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Road from Bryce to Springdale

Chatham, United...
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Road from Bryce to Springdale

Road from Bryce to Springdale

We hope next April to drive from Bryce Canyon to Springdale, Zion via routes 12, 89 and 9. According to Google maps, this route (87 miles) should take about 2 hours.

What kind of a road is it, and is the timing realistic? Is there anything special we should look out for on the way?

We will have driven from LV to Bryce in the morning, spent the afternoon driving to the overlooks in Bryce, and hope to arrive in Springdale about 6pm to check in to the motel.

TIA!

(I am also posting this in the Bryce forum)

St. Louis, Missouri
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1. Re: Road from Bryce to Springdale

The roads are two lane and reasonably easy to drive - we drove Zion to Bryce in September. Not a lot of really terrific things to see along the way, a nice drive, but there was a very nice state park close to Bryce that was worth a stop. I think it took us closer than 2 and a half hours to drive but we were not trying to make good time. We drove Zion to Bryce and back in one day.

A driving tip: When getting around Zion, be aware of the time of day you are traveling. When leaving Zion through the tunnels, make sure you are through the tunnels before 10 AM or you are going to spend time waiting for the big RVs to make it through since the tunnels are not big enough for two way traffic when one vehicle is an RV and they stop traffic at the tunnels for the RVs.

I must say that I think your travel that day seems pretty ambitious. You are going to have a pretty long and not particularly scenic drive from Las Vegas to Bryce only to drive and stop at overlooks. My husband and I agreed that we could've skipped the overlook stops and just done the Wall Street/Queen's Garden Loop that we hiked. That hike was terrific and a hike into the Park is the only way to really see the formations. If all you are going to have time for is to stop at the overlooks, I'd skip Bryce.

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Road from Bryce to Springdale

H

I agree with Skatermom about the drive from Las Vegas to Bryce, see Bryce and drive to Zion all in one day. If you want to do it in one day I suggest to drive Las Vegas-Zion-Bryce and stay Bryce for the night or even better, drive to Bryce, stay Bryce and drive to Zion early next morning. Also keep in mind you're loosing one hour due to different time zone's in Nevada and Utah (Utah is one hour later).

Tet

Charleston, South...
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3. Re: Road from Bryce to Springdale

I agree with tet14. Look at a map and rethink.

We always fly into LV, drive to Zion and stay there, then take day trips to Bryce.

Belfast, United...
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4. Re: Road from Bryce to Springdale

I agree. Your achedule for that day is too ambitious. You need at least one day in each park to see them properly. At Bryce, the main amphitheatre is best appreciated at sunrise. Zion can be enjoyed at any time but sunset is the best. Drive from Vegas to Zion, stay until late afternoon and then on to Bryce if your time is limited. The lodge in the park at Bryce does not open until mid May but there is accommodation just outside the park.

Mahopac, New York
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5. Re: Road from Bryce to Springdale

I visited Zion NP in March 2007, I made it half way to the tunnel and turned back, I am terrified of heights and that winding road didn't help with no barriers.

I am going back in March 2008 and I determained to make it to Bryce this time.

Chatham, United...
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6. Re: Road from Bryce to Springdale

The reason we are going first to Bryce is that I can't do most walks due to spinal surgery, so the overlooks is all we'd be able to do anyway.

Due to that, and the fact that we can only stay for one night, it seemed more sensible to spend the majority of the time (almost the whole of day 2 until we drive back to LV) in Zion, where we can use the shuttle to see quite a lot of the park, and maybe attempt one very flat walk.

If we set off at 7.30am (Nevada time) surely we should be at Bryce btween 1 - 2pm Utah time?

TIA,

D-UK

St. Louis, Missouri
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7. Re: Road from Bryce to Springdale

I understand about seeing Bryce from the overlooks now and you can see quite a bit from the overlooks. I would suggest driving all the way to the end and then drive back toward the park entrance. That way all the overlook parking areas are on your right and easier to access.

If I was going to do one reasonable level walk in Zion, it would have to be the one at the Virgin River at the end of the shuttle route. You would be walking on a paved walkway along the river and on the mountain side, you can see the little hanging gardens the plants make. At the end of the paved walk is the area where people enter the river for the hike up the Narrows of the Virgin River which I saw people attempting in sandals and barefoot but we used the special water socks and shoes we rented in town. I think you would see quite a bit of the area using the paved walkway and the shuttle opens up some great views of the Mountains.

tampa
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8. Re: Road from Bryce to Springdale

I just drove this route a couple of days ago. By far, the best part of that route is when you turn in off 89 onto 9 and reach the entrance to Zion NP. The ride from checkerboard mesa to the other Zion entrance on 9 is spectacular so make sure you have enough daylight hours left to see it. The scenic byway into Zion is also incredible. I was able to drive it being winter but in April you can park at your hotel in Springdale and shuttle in. Springdale is a very nice town and the Desert Pearl a beautiful hotel. Get a room in the 500 or 600 wings that back up on the river.

I was somewhat disappointed in Bryce and the overlooks. This is a park that probably is much better from the hiking trails than the overlooks. Being winter and at higher elevation than Zion it was much colder and the trails were all snow covered so we were stuck up on the roadway. I think Zion spoiled me and Bryce did not measure up peering down from above.

When driving to Zion pay close attention to the speed limits when approaching the few towns close to the 9 turn at Mt. Carmel Junction. Speed goes from 65 to 40 or 35, and each town has a sheriff parked just out of eyesight watching very closely.

The only nice viewing between Bryce and Zion is the Red Rock Canyon area near Bryce. All the roads were well maintained and an easy drive. If you are not planning a hike into Bryce I would stick with Zion. It is incredibly beautiful.