Nothing screams summer like a road trip. This year my partner and I did a southern Utah vacation or should I say road trip. Our intentions were to do lots of hiking and be around the water. This route takes you through multiple National Parks, Zion, Bryce Canyon, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and Lake Powell. So grab your boots, fill up your tank and let’s hit the road.
Southern Utah Vacation
Day 1: Drive from Las Vegas to Zion Via Valley of Fire
The drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park takes less than 2 hours so driving through the Valley of Fire State Park doesn’t add on too much extra time on a already long travel day.
In order to keep costs down we camp. There are are a handful of campgrounds in Zion or Springdale that will give you great proximity and the amenities that you need.
Zion Canyon Campground
We camped at Zion Canyon Campground. It was located right off stop 3 on the Springdale line. It was pricey at $45 a night for campground standards but had showers, grills, WiFi in some areas. Book a tent site down by the river, we were bummed that we didn’t.
Inside the park, book in advance at Watchman Campground.
If you want to stay inside the National Park but not camp then check out Zion Lodge. It’s the only place that offers accommodations and food inside the park.
Springdale is the closest town to Zion. It’s at most a 10 minute shuttle ride to the enterance of Zion depending on where you stay. For a detailed post.
Spend the evening getting your site situated as you’ll be spending the next 4 nights here.
Day 2: Zion National Park
Temple of Sinawava & Narrows Hike
Day 3: Bryce Canyon
Drive towards Rainbow Point making no stops along the way as you’ll hit those on the way back when they’re on the right side of the road. There’s plenty of places to stop and take pictures and see different parts of the canyon. A few of my favorites are Natural Bridge and Inspiration Point.
Day 4: Hike Angel’s Landing
MORE HIKING SUGGESTIONS ↓
Day 5: Drive to Lake Powell
Canyon Overlook Trail ↑
Leave Zion early around 7 through the east entrance, the same way you drove to Bryce. Stop and hike Canyon OverLook Trail. The trail is located directly outside the tunnel on the left hand side. Parking is limited but the trail is worth it. It’s a easy 1 mike hike on sandstone and sand mixed. It gives great overlooks of Zion Canyon.
North Rim of the Grand Canyon ↑
Continue on the road towards the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s about a 2 and a half hour drive to get to the North Rim Visitors Center. Stretch your legs and walk the half mile paved path of Bright Angel Point for a 280 view of the lesser visited North Rim. It’s something you have to see to believe and boy is she grand!
Marble Canyon ↑
Stop at the Marble Canyon and walk the bridge and get insane views of the mighty Colorado River.
Camping Options at Lake Powell
Day 6: Explore Lake Powell by Water
There are endless waterways to explore, rocks to jump off of, and small ‘beaches’ on little peninsulas to park and go for a swim. There was compartment on the jet ski that fit my small pack that was filled with water, snacks and camera gear. 4 hours of pure bliss playing on the water = AWESOMENESS.
Make sure you wear and bring sunscreen. You’ll roast out on that water and nothing is more uncomfortable then camping with a major sunburn.
Day 7: Antelope Canyon ↑
Horseshoe Bend ↑
Catch sunset at horseshoe bend located just outside Page, Arizona. The pictures speak for themselves and this was a personal highlight.