Like almost all our tours, this is a small group trip. The vehicle used generally has between nine and 14 seats. Our guides are skilled in the geology, customs, traditions, history and people of the areas through which you travel – feel free to ask all and any questions!
We will travel north up Interstate 15, leaving Las Vegas and its bright lights behind. You may be surprised to learn that Las Vegas is actually in the middle of a desert, which we come to as soon as we depart town.
After passing through the small casino town of Mesquite, on the Nevada Arizona border, we cross into the desolate Arizona Strip, before heading up the Virgin River Gorge and into Utah. Much of the route is scenic, and we may stop briefly in the Gorge to take pictures. There will be a comfort stop at either the small southern Utah town of St. George, or the even smaller one of Hurricane.
The Interstate is left behind just outside St. George, at the turn off to the small town of Hurricane, as we travel through really picturesque scenery, and a number of tiny towns, on the way to Zion National Park.
We tour through Zion on the way to Bryce Canyon, taking a leisurely drive through the park, stopping frequently to take photographs and enjoy the scenery. Zion's story is one of rock and water, with plenty of both to be seen. The relatively soft and porous Navajo Sandstone is often layered over impregnable Kayenta Shale, and the interaction of this rock with the water has created myriad amazing shapes and patterns.
The road goes past the Great Arch of Zion, which is a natural photo stop, before proceeding up a series of switchbacks and through an incredible tunnel that has been blasted into the rock. On the other side of the tunnel we will come across striking rock formations, with trees actually growing in the rocks, and see how massive sand dunes have been cemented into rock over the millennia. With any luck we may see some big horn sheep on the way.
We'll leave the park at the less traveled east exit, which most visitors don't even get to see.
As we traveled through Zion we climbed up to the top of a plateau, and we'll now drop down a little, through the pygmy forests of southern Utah, prior to climbing up again to Bryce. The road to Bryce is a particularly scenic one, through picturesque, rural countryside, first next to the Virgin River, and then alongside the Sevier River.
Bryce Canyon is situated at altitude, at over 8000 feet (almost 2500 metres), and it can be cold, even though Vegas and Zion are hot. Please check the weather forecast before you leave and bring appropriate clothing.
Your guide will first take you to your hotel to drop off your luggage, before transporting you into the park.
Many who have seen both Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon tell us that Bryce is far more spectacular. You will marvel at the weirdly shaped hoodoos, in an amazing array of colorful hues. Bryce is not really a canyon, but a large amphitheater carved out of a variety of rock types, full of amazing rock formations, called hoodoos.
There is a free shuttle service that runs from near your hotel into Bryce, to various points around the park, and then back to close to where you are staying. You can easily use this to get around, and our guide will be happy to show you how. Please note that there is no extra fee to use the shuttle system.
The shuttle service does not run year round! Check out the dates first, although the locals are friendly and it will probably be easy to get a ride if you arrive before or after the shuttle runs.
There are some amazing hikes around the park, and we suggest researching them before you get there. Remember that Bryce is located at altitude, and it is a lot more difficult to climb back up than it is to go down! You will be taken to the four main view points at Bryce, and have time to walk around them, and take in the amazing vistas.
Your guide will then depart to return to Vegas, and you are on your own to explore until tomorrow afternoon. You will find that there are places to eat very near your hotel.
Day 2 - Bryce Canyon through Zion - 88 mi / 141.59 km - About 2 3/4 hours
We will take a particularly scenic Utah back road, following first the Sevier River and then the Virgin River, towards Zion National Park. Zion's story is one of rock and water, with plenty of both to be seen. The relatively soft and porous Navajo Sandstone is often layered over impregnable Kayenta Shale, and the interaction of this rock with the water has created myriad amazing shapes and patterns.
We will enter Zion at the less used east entrance, and take in the striking rock formations, with trees actually growing in the rocks. You will see how massive sand dunes have solidified into rock over the millennia. After traveling through an amazing tunnel that was blasted into the Navajo sandstone almost a century ago, we descend down a precipitous switchback road, to discover the Great Arch of Zion, a gigantic work in progress.
You can now extend your tour by spending a night or two in Springdale, which is literally right outside Zion. There is a free shuttle system that will take you into the park. You can order this Zion extension when you check out, although we do not recommend extending at Zion unless the shuttle is running, which is generally from the middle of March to the third week of October. If you extend at Zion, you will carry on with the rest of the tour the next day.
The trip continues as normal for those who are not extending at Zion.
Leaving St. George, we travel down the picturesque Virgin River Gorge. We will pass through Mesquite, a casino town on the Arizona Nevada border, before driving across the desert and back to the bright lights of Las Vegas.
We regret that no cancellations or changes will be accepted, and no refunds will be given.
Payment And Cancellation Details: CANCELLATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR THIS TOUR. Changes will also not be accepted, and refunds will not be given. Please consider purchasing trip insurance as our cancellation policy is strictly enforced. The payment schedule is as follows: Half of the total will be charged any time from when you make the booking. The other half will be charged 30 or fewer days from the tour date, at our discretion.
The credit/debit card used must be in your name and must be present, so we can take an imprint. Please contact us if this is not possible. Please ensure you have the card you used with you. If the card is not in your name please let us know ahead of time, as our credit card authorization process will need to be completed.
A purported or attempted cancellation will result in the entire amount being due, and being charged to your card immediately.
The name on your credit card statement will be USA Park Tours.
The days and dates this tour runs can be seen at the calendar at the top right of this page.
As detailed above this tour is partially unescorted. What this means is that you do not have a guide with you at all times.
Pick ups take place at major Strip hotels. If you are staying elsewhere, catch a bus or taxi and we'll reimburse you a maximum of $10 against the receipt
The vehicles used are mini buses or vans with individual, high back, reclining seats.
The entry fees to both parks are included.
A sack lunch is included on the first day.
You stay at Bryce View Lodge which is located about a mile outside the park, on the free shuttle system.
Prices are based on double occupancy. Single, triple and quad occupancies are available, and can be seen at check out. There are no taxes.
If you extend your stay at Zion, at the end of your extension, on some days you may travel by pre-paid taxi to St. George, where you will take a shuttle to the Las Vegas airport, where the tour will end. There will be a short wait from the taxi drop off to the time the shuttle departs.
After ordering this tour please wait to receive a confirmation email before making any plans that are dependent on this tour.
All times are approximate. We are not responsible for the consequences of delays. This itinerary may change without notice.
Should any activity, event or destination be omitted the only amount we will be refunding is the actual cost to us of that item. We will not in any way be liable for any other amounts.