April or June for GC, Zion, Bryce?

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by melk, May 9, 2018.

  1. melk

    melk DIS Veteran

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    Thinking about a road trip next year, Las Vegas to Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon and back to Las Vegas. Open to other suggestions in the area as well. Probably going to take about 10-12 days or so but am wondering about the middle of April (my daughter’s school vacation) or the second week in June (leaving right after she graduates)?

    I don’t know what kind of weather we would hit in April and I’m guessing June would be hot and far more crowded. Thanks!
     
  2. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Weather is reasonable. The mandatory Zion Canyon starts in March, so you wouldn't be able to drive in unless you have a reservation at Zion Lodge. Even then you'd only be allowed to drive between there and the entrance and not be allowed to park. Not even disabled visitors can use a persona vehicle unless they need specialized equipment for their disability that won't fit in the shuttle.
     
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  4. PHXscuba

    PHXscuba Mouseketeer since birth!

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    April could still be crowded with spring break but the weather should be much more reasonable for all of those places. Track the weather this June to decide if it's too warm for you. I'm adjusted to Phoenix heat and I still plan to do Zion/Bryce over fall or spring break. If you plan to spend most of your time hiking and outside I would definitely lean more toward April. If you're more "scenic vista" types then time of year may not matter as much.

    PHXscubs
     
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  5. McKelly

    McKelly DIS Veteran

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    If you want to hike the "Narrows" in Zion National Park, I'm not sure it will be open in April. I think June is a better bet for that particular hike, but I could be wrong. It's beautiful and I highly recommend it if you can do it.
    We did this exact same trip a few summers ago, I'm not going to lie, it was HOT! We also did Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Lake Powell which are all in or near Page, AZ. Monument Valley is also easy to include in that loop.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  6. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    I don't believe they specifically close the Narrows based on time of year, but when the flow is too high. Around spring it may vary depending on how fast the snow is melting. And there lies you problem - it's going to be really, really cold because it's mostly freshly melted snow.

    https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/thenarrows.htm

    I did it during summer. The air was hot but the water was reasonably warm. I made sure to wear high-top shoes and found a stick on the shore. It's really important because people have sprained ankles when walking on the smooth rocks at the bottom. Several of the outfitters in Springdale will rent special high-top water shoes and long sticks. These are neoprene with sticky rubber soles. They use a velcro wrap to stiffen the ankle. Something like this:

    https://nicershoes.com/best-water-shoes-reviewed/

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Purrkins

    Purrkins Mouseketeer

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    If you want to do the Narrows, and you should - in my top 10 hikes ever, I would look at June. Flow should be low enough that you can hike it. April the flow might be too high. Beautiful part of the country. Enjoy!
     
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  8. Kkb0517

    Kkb0517 Mouseketeer

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    We went on this trip in April last year it was great, good weather throughout. A little chilly at Bryce compared to the others but still great. In April we did have to use the shuttle in Zion but it was easy and not over crowded.
     
  9. AuntieMe3

    AuntieMe3 Mouseketeer

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    I'm so jealous....lol Its my favorite trip and I can't wait to do it again. Will you be going to the North or South Rim of the Grand Canyon?? North Rim doesn't open until mid May(first day of the season was today). The Narrows is an amazing hike, we rented equipment in town the first time, second time we just got some good hiking shoes that could still be worn comfortably when wet and brought our own walking sticks. First time was in mid/late June, cant remember exact date and it was really nice, the weather was very WARM but the water was refreshingly cool. The second time was around 4th of July and while it was still a great time, the park was WAY TOO CROWDED...long lines for the bus and the hiking trails, including the Narrows were packed.
     
  10. AuntieMe3

    AuntieMe3 Mouseketeer

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    Bryce was nice and cool even when it was really warm coming from Zion, both times. :)
     
  11. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    It's maybe 4000 ft higher altitude. I remember I was staying overnight in Brian Head, UT (over 10,000 ft) and during the day it was much cooler than even Bryce Canyon. I was also sucking wind a bit. However, this was on a long trip where I'd been hiking at 5000-8000 ft elevation, so my lungs had gotten stronger.

    I think that's the other thing to be cautious about - that one's fitness may not be adequate given the altitude. I started slowly acclimating to the altitude. And when I got back to sea level I was feeling really strong.
     
  12. melk

    melk DIS Veteran

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    We've decided to go in June. I've already made a reservation at the Grand Canyon Lodge on the north rim.

    Thanks for the tips everyone!
     
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  13. AuntieMe3

    AuntieMe3 Mouseketeer

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    OMGosh you are going to love it! North Rim is soo awesome!! Your whole trip will be amazing.
     
  14. we"reofftoneverland

    we"reofftoneverland DIS Veteran

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    We just went to Bryce right at the end of May and had to buy winter hats in the gift shop because it was so cold. If you go in April, bring winter type clothing because you may need it. A week later we were at the Grand Canyon and it was very warm, almost hot.
     
  15. Professor_Cookie

    Professor_Cookie Mouseketeer

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    Come ski up in Park City!
     
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