First visit to Vegas and Grand Canyon..Advice Please!

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  • Mar 16th, 2009 3:53 am
Mar 7, 2006
486 posts

First visit to Vegas and Grand Canyon..Advice Please!

Hello everyone,

My bf and I will be visiting Las Vegas in late July, and we're taking a 3-day (2-night) road trip. We would like to see Zion national park, as well as Bryce and the Grand Canyon.

At first, I was looking to stay somewhere central like Mount Carmel, but I've read a lot of posts saying that it's not as nice as Springdale, and it's worth the extra drive to stay in Springdale. Comparing the prices, the accomodations in mount carmel are $20-30 cheaper.

We don't mind if the place is small, but cleanliness is definitely important. Price is also important (everything adds up, right?). It would be nice to have good restaurants around, but a day or two of mediocre food is OK for us. We'll be heading back to vegas anyway.. :) Where should we stay??

Another concern: BUGS!! We both hate bugs...should we be worried, seeing as our trip is in July?

One last question: How does the shuttle at ZION work? You just hop on and off at the designated stops? Where do you pay the entrance fee? I haven't done my research on the Grand Canyon and Bryce park yet, but I'm guessing it all works the same.

Any suggestions about Las Vegas? We were just going to enjoy the shows, food, and beautiful hotels.

Thanks in advanced for your help! Any additional advice/recommendations/deals is greatly appreciated! :)
6 replies
Jan 29, 2006
430 posts
I stayed at the Canyon Ranch Motel in Springdale. I originally booked one night, but ended up staying a second night (since the location was nice, the rooms were clean and the owners were very friendly). The first night I had a room with a kitchenette since that all that was available when I booked it. The room was quite large. The second night, it was just a room and it was on the smaller side (the washroom was a shower and toilet, with the sink in the room).
Price wise it was only a $10 difference between the two. I would have stayed in the room with the kitchenette but it wasn't available the second night.

You pay the park entrance fee at the gatehouse to enter the park. You park your car the the visitors center and take the shuttle from there. I believe they run every 15 minutes or so, and you just hop on and off as you please at designated stops.

I am sure you know that it will be really hot in July. The park shuttles start at 5am, so that you can get going on your day early.

In Zion NP, the Angel's Landing trail is awesome. It is a little strenuous as it climbs 1500ft. And you shouldn't be afraid of heights as you come close to the edge a few times near the top, but the view from the top is worth it. Bring sturdy footwear. Walking up the Zion Narrows is pretty cool too, you get off at the last shuttle stop, walk a mile to the river and start heading up the river. As it is a slot canyon, be aware of the potential for flash floods.
Feb 7, 2005
4498 posts
How much are GC trips from Vegas ?
Mar 7, 2006
486 posts
I was just planning on renting a car and driving there... more flexibility??
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Nov 12, 2003
7793 posts
quite a tight schedule for Bryce, Zion, and Grand Canyon.. but it's doable... if you don't also want to plan to see the Valley of Fire, etc.
Oct 18, 2002
244 posts
It's been a few years since I've been but I found Zion and Bryce much more interesting than the Grand Canyon.

We did the narrows @ Zion and it was awesome. Check with the staff @ the Park Office re: flash floods. The shuttle in our experience was awesome. They come every 5 min or so at peak hours of the day so you never wait long.

It will be warm down in the Zion valley, but Bryce and up higher in Zion won't be too bad temp wise. North rim of grand canyon is quiet and a little cooler due to the elevation too.