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Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

Chicago, Illinois
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Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

Hello all.

I am in the beginning stages of planning a somewhat last-minute trip to Bryce Canyon at the end of August. We will be flying from Chicago and renting a car, and I'm trying to figure out whether to fly to Las Vegas or Salt Lake City. Looks like the mileage is about thes same for both, but which route would give us more to see on the way to Bryce?

We would love to catch another National Park as well. If we drive from Las Vegas, looks like it would be easy to stop at Zion. What if we drive from Salt Lake City (which offers cheaper fares)?

Our trip will be about a week total (including our flights to/from).

Thanks for your help!

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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1. Re: Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

With a week,you could start in SLC,drive to Torrey,see Capitol Reef NP,drive scenic Hwy 12 to Bryce,(highly recommend it)then end up at Zion.Then return to SLC.

Or from Vegas drive the 3 hours to Zion,then up to Bryce and back thru the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

If you tried to hit all four parks you would not be able to spend much quality time at each one.

If it were me I would do option one.But that depends on the deal you can get on airfare and rental car.

Sedona, AZ
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2. Re: Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

SLC and LV are about equidistant from Bryce and Zion and the two parks make an excellent itinerary. They are only a little over an hour's drive away from each other but incredibly different in nature. 2 days at Bryce is usually sufficient and 3-4 days at Zion makes a great compliment to the trip.

If fares to SLC are that much better then I'd fly there. Also check on the cost of car rental since that will also be a significant expense and rates can vary drastically.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

This is great advice. Thanks! I'm sure I'll have more questions as our planning progresses....

Woburn...
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4. Re: Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

I am coming from Boston in Sept. and I got a flight from Boston to Salt Lake City and from SLC to St. George, which is less than an hour from Zion.

Gerry

Sedona, AZ
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5. Re: Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

I reckon that flying to St George via SLC is much like flying to Flagstaff via PHX. By the time you make the transfer at SLC and finally fly to St George, you probably could have rented a car and driven to Zion or Bryce. And driving from SLC to Bryce and then Zion would allow you to drive the incredibly scenic Ut 12 from Bryce to Torrey (or the reverse). Flying in and out of St Geo would make that a detour.

We see similar requests about using Flagstaff airport to get to the Grand Canyon NP in AZ. It's actually faster to get off the plane in PHX and drive from there. And it makes a stop in Sedona a natural as it's along the way. Flying to Flag takes longer and makes Sedona a detour.

Dallas, TX
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6. Re: Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

I have flown into Cedar City and St George before, as well as done the drive up from Las Vegas and down from Salt Lake City. I would actually see what the difference in price it is to fly into Cedar City (CDC) or St George (SGU) to see if it makes sense to do that. Sometimes the price isnt much different.

By the time you rent a car and drive down with gas, it may be cheaper to fly into CDC or SGU, and it sure as heck is cheaper. I prefer CDC, it only has 2-3 flights a day, but the Airport Terminal is BEAUTIFUL! It looks like an old fashion National Park Lodge.

For more information on Cedar City, Zion and Bryce, check out:

http://www.usparkinfo.com/bryce.html

http://www.usparkinfo.com/zion.html

Hope that helps, enjoy the trip.

Jeff

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

Thanks for all the thoughts and advice so far.

Our latest plans are:

1. Flying into Las Vegas late at night, renting a car and staying there one night. (This ended up being the cheaper and more flexible flight option.) Any recs for a cheap but clean hotel near the airport?

2. Drive the next morning to Bryce Canyon Park, likely staying at Bryce Canyon Inn. Probably 3 nights? Looks like it would be easy to also visit Kodachrome and Grand Staircase while stationed at Bryce Canyon. Correct?

3. Then to Zion National Park for another 3 nights (Desert Pearl Inn probably).

4. Head out in the morning on our last day and drive back to Las Vegas for a 4:30pm flight.

Does that seem like it would give us a reasonable amount of time in each area? Would love to add the Grand Canyon on as was suggested, but I think this might make for too much driving and not as much time to explore on foot.

Getting more and more excited about the trip each day. We are from Chicago and are really excited about the change in scenery. I visited Sedona years ago and have been dying to come back to the area ever since.

Thanks!

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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8. Re: Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

If I had that kind of time,I would head up highway 12 to Torrey,instead of three days in Bryce.Maybe one or two days at Bryce and another in Torrey.

Golden, Canada
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9. Re: Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

I think you're itinerary of three days in each park is fine. I doubt you'd get accommodations at the North Rim of GC at this point in time, but if you can perhaps a night there with just two at Bryce or Zion.

Can you not get to Las Vegas early enough to do something that first night? Fremont Street, The Strip, etc. can all be "tasted' in a brief time.

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Trip to Bryce and maybe Zion - what airport to fly into?

OK, our plans have changed a little bit again and I'd love some logistical advice:

We will be flying into Salt Lake City at around 6:30pm. We'd love to see Capital Reef NP on our way to Bryce but it looks like it's 4-5 hours to Capital Reef and another 4-5 hours to Bryce. Can we do that in one day and still see Capital Reef at all?

We are considering getting a head start by driving south a little on our first night (after flying in at 6:30 pm) and staying in Nephi or Scipio, then driving the next morning to Capital Reef, seeing that briefly and driving Route 12 onto Bryce.

Or could we drive as far as Salinas on that first night (how long do you think that would take, and would it be safe to be driving on those roads late at night when we're not familiar with the area?).

Just finding it hard to find a way to see Capital Reef on our first full day and still get to Bryce that night, comfortably. Maybe we should skip Capital Reef and head directly to Bryce?

Hope my questions make sense. Our itinerary keeps changing but now we are definitely flying into and out of Salt Lake City. I really appreciate all of your thoughts so far....

Thanks.

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