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Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Grand Canyon National Parks in 4 Days

Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.

Had an evening flight into Las Vegas, Nevada and stayed at the Golden Nugget.

Day 1: Zion National Park

  • Angel’s Landing
  • Zion Pizza & Noodle Co
  • Hurricane

We woke up early and drove 2 hours 45 mins to Zion National Park in Utah. Vegas is the closest major airport and it’s a pretty easy drive. The scenery gets pretty awesome the closer you get to Zion.

Once you get to Springdale, the city where Zion is located, you have to park and take a shuttle to the different stops throughout the canyon. Make sure to account for the time it takes, as it’s almost 30 minutes (each way) to get to the Grotto, the stop for Angel’s Landing Trailhead. Angel’s Landing is the most famous hike in Zion and only for people comfortable with sheer dropoffs and heights. There are chains to help through the sketchiest parts and it’s about 5.5 miles roundtrip. Keep in mind that you may have to wait for one-way traffic on the parts with chains. It is famous for a reason – one of the best hikes in the country (arguably the world) with many awesome sections and views.

Had dinner at Zion Pizza and Noodle, THE best meal after a great day of hiking, and stayed in Hurricane (30 min drive).

Day 2: Grand Canyon National Park

  • Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim Visitor Center
  • Bright Angel Point
  • Roosevelt Point Overlook
  • Kanab

We drove to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona (2 hours 15 mins) and went to the visitor center. Bright Angel Point is less than 1 mile RT from the visitor center on a paved path and the best viewpoint on the north rim.

Drove over to the Roosevelt Point Overlook for a short (1/3 mile) walk to the viewpoint. Not sure if that’s worth it, but another spot to look at the canyon.

Another 1 hour 30 min drive to Kanab, where we were staying the night.

Day 3: Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Queens Garden Trail
  • Inspiration Point
  • Buffalo Sage Bed & Breakfast

Drove about 1 hour 30 mins to Bryce Canyon National Park and did what is known as the Figure 8 hike. It combines the best trails in the park for an amazing day: Queen’s Garden, Navajo, and Peekaboo Loops in about 6.5 miles. You can combine just Queen’s Garden and Navajo for 3 miles, and that’s the most popular route in the park. Navajo has Thor’s Hammer, which shouldn’t be missed. The way that the hoodoos are formed is crazy.

After the hike we drove up to Inspiration Point to overlook the whole canyon. It’s a stunning view – what a unique place. We stayed nearby at a fantastic B&B called Buffalo Sage.

Day 4: Back to Zion for The Narrows

We drove back to Zion (1 hour 20 mins from Bryce) and caught the shuttle to the last stop, Temple of Sinawava. This is where The Narrows hike starts, which is another one of the most famous trails in the park. You can follow a paved trail for 1 mile and if you want to go further, you’ll get to hike through the water with towering cliffs on both sides of you. The trail, as you can guess, narrows the farther you go. You can turn around whenever you’d like, or go 5 miles one-way to Big Spring and use that as your turnaround. We went in for a few miles and felt that was perfect. Didn’t think we needed to go all the way to Big Spring. Water got up to our chests in some spots, so it’s a perfect hike on a hot day.

We drove back to Vegas for a redeye home that same night.

This was one of our favorite trips, and all 3 places were unique and breathtaking. I think our favorite was Zion because of Angel’s Landing, but they are all incredible. Quite a bit of driving, but definitely worth it since they’re all around 2 hours apart and would definitely do it again the same way if we had the opportunity. Felt like there was more to explore at Zion, which is why we went back a second day, but were good with one day at the Grand Canyon and Bryce (we are avid hikers and go at a very good pace).

Traveled in August 2009

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