North to Zion and Bryce.

After a great couple of days at Toroweap Point on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon I was planning to drive back south through Flagstaff, and on to Prescott to visit friends.  But realizing I was only about 45 miles from Zion National Park and 75 miles from Bryce Canyon National Park… I had to stop for an overnight visit to both parks!  The last time I visited them was in 1985, when my older brother and I drove through on our way to his first job after college in California.  I have some old 35 mm photographs of the parks but don’t remember very much about our visit!  It was almost 30 years ago and unfortunately memories fade with that many years!The best recommendation I can give anyone planning to visit Zion and Bryce is to buy the “America the Beautiful” annual parks pass before you travel.  The pass cost me $80.00 which may seem expensive, but when you realize the cost to enter Zion and Bryce is $25.00 each… $80.00 is not that bad!  Plus with the annual pass you can visit hundreds of other National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands at no additional fee!  After 3 weeks of traveling on this trip, I have visited parks that without the pass would have cost $74.00… so I’m sure I will get my money’s worth from the annual pass during “Road Trip 2014.”

The second best recommendation I can give concerning Zion and Bryce is to reserve a camping space in advance, definitely during the Summer months!  The parks are very popular destinations, they are easily accessible by vehicles making them very busy!  You can hike dozens of trails in both parks but if you are looking for “Into the Wild” type solitude… you probably won’t find it…. the trails can be busy too!

The amazing beauty of both parks far out-weighs any problems associated with how busy they can be in the Summer… they are both well worth at least a 2 day visit no matter how busy!

I hiked about 6 miles in both parks and had a great time!  We are very fortunate here in the USA to have so many beautiful, well maintained National Parks…. I plan to wander through many of them in 2014!

Zion National Park main entrance.
Zion National Park.
Bryce Canyon National Park main entrance.
Sunset Canyon at Bryce Canyon National Park.

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