What to pack for Zion/Bryce/GC

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by melk, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. melk

    melk DIS Veteran

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    We are heading in June to visit these National Parks and wondering how to pack. I know we’ll need shorts, hats for the sun, etc. But how cool is it at night? Will we need sweatshirts?

    Any other packing tips you can offer, things you were happy you packed, or things you wish you had packed?

    Thank you!
     
  2. only hope

    only hope DIS Veteran

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    Whether or not you need sweatshirts depends on if you’re from a cool climate or a hot/tropical climate. You can find average highs and lows on weather.com. When we went over the summer a long time ago, it was chilly enough at the GC at night that my mom ended up spending a lot of money to buy a sweatshirt from the gift shop.

    Don’t forget a convenient way to carry water (camel backs or something similiar is best to keep your hands free) and hiking shoes. Have a good time! It’s so beautiful.
     
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  4. McKelly

    McKelly DIS Veteran

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    We did this trip a few summers ago in June. The only place I remember wearing a sweatshirt was Bryce. We got up early to watch the sunrise and it was cool out, so we wore shorts and a sweatshirt. By 9-10am, we were fine in shorts and a t-shirt.
    Zion and Grand Canyon were HOT - bring lots of water. Great trip - have fun!
     
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  5. eco-muse

    eco-muse ...

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    I would say to bring a light jacket/hoodie/sweater for night (just in case). Definitely bring sunblock and a reusable water bottle.

    What you need will depend on what you plan on doing in those parks. Will you be doing a lot of hiking, checking out ranger programs, or what?

    (We went to the Grand Canyon in June, about 10 years ago, and it was super hot. By contrast, we went again last December and it had snow, and freezing temperatures.)
     
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  6. melk

    melk DIS Veteran

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    We will be doing short hikes, nothing crazy. I think we’re really going to be guided by the heat.

    Thanks for all the replies. It helps to coordinate the packing list in my head.
     
  7. Lumpy1106

    Lumpy1106 Mouseketeer

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    Bryce elevation is +7500 ft. Bring a sweatshirt.
     
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  8. Callmnharry

    Callmnharry Earning My Ears

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    June will be the hot season but night time can be chilly. Must say you should keep a jacket in case you need it. Must take your sneakers for a comfortable walk, swimsuit for water activities and travel towel. Must say April and May are the best months to go and you should plan to go for it early if possible.
     
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  9. Purrkins

    Purrkins Mouseketeer

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    Bryce is at elevation and gets cold. Prepare for that. Not sure if the Narrows (Zion) will be open in June as it is dependent on water flow and weather but the Narrows is a great hike. Period. But an even better hike when it is hot outside as you are literally hiking up a river and in shade most of it.
     
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  10. Callmnharry

    Callmnharry Earning My Ears

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    Purrkins, Must share according to you how long to hike in Narrows for the first timer? I am sure melk love to read more from your side. Must share your experience as well.
     
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  11. Purrkins

    Purrkins Mouseketeer

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    Hike until you want to turn around.

    Hiking bottom up you cannot go further than Big Springs without a permit, this is a 8.5 mile out and back hike. It's SLOW going as you are walking in the river over slippery rocks which is kind like walking on greased bowling balls in the dark. This is about an 8-10 hour hike (with stops to rest and take in the scenery). A bit shorter is Orderville Canyon. You can explore up this canyon for a bit which is narrower and darker than the Narrows proper and nobody is around. This is actually my favorite part of the hike. A sign will tell you when you've gone to your limit as beyond the sign requires technical hiking with rappelling so not for casual / first time hikers. Before Orderville Canyon is an area called Wall Street where the walls are exceptionally narrow and straight up. It's wonderful and many people turn around here. My parents were happy after an hour and never saw any of this.

    The Narrows are crowded and full of people. Best to take the earliest bus you can. There are no bathrooms and no place to use the bathroom unless you want to go directly in the river - big no-no - so keep this in mind.

    You can rent dry shoes but I've always worn a pair of beat up sneakers and shorts. You'll get muddy and wet and that's part of the fun. If you bring a backpack you'll probably want to rent/purchase a dry bag for your lunch and electronics.

    The one must to bring is a walking stick. You can rent these from the outfitters just outside the park entrance. This stick is necessary to keep your balance on the bowling balls and to test the depth of your next step. There are some big drops.

    Go slow. Look up. And prepare for lots of people. This one is about the journey, not the destination. The earlier you go the better, the further you go, the less people. Before heading out ask the ranger if they anticipate any storms in the area. While the Narrows might be sunny, there might be a storm 15 miles away. All that water eventually flows into the Narrows and can cause flash flooding.

    It's an amazing experience. In my top 5 of hikes and once your hooked you might want to try a top down hike which is a multi-day adventure and a trip of a lifetime.
     
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