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Bryce canyon national park

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posts: 17
reviews: 10
Bryce canyon national park

We are doing a 1 week trip, flying into Vegas. The plan, as of now, is to rent a car and drive to Bryce canyon for 2 night stay at the Best Western n grand hotel. We arrive in Vegas at 10 a.m. so won't get much time in at the park that evening. After Bryce we head to the Desert Pearl in Springdale for 2 nights then back to Vegas where we will be at the Venetian. I would love suggestions on any of the areas we are visiting. Best hikes, places not to be missed, restaurants, ranger programs or tours, anything at all. My husband has been wanting to make this trip for years so I really want to make it wonderful. I would love to hear from people really familiar with the areas...

Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
posts: 13,324
reviews: 9
1. Re: Bryce canyon national park

If you arrive at 10, you probably won't be on the road until 11. It takes about 5 hours to get from LV to Bryce and you lose an hour entering UT.

On the drive up, you may want to stop and buy a cheap cooler and food and drinks. There are Wal Marts with food in Mesquite and St George, as well as regular grocery stores.

On the way up you could stop at the Kolob Canyon section of Zion before Cedar City.

You could take Hwy 14 up, and cut across to Cedar Breaks(like a mini Bryce) if its open, which is usually late May.Also if open(usually June, depends) you can drive up to the top of Brian Head Peak.

Red Canyon before Bryce is worth a stop.

At Bryce try the Navajo/Queens Garden trail. See if any night sky ranger programs are going on while there. Either full moon or dark sky.


Maybe try the horse ride into the canyon.


You can drive to Rainbow Point and then on the way back to the lodge, all the views are on your right.

Bryce is not known for its restaurants. Zion on the other hand has several good ones.

The drive from Bryce to Zion is about 2 hours. Be sure to stop at Canyon Overlook trail before the tunnel

Desert Pearl is a nice place, you will like it.

The main trails in Zion to try are the Narrows(if open) Angels Landing if not afraid of heights, or Observation Point.

You may want to rent a bike in town to ride the canyon. No cars are allowed (a few exceptions) so its a nice ride.You can put the bike on the shuttle rack and ride the bus to the end and ride back to town, mostly flat or downhill.Actually riding the entire canyon up and back is not difficult.

If you want a scenic sunset tour outside the park, try this one.


Once back near Vegas, Valley of Fire is a nice daytrip. Can be combined as a loop to include the dam and bypass bridge. Maybe try a raft or kayak trip of Black Canyon below the dam to Willow Beach.

Edited: 1:08 pm, April 19, 2013
posts: 17
reviews: 10
2. Re: Bryce canyon national park

Really appreciate the good info. We will def. use it. So funny that we were just saying this morning we would need to stop and buy a cooler, its like you were reading my mind. You also answered my unasked question on when best to vist the Kolob canyon section. Have you done the jeep tour or horse ride? Have you done a raft or kayak trip of the black canyon? Sounds like a blast. Thanks

Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
posts: 13,324
reviews: 9
3. Re: Bryce canyon national park

I have taken my own truck up to the area the jeep tours go. My avatar picture is actually from up there.The sunsets are nice as you look back to see the glowing rocks of Zion across the grasslands.Have not done a horse ride in a while, I prefer to walk into the canyon myself and do things at my own pace.

I have boated and kayaked Black Canyon many times. Its fun to see the hotsprings, and catwalks left over from dam construction days.We always start at Willow Beach and paddle up to avoid the permitting process that you go thru as a private trip if you launch from the dam.Pics of the trip.


Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
posts: 3,573
reviews: 97
4. Re: Bryce canyon national park

I second the stop at Kolob Canyons between Vegas and Bryce. A visit there shouldn't take much more than an hour, including the drive to the top, and some pics.

At Bryce, the horse ride (canyonrides) is in the park and follows a trail below the rim into the main amphitheatre. It is a good substitute for visiting the viewpoints and hiking Queens Garden trail and/or Navajo loop. At Rainbow point, you can hike the short Bristlecone loop. See the park guides for orientation to the park>> nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/things2know.htm

As for restaurants. Rubys employs a bit of a western theme. sometimes it is interesting, other times kind of tacky. expect the restaurants to have a similar theme and cuisine. The closest to the Grand will be Ebenezers(which has some type of entertainment at times. Then there is Cowboys Buffet and Canyon Diner. After that you have to travel further away, like the steakhouse or subway at Bryce Canyon resort, or you can try and get a reservation at the lodge diner in the park. Here is a guide for the area>> brycecanyoncountry.com/dining/brycecanyonare…

At Zion, three of the easier hikes that offer good views are Canyon Overlook(on SR9 on the way down to Springdale, before the tunnel). Also Riverside Walk(which also serves as the gateway to the river based Narrows hike). Then there is Lower Emerald Pools(which can be combined with Kayenta trail, Upper Emerald, and the Grotto Trail). As stated by Dez, West Rim Trail/Angel's landing, East Rim Trail/Observation Point, and the Narrows are the main/popular/trademark hikes in Zion's main canyon. See the hiking guide for orientation to this park>> nps.gov/zion/…HikingGuide2013-4.pdf

Note that there is a trail/horse ride here at Zion as well, though is not recommended because it is bland. It is the only 'for hire service' in the park. All other services, including jeep rides and canyoneering, take place in areas outside of park boundaries, though I think one of the jeep rides takes you up Kolob Terrace Road.

For restaurants in Zion/Springdale, unlike at Bryce, there is more diversity/cuisine/quality here. Good places to try would be Oscars, Arkansas Als, Switchbacks, Wildcat Willies, Spotted Dog, and Flying Monkey. Here is the guide for this area>> http://www.zionpark.com/Dining.html

At the Venetian we have enjoyed the restaurants Trattoria and the Grand Lux Cafe. We have Rock of Ages on our show list for next time we are there(I think this may have taken the place of the Phantom show). Le Reve is just up Las vegas Boulevard at the Wynn.

posts: 17
reviews: 10
5. Re: Bryce canyon national park

Thank you for all the great hiking suggestions. We are mostly people who like to discover the parks on foot. Though Angels Landing looks beautiful, thank goodness for u tube, we won't be hiking to the top of that. Lol! No longer as fit or brave as I was in my 20's. Might hike to scouts landing? We will def. do part of the narrows though. We will let you know if Rock of Ages is good after we get back. Hoping to go. Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone. Really enjoyed the pics Dez40

6. Re: Bryce canyon national park

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