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Old 11-13-2019, 03:53 PM
Status: "HATE THE IGNORANT, YES YOU!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Idaho
3,727 posts, read 3,361,290 times
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Need to understand that it will snow in Arches when it is dry in Moab.
These photos were taken on Salt Valley Road in Arches; Thanksgiving weekend in 2009; and there was no snow in Moab.



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Old 11-14-2019, 09:44 AM
 
313 posts, read 866,809 times
Reputation: 228
OP here.

I'm leaning toward heading down to Bryce from Salt Lake in the morning of November 21st, Do a driving tour of Bryce Canyon, hopefully catching the sunset (5:00ish)

The plan will be to head in the direction of Zion so that we can get an early start the next morning, so I'd look to book a room and grab a nice dinner somewhere between Bryce and Zion. I see that there are limited options in Bryce, and also on the direct route. There seem to be more option in Panguitch, but that would be backtracking. (Is it worth it?)

Many posters have extensive knowledge that I'd like to mine:
Does this make sense?
Should I reverse the itinerary and head to Zion first?
Any must sees in Bryce and Zion? * A recent meniscus tear will restrict me to very short walks from the car
Once in the Parks, tricks or tips to maximize the experience?
Thoughts on lodging and dining? I see the Best Western Ruby's right outside of Zion, but reviews mention bus tours that often make it loud and crowded, especially for breakfast/dinner.
Again, many thanks in advance.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
24,693 posts, read 25,583,212 times
Reputation: 12015
Quote:
Originally Posted by altajoe View Post
OP here.

I'm leaning toward heading down to Bryce from Salt Lake in the morning of November 21st, Do a driving tour of Bryce Canyon, hopefully catching the sunset (5:00ish)

The plan will be to head in the direction of Zion so that we can get an early start the next morning, so I'd look to book a room and grab a nice dinner somewhere between Bryce and Zion. I see that there are limited options in Bryce, and also on the direct route. There seem to be more option in Panguitch, but that would be backtracking. (Is it worth it?)

Many posters have extensive knowledge that I'd like to mine:
Does this make sense?
Should I reverse the itinerary and head to Zion first?
Any must sees in Bryce and Zion? * A recent meniscus tear will restrict me to very short walks from the car
Once in the Parks, tricks or tips to maximize the experience?
Thoughts on lodging and dining? I see the Best Western Ruby's right outside of Zion, but reviews mention bus tours that often make it loud and crowded, especially for breakfast/dinner.
Again, many thanks in advance.
Well, you will have to do a little bit of walking in Bryce in order to see the canyon overlooks, but not all that much. You might want to stop at the Visitors Center to ask for the Park Rangers' advice, as some of the viewpoints are a little bit more of a challenge to get to than others. (I just can't remember for sure which might be the more difficult ones.) You may wish to drive all the way to the final viewpoint in Bryce before stopping to see anything. That way, you will just be able to easily pull into any of the viewpoints on the way back down without having to cut across the highway. In other words, all of them will be on your right-hand side as you are driving back down towards the entrance of the Park.

In Zion, you almost need to hike to see a great deal. You could probably handle the river walk (Note: This is the walk to where The Narrows hike starts, but is not the actual Narrows hike.) Weeping Rock is also easy to get to. The drive through the canyon and through the tunnel is pretty amazing, although the driver doesn't get to see as much as his/her passengers! Checkerboard Mesa is awesome and can be seen from your car. Most of the other sites are going to require more actual hiking than you're probably up to right now.

My favorite place to stay when I visit Zion is the Desert Pearl, which is in the adjacent town of Springdale, but there are a lot of motels there. Desert Pearl (if it's not fully booked) is also pretty pricey. I do love it, though! I generally stay at Ruby's Inn (the hotel portion rather than the motel portion) when visiting Bryce, but my sister stayed in the cabins at Bryce on her last visit and thought they were amazing. I like the Switchback Grill for fine dining and the Bumbleberry Inn for breakfast. Try the bumbleberry pies! Unfortunately, I have yet to find any eating spots in Bryce that are particularly memorable. The restaurant at Ruby's Inn is certainly passable, and is likely going to be your best option in that area. I doubt you'll run into any tour buses at this time of the year, though I could be wrong. Panguitch is the closest town to Bryce, but in my opinion, nothing there stands out as being any better than what's right in Bryce.

I don't think it matters in the slightest whether you see Bryce or Zion first. Either way is equally workable, in my opinion and the drive between them is gorgeous.
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:08 AM
 
313 posts, read 866,809 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Well, you will have to do a little bit of walking in Bryce in order to see the canyon overlooks, but not all that much. You might want to stop at the Visitors Center to ask for the Park Rangers' advice, as some of the viewpoints are a little bit more of a challenge to get to than others. (I just can't remember for sure which might be the more difficult ones.) You may wish to drive all the way to the final viewpoint in Bryce before stopping to see anything. That way, you will just be able to easily pull into any of the viewpoints on the way back down without having to cut across the highway. In other words, all of them will be on your right-hand side as you are driving back down towards the entrance of the Park.

In Zion, you almost need to hike to see a great deal. You could probably handle the river walk (Note: This is the walk to where The Narrows hike starts, but is not the actual Narrows hike.) Weeping Rock is also easy to get to. The drive through the canyon and through the tunnel is pretty amazing, although the driver doesn't get to see as much as his/her passengers! Checkerboard Mesa is awesome and can be seen from your car. Most of the other sites are going to require more actual hiking than you're probably up to right now.

My favorite place to stay when I visit Zion is the Desert Pearl, which is in the adjacent town of Springdale, but there are a lot of motels there. Desert Pearl (if it's not fully booked) is also pretty pricey. I do love it, though! I generally stay at Ruby's Inn (the hotel portion rather than the motel portion) when visiting Bryce, but my sister stayed in the cabins at Bryce on her last visit and thought they were amazing. I like the Switchback Grill for fine dining and the Bumbleberry Inn for breakfast. Try the bumbleberry pies! Unfortunately, I have yet to find any eating spots in Bryce that are particularly memorable. The restaurant at Ruby's Inn is certainly passable, and is likely going to be your best option in that area. I doubt you'll run into any tour buses at this time of the year, though I could be wrong. Panguitch is the closest town to Bryce, but in my opinion, nothing there stands out as being any better than what's right in Bryce.

I don't think it matters in the slightest whether you see Bryce or Zion first. Either way is equally workable, in my opinion and the drive between them is gorgeous.
Thank you Katzpur. That is great information. One quick question; which of the two do you think deserves the most time?
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
24,693 posts, read 25,583,212 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by altajoe View Post
Thank you Katzpur. That is great information. One quick question; which of the two do you think deserves the most time?
Honestly, it's all a matter of opinion. If you were going to really see both parks in depth, I'd say Zion. It's much larger and you really need to do some actual hiking in order to get the full impact of it. Since you're not going to be hiking, it shouldn't take you all that long to see what can be covered easily with minimal walking.

Bryce, as I said, is much smaller than Zion. You're not going to be hiking much there, either, but you will want to stop at most of the viewpoints, get out of your car and walk the short distance to them. You could also walk part way around the Rim Trail (where there is little elevation gain). My favorite national park in the country is Bryce. As a matter of fact, it's one of my favorite spots in the entire world, and I've traveled quite a bit. Let's just say I'm a tad biased.

Maybe you could split the time more or less equally between the two. You couldn't go terribly wrong that way. I do hope I'm not the only one who gives you information on these. I can't handle the responsibility alone!
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:50 AM
 
313 posts, read 866,809 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Honestly, it's all a matter of opinion. If you were going to really see both parks in depth, I'd say Zion. It's much larger and you really need to do some actual hiking in order to get the full impact of it. Since you're not going to be hiking, it shouldn't take you all that long to see what can be covered easily with minimal walking.

Bryce, as I said, is much smaller than Zion. You're not going to be hiking much there, either, but you will want to stop at most of the viewpoints, get out of your car and walk the short distance to them. You could also walk part way around the Rim Trail (where there is little elevation gain). My favorite national park in the country is Bryce. As a matter of fact, it's one of my favorite spots in the entire world, and I've traveled quite a bit. Let's just say I'm a tad biased.

Maybe you could split the time more or less equally between the two. You couldn't go terribly wrong that way. I do hope I'm not the only one who gives you information on these. I can't handle the responsibility alone!
This is all great information. I truly appreciate it.

In the future, we'll be spending more and more time exploring. This trip is an introduction, so that future trips will be better planned
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