- Watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon
- Discover up close the unique wavy walls of Antelope Canyon
- Admire the unique rock formations in Bryce Canyon
- Hike your way through the impressive views of Zion National Park
- Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Las Vegas
|Day 1||Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park||Grand Canyon National Park|
|Day 2||Explore Grand Canyon National Park||Grand Canyon National Park|
|Day 3||From the Grand Canyon to Page, Visit Antelope Canyon||Page, Arizona|
|Day 4||Drive from Page to Bryce Canyon National Park||Bryce Canyon National Park|
|Day 5||Explore Bryce Canyon National Park||Bryce Canyon National Park|
|Day 6||From Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park||Zion National Park|
|Day 7||Hiking in Zion National Park||Zion National Park|
|Day 8||Drive from Zion National Park to Las Vegas|
Day 1: Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park
Today, it's time to leave Las Vegas behind and head to one of the most iconic natural landmarks in the country- the Grand Canyon. Settle in for a 4.5-hour drive that traverses 280 miles. About 40 minutes in, you can make a stop at the Hoover Dam. This impressive concrete arch between Arizona and Nevada holds quite a bit of historical importance. You can walk over the dam along the arch bridge and even take a guided tour to learn more about the significance of its construction.
From there, continue along the US-93 S and then the I-40 E for almost 150 miles before stretch your legs in Seligman, an iconic rest stop along Route 66. Grab some lunch at Delgadillo’s Snow Cap for an old-school American diner experience before continuing on the I-40 E. Turn up on AZ-64 N before arriving at the Southern Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
There are two areas where you can stay when visiting: Grand Canyon Village or Tusayan. The former is right inside the park and within walking distance to several viewpoints. There are just a few hotels inside Grand Canyon Village, so they fill up fast and can be pricey depending on the season and availability. Tusayan is a town located just a 15-minute drive from the Park and has more hotel and dining options- these tend to be more reasonably priced. With a convenient shuttle bus to take you along the South Rim trail, we recommend staying in Tusayan.
After you've checked in, take the rest of the afternoon to venture out to the South Rim Trail and enjoy your first peek at stunning views of the Grand Canyon. Settle into a viewpoint along the way and watch the sunset over the south rim. Be sure to pass by Mather Point for sweeping views of the canyon. When you've worked up an appetite, head back to Tusayan and grab some dinner at Plaza Bonita, a casual dining spot with tasty Mexican cuisine.
Day 2: Explore Grand Canyon National Park
Take the day to explore the epic beauty of the Grand Canyon on some of its hiking trails. With 1.2 million acres of land inside the park, there is plenty to discover. Take in sweeping views of the canyon's rim on two main hikes near the South Rim: Bright Angel Trail and the South Kaibab Trail. They can be done separately, or combined for a challenging full day hike through the Grand Canyon. Make sure to bring plenty of water and a packed lunch with you.
The Bright Angel Trail is the classic route for those just looking to get a taste of hiking in the Grand Canyon. The out-and-back trail is 9 miles one-way and descends just under 5,000 ft. This trail is well maintained, runs alongside the Garden Creek canyon, and you'll find rest stops and drinking water at points 1.5 and 3 miles from the trailhead. For those looking for a shorter hike, take this trail to one of these rest stops before heading back.
The South Kaibab Trail is a great option for more moderate to advanced hikers. It's a bit shorter in length than the Bright Angel, covering 6.5 miles total, but descends 4,820 feet total. About a mile into the trail, after a steep descent, you'll find the aptly named Ooh Ahh Point. As it follows the top of a ridge, the trail offers sweeping views of the canyon, but less shade on hot days. Once you reach the Colorado River at the bottom of the trail, you can return on the same route, or loop back up on the Bright Angel Trail.
After a full day of hiking, reward your efforts with a hearty meal. We recommend the Arizona Room restaurant for dinner, located right in Grand Canyon Village, before heading back to your accommodation for the night.
Day 3: From the Grand Canyon to Page, Visit Antelope Canyon
Set out this morning to visit another impressive canyon. We'd recommend leaving early in the morning in order to get to Antelope Canyon before noon. Midday, the light shines overhead and beams of sunlight transcend the canyon, giving it an ethereal look. After checking out of your accommodation, start the 2.5-hour journey in your car to Page, Arizona. For the first part of this 125-mile journey, you'll head along the Desert View Drive of the South Rim, taking in more breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon.
Check into your accommodation in Page before heading out to explore the nearby Antelope Canyon...but first, coffee! Grab a well earned pick-me-up after your early morning at LP Espresso.
Antelope Canyon belongs to the Navajo Indian Reservation, so tours are required to visit. It's best to book ahead online ahead of time, as you'll have few or no options upon arrival. Tour pricing stays the same across the board, and visits to the Upper and Lower Canyon are about 1.5 hours each regardless of the tour company you choose.
The Upper Antelope Canyon is considered the more picturesque of the two, but for that same reason it has pricier entrance tickets. Pictures you've likely seen of the canyon, with light beams shining through waves of rocks, were probably taken in the Upper Canyon around midday. The Lower Canyon is still beautiful and the more affordable of the two. The Lower Canyon is also wider, more open to natural sunlight, and offers a fun climbing experience, including steep ladders. If you have the time, choose the combo tour that includes visits to both and compare for yourself!
Once back in Page, you've likely worked up an appetite. Grab an early dinner at Big John's Texas BBQ for a local feel and some good eats before heading back to your hotel.
Day 4: Drive from Page to Bryce Canyon National Park
Before leaving Page, stop by Horseshoe Bend for a magnificent view. Give yourself about an hour to loop around the 1.5-mile trail with plenty of time to admire at the lookout point. Expect to pay a $10 parking fee. There is a steep climb at the start of the short trail, so remember to bring water as well. The viewpoint of this infamous curved portion of the Colorado River faces due West, making it a popular spot for viewing the sunset as well. Getting there in the morning, however, illuminates the area with natural light and tends to be less crowded.
Jump back in your car to start the journey back to Bryce Canyon National Park. You'll take the US-89 N and, about an hour into your drive, make a stop in Kanab at Rocking V Cafe for lunch, a local spot with classic American comfort food as well as vegan-friendly options in an art-filled locale. Continue for another hour and a half, driving along the US-89 N and then the UT-12 E. Keep in mind as you arrive in Bryce, you're crossing time zones and losing an hour!
To stay inside the park, you'll find The Lodge at Bryce Canyon. It tends to fill up quick during the busy months, so you can also try lodges and hotels in the nearby towns of Bryce and Tropic, which will also have more restaurant options. Bryce Canyon is an incredible spot, with a unique landscape filled with hoodoos, a geological term used to define a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from a basin or badland. After settling in, head first to the Visitors Center to pick up a map (expect an entrance fee of $35 per car), then straight to Bryce Amphitheater inside the park to walk around the Rim Trail to Sunset Point. Stick around awhile to witness a breathtaking natural display when the sun starts to sink toward the horizon.
Head back to your hotel for dinner at the restaurant there, or try the small town of Bryce for some restaurant options such as Bryce Canyon Pines.
Day 5: Explore Bryce Canyon National Park
In the morning, head into the park to begin your exploration for the day. If you get up early enough to catch the sunrise, head to the Rim Trail along the Bryce Amphitheater to Sunrise Point. Take in the views as the rays of light begin to illuminate this stunning natural wonder. Bring some snacks to fuel your hike.
Bryce Canyon is smaller in size than some of the neighboring national parks, so you'll be able to experience the best of it in one day. Start out with a short hike on the Queens Garden/Navajo Loop, an easy trail to see these magnificent hoodoos up close. The loop is about 3 miles total and is a moderate level. You'll first wind down the canyon on Queens Garden Trail. Walking among the rock formations allows you to truly appreciate their sheer size and magnitude. The adjoining Navajo Loop trail then takes you back to the Rim with a bit of a climb, but the views are well worth it. In the last section of the trail, you'll be given two options to lead up to Sunset Point- take Wall Street to feel the impressive canyon walls surround you on either side. This option is popular, so be prepared for the company of other day hikers.
From there you can jump back in your car and visit some of the lookout points further into the Park. Stop at Inspiration Point for expansive, sweeping views of the unique hoodoos. A little further in you'll find Bryce Point, and about 17 miles into the park you'll find Rainbow Point, where you can round off your experience with one last gaze before heading back.
The park has other excellent hiking trails. For more experienced hikers, try the 5-mile Peekaboo Loop Trail, a longer and more challenging experience descending into the basin of hoodoos. This loop is less frequented by visitors and offers spectacular views.
As the sun begins to descend in the sky, head back to your favorite spot of the day for sunset. Or, try the Mossy Cave Trail, an easy 1-mile trail that takes you close to the hoodoos without descending and offers stunning views around the end of the day.
Head back to your lodge for dinner or try the nearby Ebenezer's Barn and Grill for a local restaurant feel.
Day 6: From Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park
Head out in the morning to discover the nearby Zion National Park. From Bryce Canyon, you'll take the incredibly scenic UT-12 W before cutting down on Interstate 89 and finally west on UT-9. The journey doesn't take more than 2 hours, but you can stretch your legs in Orderville at The Rock Shop if you like for a fresh cup of coffee and to peruse the expansive rock collections for sale.
As a home base for your time visiting Zion, your best bet is Springdale, the closest town to the park with many hotels and restaurants. There's also a shuttle that runs between Springdale and the Visitors Center, which is good to note as the parking lots around there do tend to fill up quickly. Don't forget to stop by Cafe Soleil for a quick bite to eat, and even order some food to go for your afternoon hike, you'll need lots of fuel for the active afternoon ahead!
Zion National Park is undoubtedly an incredible spot for any level of hiker. Giving yourself at least two days to do the park justice is recommended. There are plenty of hiking trails to explore and enticing views awaiting you. As you enter, visitors can get a weekly pass for $20. For a shorter family-friendly option, spend the rest of your afternoon hiking Emerald Pools. You can start the hike directly from Zion Lodge and begin the ascent that takes you first to the Lower Pools and then to the more scenic Upper Emerald Pools. At around 3 miles round trip, give yourself 2 to 3 hours to enjoy the route.
Back in Springdale, try King’s Landing Bistro for dinner to reward your efforts, this spot has a local charm and offers a great dining experience.
Day 7: Hiking in Zion National Park
Spend the day on the trails exploring the natural beauty of Zion National Park. Bring plenty of water and a packed lunch with you for a full day of hiking. One of the most popular trails in Zion is Angels Landing. Our recommendation- start early! Jump on the first shuttle of the day, as this route, while stunning, is known for its congested trails and hot sun midday.
Expect to hike across narrow ridges and scale rock walls (assisted by chains bolted into the cliffs) on this exhilarating and challenging hike. Reaching the top is incredibly rewarding but difficult- bear in mind that beauty also lies in the journey. The loop totals in at 5.5 miles and has a 1,500 ft elevation change. Give yourself 4 hours for this bucket-list-worthy experience. Be sure to use a comfortable, small backpack to carry your things, as you'll need your hands free to hold onto the chains.
Afterward, head over to the Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop to begin your next adventure. You'll be setting out to hike The Narrows, another classic trail (where you can cool off hiking through the river) that traverses the immense gorge. This 9.4-mile round trip journey takes you through the narrowest section of Zion Canyon, and any waterproof gear you may want to wear is available for rent. From the trailhead, you'll hike a little over 4.5 miles out before reaching Big Spring, the turnaround point where you'll find natural springs and a small waterfall. Stop for lunch here or along the way- of course, you can also turn around sooner to make for a shorter hike.
Afterward, stop by the Lodge inside Zion for a well-deserved ice cream. When you're ready, jump back on the shuttle and head back to Springdale. After a full day working up your appetite, unwind at Oscar's Cafe. Its hearty portions of delicious Mexican cuisine are the perfect way to round off a big day of hiking before calling it a night.
Day 8: Drive from Zion National Park to Las Vegas
It's time to head back to Las Vegas today. If you have the time, spend the morning taking one last hike around Zion, before jumping in your car and making the 3-hour journey down the I-15 S. Much of the drive is barren flat lands, but you can look forward to some scenic legs.
About 30 minutes outside of Zion, make a stop for a cup of coffee and bite to eat at River Rock Roasting Company. Soak in the expansive views of the canyon from this local establishment and continue on your way. About 100 miles outside of Las Vegas, you'll cross through the Virgin River Gorge, where the highway winds across the river between the cliff sides.
From there, you'll continue on and pass by the Valley of Fire State Park, about 55 miles north of Vegas. If you have the time, take the detour to explore the Valley of Fire Scenic Byway, a 10-mile road winding through the incredible scenery in the State Park. You can stretch your legs on some of its hiking trails as well. Note, there's an entrance fee of $10 per car to enter the park. Afterward, make the rest of the journey to Las Vegas.
There is no shortage of great dining options in Las Vegas at every price point and style. For a classic experience, head into Scarpetta inside the Cosmopolitan hotel for Italian cuisine overlooking the bright lights of the strip. For something more modest but stylish, try Le Thai for some reasonably priced, great food and a fun atmosphere in a cozy locale.