Trip to 4 National Parks including Grand Canyon in Mid Oct

Travel Forums Travel Companions Trip to 4 National Parks including Grand Canyon in Mid Oct

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1. Posted by Search8wonder (Budding Member 6 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

I am planning to travel through several National Parks from 10/14-10/21 including a South R2R Hike in Grand Canyon, is there anybody interested in joining?

2. Posted by atta726 (Budding Member 2 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

We have been many of times through these places, so we'll be happy to help you in reaching out there in the right state place like to take rest, bad, food and also Will suggest you the right and safe hiking place to go there,:)

3. Posted by Search8wonder (Budding Member 6 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Cool, any information is greatly appreciated, thanks.

4. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 311 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hi Danny - First order of business, which 3 National Parks are you planning on doing in addition to the Grand Canyon?

If traveling by air, which airports will you be flying in and out of? Are the 14th and 21st both travel days to/from NJ?

You do know that you will need to rent a vehicle, right?

If you are planning to camp inside the canyon during your R2R hike, you will need a permit. They are not easy to land. What is your plan for this hike, and what sort of heavy conditioning have you done? A R2R is a beast - especially if you are thinking of doing it all in a day - and it's very expensive if you can't complete it and they have to haul you out.

If you are otherwise planning to stay at GCNP (South Rim or North Rim?) have you made a hotel or campground reservation? They tend to book out months in advance so just rocking up expecting to find a room is not advised. Same goes if you don't have advance reservations close to the other 3 parks.

I haven't done a R2R but have been to the South Rim twice, North Rim once, and hiked all of Utah's big five 2-3 times. Have also done Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelly, and some other stuff in the region so can probably answer a fair amount of questions you may have.

5. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 311 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Awk, I didn't get back to the previous post in time to edit it....Sorry!

You said you were doing a R2R and not a R2R2R so looks like you're planning on doing it in a day. This means you're needing some sort of transport from the rim you're ending at - which is likely the North Rim - back to the South Rim and your vehicle. Be aware that the lodge and campground at the North Rim shuts down for the winter on Oct. 16th, along with the campground and all food and beverage services.'

So, you'd need a hiker's shuttle. I haven't used it but give this one a look; you'll have to have completed your hike and be at the North Rim meeting place by 2:00 PM. It's a 5-hour drive back to the South Rim.

Here's another shuttle service: timing is about the same; leave the North Rim at 2:00 PM.

6. Posted by Search8wonder (Budding Member 6 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hi Kate, I am doing Bryce Canyon, Arches and Zion. I am using Las Vegas airport, arriving early 14th, leaving late night 21st.

I booked a rental car and going to stay at Red Feather Lodge outside of the park. I am planning to do the R2R within the same day, I understand it is a grueling task, but I'd like to challenge myself. The reason I selected Mid Oct to go is also to avoid the impact of hot weather in summer.

I already booked the lodges near all the parks, not super close, but within 15 miles to their entrances. Actually I have a quick question, for Zion, which entrance is easier to access all the trails especially Angel's Landing, other than Angel's Landing, is there another trial you recommend to complete within the same day?

7. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 311 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Ah, OK, so you'll be staying in Tusayan.
Just so I'm clear, you are intending on hiking South Rim to North Rim and take a shuttle back, all on the same day, correct? Be sure to reserve your ride. You're not thinking you'd do South Rim to North Rim and BACK on the same day, right? You've trained, right? DOWN can be harder on your feet and knees than UP.

The thing is, you're actually closer to the North Rim if you're doing Zion and Bryce....except all services will close the 2nd full day of your trip. Arches is a long way from all three: flying home from Grand Junction would have saved you a chunk of time. Let's just say that I personally wouldn't want to be in Moab the same day I had a flight out of an airport as far away as Vegas. It's also a part of the country that can be a bit risky to drive in the dark: lots of critters to watch out for, and some of 'em can be big.

But what does your complete itinerary look like? Vegas to ___ for how many nights? From there to ___ for how many nights, etc?

8. Posted by Search8wonder (Budding Member 6 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

My original plan is to go down from north rim, climb up south on 16th, and take shuttle to north to pick up my car and leave the park on 17th. I'm not sure whether shuttle or other transportation can still go north if it is closed on 10/16, if it is not, I will just go down from south and climb up, it will be an easier trip then. Yes, I do hiking pretty much every weekend, and I know it would be a big test.

I am planning to stay Grand Canyon 2 nights and leave on 17th, and go to Arches one night, then Bryce Canyon one night, finally Zion 2 nights, get back to LV on 21th, and leave. I didn't realize Grand Junction could be an option when I booked my flight, so I designed a loop for my trip.

9. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 311 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Itinerary still not completely clear.
10/14: fly to LV. Overnight where?
10/15: Overnight where?
10;16: RTR hike from North Rim and shuttle back. Overnight where?
10:17: Drive to Arches
10:18: Drive to Bryce
10:19: Drive to Zion
10:20 Zion
10:21: drive back to LV and fly home

You'd need to be at the North Rim early morning of 10:16 to hike to the South Rim, otherwise you'll never make the 1:30 shuttle (it leaves earlier from the SR) back to your car, assuming your can leave it at the NR. Red Feather is at the SOUTH RIM and there's no logical place in this itinerary for that stay unless doing a RTR from the South ???

Note that the Transcanyon shuttle doesn't have an afternoon run from the NR after 10/15 but it looks like the Kaibab Lodge shuttle does.

Where do you plan to be on 10/15?

Arches doesn't make sense for this trip unless you can give at least 2 nights/one FULL day. It's a loooooong drive from the - approx. 7 hours from the NR, and over 6 from the South, wheels turning, no stops - and a long drive from there back west to Bryce. You'd see very little of Arches before dark.

Note that Arches has a timed-entry reservation system to get into the park between 7 am and 4 pm daily that's in effect until Nov. 1.

Honestly, I'd scrap Arches and save it for another trip when you can do that one, the Island in the Sky unit of Canyonlands NP (also near Moab) and Capital Reef plus some great local hikes in the Moab area.

Can't give you an answer on entrance for Angels at Zion. You cannot drive Zion Canyon in your own vehicle- you'll be using the mandatory free shuttles unless you rent a bike or hike in, and it's too far to hike to the Angels trailhead. The only big lot I know of at the park is at the Visitor Center, and it fills early. Smaller lots at the Human History Museum and Nature Center, and those are really for people visiting those attractions. See the park website for more on park access.,citation%20and%20may%20be%20towed.

Angels Landing requires a permit.

10. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 311 posts) 5d Star this if you like it!

Hey back, Danny -
Got your PM but I'm going to keep the discussion on the forum in case it helps other travelers with an interest in the same/similar trip, OK? Here are the scenarios you sent me:

Your original plan is like this:
10/14: fly to LV. Drive to Hoover Dam - Hoover Dam
10/15: Drive to Grand Canyon - Red Feather
10;16: RTR hike from North Rim and shuttle back - Red Feather
10:17: Drive to Arches - Moab
10:18: After hiking in Arches, drive to Bryce - Bryce
10:19: After hiking in Bryce, drive to Zion -Zion
10:20 Zion
10:21: drive back to LV and fly home

After you read my comments, you are thinking how to cut off the driving distance, you think possibly you can fly in Salt Lake City, so here is your new plan:
10/14: fly to Salt Lake City. Drive to Moab - Moab
10/15: Arches -Moab
10/16: After hiking in Arches, drive to Bryce - Bryce
10;17: After hiking in Bryce, drive to Zion -Zion
10:18: Zion
10:19: After hiking in Zion, drive to Grand Canyon - Red Feather
10:20: RTR hike from North Rim and shuttle back - Red Feather
10:21: drive back to LV and fly home

One huge issue with both plans: If you are staying at the SOUTH RIM (Red Feather, Tusayan), and must travel to the NORTH RIM to start your one-way hike, you will be taking a shuttle to the NR, not your car. The shuttles do not depart the South Rim until 8:00 AM, and do not arrive at the North Rim until 12:30 - 1:00 PM. To stay at the Red Feather that night, you'd have to finish your 24-mile, estimated 9-14 hour hike at the SR the same day: you would not be shuttling back to the NR. You would be finishing a big chunk of that hike in the dark (sunset is before 6:00 PM).

Before going further with your plan, you need to work this detail out first. IMHO, given that you're staying both nights in Tusayan, it would make more sense to just hike South Rim to the bottom and back to the South Rim on Bright Angel, or explore a loop from down South Kaibab and return to the rim on Bright Angel. Be aware that there's no water stations on S. Kaibab: there are stations on Bright Angel, assuming they don't have any big issues with their pipeline between now and your trip. You'd take a short shuttle ride to the South Kaibab trailhead as there's no parking there but you could start your hike MUCH earlier in the day - preferably at dawn or just before - and be out before dark.,the%20trail%20in%208.5%20hours.

If you do a top>bottom>top SR hike, stop into the park office and talk to a ranger the day before your trip to check for anything you might need to be aware of.

All of this aside, I like your Plan B better as it gives Moab a little more time. Still, the drive between Moab and Bryce is going to take nearly 5 hours so I'd skip any hiking at Arches the morning of the 16th and head out at dawn. A killer drive would be 191 N out of Moab up to I 70, to 24 south through Hanksville, to Hwy 12, heading south from near Torrey/Capital Reef. The Hwy 12 stretch between Torrey and Bryce is one of the most scenic in the US: you're going to want to pull over here and there to take in the views; just another reason to leave Moab at dawn so you don't have to rush to get to Bryce. You'd be there at least in time for sunset and some overlooks, and could do the classic Queen's Garden/Navaho Trail loop in the morning before heading to Zion.

OK, over to you! :O)

[ Edit: Edited on 22 Sep 2023, 15:02 GMT by goodfish ]