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Bryce, Zion and GC - best base?

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Calgary, Canada
posts: 96
reviews: 15
Bryce, Zion and GC - best base?

Don't have much idea of the geography but can someone suggest the best base (or bases) for exploring Zion, Bryce and GCNP. What is the difference between north and south rim of GC? Which is better? We will be travelling in summer with 2 kids 9 & 12. Will be travelling from Vegas in hire car and planning on a week - 10 days. How long should we spend in Vegas as opposed to the parks. We aren't gamblers and prefer nature but would be interested to see the neon of Vegas briefly. Would mid July or August or early Sept be better or would all be HOT. Have read lots of great entries so far - thanks everyone.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 39,070
reviews: 831
11. Re: Bryce, Zion and GC - best base?

Here are some ideas for your LV portion:


Also click on the grey tabs on the website for museums, free fun and ghost towns. Nearly everything they list is family-friendly :-)

posts: 534
reviews: 15
12. Re: Bryce, Zion and GC - best base?

Memory is bad... I think I stayed at the Days Inn last time and it was very nice. Best Western was as expected and it was across the street from the Bit and Spur, which is my favorite restaurant there. Heard good things about the ?spotted dog? too. Desert Pearl always gets high recommendations for a more expensive place, but with the exchange rates.... ;-)

I would check the Bryce forums for recommendations there. With the exception of a restaurant with awesome pie (white buidling, north side of rte 12, 1 mi west of park road) the area immediately around the park is a circus with bad food. Tropic is the first town east.

Corona, CA
posts: 8
reviews: 1
13. Re: Bryce, Zion and GC - best base?

I'm resaerching the same area for a family trip myself. As I've gotten into it, I've discovered that there is SO much to see here that you're going to have to zero in on 3 or 4 main attractions then plan your route accordingly. Trying to squeeze the ENTIRE region into one 10 day road trip will exhaust you and bore your kids. Especially since the natural wonders here aren't exactly topping the excitement charts for pre-teens.

I'm finding Trip Advisor and Google Maps to be my most useful tools. The official government websites are spartan almost to the point of useless, & websites that come up in google searches are usually just advertisements and thus untrustworthy.

Glen Canyon/Lake Powell looks more interesting then I'd previously thought due to the low water level. Imagine the GC or Bryce Canyon at your own leisure on a house boat!

Calgary, Canada
posts: 96
reviews: 15
14. Re: Bryce, Zion and GC - best base?

Thanks all. Fortunately our kids are keen on natural wonders so no problem there. As long as there's a pool for the evening they'll be more than happy. Looking forward to it. Agree that there appears to be a lot to see. Will check out the Lake Powell area too.

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,764
reviews: 45
15. Re: Bryce, Zion and GC - best base?

We two spent time and lodging at or near Springdale, Zion, Bryce, Arches, Moab as a base, and more. They are each incredible sights in their own ways, and hope you will visit all. Bryce is worth a good day, but I wouldn't spend more considering the other "must sees", including walking into the canyon. The others warrant at least two days, IMO. Your kids, and you, will appreciate Springdale and Moab with the ice cream shops, given the heat. While staying at Springdale/Zion, one day we drove through Zion to the N. Rim, GCNP; the drive was fun, with odd spots to take a break, like a stop-shop store built into a small hill. Returning from N. Rim, the Zion views are quite different. Nice trip, a nice day. N. Rim has a lodge; time for a cold beer and pop, as well as food. As everyone says, have a cooler with lots of beverages/water.

Winston Salem...
posts: 1,223
reviews: 13
16. Re: Bryce, Zion and GC - best base?

Stay an evening at the Lodge in Bryce Canyon if at all possible. There is something wonderful about walking out your cabin/motel door and being at the rim in 2 minutes. Check out the stars after dark; see Thor's Hammer in the moonlight; catch a sunrise without having to get in the car and drive. North Canyon gets my vote, and an hour at the airport in Vegas was plenty for me, although it is probably worth seeing once, if only to make you appreciate the glories of the national parks!

17. Re: Bryce, Zion and GC - best base?

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