Capitol Reef, Bryce, and Zion Tour
2 Day Sample Itinerary
The following is a suggested itinerary, further customizable based on guests’ priorities:
If you want to pick a spectacular stretch of parks to visit, it’s tough to find anything better than the Capitol Reef, Bryce, and Zion tour. There is a lot to see and Zion can tend to get packed, so regardless of which direction we go, we’ll make sure to get an early start.
Zion Tour – Morning
Our goal will be to begin our Zion tour as early as possible to either hike Angel’s Landing or the Emerald Pools loop. Angel’s Landing offers a stunning 360 degree view of the entire park, but getting there is not easy. Switchbacks and serious exposure make this a hike for those with good fitness, sure footedness, and how aren’t afraid of heights. The other option, the Emerald Pools loop, moves along the canyon rim with far less exposure and takes in stunning views of the Virgin River.
After a lunch and rest at the Zion Lodge, we will continue our Zion tour and work our way up the valley with stops at The Court of the Patriarchs, The Grotto, the Big Bend Viewpoint, and culminating at the Temple of Sinawava with a hike of The Narrows at the top of the valley. The Narrows involves hiking in the Virgin River, and groups will need to secure permits to go as far upstream as the famous Subway section.
Zion Tour – Afternoon
Should the Narrows not be open due to flooding or expected rain, the Zion tour has numerous options across the East and West portions of the park, including roads going through giant holes in the mountain and overlooks of Zion from above the canyon. As the sun sets, we will continue on the Capitol Reef, Bryce, and Zion tour with a short drive towards Bryce Canyon, dispersed camping in Dixie National Forrest.
An early start and short drive down the road will get us to Bryce Canyon for sunrise. Technically more of a valley than a canyon, Bryce looks like another planet. Filled with hoodoos, trees seemingly growing out of sandstone, and views stretching for miles, Bryce can be enjoyed in a number of ways.
Starting at the bottom of the park, we will take in sunrise at the aptly named Sunrise Point and be able to see the most popular overlooks on the way back towards the park entrance. We will likely do the world-famous Wall Street hike and take in the vast majority of the highlights throughout the morning. While not the biggest, Bryce can absolutely compete with any park on a the pound for pound basis.
Capitol Reef will be the cherry on top of a really unique day. Depending on sunlight, we will ideally drive the grand wash in the afternoon and hike Chimney Rock as the sun sets. While not the most well-known park, this will be a strong finish to the Capitol Reef, Bryce, and Zion tour. While it can’t be guaranteed, under the right conditions, Capitol Reef offers stunning views of the Milky Way, far away from the lights of any major cities.
Heading home, groups that are interested in spending more than two days on the Capitol Reef, Bryce, and Zion tour will have the option of including Monument Valley and/or the Grand Canyon on the ride back. Otherwise, we will make a dinner stop in St. George, then make a final push back to Las Vegas.
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