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a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

Bucks County...
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a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

I have only a day and half to do both Bryce and Zion in August. I know it's not much time but my husband and I would like to "see" as much as possible! We're not big hikers, but would love to do some of the Narrows at Zion, and just a tour of Bryce. We are staying at the best western near Zion, and thought we would hit Zion on our way in from the Grand Canyon, and see the sunset. Then on day 2 head to Bryce, not sure where our time would be best spent. Any help or must see's would be greatly appreciated!

Northampton
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1. Re: a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

Just returned from doing Zion and Bryce among many other things in southern Utah. Do you know ... hiking the Narrows requires hiking in water, sometimes up to your neck. You can take the Zion shuttle to the last stop (the Temple of ???) and walk the mile back to the Narrows trail head to get a glimpse of the beginnings of the Narrows. Since you are not hikers, I would drive the road (SR 9), a round trip, which goes through the entire park and has many stopping points for pics and minor walks. The sites are just awesome.

Bryce Canyon too is simply awesome. There is a medium hike called the Navajo loop which can be done in less than 2 hours and will give you some spectacular views.

We spent 1 day in Bryce and 2+ days in Zion. This was our 3rd time to these parks, and this visit was as good as the first.

2. Re: a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

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3. Re: a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

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Ann Arbor, Michigan
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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4. Re: a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

Piecing together your itinerary with your other post, it sounds like you have:

Sedona - 1 night here or 2?

Grand Canyon South Rim - 1 night

Zion - 1 night

Bryce - are you spending the night?

Then back to....?

If I'm correct or pretty close with the above, this is an overly aggressive itinerary. It's doable but you'll spend most of your time driving. Are you headed back to Las Vegas afterwards? If so, I think it's more logical to go from the South Rim to Bryce first. It's a long drive either way, about 5 hours without delays, a little longer for Bryce. There's a lot of great scenery along the way, so don't be surprised if it takes you until late-afternoon to get there. Route 9 into Zion's east entrance and down the switchbacks to the valley is some of the best... and also some of the most congested.

Bryce is a smaller park and also MUCH more dramatic at sunset and sunrise, imo. There are some great moderate hikes below the rim that are well worth your effort. Be sure to be up for sunrise and make sure your camera batteries are fully charged!

It will take you about 1.5 hours the next morning to get to the east entrance of Zion and another 30 minutes to get down into the canyon and park at the entrance. (There is some parking at Canyon Junction, if you're lucky.) If you want to hike the Narrows, which I highly recommend, you'll have to take the shuttle all the way to the end of the canyon, Temple of Sinawava, then walk an easy mile of the Riverside Walk to the start. Expect the Narrows hike to take the better part of the day, but you will have "seen" the main canyon between the drive in and the shuttle ride to/from Temple of Sinwava.

Then the question is where you expect to be that night...

Bucks County...
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5. Re: a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

Thanks so much for your answers! I know our plans are ridiculous, I booked everything back in January, but it is what it is at this point. We are staying 2 nights in Sedona, 1 in GC, 2 nights at the Zion Best Western, then traveling 10 hours to Sequoia NP, spending two nights doing Sequoia then Yosemite spending 2 nights and heading to San Francisco for our final 2 nights, flying home from there. We obviously love a road trip, it's our 30th anniversary and we're cramming a lifetime of travel into 12 days...

That being said, I like heading right to Bryce seeing what we can and catching the sunset, and then a full day at Zion. I really appreciate all of the information and have copied it and added to my file. I'll let you know how we make out, the adventure begins next Friday!

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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6. Re: a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

Agreeing that it makes more sense to go to Bryce from Grand Canyon National Park and then on to Zion. However, I'd discourage driving from Bryce to Zion after sunset. You need to get to east Zion in daylight. Seeing sunset as you enter the park there will be equally as impressive as Bryce and much safer from a driving standpoint. You need to see east Zion in the light of day. It is just as stunning as the Narrows, though entirely different.

Tacoma, Washington
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7. Re: a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

Lets change some stuff in your itinerary.....

1 fly into PHX...to Sedona

2 Sedona...night in Sedona

3 South Rim, night in South Rim

4 AM South rim then drive to Zion, PM Zion

5 Zion AM, Bryce PM, night at bryce

6. Bryce AM, drive to Lee Vining (8 hrs -1 hr time change)

7 Tioga Pass...night near Yosemite

8 Yosemite Valley, night in Fresno

9 Sequoia/Kings canyon night in Fresno

10 AM drive to SF, PM SF

11 SF

12 AM SF, fly home

unsure when you start this trip in terms of when you fly into PHX (Im assuming). If you get in early you could spend much of the day in Sedona, then the next day you split Sedona/GC then the next day you do Grand canyon in the AM, then drive to Page for the night.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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8. Re: a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

>> That being said, I like heading right to Bryce seeing what we can and catching the sunset, and then a full day at Zion.

Yes, but I'm going to reiterate that you should spend that night at Bryce. You don't want to drive to Zion after sunset. If you can't change your lodging reservations, you should give up the Bryce sunset.... but seeing east Zion will certainly be a good consolation.

BUT Zion to Sequoia to Yosemite in the following 4 days sounds, well, crazy. I would choose one or the other for much better quality time.

Bucks County...
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9. Re: a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

We did it! It was magnificent and I wouldn't change a thing! We flew into PHX, rented a car and headed for Sedona.

Came down off of 17 into Sedona and our jaws dropped for the first time. I will never ever forget the first time. ( I said first time because I WILL be back)... We stopped at the rangers station and took it all in. Then headed to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, I can't even tell you the sense of peace that washed over me, it was early in the morning and not open yet, but the maintence people were there and said come on in, perfect. Our Sedona highlights were canyon rim, broken arrow sunset tours. and an early morning jeep tour of the west side. We had drinks in Jerome and dinner downtown. Loved everything! ...Headed to Grand Canyon up 89, a beautiful ride! We came in the williams entrance and there was a lot of traffic but its the grand canyon so to be expected, we stayed at El tovar and enjoyed that. Hiked the south rim from el tovar, and kept saying one more point one more point, and ended up at Hopi point! Made it back by sunset (incredible) We loved it and the sunrise over the canyon with a cup of coffee in hand was wonderful.... We took off for our next destination Bryce, down the east rim road and spent a few hours just pulling over and gawking, we're from the east coast so everything we saw was like nothing we'd ever seen. The drive was 5 hours but 5 really cool hours, we were amazed at the enviromental changes that ocured, desert to mountains to mountains with trees etc. it was interesting and fun. We stayed in Mt. Carmel so just headed right to Bryce, with more stunning views, we didn't do any hiking we simply drove from spot to spot and it took about 4 hours but we were able to see it and enjoyed it all....ZION was awesome we drove down that beautiful road early in the morning and saw two big horn sheep rams butting heads, like 3 times, like mutual of omahas wild kingdom it sounded like a shot through the canyon, it was amazing! We hiked 5 hours in the Narrows and I would definitely recommend that, but do it early because busloads of people were there when we were coming back and that takes away from it. The Narrows were a highlight! ...The next morning we headed in early again and had breakfast at the lodge, then got on the road... 8 hours later(UGLY uneventful drive but necesary to get where we were going) we were in Exeter, spent the night had great mexican food and the next morning. Sequoia, again incredible. We did some hikes most memorable Moro Rock, and a nice little hike down to Tharpe log, all alone, just us quiet and awe inspiring amongst the 2000 year old giant trees! ... spent the night and on to Yosemite, we got there early and drove right up to glacier point we were with a handful of people which I found encouraging, but once we came down bus loads were heading up, Yosemite was of course beautiful and we were able a few times to escape the craziness but it is loaded with people. So it wasn't my favorite just because of the crowds. Next day headed to San Francisco, spent the day in Muir Woods, dinner in Sausilito, and some time on the wharf... It was crazy but so much fun and we feel like we really got to see a lot. We will be back to Sedona and Zion for sure, just have to pay this one off first. A great 30th anniversary for my husband and I. Thanks for all your advice!

Salt Lake City, Utah
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10. Re: a day and a half to do both bryce and zion?

So glad you had a great time and enjoyed the trip through Utah. Thanks for reporting back.

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