Join us for a stunning day trip from Las Vegas to two of the most majestic landscapes in the West: Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park!
- One of the best day trips from Las Vegas
- Explore the stunning Bryce Canyon
- Tour Zion National Park
- Drive past the Great Arch of Zion
- Small group: 9-14 guests
Las Vegas – Zion National Park – Bryce Canyon – Las Vegas
We will travel north up Interstate 15, leaving Las Vegas and its bright lights behind. You may be surprised to learn that Las Vegas is actually in the middle of a desert, which we come to as soon as we depart town.
Las Vegas to St. George – 123 mi, 197.91 km – About 2 hours
After passing through the small casino town of Mesquite, on the Nevada Arizona border, we’ll cross into the desolate Arizona Strip, before heading up the Virgin River Gorge and into Utah. Much of the route is scenic, and we may stop briefly in the Gorge to take pictures. There will be a comfort stop at either the small southern Utah town of St. George, or the even smaller one of Hurricane.
St. George to Zion – 41 mi, 65.97 km – About 45 minutes
The Interstate is left behind just outside St. George, at the turn off to the small town of Hurricane, as we travel through really picturesque scenery, and a number of tiny towns, on the way to Zion National Park.
Zion to Bryce Canyon – 85 mi, 136.77 km – About 45 minutes
We will tour through Zion on the way to Bryce Canyon, taking a leisurely drive through the park, stopping frequently to take photographs and enjoy the scenery. Zion’s story is one of rock and water, with plenty of both to be seen. The relatively soft and porous Navajo Sandstone is often layered over impregnable Kayenta Shale, and the interaction of this rock with the water has created myriad amazing shapes and patterns.
The road will lead us past the Great Arch of Zion, which is a natural photo stop, before proceeding up a series of switchbacks and through an incredible tunnel that has been blasted into the rock. On the other side of the tunnel we will come across striking rock formations, with trees actually growing in the rocks, and see how massive sand dunes have been cemented into rock over the millennia. With any luck we may see some big horn sheep on the way.
As we travel through Zion we’ll up to the top of a plateau, and we’ll drop down a little, through the pygmy forests of southern Utah, prior to climbing up again to Bryce. The road to Bryce is a particularly scenic one, through picturesque, rural countryside, first next to the Virgin River, and then alongside the Sevier River.
Bryce Canyon is situated at altitude, at over 8000 feet (almost 2500 metres), and it can be cold, even though Vegas and Zion are hot. Please check the weather forecast before you leave and bring appropriate clothing.
Many who have seen both Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon tell us that Bryce is far more spectacular. You will marvel at the weirdly shaped hoodoos, in an amazing array of colorful hues.
Bryce is not really a canyon, but a large amphitheater carved out of a variety of rock types. People tell us they have had a spiritual experience when they gaze out over the hoodoos for the first time. You will wonder not only how they got there, but also what carved them into those mythical shapes, in assorted colors.
You can take an easy stroll along the rim from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point. This is relatively flat, and provides amazing views! You will enjoy a sack lunch at Bryce.
There are two other main areas we will visit at Bryce, both of which are even more spectacular than what you’ve seen already. These are the aptly named Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. Please be aware that Bryce is at a high elevation. You may become breathless if you are not used to the altitude, and you shouldn’t try and overdo it.
On the way out of the park we will stop briefly at the Visitor Center, where you can buy souvenirs of your trip.
Bryce Canyon to Las Vegas – 265.95 mi, 427.91 km – About 4 hours, 15 minutes
Departing from Bryce Canyon there is an optional stop at Red Canyon, a state park which we pass through on the way.
We travel north across the Paunsaugunt Plateau, through the tiny town of Panguitch, and over a small mountain range, before picking up Interstate 15 going south. There will be a couple of stops on the way to Vegas, to enable you to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat or use the restroom.
Drop offs take place on the Strip.
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