Help Me Plan Thanksgiving Vacation - SW Utah Edition!!!

Discussion in 'Free Zone' started by Cyclotourist, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    The family and I have the Thanksgiving week off, and I am thinking of heading to the southwestern Utah area. I don't know much about the area, and am soliciting recommendations on what to do & where to stay. Kanab looks like a good centralized spot, and good for jumping off to Zion, Grand Staircase, and GC north rim. It won't be a MTB trip, just doing the family touristy thing.

    Any suggestions about a better place to stay? If we did an AirBnB sort of set up we like to stay in one central one, but great campgrounds are fine, especially if they are in different areas, and are ones to not miss.

    And if we're biting off too much, and should just stay in one area and really let it sink in, that's our preferred way to travel, but don't know if that's best for this area.

    THANKS!

    33438920365_150e2dd637_k.jpg
     
    mike, doublewide, Grego and 7 others like this.
  2. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    It really depends on your goals for the trip. 6 days isn't really that long for that area and stuff is pretty spread out.

    Unless you're trailer camping I would be looking for a building to sleep in. Forecast is below freezing at night for Kanab.

    It's something like 3 hours from Zion to north rim Grand Canyon. Kanab is a central location but you would be about 45 minutes to an hour from Zion Canyon. The shuttles won't be running on the weekdays and traffic gets pretty bad fairly earlt, so you'd be getting on the road pretty early to see and walk around in the canyon.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that it's a lot of time in the car if you want to hit them all. If you've never been out there I'd recommend Zion and Bryce. But it's November. Both Bryce and GC are at around 8,000 to 9,000 feet.

    It's still a great trip; we're going to be in Springdale that Sat - Wed. But we're only going to Zion.
     
  3. mtbMike

    mtbMike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer & Primer
    No biking with a name like Cyclotourist? Blasphemy!! Kanab is waaayyyyy out there for doing time in Zion. I'd stay over near the 15 and go to Zion and Bryce for a few days and then go over to Kanab for the other stuff if you wanted. I've never been there but Snow Canyon is supposed to be pretty nice hiking as well.
     
  4. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Thanks @Runs with Scissors & @mtbMike !!!

    Let me add that we're only in that area through Tuesday, and then heading down to PHX to the in-laws for the rest of the week.

    I will be riding a bike for that part of the trip!
     
    mountaingirl sara likes this.
  5. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    As was already said, it'll be hard to hit all those locations without lots of driving. It might work to base a few days out of Hurricane and do a couple days in Zion with a day trip to Bryce Canyon from there. Then stay somewhere closer to the North Rim for a couple days. StG/Hurricane will be the best place to find an AirBnB, probably limited selection elsewhere in the area. There are plenty of campgrounds and hotels but some campgrounds might be closed this late in the season. I can't think of any that would be can't-miss. A hotel might be nicer near Bryce and North Rim given how cold it will be. There are some hotels at Panguitch and one in Jacob Lake.

    Double check that the North Rim will be open before you go. The road from Jacob Lake closes for the winter. Not sure if that is on a fixed date or just once snow arrives. Even with the road open, services at the North Rim might be closed. If you do go, the Wave and Antelope Canyon are also nearby and would be worth trying for. I think there is a daily drawing for Wave permits at Kanab BLM office which can be very hard to get, and you need to book a tour for Antelope Cyn. Horseshoe Bend is the other spot everyone stops at. If you're set on Grand Canyon and the North Rim is closed you could circle around to the South Rim. More driving...but would still be open.
     
  6. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    If only 3 days there I'd stay in St George or Hurricane and hit Zion. Not sure you can still get anything in Springdale.
     
  7. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    That makes the South Rim stop more of a no brainer. More people there, but better access to views and services will still be open. Or stop at N Rim on the way through.
     
  8. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    A small motor home might simplify the bivouac strategy.
     
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  9. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Bam! We booked a place in Hur-cun! Sat, Sun, and Mon nights. One day @ Zion, one @ Bryce, then a lazy drive Tues to PHX with a stop at the GC's south rim!

    So what are the do's and do-not's for Zion, Bryce, and Hurricane area?
     
  10. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Zion: get there early, park the car, bike up the canyon. Make sure you check out Checkerboard Mesa. If you have time head up to exit 40 on I15 and hit Kolob Canyon. Make sure the road work is done. I think it's supposed to reopen by then.

    Bryce: enjoy the view, stop at Big Rock Candy Mountain on US 89. Kitschy, but fun for hour.

    Hurricane is pretty small. Don't blink. :laugh:
     
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  11. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    We'll be car-bound cagers.
     
  12. mtbMike

    mtbMike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer & Primer
    What is your family’s risk aversion? The best thing to do in Zion is hiking The Narrows but I have no idea what the water level is or expected temps. Next best is hiking to the top of Angel’s Lansing but that’s waaaaayyyyyyyy up there with some areas where you hold a chain to keep from falling 12 bajillion feet...but is pretty cool once you’re done and survived.

    Starting into The Narrows
    35F48631-600A-4698-B813-C3B03C0CF88C.jpeg
    1/4 way up Angels Landing
    8FF6BFCD-7D5B-446F-93CD-96B5A044E7E4.jpeg
    1/2 way up Angels Landing
    12F8844B-EFC1-4FB3-920A-E8E44D2F84AC.jpeg
     
  13. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    This is great, just what I needed!

    Medium level day hikers I would guess. I'm going to push for Angel's!!!
     
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  14. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
    Much better to do the hike to Observation Point. The last time we tried to do angels landing, it was total chaos. There were so many people going both directions, and scared kids frozen in place, it was incredibly unsafe along the chains, and it also looked like it was gonna take hours with how slow the line was moving, so we aborted.
     
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  15. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Well that sounds fun...
     
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  16. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    See how the crowds are first I guess. Might be less busy on Monday. When I did Angel's landing it was on a rain day. Got to see waterfalls running everywhere the first part of the hike. Then started up Angel's landing just as the weather cleared. Had the top of it to myself and saw just a few people on the climb up and descent.
     
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  17. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    One more for the Angel’s Landing hike. As close to via feratta as you’re likely to get in the US (along with Half Dome), and a classic summit. I descended it with a massive gear load after climbing Prodigal Sun – after caching some water on the summit a few days prior. Any halfway spry walker can live through it, but it’s an audacious trail that should be experienced. Hit it midweek and or when the weather looks a tad iffy. Both good filters.
     
  18. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
    I guess we hit it on a bad day. I just cant stand that level of crowdage, was like standing in line at disneyland on a summer weekend. Did to it about 5 years ago tho and it wasn’t as crowded.
     
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  19. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
    when I say unsafe , i dont mean it was scary for me in general. It was the particular situation that day. Once we got to the last half mile where the chains and exposure are, the number of people climbing over each other in both directions was sketchy and people in flip flops who had no business trying it were slipping and landing on other people and almost knocking them off. Folks were panicking and frozen in place too. We moved maybe 20 yards in one hour. so we aborted, not my idea of a good time. Get a real early start, I guess. of course u may be not as crowd-averse as I am. This was last March, maybe during a spring break week; I guess we were unlucky. thanksgiving week may not be as bad?
    Another one that has some fun exposure is Hidden Canyon off of the Observation Point trail.
     
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  20. konakc

    konakc Well-Known Member

    Name:
    kc
    hit angels landing. we did it about 1 or 2 hours before the last shuttle bus was scheduled to leave. Only a few hiker on the trail.. Nice and cool. great views of the sun going down... we had done an all day mtbking at hurricane.. drove to zion... got on the shuttle and did the trail.. well worth it... do it early or late.. no lines..
     
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  21. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
    Nice! guess i didnt time it right
     
  22. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Maybe we should do Bryce on Sunday, then Zion on Monday? Shuttles are running through the end of the month: https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/shuttle-system.htm

    We may skip the GC on the drive south, and do that on another trip involving Sedona and Prescott. Instead hit the Hoover Dam, then tour NAU.
     
    Runs with Scissors likes this.
  23. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    If the shuttles are running you'll actually be able to hit a lot more. I recommend parking the car by 6:45 or so and taking the shuttle all the way up the canyon to Temple of Sinawava. Check out the beginning of the Narrows, then work your way back down the canyon on the trails.
     
    HBkites likes this.
  24. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Thank you, Mark! This is 100% the sort of insider info I was hoping for!!!
     
  25. konakc

    konakc Well-Known Member

    Name:
    kc
    Heck if ur gonna go to the narrows.. hike up river ... one hour or so walk where the pavement ends takes u to a place called wall street.. even 15 minutes up river gives u winderful sites to see...u could just hardcore n walk in tennies. Or rent waterproof boots in springdale..after 10 minutes u dont feel the cold..
     
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  26. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Hmmmm, I'm not sure some of my party will want to do that... will keep it as an option!!!
     
  27. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    It's November. The water will be cold. Drysuits are available right at the entrance for $45/day, including the boots. It's worth doing but it's kinda like walking on bowling balls. In the river.
     
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