Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

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260chrisb
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Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by 260chrisb » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:16 pm

I'm sure plenty of you have gone already. Lodging is done. Any must do and see tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We plan to be in each location 2 days the first week of May. Thanks.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:32 pm

1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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DG99999
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by DG99999 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:31 pm

My info is a little dated, but when I was at Zion (besides the hikes in the main canyon area) I enjoyed the drive out/back route 9 including the switchbacks, the short hike up to canyon overlook and, further out, the view of checkerboard mesa. You may be able to do that on the day you are travelling between the parks. (Caveat, not sure if/how they have restricted personal autos, so check that)

At Bryce see if the astronomy program has started, though I think you may be too early. I enjoyed the hikes closer to the entrance, but was also glad I drove out to the end for the scenic view and, I believe, bristlecone pines.
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pennywise
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by pennywise » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:01 am

260chrisb wrote:I'm sure plenty of you have gone already. Lodging is done. Any must do and see tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We plan to be in each location 2 days the first week of May. Thanks.
I visited those parks a few years ago and we hiked The Narrows; it's a spectacular route and very popular. I was with a group and we had a guide but lots of folks do it on their own. Here's some information:

https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/thenarrows.htm

coalcracker
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by coalcracker » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:24 am

You will read and everyone will tell you that Angel's Landing is the most spectacular hike in Zion, and I agree. It's quite, let's say, dramatic near the top, so I would not recommend it if you have a significant fear of heights (check out google's images before you go). The hike is strenuous, but you will not be disappointed at the top. If you are lucky you will see some climbers scaling the cliffs as well.

I've done lots of trekking all over the world, and Angel's landing, Half dome (yosemite) and Torres del Paine (Chile) are my top 3 hikes.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by Steelersfan » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:53 am

I thought the Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce was really good, takes you though the hoodoos, and not that strenuous.

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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by prudent » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:49 am

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.

mikepru
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by mikepru » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:36 am

Only been to Zion. The Narrows is spectacular, and not too difficult if the water level is down. It might be very challenging if water is high. Originally we planned to stay in the park, but the lodging just outside the park is very nice. Good restaurants as well on that main road in Springdale. The ride from the east entrance into the park is also spectacular. Great trip with excellent hikes.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by Steelersfan » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:02 pm

If you want to do the Narrows (I did) go to one of the outfitters to reserve what you need the night before. I did that and found out there had been heavy rains far up in the mountains and the the river was dangerous and closed, for several days. I was bummed. So have a back-up plan in case that happens to you.

brushwood
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by brushwood » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:51 pm

I second Angel's Landing with the caveat that it is a pretty adventurous hike. It is steep and there is a pretty long portion where you will be using chains to get over the terrain. If you are afraid of heights you will not enjoy it. I saw a few people having mini breakdowns trying to force themselves to do it. The payoff is awesome though. You will get a killer view of the entire canyon. Hidden Canyon is also pretty great if you're not quite up for Angel's Landing.

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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by giesen5 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:00 pm

brushwood wrote:I second Angel's Landing with the caveat that it is a pretty adventurous hike. It is steep and there is a pretty long portion where you will be using chains to get over the terrain. If you are afraid of heights you will not enjoy it. I saw a few people having mini breakdowns trying to force themselves to do it. The payoff is awesome though. You will get a killer view of the entire canyon. Hidden Canyon is also pretty great if you're not quite up for Angel's Landing.
Another vote for Angel's Landing. There is a nice spot to hang out before the real steep parts start. My wife stayed there while me and the kids went to the top. Amazing hike.

conlius
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by conlius » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:16 am

I used to go there all the time when I lived out in that area. If you want to see thousands of elk, drive the road at the top part of Zion as the sun comes up. Also, stop at the Buffalo ranch and get a buffalo burger! You can also catch big horn rams at the top part of Zion.

Bryce is more of a stop and stare type of visit unless you do the tour of the bottom part of the canyon.

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TxAg
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by TxAg » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:26 am

If you only have 4 days, I'd do 3 in Zion and 1 in Bryce.

JMKEBogleGuy
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by JMKEBogleGuy » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:22 am

Yes I would second the narrows, my son and I did it a few years ago. Get the boots and a walking stick from the outfitters and listen to what they say about the water levels and flow. If it's ok it is one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. Angels landing is surely wonderful too but not for me... The Grand Canyon has always been my spot and when we're at Zion I was kind of "mad" because I was so enthralled with the beauty of Zion and "fearful" that the Grand Canyon was moving into second place.... It's all good.

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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by ponyboy » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:33 am

Zion is meh. Angels landing wasnt that impressive to me. I didnt get to do the narrows but hear great things about it. Just know you may die from a flash flood.

Bryce was awesome. NIce hiking trails...unique formations. I enjoyed bryce better than zion. You should head over to arches and canyonlands...those both are better than bryce/zion.

mikepru
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by mikepru » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:34 am

Definitely get the boots and walking stick. They work very well.

fasteddie911
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by fasteddie911 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:16 am

Look into Kolob Canyon in North Zion, not sure how the hiking is but it's a quieter less-commercialized area with a great view.

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JaneyLH
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by JaneyLH » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:12 pm

giesen5 wrote:
brushwood wrote:I second Angel's Landing with the caveat that it is a pretty adventurous hike. It is steep and there is a pretty long portion where you will be using chains to get over the terrain. If you are afraid of heights you will not enjoy it. I saw a few people having mini breakdowns trying to force themselves to do it. The payoff is awesome though. You will get a killer view of the entire canyon. Hidden Canyon is also pretty great if you're not quite up for Angel's Landing.
Another vote for Angel's Landing. There is a nice spot to hang out before the real steep parts start. My wife stayed there while me and the kids went to the top. Amazing hike.
In May there will be crowds in the park and the Angel's Landing hike is dangerous -- especially with lots of people trying to navigate a very difficult trail. There are many sections where you have to hold onto a chain and walk across a sheer slanting rock wall 1000' above the ground, and there is no ability for 2 people to pass. People bunch up and get frustrated waiting for their turn. There's a tendency to feel pressured and have to hurry. Not good. At least 5 people have died on this trail, the latest just 22 days ago -- a 45 year-old man with 13 and 15-year-old sons.

If you are in good shape (and you'd have to be to tackle Angel's Landing), consider the alternative of Observation Point Trail. It is 8 miles round trip and a 2100-foot elevation gain. Halfway up, you make your way through a gorgeous slickrock canyon and ultimately reach a breathtaking view of Zion Canyon, including Angel's Landing far BELOW. Much more impressive than Angel's Landing views! There are narrow sections of trail with huge dropoffs, but they are level and not so narrow that you risk falling. No problem passing other hikers, or finding spots to sit on a rock and soak in the views as you go.

As you leave Zion heading to Bryce, there is a short, easy hike called Canyon Overlook Trail that starts across from a small parking lot on the right side of the road after you emerge from the tunnel on Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. We've done it twice and have seen Bighorn Sheep at the end of the trail (at yet another beautiful overlook). Well worth it, just about an hour to go out and back. Then watch for the Thunderbird Lodge "Home of the Ho-Made Pie". One of the best (and few) places to eat on the way to Bryce. Great pie! Good place to gas up, too, if you didn't fill up before leaving Zion.

Also second the idea of the Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon -- one of the most iconic trails with amazing hoo doos everywhere. And plan to bring camp chairs and sit at the edge of Bryce Amphitheater for happy hour at sunset. You'll be glad you did!

Zion is worth more time than Bryce due to size and numbers of great hikes. Two days at Bryce and you've seen a lot of it. We've been able to spend 10-14 days at Zion without being bored. Photography opportunities are awesome at both Parks.

There's also a wonderful state park, Kodachrome, near Bryce. In fact, we've camped at Kodachrome to visit Bryce because it's a "two-fer". There are full hookup sites and it's warmer there -- we usually go in early April or October. In May you might want to stay at the higher elevation, but Kodachrome is worth considering.

nimo956
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by nimo956 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:18 pm

Use this excellent guide book (not just for photogtraphy):

Photographing the Southwest: Southern Utah by Laurent Martrès

https://www.amazon.com/Photographing-So ... phing+utah
50% VTI / 50% VXUS

Bfwolf
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by Bfwolf » Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:39 pm

I went to Zion for 2 days last April. Loved it. Angel's Landing is a great hike with spectacular views but certainly not for anybody with a fear of heights as it gets quite treacherous at places and you have to hold on to the chains to prevent yourself from falling to your death. I also did the Emerald Pools hike which is totally different as it's through a forest so it doesn't have the same desert feel. I enjoyed the Emerald Pools hike and associated waterfalls though it's not iconic like Angel's Landing.

The Narrows was not an option when I was there and may not be when you are there either in early May. It depends on how much water flow there is. You may want to read more on this.

I really liked the town of Springdale which is adjacent to Zion. It provides great views and an easy shuttle system for getting to the park. I stayed at the Hampton Inn and would strongly recommend it. It's very well maintained and the staff are exceptional. There's a pool, and a hot tub, and a fire pit where you can hang out at night and roast marshmallows. The shuttle stop to Zion is right outside. Nearby are two restaurants I liked a lot: Oscar's and Bit & Spur.

Once you get to the park, you transfer to a separate shuttle system that will take you to your trailhead.

giesen5
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by giesen5 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:03 pm

JaneyLH wrote:
giesen5 wrote:
brushwood wrote:I second Angel's Landing with the caveat that it is a pretty adventurous hike. It is steep and there is a pretty long portion where you will be using chains to get over the terrain. If you are afraid of heights you will not enjoy it. I saw a few people having mini breakdowns trying to force themselves to do it. The payoff is awesome though. You will get a killer view of the entire canyon. Hidden Canyon is also pretty great if you're not quite up for Angel's Landing.
Another vote for Angel's Landing. There is a nice spot to hang out before the real steep parts start. My wife stayed there while me and the kids went to the top. Amazing hike.
In May there will be crowds in the park and the Angel's Landing hike is dangerous -- especially with lots of people trying to navigate a very difficult trail. There are many sections where you have to hold onto a chain and walk across a sheer slanting rock wall 1000' above the ground, and there is no ability for 2 people to pass. People bunch up and get frustrated waiting for their turn. There's a tendency to feel pressured and have to hurry. Not good. At least 5 people have died on this trail, the latest just 22 days ago -- a 45 year-old man with 13 and 15-year-old sons.

If you are in good shape (and you'd have to be to tackle Angel's Landing), consider the alternative of Observation Point Trail. It is 8 miles round trip and a 2100-foot elevation gain. Halfway up, you make your way through a gorgeous slickrock canyon and ultimately reach a breathtaking view of Zion Canyon, including Angel's Landing far BELOW. Much more impressive than Angel's Landing views! There are narrow sections of trail with huge dropoffs, but they are level and not so narrow that you risk falling. No problem passing other hikers, or finding spots to sit on a rock and soak in the views as you go.

As you leave Zion heading to Bryce, there is a short, easy hike called Canyon Overlook Trail that starts across from a small parking lot on the right side of the road after you emerge from the tunnel on Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. We've done it twice and have seen Bighorn Sheep at the end of the trail (at yet another beautiful overlook). Well worth it, just about an hour to go out and back. Then watch for the Thunderbird Lodge "Home of the Ho-Made Pie". One of the best (and few) places to eat on the way to Bryce. Great pie! Good place to gas up, too, if you didn't fill up before leaving Zion.

Also second the idea of the Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon -- one of the most iconic trails with amazing hoo doos everywhere. And plan to bring camp chairs and sit at the edge of Bryce Amphitheater for happy hour at sunset. You'll be glad you did!

Zion is worth more time than Bryce due to size and numbers of great hikes. Two days at Bryce and you've seen a lot of it. We've been able to spend 10-14 days at Zion without being bored. Photography opportunities are awesome at both Parks.

There's also a wonderful state park, Kodachrome, near Bryce. In fact, we've camped at Kodachrome to visit Bryce because it's a "two-fer". There are full hookup sites and it's warmer there -- we usually go in early April or October. In May you might want to stay at the higher elevation, but Kodachrome is worth considering.
We had a very different experience and it was July, busier than May. We went early so we missed the crowds. There were lots of areas where people could pass safely. Sure, there are areas that could not happen, but you just would slow down and show patience. My kids were 10 and 12 and had no problems. It was a hike that they still talk about. Do it if you can.

ddurrett896
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Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

Post by ddurrett896 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:46 pm

South east of Bryce/Zion, about 30 minutes east of Kanab is the Buckskin Gulch. One of the longest slot canyons in the world. Highly recommend! While your there you can always try the lottery for North Coyotte Butte (Google "The wave") that take place at the Kanab BLM office.

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