.

Mentioned in this post
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
4,945 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

Just have to say that on our last visit to Zion we stayed at The Lodge. Room was fine; restaurant was disappointing. We are frequent visitors to various national parks around the country and know what to expect as far as lodging and dining options are concerned. We stay at lodgings inside the parks and generally eat there as well. Zion is one of two national parks where that changes. We had dinner at the lodge on our first night and were underwhelmed with our entrees. Breakfast next morning was adequate which met our expectations--standard buffet, nothing inspired but filling. We weren't hiking on this trip, so went into Springdale for lunch. Decided to give the lodge another try for dinner thinking that perhaps we had just chosen poorly the night before--that was a mistake. With so many choices so nearby in Springdale, we decided that if we return to Zion again, we would not eat at the lodge, but rather go into town for a good meal.

On the same trip, we stayed at Bryce, in a cabin, and ate all our meals at the lodge. Great food, very pleasant experience all around.

Mentioned in this post
Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
Level Contributor
18,598 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

On the way to the north rim is Le Fevre overlook with a view of the Grand Staircase.

Right near Jacob Lake is a fire tower you can go up in the the person is working that day.

Page has a floating restaurant at Antelope Point.

Between Bryce and Torrey places to eat are Kiva Koffeehouse, Burr Trail Grill and Hells Backbone is a must.

On the way from GC to Vegas, if you take 93 you can stop at Chloride AZ (try Digger Daves) Willow Beach below the dam and the Hoover Dam /Bypass Bridge combo

Or take Route 66 from Kingman to Oatman to feed the burros, then head to Vegas via Laughlin. Off 95 is the mining town of Nelson with tours of the mine.

Or at Searchlight, head past the Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness to the rail town of Nipton,(the road skirts the Mojave Preserve) then hit I-15 into Vegas. A fun stop is near Jean at Goodsprings for the Pioneer Saloon, one of the oldest bars in Nevada.

Mentioned in this post
Burr Trail
Burr Trail
202 Reviews
Capitol Reef National Park, UT
Willow Beach
Willow Beach
43 Reviews
Fort Mohave, AZ
Hoover Dam Bypass
Hoover Dam Bypass
9,090 Reviews
Las Vegas, NV
Kingman
Kingman
Arizona
Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree
California Desert, CA
Pioneer Saloon
Pioneer Saloon
218 Reviews
Goodsprings, NV
MD
Level Contributor
120 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

Tet, I looked into Hite Overlook, Natural Bridges, Moki Dugway (DH will be driving that stretch!) and Gooseneck State park and have added them to our trip. These are the kinds of things a tourist would easily miss. Thanks again!!!

Mentioned in this post
Moki Dugway
Moki Dugway
263 Reviews
Utah
Tacoma, Washington
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
10,024 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

Given the length of your trip a few observations.....

1. you are cheating the Page area. Add another day here

2. If I read right you said 2 nights stay in torrey. I would shift one night to Escalante or Boulder.

3. If you are going to spend some time at the south rim, I would lessen the stay at the north rim.

Mentioned in this post
Boulder
Boulder
Colorado
Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Semi-Grand Circle tour advice needed

You're welcome! Dez mentioned a lot of places I forget to mention. There's a lot to see between GC and Las Vegas. Chloride is often overlooked but makes a nice short detour and Digger Dave's just a fun and welcoming place. Maybe stop in Selgman and have a drink or a burger at Delgadillo's snow cap or Road Kill Cafe and between Seligman and Kingan a must stop at Hackberry visitor center and museum with the old Vette standing in front of it. There are more places on the way though. Maybe take a picture at the roadsign of Valentine. Peach Springs was a rollmodel for the movie "Cars" etc etc.

Mentioned in this post