Southwest trip

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11. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 177 posts) 45w 2 Star this if you like it!

Waving back at Lee!

The writer said you will only be experiencing such a tiny part even if you were there for weeks.

Well, I'm not sure what the "writer" meant by that. Yes, it's vast but fewer rather than more venture to the bottom (usually involves a permit and an overnight stay unless one is conditioned to long, steep descents/ascents) and even fewer venture off most-used corridor trails at the bottom. You are most unlikely to be doing either.

I am mostly going to Page for the famous Antelope and slot canyon photos and tours.


We've only done Lower Antelope (Ken's Tours) and it wasn't personally a wonderful experience (too busy and some rowdy, ill-behaved young adults to contend with) compared to slots we've been able to explore on our own. Not the fault of the company. Still, I understand the desire to see either upper or lower firsthand. Some info:

https://www.whentobewhere.com/travel-listing/antelope-canyon

Some booking resources for either Upper or Lower:
https://navajonationparks.org/guided-tour-operators/antelope-canyon-tour-operators/

Horseshoe Bend is a 3/4 mile slog through sand (unless they've improved the trail) to the lookout point. Be careful along the edge: some teenager got too close and fell to their death a day or so ago. There seems to be a nasty parking issue since we've been there: check the reviews from most recent visitors on Trip Advisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60834-d621712-Reviews-or10-Horseshoe_Bend-Page_Arizona.html

More info:
https://horseshoebend.com/trail-facility-upgrades-underway-at-horseshoe-bend/

The National Park's websites are your best place to start researching a visit as they offer a wealth of information. I'd given you the link to the Grand Canyon (you want the South Rim) above; here are Zion and Bryce:

https://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm

Be sure to read up on the mandatory shuttle in Zion Canyon. Info for 2019 will be updated as soon as the shutdown is resolved:
https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/shuttle-system.htm

https://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm

We like Bright Angel Lodge at the South Rim but just about any of the lodges with availability will do. I avoid El Tovar because of the cost.
https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/lodging.htm

Page: we've stayed at the Page Boy Motel. Not fancy but clean, comfortable and not as pricey during high season (when we last visited).

Bryce: the park lodge is pricey but they might have better winter rates:
https://www.brycecanyonforever.com

You could also check Ruby's Inn or the Best Western Plus:
https://www.rubysinn.com
https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotels-in-bryce-canyon-city/best-western-plus-bryce-canyon-grand-hotel/propertyCode.45082.html

Zion: Again, the lodge is very pricey (stayed in it once) so you'll find better rates in Springdale. Still, the lodge may have some better winter rates:

http://www.zionlodge.com

We've stayed at the Quality Inn At Zion Park, Springdale: no complaints.
https://www.choicehotels.com/utah/springdale/quality-inn-hotels/ut079

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jan-2019, at 12:40 by goodfish ]

12. Posted by wrbedrava (Budding Member 6 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

Many changes to the itinerary. Thanks for the links goldfish. Will check them out. Opted to save Bryce and Zion for the next trip.

3/15 - Phoenix in at 11:18 am) to Page. Stay at Best Western in town 2 nights. Hoping to arrive before sunset. Where should we view...Wahweap or Lakeshore Drive? Stop at HSB on way in even though going on tour next day? Should we attempt to get to the lake at all? Probably won't do boat tour, no time.

3/16 - low antelope tour 10:00, and combo slot canyon HSB tour 1:00 (heard less crowded and I can bring tripod)

3/17 - to Monument Valley - staying at The View King Suite room - plan to schedule the 3 hour tour for either this day or tomorrow before we head out. Should we wait til morning or do tour in afternoon when we arrive? Any food suggestions on way to MV or near park?

3/18 - Grand Canyon 2 nights at Yavapai (unless other lodging becomes available). Hiking suggestions and which places we should shuttle to? Best place to stay in park? Looking to make an itinerary for the afternoon/evening we arrive and the whole day we get to spend here. Bought a 10-24mm and 70-300mm lens for my Nikon.

3/20 - Sedona - staying at a beautiful VRBO for 3 nights; Jeep tour on 3/21 at 10:00. Definite hikes we shouldn't miss? Restaurants?

3/23 - Phoenix to catch our 4:30 pm flight. Suggestions for something to fill our morning since flight is late? (though we were driving to Phoenix from GC originally)

Love these travel forums and all the good advice! Thanks everyone.

13. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 177 posts) 43w 1 Star this if you like it!

Where should we view...Wahweap or Lakeshore Drive?

No real opinion one versus the other but I will mention that, as I recall, you’ll need to purchase an NPS weekly or annual park pass to get anywhere near the shoreline of the lake. We used our pass to access Lakeshore Dr. See the website:

https://www.nps.gov/glca/planyourvisit/fees.htm

3/16 - low antelope tour 10:00, and combo slot canyon HSB tour 1:00 (heard less crowded and I can bring tripod). ...Stop at HSB on way in even though going on tour next day?

No idea what tour you’ve booked, and we did HSB on our own. Honestly, compared to the rest of the S.W., Page was not a highlight, and I don’t really see the need for a tour of HSB just to do the overlook. A note about a photo tour of Antelope (Upper or lower)? You are not guaranteed ‘space’ for taking shots without people in them. As you’re going in shoulder season, crowds might be a tad lighter and better behaved but our (non-tripod) tour ended up directly on the heels of the one in front of us, and the one behind us was on OUR heels. The individuals we’d passed who were vainly attempting shots with tripods were visibly frustrated as they’d paid more for the privilege. Anyway, this tour company warns against this possibility (scroll down to “Advance notice”).

https://www.antelopecanyon.com/photographic-tour-2/

3/17 - to Monument Valley - staying at The View King Suite room - plan to schedule the 3 hour tour for either this day or tomorrow before we head out.

Other than a couple hours on horseback, we didn’t do a tour here. With a park entry fee you can do the scenic drive/pullovers with your own vehicle, and hike Wildcat loop without a guide (we did both) although scenic drive is a very bumpy, dusty thing. Best times of day for photos are sunrise and sunset. M.V. is also where you’re going to want to pay attention to the TIME if you are meeting scheduled tours. While Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time, the Navajo Nation - M.V. falls within its borders- does. See the "Fact Sheet" page on The View’s website:

http://monumentvalleyview.com/the-view-hotel/fact-sheet/

You only have two choices for food at MV: the restaurant at the View or at Gouldings. Virtually ALL of our breakfasts and lunches on our S.W. hiking trips are out of a cooler in the backseat, our day packs, or a grocery store: mostly gorp and power bars.

3/18 - Grand Canyon 2 nights at Yavapai (unless other lodging becomes available). Hiking suggestions and which places we should shuttle to? Best place to stay in park? Looking to make an itinerary for the afternoon/evening we arrive and the whole day we get to spend here

“Best” of anything is subjective: I gave you our choice of fave lodge in my previous post but at this late date you might have to take what’s still got availability. Hiking ops under the rim will be up to weather/trail conditions. You could easily spend your time on the 13 miles of rim trail, looking about the museums and visitor centers, and taking in the overlooks. Drive to the those between Desert View and Grandview on the east side, and access overlooks on Hermit Road on foot, by shuttle or combo of both. You’ll use the rim trail (on foot) for viewing/photos in the Village area.

https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/upload/sr-pocket-map.pdf

Can’t really help you with Sedona as it’s been awhile since last we’ve been there.

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Jan-2019, at 16:08 by goodfish ]

14. Posted by wrbedrava (Budding Member 6 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

https://horseshoebendtours.com/slot-canyon-plus-overlook

That is link for the combination “tour”. They advertise less crowded slot canyon.

I don’t believe they offer the photo tours in antelope canyon any longer. I am the only one with DSLR camera so wasn’t planning on that one anyway. No openings at Bright Angel Lodge yet. Deciding between Maswik and Yavapai.

15. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 177 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

Ah, OK. Your tour is strictly Horseshoe and not an Antelope/Horseshoe combo. That wasn't clear.

Maswick is closer to the rim and has a decent cafeteria; ate there twice on the last trip as it's sort of next door to Bright Angel. Yavapai is a decent lodge too, has a restaurant/tavern, is close to G.C. Market, and parking for the lodge can be easier than at Maswick: none of the closer-in village lodges have dedicated parking so you sometimes have fight with the day-trippers for a spot to unload. That one is just quite a bit further away from the rim.

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