Feb 27, 2012 at 10:59 am #1286281
I am putting the finishing touches on my conference then to family vacation. Heading out in late May to Las Vegas for a 3 day work conference, bringing the family (wife and will be 22 month old son). My wife and I have done the Vegas thing, not interesting in staying in Vegas so the morning after the conference we have rented a car and have 10 days. I booked 3 nights near the south rim of the Grand Canyon, then 2 nights in Flagstaff and about to book the last 4 nights in Springdale near Mt Zion National Park.
Any suggestions? Things we should do? Places we should go?
We plan to do day hikes in these areas, I have a kid carrier backpack I use to carry my son, he loves it, no overnights of course.
Should we spend a day at/on Lake Powell? How much time for Bryce? Maybe we should stay up by there 1 night instead of all 4 in in Springdale near Zion?
We have never been in this part of the country other than Vegas.Feb 27, 2012 at 11:25 am #1845626
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
In May, the inside of the Grand Canyon will likely be hot, and with the kid carrier, it may be best to stick by the rim looking down .. take a picnic lunch. There's a shuttle bus service, plus plenty to do in Grand Canyon village – ranger presentations, etc … The bad is the Rim will likely be crowded. Driving there you will have to go down to I-40, so check out the Hoover Dam. Not much down by Kingman, AZ besides fuel. It's a drive if you are not used to the "west". Flagstaff is a nice college town with a lot of eateries. The nearby mountains can offer a dayhike as can Sedona (about an hour southwest – again, dayhiker-ville). In Zion, with the kid carrier, the Narrows are out but a shuttle bus can take you to the base of Angels Landing and a bunch of other short dayhikes. It's all set up to be day-hiker (and thus family) friendly.Feb 27, 2012 at 11:34 am #1845631
Good info thank you.
I forgot, yes we plan to hit Hoover Dam on the way out of Vegas. No going down into the canyon, you are right probably on the rim looking down.
In Flagstaff I was thinking that Bearizona thing, maybe the Out of Africa Wildlife Park, that art village in Sedona, and maybe that lava tube in Walnut Canyon National Monument. I thought it might break up the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, canyon view after canyon view to stay in Flagstaff for a couple days, eat out at nice places, etc.
Any input on Bryce/Zion and how to break it up? I have 4 nights in that area and would prefer to not move hotels but maybe a 2 hour drive up to Bryce from Zion means we should stay up by Bryce for 1 or 2 nights and then 2 or 3 nights in Springdale near Zion. Not sure about that part. Is Bryce a 1 day thing or more? I think Zion is good for several days of day hiking/exploring. Want to take it slow and let my son climb around, play in the water, etc.Feb 27, 2012 at 11:46 am #1845639
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
For the Grand Canyon, park your car in Williams and take the antique train.
Flagstaff offers many day hikes plus LOTS of interesting sites to visit. Lots of history here. A must is fish tacos at the San Felipe Cantina! Visit the old General Store too.
Go to Sedona. Take the Oak Creek Canyon Road, NOT I-17! One of the most beautiful drives in Arizona. Almost to Sedona, there is a State Park (forgot the name) where you can play in the water. Lots of hiking and neat shops in the Sedona area. Maybe a side trip to the old mining town of Jerome, drive through Sedona and Cottonwood to get there. A drive back via I-17 gives are great feel for the Mongollon Rim.
From Flagstaff drive east to Canyon de Chelly National Park for a not so heavily used area (at least the last time I was there).
Lake Powell and Lake Mead are dead bathtubs.Feb 27, 2012 at 11:56 am #1845646
Good call on the drive to Sedona. When I booked in Flagstaff I knew there would be some stuff around there just wasn't sure what. For two people from Georgia I think the landscapes are going to be pretty impressive. We haven't spent any time in dry, dessert, canyon areas like this. I see the state parks along Oak Creek Canyon Road (I assume 89A).Feb 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm #1845652
Just took my kids to Zion but they are a bit older. We really had a great time there. We spent about 4 days there. The Narrows walk is great but there is one spot where the water gets about nipple high, depending on water levels and the height of your nipple. The rest of the walk is wobbly, but I would do it with my kids anyway.
We also did the Subway walk. It was spectacular but I probably would not go with a kid saddle.
We also did Angel's landing. Its fine to do with a kid saddle. Its fairly steep, but very groomed trail. The views a great.
There are a lot of other smaller, lower trails too that would be easy. Its a day hikers park and its spectacular. Enjoy.Feb 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm #1845656
Ben did you stay in Zion all 4 days or did you go up to Bryce at all?Feb 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm #1845659
I stayed in Zion 4 days and could have stayed longer. We had planned to go backpacking in Escalante from there maybe stop by Bryce. The weather turned rainy/snowy, so we backed out of the Escalante canyon backpacking and missed Bryce too. Because of the weather, we went camping in Death Valley and we were pleasantly surprised.Feb 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm #1845670
Bryce is a can't miss IMO, even if it's just checking out the various viewpoints. The hikes are cool and all walking among the hoodoos, but the real money is at the viewpoints – especially at sunrise.
I'd recommend arriving in Bryce in the late afternoon with time to visit the various viewpoints that day. Get a hotel somewhere near there, wake up early and check out the sunrise from your favorite viewpoint from the day before. After that, hike the Queen's Garden / Navajo loop and you can see the best Bryce has to offer and be gone before all the crowds arrive.
Also, at Zion, there are some awesome views if you get up to either rim. You can dayhike up from the floor or get in from some roads on the east side.Feb 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm #1845690
If you get thru everything down south too fast, you should go to Moab, and hit Canyonlands-Arches-Dead Horse Point.
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