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Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

New York City, New...
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Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

My flight from New York is supposed to arrive in Las Vegas (McCarran) at 11:49pm. I plan on taking a shuttle to the Rent-A-Car center and picking up the car I have made a reservation for. I plan on visiting Zion in the morning however, I am not sure when/how I should drive there.

I would like to hike Angel's Landing in Zion the next morning. I have read that arriving early morning is best because of crowds and heat not to mention that Zion's parking lot fills up quickly.

Would it be safe to drive in the middle of the night straight to Zion? Or stay in Vegas for the night and leave for Zion early in the morning but get there much later?

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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1. Re: Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

I would stay in Vegas for the night.Falling asleep driving a long stretch of desert road is a very real possibility.

It will probably take an hour to get a car and be on the road, then its just short of three hours to Zion and you lose an hour entering UT so you would arrive in Zion about 5 am local time.

Get a few hours sleep, and leave in the morning.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

I wouldnt drive to Zion that night, alot of the area you are traveling through is pretty desolate with no services for part of the drive, as well as some winding roads that would not be advisable to travel on late at night when you are not familiar with the area. I would consider just enjoying the lights of Las Vegas at night which are really something, and start your trip the next Morning early.

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3. Re: Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

Thank you so much for your insight. I see driving to directly to Zion is not a good idea.

However, would you suggest driving and staying in a town that is along the route (i.e. Mesquite)? The reason I am skipping Vegas is because I have already been to Vegas on a previous trip

Edited: 8:33 pm, August 06, 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada
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4. Re: Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

Its really up to you what you may want to do, but Mesquite is only about a 1 hour drive at most from Las Vegas, so you are not really getting very far by traveling there late at night.

If you go as far as St George if you are set on going that night before would put you about a 45 min drive from there to Zion. But I would be careful traveling in the Gorge late at night which is between Mesquite and St George, its alot of winding road, but is a freeway, so you would likely be fine if you pay attention to the speed limit around the turns and take them at the suggested speed. ( alot of people dont)

Edited: 9:02 pm, August 06, 2013
Sedona, AZ
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5. Re: Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

I wouldn't drive any farther north at night than Mesquite. For the obvious safety reasons mentioned but also because it would be a shame to miss the scenery.

North Brunswick...
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6. Re: Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

I'm from NJ and visited Zion/GC couple of times. I would advice to stay in Vegas for following reasons -

1 - To rest after a long flight

2 - You're going to wake up really early next morning, b'coz of time zone difference. so let's say you leave around 6 after breakfast, you shall be ok with Angel's landing

3 - The route - specially I-15 portion of arizona - is really beautiful drive, and you dont wanna miss it by driving it in the night

4 - dont worry abt crowd at angel landing...higher you go, thinner the crowd would be ;-)

have a good trip!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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7. Re: Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

Im not sure why everyone seems so worried about the OP missing scenery on the drive, since its likely they are traveling back to Las Vegas to go back home, and will get the chance on thier way back ;)

Newark, Delaware
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8. Re: Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

The late afternoon to Angel's Landing was not crowded at all and 100% in the shade until you get to the fin. There is no need to do it early morning, just not mid-day.

I would probably stay right near the airport and get an early start the next morning because it would be more comfortable. With that said, the road is nearly all straight and two lanes each way (i think 70 mph). There is one curvy section through a canyon, which is also the most scenic and the only part you would really be missing at night. When you get off the highway, it is a fairly wide, easy one-lane each way road. I would hesitate driving east out of Zion at night, but coming from the west, I would have no problem driving at night.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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9. Re: Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

Absolutely no reason Imo to stay near the Airport. The area is bland. Its also located close to the South end of the strip area so you might as well stay on the strip, which would actually be a little closer when you want to leave to go to Zion in the Morning.

Newark, Delaware
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10. Re: Late Night Drive to Zion from LV????

The strip is right near the airport which is where I was inferring as a possibility. The problem with staying at a casino is the added time to check in and get to/from your room and deal with parking or the valet. If you are checking in at midnight and leaving early morning, it doesn't matter if it is bland, just something quick and convenient. Personally, I would either get my car, get on the highway and get something right at an interchange, maybe on the outskirts of Vegas, or stay at an airport hotel and have the rental car delivered in the morning, if that is an option.