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My solo trip to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks

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My solo trip to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks

Old 03-05-21, 08:15 PM
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My solo trip to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks

I took a trip to Zion in December with some advice from Foosters. (Thank you!) I also visited Dallas, Las Vegas, Bryce Canyon, and a few state parks. Bryce Canyon and Kolob Canyon were my favorite. It was my first time traveling by my lonesome, and I treated myself like a king. A king who hikes 10-15 miles/day. (No biking unfortunately.) I ate like a madman for every meal and still lost ten pounds I didn't particularly need to lose, haha. It was unbelievable, and it really lit my fire to do more traveling. I'm hoping to do Grand Tetons and Glacier with my lady friend in August.

Anyways, things have been crazy the past couple of months, and I'm just going through the thousand or so pictures I took. The vastness of the landscapes were jaw dropping. Pictures can't do it justice at all, but here a few!








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Old 03-06-21, 02:24 AM
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the hiking is better than the cycling in zion and bryce canyon but what little there is in both is awesome.

if you can swing a bike for grand teton np and glacier np, you'll be happy. hiking in both is off the charts
but there's something about riding from jackson, wy north past the national elk refuge enroute to a fantastic
bike path just over the cresting of a little hill where you first glimpse the tetons. wowza. descending/flatting
mostly to moose and the southern entrance into the park is unforgettable. that little going to the sun road
in glacier is a must do as well. enjoy!
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Old 03-06-21, 08:24 AM
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Winter is the best time to go to Bryce and Zion - crowds are 'nil' and the snow covering the rocks just increases the beauty of both places (too bad there wasn't any while you were there ). I've been to those places twice, both in winter, and really enjoyed them.
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Old 03-06-21, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
the hiking is better than the cycling in zion and bryce canyon but what little there is in both is awesome.

if you can swing a bike for grand teton np and glacier np, you'll be happy. hiking in both is off the charts
but there's something about riding from jackson, wy north past the national elk refuge enroute to a fantastic
bike path just over the cresting of a little hill where you first glimpse the tetons. wowza. descending/flatting
mostly to moose and the southern entrance into the park is unforgettable. that little going to the sun road
in glacier is a must do as well. enjoy!
She pretty much chose the 2 for the hiking. We're also hoping to kayak. I can finally be the person I see on the highway, loaded down with adventure gear, who I envy.

I so hoped for snow at Zion and Bryce. I went way over prepared with winter gear, and it ended up hitting 60 most days. I couldn't really complain. I am kind of dreading the traffic at Glacier and Tetons if it is anywhere near the level of Zion. We have campsite reservations for August. It would be really hard to ruin scenery that beautiful, but the amount of people at Zion was definitely disappointing. I can't imagine during peak season.
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Old 03-06-21, 05:59 PM
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Iíve ridden up and back down the west slope of Going to the Sun three times and up the west slope and down the east slope once. Itís something you want to do. If you drive, start very early. During peak season the parking lot at Logan Pass can fill by 8:30 am.
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Old 03-07-21, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BenzFanatic View Post
She pretty much chose the 2 for the hiking. We're also hoping to kayak. I can finally be the person I see on the highway, loaded down with adventure gear, who I envy.


I so hoped for snow at Zion and Bryce. I went way over prepared with winter gear, and it ended up hitting 60 most days. I couldn't really complain. I am kind of dreading the traffic at Glacier and Tetons if it is anywhere near the level of Zion. We have campsite reservations for August. It would be really hard to ruin scenery that beautiful, but the amount of people at Zion was definitely disappointing. I can't imagine during peak season.
both bryce canyon and (especially) zion are relatively compact and muscular. not a lot of roads to spread things out. sure, there are different things to see/do and different
trails to hike but visitors tend to leapfrog and go from one to another, at least the start/first mile, to taste it. gtnp and glacier are much more spread out...not that there won't
be plenty of others-asp at the biggest attractions. early is always better than later and weekdays are always better than weekends.

if you go back to zion, sample the kolob canyon area in the nw portion of the park just off the 15 freeway. it's similar to a couple other well-trafficked national parks in the
fact that the vast majority of the zion traffic hits zion canyon-like 90% + of the visitation. grand canyon np...90% of the visitors hit the south rim...only 10% hit the north rim.
yosemite np...90% hit the valley but only 10% hit tuolumne meadows and the high country. different experiences to be sure but no less awesome.
so few people over in the kolob canyon area comparatively. no shuttles and only minimal services at the visitor center just off the freeway but no traffic and some fantastic trailheads
and scenery.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 03-07-21 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 03-07-21, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
both bryce canyon and (especially) zion are relatively compact and muscular. not a lot of roads to spread things out. sure, there are different things to see/do and different
trails to hike but visitors tend to leapfrog and go from one to another, at least the start/first mile, to taste it. gtnp and glacier are much more spread out...not that there won't
be plenty of others-asp at the biggest attractions. early is always better than later and weekdays are always better than weekends.

if you go back to zion, sample the kolob canyon area in the nw portion of the park just off the 15 freeway. it's similar to a couple other well-trafficked national parks in the
fact that the vast majority of the zion traffic hits zion canyon-like 90% + of the visitation. grand canyon np...90% of the visitors hit the south rim...only 10% hit the north rim.
yosemite np...90% hit the valley but only 10% hit tuolumne meadows and the high country. different experiences to be sure but no less awesome.
so few people over in the kolob canyon area comparatively. no shuttles and only minimal services at the visitor center just off the freeway but no traffic and some fantastic trailheads
and scenery.
Kolob was probably my favorite part of Zion. (Second to last pic is Kolob IIRC.) I got there early, spent most of the day there, and saw 4 cars total. 1 ranger, and 2 of them parked at the longest trailhead the whole time. The other person drove up to the end of the road, walked around the parking lot for a minute, and left.
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Old 03-07-21, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BenzFanatic View Post
Kolob was probably my favorite part of Zion. (Second to last pic is Kolob IIRC.) I got there early, spent most of the day there, and saw 4 cars total. 1 ranger, and 2 of them parked at the longest trailhead the whole time. The other person drove up to the end of the road, walked around the parking lot for a minute, and left.
i think youíre right. looks like the stretch of walls/promontories from the extreme southern end of the road before it switchbacks to the viewpoint/parking lot. gorgeous.
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Old 03-08-21, 01:08 PM
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I live about 5-6 hours from Bryce. I've only driven through there since I moved here a couple years ago, but plan to visit when I can.

If you like that, you should try the Grand canyon. Hike down South Kaibab, camp a couple nights in the floor, or stay at Phantom Ranch, then hike up Bright Angel trail.

One you've got a taste, I highly recommend a 5-6 day backpacking trip to see parts of the canyon that very few people get to see.

Also, go backpack around Europe.
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Old 03-08-21, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
I live about 5-6 hours from Bryce. I've only driven through there since I moved here a couple years ago, but plan to visit when I can.

If you like that, you should try the Grand canyon. Hike down South Kaibab, camp a couple nights in the floor, or stay at Phantom Ranch, then hike up Bright Angel trail.

One you've got a taste, I highly recommend a 5-6 day backpacking trip to see parts of the canyon that very few people get to see.

Also, go backpack around Europe.
If the North Rim road wasn't seasonal I definitely would have spent a day at the Grand Canyon. We recently watched "Into the Canyon" about 2 guys who hike the ~750 miles length of the canyon. We wouldn't go that far, but we are planning on a week each at Tetons and Glacier.

Maybe Europe next year.
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Old 03-08-21, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BenzFanatic View Post
She pretty much chose the 2 for the hiking. We're also hoping to kayak. I can finally be the person I see on the highway, loaded down with adventure gear, who I envy.

I so hoped for snow at Zion and Bryce. I went way over prepared with winter gear, and it ended up hitting 60 most days. I couldn't really complain. I am kind of dreading the traffic at Glacier and Tetons if it is anywhere near the level of Zion. We have campsite reservations for August. It would be really hard to ruin scenery that beautiful, but the amount of people at Zion was definitely disappointing. I can't imagine during peak season.
Visited Zion I think it was 2005 in mid June had to have reservations or no inside the park campsite. Getting around on the propane buses was great since I could catch a bus in 15 minute intervals anywhere in Zion. Crowded it was and there was too much water in the narrows to get very far. Awesome park... I like the SW USA especially the canyon lands parks... Made camping reservations several months beforehand.
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Old 03-08-21, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BenzFanatic View Post
If the North Rim road wasn't seasonal I definitely would have spent a day at the Grand Canyon. We recently watched "Into the Canyon" about 2 guys who hike the ~750 miles length of the canyon. We wouldn't go that far, but we are planning on a week each at Tetons and Glacier.

Maybe Europe next year.
Stay a few nights near the North Rim in summer 2019 and it was great. Always been to the South Rim due to logistics but the last time it was going the be the North Rim. Not as much congestion and just a few amenities (beer and ice). Having a different perspective of the Grand Canyon made it like seeing it for the first time again. Never been to Europe maybe in the future but Iím hell bent on Australia and New Zealand.
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Old 03-09-21, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BenzFanatic View Post
If the North Rim road wasn't seasonal I definitely would have spent a day at the Grand Canyon. We recently watched "Into the Canyon" about 2 guys who hike the ~750 miles length of the canyon. We wouldn't go that far, but we are planning on a week each at Tetons and Glacier.

Maybe Europe next year.
south rim is great but iíll take the north rim for the win. less traffic, higher elevation, more forested.






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Old 03-09-21, 06:53 AM
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Beautiful pictures

Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Visited Zion I think it was 2005 in mid June had to have reservations or no inside the park campsite. Getting around on the propane buses was great since I could catch a bus in 15 minute intervals anywhere in Zion. Crowded it was and there was too much water in the narrows to get very far. Awesome park... I like the SW USA especially the canyon lands parks... Made camping reservations several months beforehand.
We had to be on the NPS website exactly the moment when campsites were released. It's so competitive that people have coded bots to buy up sites as soon as they are released. Doesn't help that their websites are like 1996 slow.

Took her 2 weeks of trying.
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Old 03-09-21, 10:47 AM
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I like Big Bend NP in the summer the crowds are gone. Just stay in the mountains where the weather is cool and do the desert floor stuff before noon.
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