Where else will you have been? How much time do you have?
Hopefully you will have visited Bryce Canyon NP while at Tropic. Red Canyon would be the first place to stop on the way, worthy of a few hours hiking and exploring. Then you'll be traveling through Zion NP to get to Springdale. Zion is worth a few days. Will you have the time?
Ahh. Details always help. Red Canyon is worth a stop as I mentioned. Entering Zion via Rt 9 is so dramatic. Stop just before the tunnel and hike the Canyon Overlook Trail. It's about a mile each way, but the end view is awesome.
Just outside Tropic,on the way towards Bryce,is the Mossy Cave trail.Its a short trail that follows a creek up to a small waterfall.
There is the Red Canyon bike trail.If anyone in your party has a bike,they can ride the trail downhill,and meet back up with whoever is driving the car at the start of the canyon.Then continue on to Zion.
On hwy 9 you may see a herd of buffalo in the field near the Zion Mountain resort.
Canyon Overlook is a must see before heading down into the canyon.
Zion has several nice hikes,Emerald Pools,Angels Landing,Riverside walk and then the Narrows,Observation Point...
On the way to Vegas,you can see Grafton ghost town just outside Springdale.And Valley of Fire State Park is near Vegas.
When you're going through those little towns on the north-south road between Bryce and Zion WATCH YOUR SPEED in the towns! Driving through there in early April there was a speed trap in almost every town. Outside of the towns we didn't see any police......
In Red Canyon there's a tiny little visitor center along the side of the road that had some interesting exhibits about the early pioneers and settlers (make sure to read the one about "The Quilt Walk" and then feel guilty that our lives are so ridiculously easy now!).
we are thinking about doing this in reverse on part of our road trip from LV.
We were thinking of taking in the scenic "valley of fire" route, in your case it would be into LV
We stopped in the Valley Of Fire on our way from LV to Zion NP in early April. Mostly we were just looking for ways to spend the day so we didn't arrive in Zion too early. We were totally surprised and delighted by the VOF!
As you pull in, get a brochure from the ranger at the gate where you pay.
The ranger directed us to the White Dome hike as "one hike to do". He was dead on.
It's set up very nicely where you can pull over and see one thing after another very quickly. The Beehives gave great rock scrambling and photo opportunities (I think I got the Christmas card picture of my kids there!), then there are petroglyphs, a little (little!) rock arch, petrified logs.....lots of little things to see in just a few minutes. Stop in the visitor center, which is small but has a bathroom and a display we all enjoyed on desert animals (including some really creepy bugs).
Then turn and go to the Mouse Tank trail which is flat and easy but you will see literally HUNDREDS of Native American petroglyphs all along the trail. When you get to the "mouse tank", climb up the dry waterfall (small) directly to your left and see the view from there (it's neat, and an easy climb and isn't as scary on top as it looks).
Then continue on down the road to the White Dome Trail which is a loop (do it in the direction they recommend, otherwise it would be a brutal slog back uphill through loose sand, but is easy if you do it the way they recommend). We really liked the slot canyon you can walk through on this trail.
If you were stopping in VOF at the END of your trip, maybe it wouldn't be such a thrill, but it was a really nice, really easy start to the trip with lots of pretty photo ops!
When driving back from White Dome towards the visitor center.....take a photo of the road in front of you (you'll see what I mean when you get there).
I love that White Dome trail too DrD. It was fun and easy.
So were the Mouse Tanks.Edited: 04 May 2010, 02:43
We were a little surprised how much we completely enjoyed Valley Of Fire! It was nice, fun, rock-scrambling and walking, got to see neat things, great photo ops......just an all around easy and fun start to the trip!
(I really need to get my comprehensie trip report done!).