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The Grand Canyon and Beyond: The Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary in Northern Arizona & Southern Utah

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Pack your hiking boots, sunscreen and selfie stick. You’re going to need all of them for what promises to be your Best. Week. Ever.

If you have seven full days to explore the star attractions of the area of the American Southwest known as the Grand Circle, you already know how lucky you are. What you may not know is which order to visit them in, how many days to spend at each place, and what you can do there. Well, grab your tablet, phone or – gasp! – pen and paper, sit back and relax and get ready to start planning the ultimate 7-day vacation to the Grand Canyon and  beyond!

Before we dive into it, there are a few things to keep “front and center” in your mind:

  1. Since Las Vegas, NV is a popular “jumping off” point for a good majority of travelers to this area, this itinerary will be based on the assumption that you’re staging your trip from there as well.
  2. Buses, trains and other mass transit options are scarce to non-existent in this part of the country, therefore, this will be a self-drive itinerary. Click here if driving is not an option.
  3. Speaking of driving, drive times are on the long side. That’s how we roll in this part of the country, and you should be ready to do so as well. You’ll also notice that we give rather wide variations on drive time estimates. The first number is an estimate for “direct drive,” which rarely happens. You always have to factor in bathroom breaks, meal stops, and the inevitable “oh, wow, look at that!” moment.
  4. Grand Canyon South Rim lodging will be the most time-sensitive element of your trip plans. Hotel availability in this National Park should be the “lynchpin” around which your plans revolve, and evolve. Though this itinerary will go off the assumption that it will be the first stop on your tour, be prepared to hit these attractions in reverse order should Grand Canyon hotels be fully booked for the first part of your trip. Don’t worry, you’ll still have a great time!
  5. This itinerary includes several National Parks which charge anywhere from $20-$30 per vehicle to enter. Save money and time by purchasing the “America The Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.” For just $80, this handy little card grants you access to all National Parks, Monuments and other Federal Fee Areas for 1 year’s time. Exclusions: Native American Tribal Parks such as Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, the Little Colorado River Overlook, Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks. Pre-order online (allow 6-8 weeks for processing) or simply purchase it in-person at the first National Park you visit.
  6. Book everything in advance, and we do mean everything, especially if your visit will take place during the peak visitation times, which is typically between March and November. Hotels, tours, dinners at higher-end restaurants, all should be prearranged. You can’t just “wing it” and hope for the best. Trust us, we live here.    

Here’s how we’re breaking down your week:

  • Day 1 – Las Vegas to Grand Canyon
  • Day 2 – Grand Canyon to Monument Valley
  • Day 3 & 4 – Page/Lake Powell
  • Day 5 – Bryce Canyon
  • Day 6 & 7 – Zion National Park

So let’s do this!

Day 1

Morning: Drive from Las Vegas, NV to Grand Canyon South Rim: driving time – 4.5-6.5 hours.*

Head Southeast on US93. With an early enough start, you might stop at Hoover Dam, tour the visitor’s center and watch a short film presentation on the construction of this enormous yet elegant structure that made the West what it is today. If making good time is your first priority, proceed directly over the Pat Tillman-Mike O’Callaghan Memorial Bridge and enjoy the view of Hoover Dam from a lofty perch of 900’ above the bedrock!

Continue South to Kingman, AZ and head East on I-40. If you’re getting hungry at this point, Kingman has a good number of restaurants to choose from. Mr. D’s Route 66 Diner is a favorite in this area for its retro decor and hearty Mexican and American fare. You might also use this opportunity to stop into a grocery store, purchase a small cooler and stock up on supplies for a rimside picnic at the Grand Canyon. More on that later.

In Williams, AZ, head North on AZ64. Train, history or Route 66 buffs may also enjoy a stop in this Grand Canyon gateway community that is home base of the Grand Canyon Railway.

3 miles South of the entrance gate of Grand Canyon South Rim is the small town of Tusayan, AZ, also known as Grand Canyon Village South. Here you can stop and see the world-famous IMAX film presentation, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets” or do a little shopping before you head into the park.

Upon arrival at Grand Canyon South Rim, stop at the Canyon View Information Plaza located near Mather Point. Browse the informational displays to learn more about how the canyon was formed, talk with a helpful park ranger on how to make the most of your time at the South Rim, or hop on the free Village Loop Shuttle and tour the Grand Canyon Village Historic District. Don’t forget to grab that cooler and sandwich fixins you bought earlier. Park restaurants tend to get crazy at mid-day, so better to enjoy a relaxing “al fresco” lunch than to waste valuable sightseeing time waiting for a table at a restaurant.

Early afternoon: check into your Grand Canyon hotel and do a little decompressing from the day’s drive and activities. Not ready to downshift? Take in more Grand Canyon views on the free Hermit’s Rest/West Rim (Red) shuttle line, or get a taste of the inner canyon with a short hike on the Bright Angel Trail. If you take us up on the latter, remember to double your time down as your estimated time to hike back out. 30 minutes down = 60 minutes out. Water and sun protection must also be carried.

Sunset: be somewhere – anywhere – on the canyon rim! Try to get to your chosen spot 30 minutes prior to sunset, and remain for another 30 minutes afterward to experience the full range of light changes, and the best photo ops. Popular viewpoints for Grand Canyon sunset viewing include, but are not limited to:

For dinner, choose from one of six restaurants within Grand Canyon Village, the deli at Grand Canyon Market Plaza, or the diverse array of options in Tusayan/Grand Canyon Village South.

In the course of your trip plans, you may have heard that dinner at El Tovar Hotel is a culinary don’t-miss, and you’d have heard right! Reservations, though not required per se, are strongly recommended. They can be made 6 months in advance for guests of the El Tovar, and up to 30 days in advance for everyone else. Click here for contact information. If the prospect of dinner here doesn’t appeal or work out, breakfast or lunch at the El Tovar are just as memorable, and delicious!

 

Day 2

Sunrise: If you missed sunset the night before, or even if you didn’t, greet your day in “grand” style be witnessing sunrise over the Grand Canyon. Like sunset, there’s no such thing as a “bad” place to be for sunrise, but there’s no denying that the best views are on the Desert View/East Rim Drive, which, by coincidence you’ll be passing through on your way to your next destination: Monument Valley!

Morning: Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Monument Valley, UT: Drive time: 3-5 hours

Note that the Navajo Indian Reservation observes Daylight Saving Time whereas the remainder of Arizona does not. You will “lose” an hour traveling from Grand Canyon South Rim to Monument Valley.

Head due East on AZ64 toward Cameron, AZ. Time permitting, stop at:

  • Grandview Point (the author’s personal favorite for sunrise!)
  • Navajo Point
  • Zuni Point
  • Moran Point
  • Lipan Point
  • Desert View Watchtower

Upon exiting the park, you’ll be on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands. A stop at the Little Colorado River Overlook will give you a greater appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the Colorado River ecosystem, and its spiritual significance to the native peoples of this area.

Visit the Historic Cameron Trading Post at the junction of AZ64 and US89 for a bathroom break/leg stretch, or breakfast. The Navajo Taco with an egg on top must be seen (and eaten) to be believed! Don’t be surprised, or concerned, if you end up with leftovers. Remember that cooler you bought? Grab a to-go box and enjoy your leftovers as a snack later on.

Head North on US89 for a short distance, then turn off on US160 East toward Tuba City and Kayenta. Time permitting, you might stop at the Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks just West of Tuba City. One of the largest sites of its kind in the world, you can see clearly where a three-toed dinosaur left its indelible mark in the sandstone millions of years ago.

In the mood for some hiking? Make a detour off US160 to AZ564 and visit Navajo National Monument. A 2.5-mile round-trip hike up the Sandal Trail (no, that doesn’t mean you should wear sandals on it!) rewards you with a bird’s eye view of the Betatakin/Talastima cliff dwelling complex, one of the most sophisticated and well-preserved examples of Ancestral Puebloan architecture in the Southwest.

Continue East-Northeast to Kayenta, AZ, then proceed due North on US163 toward Monument Valley. Time permitting, and/or if you’re craving a Whopper®, stop at the Kayenta Burger King and learn more about the Navajo Code Talkers, a group of 29 soldiers who used their native language to help the U.S. transmit coded messages that were virtually indecipherable to Japanese and German radio operators during World War II. Featuring authentic artifacts and first-hand accounts, the Navajo Code Talkers’ Exhibit is regarded as one of the best and most comprehensive exhibits on the subject matter in Northern Arizona – and it’s free, how cool is that?

Early afternoon: arrive in Monument Valley. Stop at the Tribal Park Visitor’s Center and take in the iconic views of Merrick Butte and the Mittens. One look at this dramatic panorama and you’ll know why movie producers fell in love with this area! The displays here will inform you about how these formations were made, and acquaint you with the traditional “Blessing Way” lifestyle observed by many residents of this area. If you’ve followed our advice at the beginning of this article, you’ll have made advance reservations for a guided tour of Monument Valley. If not, the staff at the Visitors Center can advise you about available options and make bookings for you.

Check into your Monument Valley hotel, relax or enjoy dinner at your hotel’s on-site restaurant, or one of the local spots in Mexican Hat, UT or Kayenta, AZ.

Day 3

Morning: rise early, eat a good breakfast, and enjoy a guided tour of Monument Valley. The valley interior can only be accessed by a 17-mile dirt road. Though private vehicles are allowed to drive on this road, the practice is discouraged, especially for those driving rental cars. Car rental contracts expressly forbid off-road driving and any damage sustained by disobeying this rule will be your responsibility. A guided tour is not only safer, but will be more informative and memorable since they are conducted by local Navajo guides.

Depending on your traveling party, personal preference, physical fitness, interests and budget, you can choose from:

  • Guided jeep or 4×4 tours
  • Horseback rides
  • Guided hikes

Tour durations vary from 2 hours to all day. Horseback tours are typically conducted on gentle trail horses walking nose-to-tail; age and weight requirements may apply. Hiking tours may require previous desert hiking experience and may not be suitable for younger children. Click here for more information on guided Monument Valley Tours.

Late morning/early afternoon: Drive from Monument Valley, UT to Page, AZ – Drive time: 2-3 hours.

Note: Page, Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time. You will “gain” an hour as you pass from the Navajo Reservation to Page, AZ. Even though Antelope Canyon is situated on Navajo Indian Tribal Land, most Antelope Canyon tour operators go by Mountain Standard Time for the convenience of Page visitors.

From Monument Valley, UT, head South on US163, West on US160, then Northwest on US98. Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on your point of view – this stretch of road doesn’t offer much in the way of points of interest to stop at, until you hit Antelope Canyon Navajo Tribal Park just outside of Page, AZ. This world-famous slot canyon is on the “must-do” list for 99.99999% of travelers to Northern Arizona. Consequently, it’s become very popular. Advance reservations for tours is a must!

From the Tribal Park Entrance gate on US98, you can tour Lower or Upper Antelope Canyon, or both. Lower is the more physical of the two, requiring some stair climbing and mild boulder scrambling. Upper is a cakewalk, 100 yards of flat, easy trail, punctuated by some areas of deep sugar sand depending on weather conditions at the time of your visit.

Though mid-day is considered “prime time” to tour these canyons, visiting during the later afternoon hours (or earlier in the morning, if you prefer) has several advantages. The shapes and colors of the canyon walls are still beautiful, morphing into richer, deeper hues as the sun sinks lower in the sky. The biggest plus is you’ll have fewer people to contend with as you enjoy a more congenial and mellow experience with your guide.

Allow 90-minutes to 2 hours to experience each side of Antelope Canyon. Antelope Canyon Tour Reservations

If all that walking has made you hungry, take a late lunch or early dinner at the Sandbar, a lakeside restaurant in the Antelope Point Marina complex, or pick up some hand-made sandwiches for another “al fresco” picnic lunch from the Deli at Big Lake Trading Post.

Late afternoon: After touring Antelope Canyon, head West on US98 to US89 and turn left. Between mile markers 544 and 545 you’ll see signage for the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, another natural wonder that has helped put this corner of Northern Arizona “on the map.”

A .6 mile walk on a dirt trail will take you to a stunning view of a hairpin turn of the Colorado River, or an “entrenched meander” in geologist-speak. Be sure to allow 60-90 minutes to enjoy the view, maybe even take in the sunset (or a few bites of your sandwiches from Big Lake), but be sure to keep children and pets under control at all times. There are no guardrails here and it’s a long drop to the river! Also, remember to pack out your trash. “Leave no trace” is your M.O. for this trip.

Though manageable for most people in good physical condition, the uphill incline at the beginning of the Horseshoe Bend Overlook trail may be a challenge for anyone with mobility issues. Tips for those unable to walk to Horseshoe Bend. This area is also completely exposed to the elements, so water, hats and sunscreen should be carried with you.

Evening: Check in at your hotel in Page, AZ, get a good night’s rest, or a good dinner at one of many quality Page, AZ restaurants.

Day 4

Sunrise (optional): Does your day back home usually start with a brisk walk or jog to get the motor running? Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you have to take a vacation from your fitness regimen. Here, you can get some exercise and do a little sightseeing on the Page Rim View Trail. Popular with local walkers, runners and cyclists, this unpaved trail makes a 10-mile circuit around Manson Mesa, Page’s original townsite. Most adults and children who are at least moderately fit report enjoying this walk that offers beautiful views of Lake Powell (but no lake access). Springtime visitors are treated to a visual bonus of desert  wildflowers in bloom. Once on the trail, you aren’t committed to doing the full 10 miles! There are several paths back to “civilization” you can take if you wish. Keep in mind it is completely exposed to the elements, so bring water, wear sunscreen, and of course, appropriate walking or running shoes.  

Your day is going to be busy, and a good breakfast will keep your energy up. Select Page, AZ hotel room rates include continental or cooked-to-order breakfast. Guests at vacation homes or repurposed apartments can do their own cooking. Groceries can be purchased at Super Wal-Mart or Safeway. The River’s End Cafe inside Colorado River Discovery, the Ranch House Grille and Canyon Crepes are among Page’s most popular breakfast stand-bys.

Option 1 – 6.30 AM: Check in for the Glen Canyon Half-Day Float Trip. This scenic raft trip travels 15 miles down a flat stretch of the Colorado River, through Glen Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. Suitable for children 4 and up, rafts launch from the base of the mighty Glen Canyon Dam. At Petroglyph Beach, you can take a cool dip in the river, and ponder the meanings of carvings in the canyon walls left by Ancestral Puebloan people thousands of years ago. This is also the perfect time to enjoy a snack or bag lunch from one of the local grocery stores or restaurants. After disembarking from the your river raft, a motorcoach will pick you up at Historic Lees Ferry, and bring you back to Page at approximately 11:30 AM.  

After lunch, or a quick bite, walk or drive to the John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum where you can learn more about the museum’s namesake, the Civil War veteran who in 1869, became the first known person to raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The success of his expedition opened the Southwest U.S. up to settlement and development, and raised questions about civilization vs. preservation that remain unresolved even now. Specimens of locally-excavated dinosaurs, and ancient artifacts made by the native peoples of the Colorado Plateau are also on display at the JWP. It’s a great place for souvenir shopping as well.

Option 2 – 7:00 AM: Check in for the Lake Powell & Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour at Lake Powell (formerly known as “Wahweap”) Marina. This 6-hour tour will show you the majesty of Lake Powell from the most intimate and personal perspective: by boat. Cruise past secluded sandy beaches, fjord-like inlets of Warm Creek Bay, Padre Bay and Navajo Canyon en route to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, the largest natural stone arch discovered to date. A sacred site to many Native Americans in the Four Corners area, people of many faith traditions find the gravity-defying bridge against the backdrop of sapphire water evokes similar feelings of reverence. For Hollywood producers, Lake Powell evokes visions of dollar signs as a backdrop for big budget epics.

The return trip to Lake Powell Resort features a stop at Dangling Rope Marina, a facility that only boats can access. If you’re feeling the heat, a delicious soft-serve ice cream cream cone from the local snack bar will cool you off nicely. Depending on Lake Powell’s water level, a 3-mile round-trip walk may be required to get to the viewing area of Rainbow Bridge and back to the boat dock. Individuals with mobility problems or difficulty with sun exposure should know that portions of this walk are slightly uphill, and devoid of shade. Please consider these facts carefully – we want you to enjoy this tour! Water, coffee and lemonade are provided on the tour boat free of charge. Snacks and/or preferred beverages may be brought in reasonable amounts.  

Afterwards, everything from light appetizers and custom coffee beverages to gourmet entrees with a world-class wine list can be had at one of five on-site dining outlets at Lake Powell Marina. The food is great, and the lakeside views are even better! Or, head directly back to town, but first, stop at the Glen Canyon Dam for a tour with the Glen Canyon Natural History Association. In 45 short but memorable minutes, you’ll venture deep inside this monumental and controversial structure that brought Lake Powell into existence, and remains an integral part of the Colorado River Storage Project. Tours are conducted on a first-come first-served basis. As a federally-managed facility, Department of Homeland Security regulations are strictly enforced at Glen Canyon Dam. You will be required to pass through a metal detector, and carry money, keys and identification in pockets since bags or purses may not be brought on the tour. No knives or any weapons will be permitted in the building, and armed guards monitor the facility 24/7.

Relax and reflect on your day’s discoveries back at your hotel, or discover a cool place for dinner. Those with energy to burn later might take the short drive off the mesa to the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, also known as the “White House” overlook, or put on your dancing shoes and cut a rug to some great local bands at Ken’s Old West, the Windy Mesa or the Dam Bar before hitting the hay.

Day 5

Early morning: Drive from Page, AZ to Bryce Canyon National Park, UT – Drive time: 2.5-4.5 hours

Note: Utah does observe Daylight Saving Time, whereas Arizona does not. You will “lose” an hour traveling from Arizona to Utah during DST.

Grab a breakfast burrito or bagel and cream cheese from your hotel’s continental breakfast spread and hit the road for Bryce Canyon. A straight-through drive is unlikely to happen as there are several points of interest to stop at along the way, including, but not limited to:

  • The “New Wave:” just past the Glen Canyon Dam and opposite the Lake Powell Resort turn-off on US89 is an unmarked road to a small cluster of rock formations that bear an uncanny resemblance to “The Wave.”  Unlike the “Old” Wave, the “New Wave” doesn’t require a permit, or charge admission. Because the road is not regularly maintained, it does wash out occasionally. If signage states “no admittance,” you’ll have to skip it.   
  • The Big Water Visitor Center: 15 miles Northwest of Page, AZ and just over the Utah border on US89, this unassuming facility offers up some impressive surprises, such as dinosaur bones excavated locally, a topographical relief map of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and paleontology and geology displays kids and adults will love.
  • The Paria Rimrocks-Toadstools Trail: Between Page, AZ and Kanab, UT on US89 between mile  markers 18 and 19 is a 1.5 mile round-trip trail leading to an unearthly rock garden where bizarre hoodoos, balanced rocks and other geological oddities grow. A moderate walk, don’t stop at what appears to be the end of the trail; the main hoodoo area is located up a short rock scramble.
  • Kanab, Utah: a charming small town with a star-crossed path of a different sort, Kanab was once a popular site for Western movies and television shows. These days, tourism gets top billing on the economic marquee. A good stop for shopping or dining, the Rocking V Cafe and Houston’s Trail’s End Restaurant are popular among locals and visitors.

Option 1 – 1:30 PM UTAH TIME (12:30 PM Arizona Time): Check in at the Bryce Canyon Lodge for your horseback ride to the very bottom of Bryce Canyon! From Sunrise Point, well-trained trail horses will descend into the canyon as local cowboys orient you to the compelling history and fascinating geology of Bryce Canyon. Go ahead and bring your cameras, because you will be able to take pictures and experience the Canyon at your fingertips on this ride that is safe for people of all riding experience levels, even none at all! Bryce Canyon Horseback Riding Reservations

Option 2 – 1:30 PM UTAH TIME (12:30 PM Arizona Time): Take the free National Park Service tour to Rainbow Point. From Rainbow Point and its “neighbor” Yovimpa Point, you can see a good portion of Bryce Canyon to the North as well as some impressive cliff formations and hoodoo structures in the distance. You can board the buses at any one of six shuttle stops:

  • Ruby’s Inn
  • Ruby’s Campground
  • Shuttle Parking and Boarding Area (across the street from Ruby’s Inn)
  • Bryce Canyon Lodge
  • North Campground
  • Sunset Campground

The tour consists of approximately eight stops at scenic viewpoints in the southern section of the park. Visitors are advised to dress appropriately for the weather and bring lunch, snacks, water, etc. Reservations are required and can be made in advance by calling 435-834-5290 between the hours of 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM local time.

Option 3 – 2:30 PM UTAH TIME (1:30 PM Arizona Time): Check in at the Bryce Canyon Car Care Center (Sinclair Station) for a guided ATV ride. In just one hour, you’ll experience the lesser known areas of Bryce Canyon in a manner that’s fun, exciting and best of all, very safe. This guided ride on well-maintained ATV’s will get your blood pumping, while providing you with views of a primeval alpine landscape, and Bryce Canyon itself. Bryce Canyon ATV Tour information

Enjoy dinner at Bryce Canyon Lodge or one of the dining establishments at Ruby’s Inn, Bryce Canyon City, or nearby Tropic, Utah before retiring for the night and getting a good rest before the next day’s adventures!

IMPORTANT: PLEASE TAKE THE ROUTE FROM PAGE TO BRYCE CANYON MARKED IN BLUE! THE ROUTE MARKED IN GRAY IS AN UNPAVED, INCONSISTENTLY MAINTAINED ROAD THAT IS PRONE TO WASH-OUTS, ROCK FALLS AND OTHER WEATHER RELATED DAMAGE. TAKING A RENTAL CAR ON THIS ROUTE WILL VOID YOUR RENTAL INSURANCE AND YOU COULD BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGE SUSTAINED.

Day 6

After breakfast, explore Bryce Canyon a bit more before going on to Zion National Park.

Option 1 – Ride the free hop-on/hop-off park shuttle to some of the viewpoints you might have missed on your first day here. The voluntary shuttle can be picked up at the shuttle station north of the park, or at Ruby’s Inn and the Grand Hotel. It then stops at:

  • Bryce Canyon Visitor Center
  • Sunset Campground (Southbound/does not enter campground)
  • Bryce Point
  • Inspiration Point
  • Sunset Campground (Northbound/on main road/does not enter campground)
  • Sunset Point
  • Bryce Canyon Lodge
  • Sunrise Point (General Store & High Plateau Inst. are nearby)
  • Bryce Canyon Visitor Center

Option 2 – Take one of several easy but spectacular hikes along the canyon rim, such as:

  • Mossy Cave (.8 mi / 1.3 km round trip) – a streamside walk up to a mossy overhang and small waterfall
  • Sunset Point to Sunrise Point Trail (1 mi / 1.6 km round trip) – see the amphitheater and its hoodoos via a paved and fairly level trail
  • Bristlecone Loop (1.0 mi / 1.6 km round trip) – a hike through a spruce-fir forests to bristlecone pine-adorned cliffs and canyon vistas
  • Queens Garden (1.8 mi / 2.9 km round trip) – the least difficult trail into the canyon, featuring ‘Queen Victoria’ (use your imagination) at the end of a short spur trail

Option 3 – Take one of several moderate scenic hikes into the canyon:

  • Navajo Trail (1.3 mi / 2.2 km round trip) – this trail begins at Sunset Point and goes through a slot canyon where tall Douglas Firs reach skyward in a quest for sunlight and water, ending down in Bryce Amphitheater
  • Tower Bridge (3 mi / 4.8 km round trip) – ancient Bristlecone Pines and the China Wall whet your appetite for the 1/4-mile shaded spur trail leading to the Tower Bridge formation
  • Hat Shop (4 mi / 6.4 km round trip) – observe a cluster of balanced-rock hoodoos after the descent to the Under-the-Rim Trail; not for visitors with bad knees

Note: what goes down must come up! Remember to double your hiking down time in order to calculate your hiking out time (1 hour down = 2 hours out) if you venture onto inner canyon trails. Adequate footwear, sun protection and water must be brought on any of the listed hikes.

Grab lunch to go (remember, you have that cooler!), then drive to Springdale, Utah: 2-3.5 hours

Afternoon: check into your Springdale, UT, hotel, take the free Springdale shuttle, then transfer to the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive Shuttle (mandatory for those not staying at in-park lodging) to the Zion Human History Museum. Here, you can get an excellent “pre-trip briefing” on the scenery and sanctuary that have made Zion National Park so famous. A free 20-minute video provides an overview of activities and park facilities, plus rangers are on hand to answer any questions you might have.

Get back on the shuttle and head up to Zion Lodge. Even those that are not staying at the historic hotel are welcome to stroll the grounds, dine at the on-site restaurants, or rent bikes for one hour or a full day from Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the authorized in-park concessioner. But as they say, the best things in life are free, and one of the best things about Zions is that the most fun can be had without spending a penny, in the form of hikes ranging in difficulty from “easy-peasy” to “are-you-kidding-me?” One of our favorites is the Upper Emerald Pools trail, a 3-mile round-trip hike requiring some uphilll walking, leads to a picturesque waterfall and pond. Swimming is not allowed, but generations of families have enjoyed this iconic Zion Canyon trail for many years. The Riverside Walk, also known as the “Gateway to the Narrows,” is an easy, scenic walk from the Temple of Sinawava to the shores of the Virgin River. Wear Tevas, Chacos or other footwear that hold up to water, but are still good for hiking. You’ll definitely want to get your feet wet! Easy Zion National Park Hikes

Head back to Springdale, UT for dinner. Restaurants are plentiful here, so choosing might be hard, but enjoying your meal won’t be. Get some sleep, and be down for some serious adventure in the morning!

Day 7

Option 1 – Hike the Narrows. This is the hike to take in Zion National Park for the ultimate bragging rights. Traversing a cool riverbed through a narrow slot canyon, a hike in the Narrows can be virtually whatever you want to make of it: a quick hour’s jaunt to get your feet wet (pardon the pun), or a 10-mile round-trip all day slog. Doing the hike from the “bottom up” (from the Temple of Sinawava as far as Big Spring) does not require a permit and is therefore the easier way to go; the “top down” approach (from Chamberlain Ranch to TOS) does require a permit, and more in the way of advanced planning. Don’t want to do any planning at all? Hire a licensed guide to hike the Narrows and let them do all that for you! Caution: The Narrows are subject to flash flood dangers, especially during the monsoon season of late July – early September. It may be closed to hikers during this or any other timeframe, or in weather conditions determined to be dangerous.

Option 2 Hike to Angel’s Landing. This is the grand-daddy of all Zion National Park hikes, not for the faint of heart, out-of-shape, or terrified of heights. Don’t believe us? A few people have fallen off the trail. We’ll just leave that there. Named for a terminus that evoked images of an angel landing on the head of a pin, Angel’s Landing is not a super-long hike (5 miles round-trip), but it’s a strenuous one on a steep uphill grade. Chains are placed on either side of the trail to aid those who might need extra leverage on the section between the Hogsback to the Landing. For those who initially think they might be able to handle it, but change their minds midway, Walter’s Wiggles makes for a good turn-around point. The trail begins and ends at the Grotto in Zion Canyon. Do your research, watch YouTube videos, and do more research before you commit to this hike. As with all hikes in the Southwest U.S., water and snacks should be brought, and appropriate broken-in footwear worn.

Option 3Go tubing on the Virgin River. Prefer an activity for your last day of touring that’s a little more kick back and relax-y and a little less huffy and puffy? Rent a river tube from one of several Springdale, UT outfitters, hop in and enjoy the 2-mile ride down the Virgin River, which carved Zion Canyon, and believe it or not, empties into Lake Mead near Las Vegas. Children must be at least 8 to take part in this activity, which is also contingent on a sufficient volume of water in the river. At the time this piece was written (May 2017), the snowpack in many Southwestern US watersheds is better than it’s been in many years, so Virgin River tubing should definitely be on for summer 2017!

Option 4 – Go horseback riding. Rides of one and three hours in length show you natural wonders of Zion National Park both out in the open, and behind the scenes such as the Three Patriarchs, the Beehives, and beautiful cactus gardens. The 1 hour ride (open to children 7 and up) follows the Virgin River to the Court of the Patriarchs and back to the loading corral. For those more adventurous (and at least 10 years old) the three-hour trip will take you around the Sandbench Trail, gradually ascending 500,’ culminating with a breath-taking view of the Southern portion of Zion National Park. Advance reservations strongly recommended. Book a Zion National Park Horseback Ride.

Go back to your hotel, and if it has a hot tub, enjoy a nice long soak, order in for dinner, then rest up for the 2.5 hour drive back to Las Vegas.

Like the sound of this, or did we leave anything out? Feel free to leave us a comment below. And remember, your experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – will always be of help to future travelers in the area. Travel-related sites like TripAdvisor, Frommer’s, Fodors, even Facebook and Instagram love trip reports. Don’t forget to post one when you get back home!

340 Responses

  1. This is such a great resource. I have loved reading through what you have done. We have two families with 4 adults – 5 kids 11,11,9,8, 6.
    We will be taking small RVs Sat. April 3 – 10. We are looking at this as our schedule. Not sure on great RV parks or how to book so would love some advice on that too.
    Friday – arrive pick up RVs – stop at Hoover Damn on way to South Rim.
    Sat. -Grand Canyon
    Sun. Page, AZ 11:00 Antelope Canyon tour/ 2:00 Boat tour – fit in Horseshoe Bend
    Mon./Tues – We wanted to try to fit in Monument/ Bryce /Buckskin Gultch / pariah Canyon/ Hickman Bridge or Captial Reef – not sure here whats doable and worth fitting in.
    Wed/Thurs. – Moab ( we heard there is some sand dune buggies around here??) We will hike Angels and maybe do a bit of the Narrows
    Fri – stop in Valley of the Fire on the way back to Vegas.
    Any thoughts/ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    Melinda

    1. Hi Melinda, and thanks for your compliments!
      First of all, if you’re traveling by RV, you’ll want to stay in developed RV parks wherever possible. Even in April, nighttime temperatures can get down around freezing, especially in higher altitude areas such as Grand Canyon South Rim. The only RV park with hook-ups inside the park at Grand Canyon is Trailer Village. If that area is booked up, Grand Canyon Camper Village in Tusayan (7 miles from the park) is your next best option.
      For Page, AZ, the Page/Lake Powell Campground is located most conveniently to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
      Toward the middle of your trip is where things get a little murky. Where you indicate you “wanted to try to fit in Monument/ Bryce /Buckskin Gultch / pariah Canyon/ Hickman Bridge or Captial Reef,” I can assure you that’s not happening. If you were to look at a map, you’d quickly realize that these attractions are located too far away from one another to squeeze into one day. You can spend the better part of a day exploring the Paria Canyon/Buckskin Gulch area and travel back to Page, AZ, the same day.
      If you did have your heart set on visiting Moab, UT — which is a beautiful area, and April is a great time to go — then you could visit Monument Valley as a “drive-by” on your way there from Page, AZ. Plan on spending at least 3 days there to explore Arches, Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point, and to take part in a UTV tour if you wish. For guidance on the full range of available activities in the Moab, UT, area, visit the Moab Adventure Center. Here again, you should plan on staying in an RV park with electrical hook-ups because Moab is already starting to get pretty warm in April. You may appreciate having access to reliable air conditioning during the day. Moab RV Parks
      Where you indicate you wanted to hike Angel’s Landing and/or The Narrows, these are located in Zion National Park, not Moab, UT. If you hit Zion after Moab, this is where it would make the most sense to place Capitol Reef. Again, it would be just a “drive-by” en route from Moab to Zion, but Zion deserves at least 2 days of your time to explore and enjoy fully. For developed RV parks, look to the towns of Springdale, UT, or Hurricane, UT.
      On the drive back to Las Vegas from Zion, keep in mind that there is a construction project taking place on a stretch of I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge that could potentially tack another 30-60 minutes onto your drive time.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  2. Hi Alley,
    Thank you immensely for sharing your knowledge with us! My friends and I are planning on visiting Vegas in early May, and want to see how much of the national parks we can reasonably fit into our itinerary with the limited time we have. Would you be able to comment on the practicality of our schedule and various stays at the different sites?

    Day 1: Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim [overnight at Tusayan]
    Day 2: Grand Canyon to Page [overnight in Page]
    Day 3: Page (Horseshoe Bend/Antelope Canyon) to Zion [overnight in Springdale]
    Day 4: Zion (Gateway to Narrows from Temple of Sinawawa) [overnight in Springdale]
    Day 5: Zion (Upper Emerald Pools trail) to Las Vegas [evening flight out]

    Thank you so much in advance, you are incredible! All the Best!

    1. Hi Lillian!
      Your itinerary looks pretty fun and well-planned. Even if you didn’t change a thing, you’re bound to have a wonderful time!
      If you can possibly free up another day, however, I’d recommend trying to fit Bryce Canyon into your plans. It’s a stunning park, and not too far out of your way; ~a 3 hour drive from Page, AZ, then ~2 hours to Zion. If you can’t allot another day to fit it in, you could drop a day at Zion in order to accommodate it, which I know is less than desirable. The biggest obstacle to including it in your itinerary at this point will be lodging. The sole in-park property is bound to be sold out, but you might be able to find a hotel room in the gateway communities of Bryce Canyon City, Panguitch, or Kanab, UT.
      Another way to see Bryce Canyon (again, it’s amazingly beautiful!), without physically going there, would be to fly over it. Fixed wing airplanes operated by Westwind Air Service depart out of the Page Municipal Airport daily, and flights over Bryce Canyon run approximately 90 minutes long.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for you site, it is so informative. And for all the time you put into it.
    My family is planning a trip to the grand canyon this year in September or October. I will be traveling with my husband and two grown children in their twenties.
    I have been to the grand canyon as a child, but my husband and children have never been. I just wanted your thought on best time to travel there, September or October, and where is it best to fly into, Las Vegas or Phoenix?
    We plan to spend seven days, what would you recommend as a must see, if we never make it back? I know the Grand Canyon for sure, and we would like to go white water rafting a day and maybe some easier trails.
    I would love to have your suggestions on lodging along the way and any activities you would recommend, and any itinerary you think would work for us.
    Thanks so so much.

    1. Hi Jerri, and thank you for visiting us!
      September and October are both great for traveling in the American Southwest, so pick whatever time works for you and be prepared to enjoy it.
      If you want to do Grand Canyon white water rafting, you should plan on flying into Las Vegas. The only single-day white water raft trip offered in the Grand Canyon is out of the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, AZ, ~3 hours drive from Las Vegas. It’s a long day, anywhere from 10-12 hours, and starts early in the morning, so you would probably want to spend the night before and possibly the night after the trip in Peach Springs, AZ. Lodging-wise, there isn’t much to work with in the immediate vicinity. When I took the trip, we stayed in Williams, AZ, which is about 90 minutes away.
      As for the rest of your vacation plans, it would be a bit rushed since the white water trip will essentially eat up 2 days of your week. If you were to use Williams, AZ, as your lodging base for the white water trip, you could hit Grand Canyon South Rim (1 hour North) en route to Page, AZ (~3.5 hours from GCSR), spend 1 night there to tour Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. Afterwards, hit Bryce Canyon for 1 night, Zion for 2, then fly home from Las Vegas.
      In light of how “labor-intensive” the 1-day white water trip is, you might consider leaving it out this time around, but you can still experience rafting on the Colorado River. The Glen Canyon Half-Day Float Trip, out of Page, AZ, is a wonderful family-friendly activity. As the name suggests, it does not go through any rapids, but it’s by no means boring! What it may lack in thrills, it more than adequately compensates for in beautiful scenery and compelling history. If you take us up on that suggestion, you should spend 2 nights in Page, AZ, but that will free up another night which you might spend in Monument Valley, or Zion.
      Hope that helps. Feel free to write in again if you need to bounce more ideas off us!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  4. Hi Alley~
    I’ve spent several hours scouring both sites and the links embedded and I am so excited (and a bit overwhelmed) to put a trip together for my husband and myself. We are planning to fly into Las Vegas on Friday, April 3 and fly home Saturday, April 11th, giving us 8 days to enjoy an amazing road trip. When we arrive at 8:00 am, April 3, we plan to get on the road right away and drive to Page but not certain if we should go to Zion/Bryce at the beginning of our trip or save it as a ‘possibility’ for the end? We fell in love with the Red Rock several years ago, and are hoping to explore the beauty of AZ on foot, water (if feasible early April) and by Air. I really like your suggestions in your post, “grand-canyon-beyond-ultimate-7-day-itinerary-northern-arizona-southern-utah.” but, Sedona was not part of that itinerary. Exploring Sedona is the motivation in planning this trip. However, once I began exploring road trips, the more excited (and confused) I became. I want to see it all, and would have the tendency to over-schedule our trip. When I discovered your posts, I felt like I struck gold; especially when I saw that you respond so quickly! I’ve learned through your posts, that much of what we do will be planned around our bookings for hotels and highly popular tours/experiences (Antelope Canyon etc) so, once I get your input, I will work on my bookings.
    I have a partial plan…
    My 1st inclination is to do the following:
    Day 1: Arrive, get the car and make the drive to Glen Canyon – (we won’t need to stop at the Hoover Dam- visited on a previous trip)
    See – Lower Antelope, Horseshoe Bend and then make our way to Monument Valley with an overnight at View Hotel (availability as I write this)
    Day 2: Up early to see the sunrise, get something to eat and then head to GC: Explore here (Spider Rock?, some Route 66 stops on our way to Winslow AZ.
    spend night in Holbrook or Winslow (some of this itinerary was found on houstonianmag.com)
    This is where we become undecided and need advice. We do want to experience Flight over the Grand Canyon, if possible a flight over Sedona (if worth it)
    In order to accommodate the $$ of some of the adventure, we are good to stay in places that are less expensive…
    Do we go to Tombstone and head south toward the Saguaro, then back north to Sedona for a couple of days then off to Bryce/Zion and return to Las Vegas?
    We leave mid-morning from Las Vegas on April 11th.
    I hope I’ve included enough information for you to work with and hopefully it makes sense.
    Thank you in advance for any ideas/suggestions you may have for an incredible trip!M

    1. Hi Mary Helen and thanks for your compliments! Glad our sites have helped you so far.
      I know it’s hard to pick which destination to leave in and which one to leave out! That said, I’d tend to recommend leaving Tombstone off the table. I thought it was kind of neat and don’t regret visiting, but other visitors have found Tombstone overrated. Plus it’s awfully far out of your way compared to the other attractions on your wish list. I’d save it for another trip when you can maybe fly into Phoenix and concentrate on the sights in Southern Arizona/New Mexico.
      Also, where you indicate you’d travel from Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon via Canyon de Chelly, ending up in Winslow, I’d scrap that, too. It takes approximately 90 minutes to drive to Canyon de Chelly (where Spider Rock is located), then another 4 hours to drive to Grand Canyon South Rim. After that, you’d be looking at another 2.5 hours to drive to Winslow, AZ.

      That’s approximately 8 hours of driving required to pull all that off at a time of year when daylength is still relatively short: sunrise takes place at around 6:00 AM, sunset occurs shortly before 7:00 PM.
      What I’d recommend you do instead is this:
      Day 1, 04/03: Fly to Las Vegas, collect rental car, drive to Sedona (~4.5 hour drive), optional stop in Seligman, AZ, for Route 66 kitsch fix, stop at Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In for lunch with a side of laughs, overnight in Sedona
      Day 2, 04/04: Explore Sedona: take airplane or helicopter tour first thing in AM (best time to fly), visit Chapel of the Holy Cross, hike Cathedral Rock, wine tasting, shopping at Tlaquepaque — no shortage of fun to be had in Sedona! 2nd night in Sedona
      Day 3, 04/05: Drive from Sedona to Grand Canyon South Rim (~3 hours), sightseeing in Grand Canyon Village, Hermit’s West/West Rim Drive using free shuttles, overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim
      Day 4, 04/06: Early AM Grand Canyon air tour, then drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Monument Valley (~3.5 hours), optional stops at Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks, Navajo Code Talker Museum, overnight in Monument Valley
      Day 5, 04/07: Morning backcountry tour of Monument Valley, drive to Page, AZ (~2.5 hours), tour Antelope Canyon in afternoon, overnight in Page, AZ
      Day 6, 04/08: Visit Horseshoe Bend first thing in AM, then drive to Bryce Canyon (~3.5 hours), optional stops at Big Water Visitors Center, Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos hike, overnight in Bryce Canyon area
      Day 7, 04/09: Drive to Springdale, UT (~2 hours), optional stops: Checkerboard Mesa, Canyon Overlook Trail, overnight in Springdale
      Day 8, 04/10: More exploration in Zion and surrounding area: use free shuttles to explore Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, 2nd night in Springdale
      Day 9, 04/11: Drive back to Las Vegas (~3.5-4 hours), optional detour through Valley of Fire State Park, fly home
      You’ll notice that Canyon de Chelly has been left out of this itinerary. Not that it isn’t worthwhile, but Sedona and Zion really deserve at least 2 days each to do them justice. If you have your heart set on seeing Canyon de Chelly, it would be possible, with an early start, to drive from Monument Valley to Canyon de Chelly, then drive to Page, AZ for the night. If you find that there is no lodging available in Monument Valley by rearranging your itinerary as suggested, you could also visit it as a day tour out of Page, AZ. Again, an early AM start would be required, but at 2 hours each way, with an eye on the clock, it would be doable. Another option, since you’re open to air touring, would be to fly over it. Fixed wing airplanes depart out of the Page, AZ, municipal airport daily; overflights run ~90 minutes and include a flyover of Lake Powell and Rainbow Bridge, or, you could do a half-day air/ground combination tour. For more information, visit Westwind Air Service.
      Hope that helps! Feel free to write in again if you wish to bounce more ideas off us.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

  5. Thank you Alley for your suggestions! I will check into Paria Rimrocks and Valley of Fire State Park. Your service is invaluable! ~Susan

  6. Hi Alley,
    Thank you! Your blogs are a terrific resource! I used your itinerary and Tauck’s GC itinerary to plan my October 2020 Grand Canyon trip.
    I have already booked my hotels and I’m ready to book several tours. My husband and I are active retirees (ages 57 and 66). I want to see as much as there is in this part of the country without exhausting ourselves. I have scheduled a lot of optional hikes at different activity levels depending how we feel that day and down time to enjoy a glass of wine.
    Here is my itinerary:
    Wed – leave Las Vegas and drive to & tour Hoover Dam then continue to GC. (Kachina Lodge)
    Thu – Hike Bright Angel Trial or Hike section of Rim Trail or Bike Greenway Trail. Use shuttlebus to explore other viewpoints. Catch Sunset (5:50ish) at Mohave or Pima Pt. (Kachina Lodge)
    Fri – Sunrise (6:35ish) at Mather or Yaki Pt. Check out and drive towards Lake Powell. Hike Horseshoe Bend Trail along the way. Take Antelope Canyon Boat Tour @ 4:15. (Lake Powell Resort)
    Sat – Lake Powell Flight (Rainbow Bridge & Horseshoe Bend) by Westwind @ 9am. Lower Antelope Canyon by Ken’s Tours @ 11:30. Lunch at Big John’s BBQ. Hike Glen Canyon Dam Overlook Trail or Page Rim View Trail or Hanging Garden Trail. (Lake Powell Resort)
    Sun – Drive to Bryce Canyon (leave by 9am). 2hr Bryce Canyon Horseback ride @ 2pm. Use shuttle to visit Sunset, Sunrise and/or Inspiration viewpoints. (Lodge at Bryce Canyon)
    Mon – Hike Navajo Trail or Sunset to Sunrise Pts rim trail. Drive to Zion Canyon and hike Emerald Pools Trail. (Zion Lodge)
    Tue – Take 3 hr private jeep tour by Zion Jeep Tour @ 10 am. Drive back to Las Vegas.
    I would love your thoughts and suggestions on our itinerary.
    ~Susan

    1. Hi Susan, and Happy New Year!
      October is a great time to be here. Your trip is very well-planned and we definitely take our hats off to you for making your hotel (for in-park lodging at every stop, no less? Well done!) and tour reservations well in advance of your departure. Everybody should be following your example! Push comes to shove, I wouldn’t change a thing. That said, however, you are on the brink of overplanning your visit. In our actual experience, we’ve found that the most memorable moments of a vacation happen spontaneously, so if you happen to catch sunset at the Grand Canyon just out the back door of Kachina Lodge (glass of wine in hand, natch 😉 instead of Pima or Mojave Point, I’ll bet you’ll find it just as spectacular. RE: when you hit Horseshoe Bend, at the time of year you’re visiting, you might find that just after sunrise is a better option instead of early afternoon. The overlook is busiest (and hottest) between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, whereas at sunrise, you’ll be able to enjoy cooler temperatures and fewer people to contend with. In October, sunrise occurs between 6:30-6:45 AM. For your Westwind flight, they’ll want you to check in at around 8:30 AM, which would give you ample time to enjoy sunrise at Horseshoe Bend, then make your way to the Page Municipal Airport. Be sure to allow ~45 minutes to travel from Lake Powell Resort to the Horseshoe Bend overlook (HBO for short), then ~30 minutes to get from HBO to the airport.
      On the way from Page, AZ, to Bryce, a fun little hike you might enjoy is the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos. I’d suggest lighting out of Page, AZ, a little earlier than 9:00 AM so you can take advantage of cooler temperatures for that, too.
      In Zion, you might have to modify your hiking plans depending on what trails are open. Summer monsoons tend to do a number on the trails there, resulting in some being closed for the short or long-term depending on what damage might have occurred. If that’s the case when you arrive, don’t fret too much about it — Zion has plenty of beautiful hiking opportunities in varying degrees of difficulty! Just inquire at the lodge when you check in about any trail closures.
      On the way back to Las Vegas, time/inclination permitting, you might take advantage of the opportunity to make the short detour through the stunning Valley of Fire State Park.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels, and if you happen to think of it, let us know how your trip went!
      Alley 🙂

  7. Hi Alley,
    In October 2018 it was my turn to chose the vacation so hubby and I spent 2 weeks hiking Utah’s 5 National Parks. I first saw Bryce as a young girl (68 now!) and fell in love. Both my parents were teachers so we camped every summer and visited National Parks across the states. These were the first parks hubby had ever been to and he was blown away. He is now hooked. And his 30 something son said a trip like this is on his bucket list so we are planning a trip for him this spring/summer. Your trip sounds great as it includes the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend as well as Zion and Bryce. I really want to go to the GC north rim but it doesn’t open till May 15th. Think we should time the trip to start 5/15 and go from there as I wouldn’t want it to get too hot? When I planned our 2018 trip I did it a year in advance so we could stay in the lodges at Bryce and Zion. Think I still have time to plan for this May? Any suggestions for how the itinerary should roll out to include the above plus Zion and Bryce in a 2 week trip? Thanks for your advice, Beth

    1. Hi Beth!
      I don’t blame you a bit for wanting to visit the Grand Canyon’s cooler, quieter North Rim. However, your concerns about availability (or lack thereof) of lodging, not only there, but the other parks on your wish-list, is legitimate. There isn’t much to work with on the North Rim to begin with: there are only 3 hotels in the immediate vicinity of the park, vs. 12 for the South Rim. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised to find that in-park lodging and options nearby are already booked. The situation is similar for Bryce and Zion: only 1 small lodge inside both respective parks, which tend to book out 1 year in advance.
      Fortunately, all is not lost. My first instinct is to suggest delaying your trip until late September or early October, with the North Rim falling sometime before October 15th as that’s the “official” closing day of all the visitor facilities there. That time of year typically offers cooling temperatures and thinning crowds (though it is still busy; advance reservations remain a must). Another advantage to traveling in that area in late September is that you would be able to catch the fall foliage at its peak on the North Rim, which is an amazing sight to behold! Assuming that moving the trip to later in the year is not possible, however, here’s what I would suggest:
      Day 1: Fly into Las Vegas, overnight in Las Vegas
      Day 2: Drive to Zion National Park (~3.5-4 hour drive, depending on progress of construction in Virgin River Gorge on I-15), explore Zion Canyon area utilizing free shuttle system, overnight in Kanab, UT
      Day 3: Visit Grand Canyon North Rim as a day trip (~90 minute drive each way from Kanab), return to Kanab, UT to overnight
      Day 4: Visit Bryce Canyon as a day trip (~90 minute drive each way from Kanab), OR overnight in Bryce Canyon area if lodging is available
      Day 5: Drive to Page, AZ (~90 minutes from Kanab, 3 hours from Bryce), optional hike to Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos, tour Antelope Canyon in afternoon, overnight in Page, AZ
      Day 6: Visit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise, take Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip or Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour, spend 2nd night in Page, AZ
      Day 7: Visit Monument Valley either as a day trip (~2 hour drive each way) from Page, take backcountry tour, overnight in Monument Valley or return to Page, AZ for a 3rd night
      Day 8: Drive to Sedona, AZ (~3 hours from Page, AZ, 4.5 hours from Monument Valley), stop for breakfast/brunch at Cameron Trading Post, optional detour via Wupatki/Sunset Crater loop drive, overnight in Sedona
      Day 9: Explore Sedona! Possible options include, but aren’t limited to: sunrise hot air balloon flights, Pink Jeep Broken Arrow tour, Slide Rock State Park (weather permitting), visit Chapel of the Holy Cross, Tlaquepaque, Airport Mesa Things to do in Sedona, 2nd night in Sedona
      Day 10: Hitting attractions you might have missed on day 9, 3rd night in Sedona
      Day 11: Day trip: possible options include, but aren’t limited to Jerome, AZ, ghost town-turned-artist mecca, scenic Verde Canyon Railway excursion, Montezuma Castle and Well, Tuzigoot, 4th night in Sedona
      Day 12: “chill” day in Sedona or drive to Las Vegas (~4.5 hour drive from Sedona), optional stops at Seligman, AZ (Route 66 mainstay) and/or Hoover Dam — you could also opt to fly out of Phoenix, which is only ~2.5 hours from Sedona
      If for some reason the prospect of going to Sedona doesn’t appeal, or you’ve already been there, another option would be to swing up to Moab, UT from Page, AZ (~a 6-hour drive), spend 3-4 days exploring Arches and Canyonlands, then head West to Capitol Reef, then fly out of SLC. As you can see, the possibilities are virtually endless! For more suggestions, check out this 14-day Grand Circle Itinerary on our companion site, Horseshoebend.com
      Feel free to hit us up for more guidance if you need it! Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year,
      Alley 🙂

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