Zion and Bryce in three days.

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by Banzaibrothers, May 14, 2017.

  1. Banzaibrothers

    Banzaibrothers Adventurer

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    Jonz, thanks for the Google map by the way!
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  2. Banzaibrothers

    Banzaibrothers Adventurer

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    Sealsam, what would be the easiest way to get to Kolob Reservoir on big rental bikes?
    #22
  3. dman

    dman Long timer

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    I camped at Cedar Breaks in late July or maybe early August and there was frost on my seat in the morning. Rode to the visitor center and huddled by the fire to warm up.
    #23
  4. 23103a

    23103a not n00b

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    Just rode up that road a few days ago when I was in the area. It takes off from the main highway between Springdale and Hurricane. It's a great road, it was ~60 down in Virgin and lightly snowing and 36 at the top :D

    I think everyone has covered it at this point. Angel's Landing hike is borderline frightening to me :D I prefer the Observation Point trail. It's got the best view if you're going to be hiking.

    A few hours in Bryce Canyon is enough. As someone mentioned, make a loop towards Panguitch and over to Cedar Breaks, then down to Cedar City. Some really fun pavement in that area.
    #24
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  5. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    23103a nailed it. It is out of Virgin, UT. The sign is on the north side of the road, you will miss it. Keep your eye's wide open.

    Also, stop for pie at the junction of Hwy 9 & 89. Here's the place, with my buddy RedRockRider admiring my beautiful Helix.

    [​IMG]
    #25
  6. Banzaibrothers

    Banzaibrothers Adventurer

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    So, I've booked first night at Ruby's in Bryce, second night Flanigans in Springdale.

    Planning to ride via Kolob resevoir and Cedar Breaks to Bryce first day. Second day go up 12 a bit (Escalante?) then back to Zion and in from the East - maybe via some of the easier gravel trails. Explore Zion a little. Third day explore Zion some more with a short hike (maybe upper emerald pools) then back to Vegas to return bikes.

    Due to the time difference from the UK we are planning on some very early starts. 3am the first day for sure.

    Does this sound reasonable?
    #26
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  7. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    That'll be very good. Riding up Hwy 12 is also a 'must', it is one of America's best!

    In the Brian Head area head over to the Brian Head Peak, a simple little dirt access road that won't be any problem on the rented bikes, the few extra minutes to get up there will be worth it.

    You can connect Kolob Res with Cedar City(Hwy 14)via dirt road. Do not do it. I've done it many times, but there is a couple pretty good sand sections, since you're on rented bikes don't do it. It is all pavement up to Kolob Res, it becomes dirt just before the lake. At this point turn around and enjoy the incredible ride back down to Virgin.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    What are you using for maps? Do you have anything yet?
    #27
  8. Banzaibrothers

    Banzaibrothers Adventurer

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    Ah, that's a shame - was going to take that dirt road. But I'll take your advice.

    I'm using an app called Galileo with open source vector maps. Not ideal but good enough. I also found a good map at Zionguide.com that has all the main roads and dirt trails on it.
    #28
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  9. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    Ah, you know your riding ability. There(usually)is a large sand section as you leave the Kolob lake area, just to the north-east of the lake. Some years are worse than others, it has never turned any of us away, but we are not on $20k rented GS's. The section is maybe 1/2 mile long. We have dismounted our bikes to 'help' fellow riders through the sand, so very very doable. Possibly ride up to it and weigh it out for yourself.


    I sent you a private message, check your Inbox(upper right).
    #29
  10. Banzaibrothers

    Banzaibrothers Adventurer

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    Got the PM thanks.

    You are right about the rented bike angle. Maybe we'll take a look and see what condition the trails in.

    I guess the only other option is back out to the 15? (Without spoiling the excitement of Zion and also giving us time to get to Cedar Breaks and Brian Head before Bryce).
    #30
  11. TrophyHunter

    TrophyHunter Long timer Supporter

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    We stayed in Springdale June 8. We checked in around 2 PM and took shuttles into Zion. It was BUSY but the shuttle system is great. On/Off and free. Stops by popular spots and plenty of pickup spots in Springdale. By 6:30 AM on Friday, there was a constant stream of cars into Zion. We had reservations at the lodge so we had the red pass to access the main valley and park there. Even though we had a slow morning and hit the entrance at 9:30, we only waited 10 minutes.

    It's hot. We started the Emerald Pools hike at 10:15 and it was already 85. BRING WATER - of course. I haven't seen "The Narrows" hike mentioned but it's good for hot weather and the river just opened up. They wait for Cubic Feet per Second to reach a manageable level. Water temp was 53, so with the heat, it'd be a good balance. Rental gear is available - sturdy water shoes and walking sticks - so check some sites for that.

    Early is good. Not so hot, not so many people.

    We hit Bryce at about 6:45 AM. No wait, no Rangers at the booth, so no fee. Go to Sunrise Point. Hike down in if that suits you. Around 7500 feet so much cooler. Completely uncrowded in the early hours. We were out of the park by 9:30 as we had a long drive to Steamboat Springs, CO.

    Enjoy!
    #31
  12. Banzaibrothers

    Banzaibrothers Adventurer

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    Thanks for the info TrophyHunter.

    Plan is certainly to do everything early as we are working on an eight hour time difference!

    I've also been advised that cooling vests work very well. Cyclegear have the Fly version on sale for $35 so we're giving this some thought.

    Cheers.
    #32
  13. TrophyHunter

    TrophyHunter Long timer Supporter

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    I have a cooling vest. I left it wet in a plastic baggie until needed on a ride last year. Really worked well.
    #33