Zion/Bryce advice

Hi Ute fans–

Cal Bears fan here. I’m road-tripping to Bryce and Zion in late September. Never been. I’ll be there for four days. Any advice on how to split the time and what to see. I’m hearing maybe spend three days in Zion and one day in Bryce, but am not sure. Any and all advice on where to stay and what to do would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Hiking the Bryce Canyon trails is worth the time invested. If you paint, setting up at the south side of the rim at dawn might give you an inspired product.

Sunset at Cedar Breaks National Monument…ditto for pics or painting.

Visiting the north rim of the Grand Canyon (it’s about 2 hours from St George, Kanab, Bryce Area) is worth the road trip.

Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park is a rare sightseeing opportunity.

Zions is pretty crowded and some parts of the park are highly regulated to travel. That said, it’s worth seeing.


Two great places.

Angel’s Landing or the Narrows hike in Zion are unforgettable. Narrows requires an advance permit and takes an entire day. Bryce is more remote and has less visitors but is gorgeous.

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I think Zion is worth the money to stay in the park or at least, within the shuttle cicuit - because its so spectacular. The light changes every hour. So get out early for dawn, have breakfast back home go for a hike, nap when the 139 degree noon heat hits…(kidding) or lounge in the pool. Hit the shuttle for free often to see the afternoon and break-light, walk to dinner and drinks in the lovely evening breeze.
it’s one of the few places where it actually looks like the postcards.

We actually snuck some quality beers on the shuttle one sunset and a young German couple with the same idea were just taking it all in for the first time. I had the pleasure to say "Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a really tasty beer right now? They sighed and nodded in agreement. “Well, here you go!” and gave them each an ice cold brew from the pack
I’ve pulled that stunt a few times over the years to great success.


One can always just walk from the outflow area in the against the stream. Well, it’s not the entire hike but we’ve gone pretty much to the terminal end where the canyon starts cutting in steep. Most of the Tourist stop walking after the first half mile and the river’s pretty much your own.

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There are some great slot canyons in Zion. If you don’t have canyoneering experience you can hire a guide to set it all up. Pine Creek slot is really amazing.

Zion is crowded. There is a section a bit north on I-15 called Kolob Canyons which will probably be less crowded. The hike to Kolob Arch is nice.

You may want to take a day to drive from Bryce to Capitol Reef. Hwy 12 is a beautiful drive.

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You may be short changing Bryce. You can easily spend one day along the rim and another day hiking down below the rim and through the hoodoos. Another choice is the 3 hour horse/mule ride down through the Peekaboo Loop. Every step you take changes the angle of what you’re looking at and gives a new view.

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I always felt going onto Zion is more ethereal whereas Bryce, though absolutely stunning, seems to be a little more separated from lodging etc… Maybe there are openings in the limited, park service hotel, which is a bit austere.
At any rate, @aunbearkeley, hope you have a great time in Utah!
Please let us us know/post some pics of your experience. :wink:
Go Utes!

Can’t speak for everyone else, but Cedar Breaks and Bryce are my 2 favorite areas in So. Utah. The hikes and views are spectacular.

I realize you’re going in a few weeks, but if you get the chance, visit them in the winter. There’s nothing quite like the red rocks covered in snow. Got a pic of Bryce in the winter as my background.

Don’t be shy about visiting all 3 areas. I’m not sure 4 days will do you justice, especially if you want to see all in some depth.

I hope that you enjoy your trip. Take a ton of pictures. I miss visiting the Nat’l Parks in Utah.

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I feel Observation Point in Zions is a must (and not as crowded as some of the others.) Views at the end are well worth the hike.

Whatever you do, eat a meal or two at Oscars in Springdale. They are not currently issuing permits for the Narrows, but you can still get a sense by hiking up the river for a bit rather than the traditional down. I prefer Observation Point over Angels Landing simply because the crowds on Angels Landing are ridiculous. Because of crowding, we have started to go to Bryce rather than Zion. Our favorite hikes at Bryce are Fairyland Loop and Peakaboo Loop. There is also a great bike path that runs from inside the park and about 15 miles outside the park.

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Continuing the discussion from Zion/Bryce advice:

I would recommend two days in Zion and two days at Bryce. Zion is busy but doable. When you travel from Zion to Bryce make sure you go over Highway 14 up Cedar canyon and cut over to Cedar Breaks National Monument then drive to Panguitch past Panguitch Lake. It is an incredibly beautiful drive. Make sure you stay at Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon.


Best place to stay in Zion is Zion Ponderosa Resort check out the site here: zionponderosa.com shoot me a message and I can get you 10% off.