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National parks near Las Vegas

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Greenville, North...
posts: 2
National parks near Las Vegas

Thinking about flying to Las Vegas in March from NC. Would like to see Grand Canyon, Sequioa, and Death Valley while there. Not so big on gambling, but thought this would be a good "base" to fly in out of. I need suggestions and ideas on how to accomplish this in a week's time or is it even possible? Open to any options at this point.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 10,229
reviews: 41
1. Re: National parks near Las Vegas

Sequoia woukd be a good Sierra Nevada mountain park to go to from Las Vegas as an alternative to Yosemite, since it is farther south. There is no eastern road entry into Sequoia; from Las Vegas, you have to drive to the Bakersfield area (either the city or a very steep and twisty bypass that I wouldn't recommend, especially in winter). And the eastern road into Yosemite will still be in its winter closure in March, so you have to go beyond Sequoia..

Death Valley is only a couple of hours from Las Vegas, and you could spend at least a couple of days there because it is huge and has so much to see. In between is Red Rock Canyon NV, just west of Las Vegas (not to be mistaken for Red Rock Canyon CA which is just southwest of Death Valley. Near Las Vegas, other outdoor areas to explore are Valley of Fire State Park, Lake Mead and Hoover Dam.

Grand Canyon is 4-5 hours from Las Vegas and is also worth a couple of days. Or you could go to one or more of the southern Utah parks; Zion would be the closest and it's about 3 hours from town..

With limited time, I''d say you would have to choose either Zion or Grand Canyon (South Rim only; North will probably be in winter closure) because they are on opposite sides of the Colorado River and the crossings are hundreds of miles apart.

If you are comig in mid to late March, it will be wildflower season in parts of Death Valley (how good the wildflower season we can expect will depend on weather conditions over the preceding few months). I am not familiar enough with Zion or Grand Canyon to know when the wildflowers start to show up, but their elevations are higher so spring will arrive later. Sequoia will probably still have snow.

Not sure if you could really do justice to Sequoia AND Death Valley AND Grand Canyon (or Zion) in a week because of the long distances in different directions and the potential for late winter or early spring unpredictable weather. At least from my POV--if I go somewhere new, especially if I've driven a long way, I like to settle in for a couple or more days, get to know the place and see as much as I can. Let's see what various people here think.

So Cal
posts: 2,205
reviews: 46
2. Re: National parks near Las Vegas

I've taken a week to visit Zion, Bryce, Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon, so that is doable (although winter-ish driving and daylight will slow things a bit). But to get to Sequoia from there...hm. As Frisco pointed out, there's a great big mountain range to go around. Hence maybe subbing Zion instead. 1113mile LV to DV to GC to Bryce to Zion to LV.

DV to Sequoia would be most of a day, say a day to visit, and a day to get back...that's three. A day in DV. A chunk of a day to get to the GC, a day to visit, most of a day to get back. Well, I guess it is doable, if punishing. 1569miles from LV to DV to SNP (via Fresno) to GC to LV. Well, I've done more. Curious to hear from someone who's done this particular trip.

Ohio, USA
Destination Expert
for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
posts: 6,910
reviews: 299
3. Re: National parks near Las Vegas

As Frisco and Jenazz ahve mentioned, there are other National Parks that are much closer to LV. With a week you have time for the loop that Jenazz mentioned (Zion - Bryce Canyon - Page - Grand Canyon South Rim). This is a very comon route in fact. You might want to post in the Utah forum to get some more ideas for your trip.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 33,079
reviews: 685
4. Re: National parks near Las Vegas

I agree, I'd drop Sequoia for this trip. You probably want to see the big trees, but with only a week it's hard to do whilst also seeing the others on your "wish list".

Castro Valley...
posts: 8,400
reviews: 58
5. Re: National parks near Las Vegas

I'd do the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (My favorite side) set in the Kabab Forest possibly Zion/Bryce & Death Valley.

I loveSequoia/Kings Canyon but a bit far & plenty to see closer to Vegas including Red Rock State Park.

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
posts: 11,586
reviews: 7
6. Re: National parks near Las Vegas

North rim of the GC is not open in March, when this trip will take place, so they would need to go to the south rim.NR is open from May 15 to Oct 15.

Castro Valley...
posts: 8,400
reviews: 58
7. Re: National parks near Las Vegas

Oops! Missed the March arrival. You re correct Dez.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas
posts: 4,790
reviews: 48
8. Re: National parks near Las Vegas

We travel each summer from Las Vegas to Sequoia NP. It is a very long drive. Unless you are going to spend several days of your trip there, skip it.

I would suggest Zion NP in Utah, Very easy and plesant 2.5 hour drive. Spend the night,

Grand Canyon NP is 4.5 hour drive from Las Vgeas. Be sure to spend a night or 2.

Death Valley NP is a day trip from Las Vegas. Leave early in the morning and you will be back in time for dinner.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
posts: 9,987
reviews: 87
9. Re: National parks near Las Vegas

Yep, Norgetroll is right. Sequoia will likely be snowed in during March, and you'd have to gamble on the highway between Kings Canyon and Sequoia being open. Many of the major sights of Sequoia will be inaccessible due to snow at that time of year.

Death Valley is a day trip if you're okay just seeing a fraction of the park (and many people are okay with that).

Zion and Bryce are lovely, although possibly rather cold and snowy at that time of year (Zion's valley trails will be open but anything leading uphill may require traction devices for your shoes - I found it very hard to walk using them, but if you are used to them, I guess they work pretty well - we gave ours away to another family after a half an hour or so). Trails were icy!

Nevertheless, the views from the Valley and into Bryce Canyon are spectacular at any time of year. If you go through Page, you can stop by Navajo Bridge and see the beginning of the Grand Canyon (I expect, again, there could be snow). South Rim will have open services for sure. I've been through that area in March when chains were required, so keep that in mind.

10. Re: National parks near Las Vegas

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