Replies: 10 - Last Post: Feb 1, 2013 8:30 PM Last Post By: vasenka
Jan 30, 2013 10:26 AM
grand canyonWe are planning a fall trip to the Grand Canyon. Maybe fly into Las Vegas then drive to North Rim.It is very appealing, due to frequent comments about less crowds. Thinking of a side trip to Bryce Canyon also. is this realistic.?
Jan 30, 2013 10:52 AM
1it's very feasible, just watch your dates. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon closes in mid-October due to heavy snowfall. Bryce Canyon is open year-round, but you need to be prepared for snow there in autumn, as it's a high-elevation park.
As long as you go before mid-October, there's no reason why you can't combine the two (as long as you're up for the driving involved). You might also think about adding Zion National Park to your itinerary, as it's between the two and wouldn't require much of a detour.
Jan 30, 2013 10:52 AM
Jan 30, 2013 11:08 AM
3Welcome to Thorn Tree.
Make reservations at the North Rim as soon as Forever Resorts will accept them, especially if you want to stay in the lodge or the cabins. The lodge is right on the edge of the canyon.
Driving from the North Rim to Bryce Canyon will take you right past the eastern entrance to Zion Canyon. Spen a couple of days there too.
Have a great time.
Jan 30, 2013 2:18 PM
4It's realistic - in the sense that adding Bryce Canyon NP (two nights, to account for the drive from North Rim) and Zion NP (one night) are very rewarding additions to your trip out to the Grand Canyon. We actually prefer the South Rim (and the drive to there from Las Vegas), but I take your point about less crowds at North Rim, if that is important to you.
Jan 30, 2013 4:18 PM
5Do the south rim too...the crowds aren't that bad...
Its probably easier to get to the south rim via Vegas though Flagstaff ...than to go around to the north rim...to me the north rim has always seemed isolated and remote...
If you go to Bryce...you'll almost have to go to Zion...to get back to Vegas via St George Utah...which is a nice stopping place...check out the Mormon Temple...in "Utah's Dixie"...former winter home of Brigham Young...
None of this is long distance travel...its all day tripping... Vegas is a good place to get a car...lots of choices and perhaps better deals... You might also consider a day trip to Death Valley from Vegas...which is starkly beautiful with grand vistas...and worth seeing...
Jan 30, 2013 5:17 PM
6... back to Vegas via St George Utah...which is a nice stopping place...check out the Mormon Temple...in "Utah's Dixie"...former winter home of Brigham Young...
We stayed one night in St George - kind of spooky and weird - but no more weird than Mesquite across the border, or Hurricane nearer to Zion. We stayed at the beautiful Dixie Hostel in Hurricane a couple of times ... met a guy hanging out there who said he had 47 siblings ... and it was tricky keeping track of things when you met people at nightclubs! He didn't quite have all the oars in the water ... which was hardly surprising.
Jan 30, 2013 8:40 PM
7You don't say how much time you have. 3 days? three weeks? makes a big difference.
That's funny, I never thought of St. George as either particularly "nice", or "spooky". "Blandly utilitarian" was what popped to my mind. I'd rather stay in Springdale, which is right outside the entrance to Zion.
In any case, I'd suggest driving to the North Rim via the southerly route, through Colorado City and Fredonia. Then on the return, go up through Kanab to Bryce, and then enter Zion from the east. Entering Zion via the tunnel is one of the more spectacular scenery experiences you can have.
You can do this all in about 5 days, assuming you'll want to spend at least most of a day at each park. The main limiting factor will be lodging availability at the North Rim. If the lodging situation at the North Rim doesn't work out for you, then you can do a similar trip, just loop around to the south rim before heading north into Utah. Although this seems much longer, it actually only adds about 4 hours of drive time. I wouldn't worry overmuch about crowds at the south rim. It will be mellower in the fall than in the height of the summer travel season, and even then the crowds are easy enough to avoid with a little motivation and creativity. Fall is a great time of year in all of these parks.
Jan 30, 2013 9:00 PM
8On reflection, I expect it is somewhere between "spooky" and "nice" - which probably leads to "bland". I guess the Mormonism in both St George and Hurricane was really palpable, and everyone there had clean clothes and these nice smiles. Bit like the Stepford Wives we thought.
But I agree that the South Rim route is somewhat better than the North Rim ... which is kind of ragged and not that great in my opinion.
Jan 31, 2013 2:29 PM
9If you will be in the area around October 1 ... the aspen trees will be turning. The North Rim section of Grand Canyon National Park is just about the best place in the general area to enjoy the color. US180 northwest of Flagstaff is fairly good for aspens as well (though this would be somewhat out of your way if driving to South Rim from Vegas). There are a also few aspen toward Rainbow Point at the south end of Bryce Canyon National Park - but only a few.
Some of the viewpoints along the Cape Royal Road at North Rim (notably Vista Encantadora) used to also have brilliant color just below the rim at about that time from shrubby maples, but recent fires may (or may not) have affected this.
FlagStuff's suggestion to drive eastward through Colorado City and westward on the Zion - Mt. Carmel Highway is excellent.
Feb 1, 2013 8:30 PM
10If you're in St George, Utah......you might visit the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre...which is just north of town...
John D. Lee was executed by firing squad 20 years after the massacre on that site... Lee was sent to Lee's Crossing to run the ferry there and hide out from the Feds...his farm called "Lonely Dell" is still at Lee's Crossing to walk around on as sort of a local park ...
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