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Trip Report Zion, Bryce - 8/11 to 8/18

Greensboro, North...
Level Contributor
64 posts
16 reviews
11 helpful votes
Trip Report Zion, Bryce - 8/11 to 8/18

Appreciate the itinerary help everyone, figured I would return the favor and write up a quick trip report.

8/11 - drove into Zion National Park from Vegas in our rental car. Very easy drive into town, only thing I would say is that the drive past St. George isn't particularly well lit at night. Arrived at the LaQuinta which is a minute or two from the Zion entrance. Good place to stay, was great having a pool although the breakfast was a "to go" breakfast. They closed down the buffet due to the recent Delta outbreak.

8/12 - we got up early and did the Pa'rus trail. Absolutely gorgeous morning, nice and cool. Wildlife come right up to you like they are the "park pet". We were going to do the Watchman's trail but it is currently closed. From there, we drove through the canyon out to East Zion Resort and did their horseback riding. For a family of 4, we only paid $110 or so total through Viator so it was worth the extra drive. Priscilla did a terrific job out there, she was very friendly and patient. Our family were the only ones on the trail. On the way back we did the Canyon Overlook hike which was gorgeous.

8/13 - Narrows Day! There was a large downpour the night before so we were concerned that we might not be able to go. The water flow rate was about double what it was the day before and the water was muddy. The flow rate didn't really impact the hike too much, but not being able to see the bottom of the water made it more challenging. We rented gear from Zion Guru, it was $120 for a family of 4 but worth it and necessary. I only wiped out once, my daughter did very well considering she had a slightly hurt ankle prior to starting the trip. We got there at about 530 in the morning and were on the first shuttle. I am glad we went early. Most of the unprepared masses showed up around 11:00 or so and came in tennis shoes, barefoot, jorts, thongs (yes, one did), etc. It really is an incredible hike and looking up out of the slot canyon left me speechless. Some of the squirrels running around this trail were obsese from everyone feeding them - they looked like they were doing "tricks" for food.

8/14 - took a break from hiking and went to Sand Hollow lake and rented some jet ski's, which involved some backtracking. It was about $350 for two jetskis for two hours, was a good way to break up the trip. We also went cliff jumping with the kids. Getting there is a bit of a challenge and the scene there was "interesting", akin to MTV spring break. It is a fun way to spend the afternoon though. Afterwards, we drove to Bryce in our rental car. Got pretty frustrated with the guy who we rented from Turo, as our check engine light came on in the middle of nowhere, during a large rainstorm, with no signal. Turns out it just needed water/coolant, but it would be nice if this had been checked prior to our departure since Vegas averages 110 degrees every day. Guy didn't seem to care, I told Turo that was the last time I would use their service. Checked into our VRBO, which was fantastic. Drove ATV's for awhile on his trails on his property.

8/15 - Bryce canyon was gorgeous, really enjoyed the views / hiking here. Did the Navajo Loop, Queen Victoria trails.

8/16 - drove back towards Vegas. Had planned on going to the Kolob canyons, but visibility was poor due to the wildfires. We lucked out for the most part visibility wise, but today was pretty bad, so we just kept driving. Stayed at the MGM Grand Signature AirBNB. Kids really enjoyed the lazy river, although it was crowded. I won't go into to much detail on Vegas since this isn't a Vegas forum.

All in all, one of my favorite family trips.

Edited: 23 August 2021, 23:36
4 replies to this topic
Savannah, Georgia
Level Contributor
4,780 posts
82 reviews
31 helpful votes
1. Re: Trip Report Zion, Bryce - 8/11 to 8/18

Thanks for your report. We leave in a couple of weeks and are not big hikers but your info on the visibility and Covid restrictions was useful! Glad you have a good time.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell, Utah
Level Contributor
38,258 posts
57 reviews
13 helpful votes
2. Re: Trip Report Zion, Bryce - 8/11 to 8/18

@karrie - Visibility last week due to smoke from fires in California has little bearing on visibility in two weeks. For the last two days, in SLC at least, the skies have been blue and visibility pretty good. Best it's been in months.

There are no Covid restrictions in Utah in general. Some towns may have face mask mandates, an Individual business may have their own standards. In the national parks, masks are required inside buildings. Masks are required to ride the shuttle buses at Zion and at Bryce. Shuttle bus at Bryce is optional.

That said, there has been a spike of Covid cases in Utah over the summer. New cases have primarily been unvaccinated people . There's a strong anti-vaxxer population in southwest Utah. Personally, even though I am fully vaccinated, I would wear a mask inside any business or restaurant that I may visit in the St. George area and use hand sanitizer liberally.

Fremont, California
Level Contributor
76,058 posts
8,650 reviews
4,055 helpful votes
3. Re: Trip Report Zion, Bryce - 8/11 to 8/18

Nice trip. Thanks for your trip report.

Level Contributor
75 posts
22 reviews
4 helpful votes
4. Re: Trip Report Zion, Bryce - 8/11 to 8/18

Thanks for your report. About Turo....I've used them for 3-4 years. What I do is check all the fluids with the owner at pick up; and then every few days...especially if I'm in either a very hot and dry or very cold environment. Again, I wouldn't let one bad Apple spoil the bunch . This can happen with a hotel, Airbnb, and corporate rental. I do, however, don't condone the owners attitude!

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