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Southern Utah Trip

New York City, New...
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Southern Utah Trip


I've got a few questions regarding our upcoming trip in June to southern Utah, which may help plan our itinerary better.

We are a group of 10 people traveling from New Jersey end of June looking to explore a few national parks (Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon). We are all inexperienced hikers but are looking forward to this nature-focused trip. I am looking for feed back on the ideal number of days needed to explore each park, any must-see points (level of difficulty, time of hike, etc), lodging, and commute between locations. Thank you!

4 replies to this topic
Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Southern Utah Trip

Wow! You are a group of 10 people planning on traveling to Utah at one of the busiest times of the year and you don’t have hotel reservations? I’m sorry. But you are in big trouble when it comes to finding places to sleep that many people. Most travelers who have planned trips to this region reserved hotel rooms months ago.

Here’s an itinerary to consider.

Day 1. Fly in to Las Vegas. Overnight

Day 2. Drive to South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Overnight. 4.5 hour drive, no stops.

Day 3. Grand Canyon

Day 4. Drive to Page AZ. Overnight. I’d suggest that you tour Antelope Canyon but the probability of you getting reservations for 10 people on the same tour is doubtful. 3 hour drive, no stops

Day 5. Drive to Bryce. Overnight. 3.5 hour drive, no stops

Day 6. Bryce AM. Drive to Springdale UT PM. Overnight 2.5 hour drive, no stops

Day 7. Zion NP

Day 8. Zion NP most of the day. Return to Las Vegas. Overnight. 3 hour drive, no stops, Gain an hour entering Nevada.

Day 9. Fly home.

Drive times are wheels turning, no stops for food, fuel, restroom breaks, no allowances for traffic . We usually say to add 30% more time to,the drive times to allow for those stops, But with 10 people all your stops are going to probably take twice as long as the rest of the travelers.

If you don’t have this much time, you can try for an early flight into Las Vegas and head straight to the Grand Canyon or do one less night at the South Rim. The other night stays are the absolute minimum. The itinerary can be done in reverse starting with Zion. Which way you do it and if you even do this trip, will depend on obtaining hotel rooms for your group. I hope you haven’t purchased air fare yet. Get hotels lined up BEFORE you purchase airfare.

When booking hotels, you want to stay as close to the national parks as possible and not 30 minutes to an hour away.

When you get your hotels lined up, come back to,the forum and we can help you with hikes, etc. No point in going in to all that if you can’t put hotels together.

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2. Re: Southern Utah Trip

Hopefully you aren't too late to get reasonable accommodations.

A basic template for the trip is:

Vegas - 1 night

Grand Canyon South Rim - 1-2 nights

Page -

Bryce 1-2 nights

Springdale (Zion) - 3 nights

Back to Vegas.

Each location has great activities some highlights:

Grand Canyon - Hike South Kaibob down into the canyon however far you wantd

- Hike around the rim trail - go to different viewpoints

Page - 1 night (Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon Dam)

Bryce - Navajo/Queens loop (3 miles). Drive Scenic Loop.

Zion - Many options - Riverside Walk, Emerald Pools, Canyon Overlook. Other options as well.

Park City, Utah
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3. Re: Southern Utah Trip

I'll throw in a different approach to this. With 10 people booking into the busiest time of the year a month out in an area that has very little lodging inventory, you'll have some challenges. And you'll have to move those 10 people every day or two.

A better option would be to focus on Moab. Fly into Salt Lake City. Get a couple of vans. Drive four hours to Moab and park yourself in the same lodging for four to six days. You'll never run out of new things to do every day. You'll be in an area that has a ton more suitable lodging, more restaurants, etc.

Have fun;

Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell
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4. Re: Southern Utah Trip

I agree with Tumbleweeds. Go to Moab. You can probably find a house to rent in the area. There’s plenty in the area to keep you busy for a week. It will be a much more enjoyable vacation if you aren’t moving 10 people around every couple of days. Canyonlands and Arches NP arevery close to Moab.

Edited: 15 May 2018, 05:55
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