#1 8-5-2017 12:53 PM

tour_guy
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Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

Hello!

I will probably have about 2 days to spend in Zion and Bryce Canyon in August, however, I am not planning to camp or do a full day hike. I have heard about the weather conditions during summer, so I am wondering if it is still advisable to do a short hike (2-3hrs) or just drive around the area.

I will set Las Vegas as the base and drive to Bryce Canyon and then to Zion. I will then be back to Vegas and flying to SFO.

Any suggestions on what are the things I need to do or keep in mind while going there and recommendations on places to stay close to the parks?

Any other parks or attractions should I consider along that route?

Also, I read about 1 day tour, on a 12-seater van, going from Vegas to those 2 parks, but I really don't know if that is a good option and it will cost about $150. The tour pick up is at 7am and drop-off is after 8pm in Vegas and they will only stop for 2hrs in each of those parks.

Thanks!

 

#2 8-5-2017 3:20 PM

tenaka
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

Yea the weather can be scorching in August but that doesn't mean you can't hike. It all depends on how well you  can handle heat. A short hike should be fine, just don't push yourself and make sure you take plenty of water even though its short. IIRC there are water stations at the entrance to the park by the welcome station but not at the trail heads. Unless they changed that.

You're starting in Bryce which is at a higher altitude, so even though it wont be hotter there you're going to feel exhausted faster since you wont have had time to acclimate. In Zion the Emerald Pools trails are fairly easy, not too long and have a decent amount of sun coverage. If you want to be super adventurous you can do Angels Landing but that is strenuous and exposed. Its also one of the two best hikes (along with the Subway) imo you can do there. Subway wont have much water in August though, its best in the spring.

2 hours in each part seems like a waste to me so for that reason alone I would skip that tour. You can barely see anything. But if you're not talking about next year you may find a problem with there being anywhere left to stay. When i went I had to get my campground reservations 4-6 months in advance. I'm not sure what would be left now. But in Zion you're going to enter the park, park, and then take their buses to whatever trail you're going to regardless.

 

#3 8-5-2017 5:18 PM

grandmar
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

If you are from NJ and have been outside there this summer, you might have had a chance to acclimate to the heat although the heat here is much more humid.  You need to keep in mind that your sweat evaporates faster in the dry climate of the west so you need to drink water before you are really thirsty to keep up with the evaporation.

 

#4 8-5-2017 9:13 PM

vances
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

Agree the one-day tour to both parks from LV is a waste...seems like it would be little more than a full day of riding a bus.

Only an hour north of LV is Valley of Fire State Park, a splendid natural area.  It will likewise be brutally hot in August, but there are no long hikes here and if you pack plenty of water I suspect you will find it beautifully rewarding.

 

#5 8-5-2017 9:13 PM

DaveSwede
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

tenaka wrote:

A short hike should be fine, just don't push yourself and make sure you take plenty of water even though its short. IIRC there are water stations at the entrance to the park by the welcome station but not at the trail heads. Unless they changed that.

No change to that as of last summer at this same time - water filling stations at the welcome centers and camping sites.  The park maps do show all locations of water filling.  And for people who may not be otherwise familiar with the desert heat, its recommended to take ~1L of water for every hour you plan to hike, just to be safe.

tenaka wrote:

When i went I had to get my campground reservations 4-6 months in advance. I'm not sure what would be left now. But in Zion you're going to enter the park, park, and then take their buses to whatever trail you're going to regardless.

I rarely can plan that far out and have never had reservations.  Every park does maintain a certain number of camp sites for first-come-first-served drive in arrivals.  I don't know what that exact number is, it may be ~10%.   During busy season and holiday weekends, these sites may be full by about 10am, so it is best if you can arrive early.

 

#6 8-6-2017 5:47 AM

tour_guy
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

Thank you all for the suggestions and recommendations and I will keep them all in mind while I am planning. The trip will most likely be in 10 days from now if all goes well.

As few of you had mentioned, the hot and humid weather will be a challenge for me. And my ability to long hike/climb with a knee problem is another factor I will have to make it simple and easy.

I have also done some research and came up with some simple activities as below:

Bryce Canyon: (1 full evening + 1 full morning)

Navajo Trail (1.3 mi / 2.2 km round trip)
Sunset Point to Sunrise Point Trail(1 mi / 1.6 km round trip)
Ranger Guided activities (Time permitting)

Zion: (1 full evening + 1 full morning)

Zion Human History Museum
Zion Canyon shuttle round trip (About 80 minutes)
Riverside Walk (Temple of Sinawava) (2.2 mi/3.5 km round trip, 1.5 hours)

I watched some youtube videos on The Angels Landing at Zion, but that climb looks very scary and dangerous. So, I will not attempt that I guess.

Thanks again!

Last edited by tour_guy (8-6-2017 6:54 AM)

 

#7 8-6-2017 5:54 AM

tour_guy
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

vances wrote:

Agree the one-day tour to both parks from LV is a waste...seems like it would be little more than a full day of riding a bus.

Only an hour north of LV is Valley of Fire State Park, a splendid natural area.  It will likewise be brutally hot in August, but there are no long hikes here and if you pack plenty of water I suspect you will find it beautifully rewarding.

Agree! I would rather drive and have a full control on the itinerary smile

Valley of Fire State park looks wonderful and if it is just an hour or 2 drive from Vegas, then I can certainly do it as a day trip while in Vegas the day after I arrive.

Thanks for this suggestion, I will probably include it my itinerary!

 

#8 8-6-2017 5:56 AM

tour_guy
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

grandmar wrote:

If you are from NJ and have been outside there this summer, you might have had a chance to acclimate to the heat although the heat here is much more humid.  You need to keep in mind that your sweat evaporates faster in the dry climate of the west so you need to drink water before you are really thirsty to keep up with the evaporation.

Right, that's the big concern I have now, but I will try my best to beat the heat I guess smile Too hot and humid weather cause headache for me!

 

#9 8-6-2017 6:50 AM

nolan
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

Thanks for creating this thread. I plan to do both National Parks but in early December. The feedback and recommendations here for sure will be useful for my planning.

 

#10 8-6-2017 7:16 AM

tour_guy
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

nolan wrote:

Thanks for creating this thread. I plan to do both National Parks but in early December. The feedback and recommendations here for sure will be useful for my planning.

Sure!

I heard that after November the weather might be a little problem, but I am not trying to discourage you doing the trip. But check the national parks website for the updates/alerts and plan it accordingly.

Do you have plans to visit the east coast?

 

#11 8-6-2017 7:33 AM

grandmar
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

tour_guy wrote:

grandmar wrote:

If you are from NJ and have been outside there this summer, you might have had a chance to acclimate to the heat although the heat here is much more humid.  You need to keep in mind that your sweat evaporates faster in the dry climate of the west so you need to drink water before you are really thirsty to keep up with the evaporation.

Right, that's the big concern I have now, but I will try my best to beat the heat I guess smile Too hot and humid weather cause headache for me!

It won't be humid heat.  It will be dry heat.

There are ways of managing the heat.  Someone mentioned a trail where there is shade - keeping out of the direct sun is really a big help.  Also it isn't necessarily true that have less clothing is better.  You need to wear a hat with a brim, and loose light colored (cotton) clothing to keep the direct sun off your skin even if you are not in the shade.  It will be cooler in the early morning so the earlier you can get on the trail the better (as long as you can see where you are going)

 

#12 8-21-2017 6:07 PM

tour_guy
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

vances wrote:

Agree the one-day tour to both parks from LV is a waste...seems like it would be little more than a full day of riding a bus.

Only an hour north of LV is Valley of Fire State Park, a splendid natural area.  It will likewise be brutally hot in August, but there are no long hikes here and if you pack plenty of water I suspect you will find it beautifully rewarding.

Valley of Fire State park, Indeed a splendid natural area! (Thanks to Vance for this recommendation!)

It totally amused me with the landscapes, rocks, deserts and colors! The park was very less crowded compared to Bryce, Zion and Yosemite at the time I went and I found this place something unique and amazing.

Interesting trials for me was Mouse tank and Fire wave, which was adventurous but I was exhausted finishing the Fire wave trail due to the hot weather conditions.

I will definitely recommend this place to anyone planning day trips around Las Vegas.

 

#13 8-22-2017 3:04 AM

nolan
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

tour_guy wrote:

nolan wrote:

Thanks for creating this thread. I plan to do both National Parks but in early December. The feedback and recommendations here for sure will be useful for my planning.

Sure!

I heard that after November the weather might be a little problem, but I am not trying to discourage you doing the trip. But check the national parks website for the updates/alerts and plan it accordingly.

Do you have plans to visit the east coast?

Yes, I do plan to visit the East Coast again but not on this trip. I have practically narrowed down my choices to a Western USA roadtrip or a combination of 8 cities using the Amtrak 15 day train pass. Will discuss this in a separate thread later on.

While time is limited on this trip, I will probably do a "highlights" trip instead of something more in depth (those require weeks or months). So many things to do, so little time. But we will get there ...

 

#14 8-22-2017 3:34 PM

tour_guy
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Re: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in August - Need suggestions

nolan wrote:

tour_guy wrote:

nolan wrote:

Thanks for creating this thread. I plan to do both National Parks but in early December. The feedback and recommendations here for sure will be useful for my planning.

Sure!

I heard that after November the weather might be a little problem, but I am not trying to discourage you doing the trip. But check the national parks website for the updates/alerts and plan it accordingly.

Do you have plans to visit the east coast?

Yes, I do plan to visit the East Coast again but not on this trip. I have practically narrowed down my choices to a Western USA roadtrip or a combination of 8 cities using the Amtrak 15 day train pass. Will discuss this in a separate thread later on.

While time is limited on this trip, I will probably do a "highlights" trip instead of something more in depth (those require weeks or months). So many things to do, so little time. But we will get there ...

Sounds good. I have heard about the Amtrak train pass and if that schedule works for you then it must be a comfortable option.

 
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