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Old Apr 10, 12, 10:09 am   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Need advice on my Vegas/National Park trip

Hi everyone...first let me apologize for the multiple post, this is a rush post, we have to book our trip either tonight or tomorrow at the latest.

Last August the wife and I went to the Grand Canyon.
Now, I will be the first to admit, I am not a fan of nature, but the wife loves hiking (I don't get it)

So we are planning out another vacation, but would love some advice on the best way to organize it.

We are thinking:
for me:
Las Vegas (I love "sites" so I will love going to the hotels and checking out the fun stuff there...I love the "tourist trap" stuff)
maybe Hoover Dam

for her, she has named such places as:
Zion National Park
Bryce Canyon
Antelope Canyon
Moab National Park

Now, a couple of questions:
1. From her list...which of those would be the same as Grand Canyon?
We can probably remove that stuff, since it would be similar to our last vacation. Of course thats my thinking, she might disagree.
Antelope seems very different from Grand Canyon, but it might be tough to get to (see question 2)

2. What would be the best path for our trip? we are thinking Saturday to Friday. Maybe 3 nights in Vegas...
Fly into Phoenix then drive to Vegas, passing by Antelope and Zion, etc?
Fly into Vegas then drive to Phoenix, passing by .....
What parks do we go to on the path....what parks do we avoid (too out of the way, etc)

3. Is it even possible with our limited time. Should we just forget about some of the parks/Phoenix, and just stay in Vegas and go to some nearby parks as day trips...

4. Is it better to hit the parks on the weekdays because it might be less crowded? (ties into question 2 also)

Any advice/thoughts would be appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old Apr 11, 12, 3:26 pm   #2
  
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I'm not sure anything is "the same as the Grand Canyon." However, Zion is very nice. There's a lot of good hiking for hikers at all levels in a picturesque setting, plus a very good scenic drive. You can easily do Zion as a day trip or a short overnight from Vegas, as it's only a 2.5-3 hour drive each way. Note, however, that Zion is not "on the way" between Las Vegas & Phoenix by any stretch. In any case, I'd recommend it...although I can't compare it to Bryce, Antelope, or Moab.

P.S. There are a number of tour companies who operate roundtrip between Vegas and Zion, as it is a popular day trip. If you wanted to send your wife on her way and remain in Vegas, yourself, then that's certainly possible as well.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 8:41 pm   #3
  
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You may be better off flying into or out of SLC or Grand Junction, CO rather than PHX. Most people try to cover Bryce and Zion since they are not too far from each other but on 3-4 day trip you may be able to include another one or two ntl or state parks in the area depending on your arrival location. There will be plenty of driving.
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Old Apr 14, 12, 6:46 pm   #4
glg
  
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I'm really confused by you mentioning PHX at all. None of these parks are on the way from PHX to LAS. All but Antelope are north of LAS. Antelope is east of the Grand Canyon, also not on the way from PHX.

For Bryce/Zion/Antelope, you could just fly in and out of LAS and drive up to those. For Moab, like azepine00 said, try Grand Junction.
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Old Apr 15, 12, 7:00 pm   #5
  
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Go to Bryce canyon

Among Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon, I found Bryce canyon to be the most spectacular and beautiful. I haven't been to moab or Antelope.

If you are at all into engineering or architecture, the Hoover Dam is definitely worth seeing.
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Old Apr 16, 12, 10:02 pm   #6
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>>TravelScholar
>>You can easily do Zion as a day trip or a short overnight from Vegas

I hope so. Im planning on going as a day trip only.

>>If you wanted to send your wife on her way and remain in Vegas, yourself, then that's certainly possible as well.
>

lol, I wish. I don't know how "possible" it is.

>>I'm really confused by you mentioning PHX at all. None of these parks are on the way from PHX to LAS.
>

I read on the website for Antelope that the closest major airport is PHX.


>>If you are at all into engineering or architecture, the Hoover Dam is definitely worth seeing.

Added that to our to-do list!


Thanks everyone!
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Old Apr 27, 12, 2:39 pm   #7
  
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Went to all of the parks when I was young. The rest of my family preferred Bryce, for the pretty scenery, but I preferred Zion, since you were in the midst of the canyon's attractons vs. looking down on them. I see you went to the Grand Canyon, but if it was the South Rim, you might consider the North Rim. A very different experience: 1,000' higher, cooler, greener, much more forested nearby, and far less crowded. However, far fewer options for accommodations: the lodge on the rim, which sells out way in advance; the rustic Kaibab Lodge just outside the park, the the Jacob Lake Inn-- essentially a big motel-- 40 miles from the rim. If you've been to the North Rim, and don't have time to hit the South Rim this time, maybe hit Capitol Reef National Park http://www.nps.gov/care/index.htm

The last time we were at Zion we stayed at the lodge inside the park, since even hotels in nearby Springdale were largely sold out. Glad we did, since we had the area to ourselves after the day's last shuttle bus to Springdale left and before the first one of the day arrived.

Are you going in August again? Obviously warmer (especially Zion) and more crowded than, say, after Labor Day. Facilities at the North Rim of the GC close in mid to late October. I think similar dates for Bryce, even if the road is still open.

As noted elsewhere, there is no Moab National Park. Maybe you mean Arches National Park. Very scenic.

Last edited by SoCal; Apr 27, 12 at 2:44 pm
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Old Apr 30, 12, 10:53 pm   #8
  
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zion is the most accessible from vegas as it's a 2.5 hour drive away. bryce is the next closest, but the rest are pretty far away (i.e. 5+ hours each way) and would not be great for a daytrip. zion is amazing though if you are into hiking. why not stay a night at the park? zion has some great lodging options...
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Old May 18, 12, 7:55 pm   #9
  
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If you stay around Vegas the north end of the Spring Mountains is delightful, especially in summer. The high elevation conifer forest is 30 degrees cooler than the baking valley, you can almost taste the clean air. It's a nice change from all those damn rocks. Lee Canyon Rd goes to the top.
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