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Old 08-01-2009, 05:53 PM   #16
ZephyrHawk
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Thanks again for all the responses guys. I'm now suitably terrified at the idea of leaving food in our car at YS. I wasn't intending to do so anyways, but now it's a certainty.

Through our online investigation DH found out about "canyoneering" and now wants to try this at Zion. Personally, I'm not all that enthralled with the idea, but hey, it's his trip. I want to try the Angel's Landing trail, but it's not for the acrophobic (like DH).

I really can't wait. I've been slowly buying items we'll need over the past few weeks and making more and more plans as we go along. I know DH wanted this to be an 'unplanned' trip but...well...I post on the DIS...trip planning is sort of my thing.

So here's some update questions:

1. Anyone ever been to "The Wave"? We'd love to do this but figure we'll never get permits.

2. Anyone familiar with canyoneering...specifically with taking cameras through an adventure? I'm terrified of my beatiful baby (my new DSLR) getting injured or wet. I already posted a question on the photo boards, but have not got much of a response.

3. Restaurants. DH and I do NOT want to eat at any place with golden arches or that rhymes with Mapplebees during this trip. We're looking for 'local color'. Any excellent finds?

4. We'll be spending at least 2.5 days in the Bryce/Zion/Cedar Breaks area during the peak of the 'fall colors'. Where should we go if we have a few free hours?

5. For those who are Yellowstone experts, I want to see wolves. DH wants to see grizzlies. We've acknowledged the fact that we very well may see neither, but we'd like to increase our chances. Any suggestions?

Thanks again, and I hope this helps others in their road trip planning as well!
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:11 PM   #17
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When we went to Jewwl Cave last June it was sold out. They mean it when they say make reservations are call ahead.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:21 AM   #18
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Try the Snake River brewery for pub grub in Jackson.

Springdale (Zion) has lots of options . . . Bryce doesn't.

You might want to check tripadvisor for places.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZephyrHawk View Post
4. We'll be spending at least 2.5 days in the Bryce/Zion/Cedar Breaks area during the peak of the 'fall colors'. Where should we go if we have a few free hours?
I wouldn't count on too much fall color -- at least, not the type we have here in the South. Out west they don't have nearly as many trees as we do here, which is why everything out there looks so BIG, BIG, BIG. There's nothing to interrupt your vision. The trees that they do have tend to be pine -- Lodgepole pine, Ponderosa pine, all sorts of pine. I didn't really see oaks, maples, dogwoods, sweetgums, and other trees like we have here. You can count on magnificent scenery, but I don't think fall color will be part of the picture.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZephyrHawk View Post
5. For those who are Yellowstone experts, I want to see wolves. DH wants to see grizzlies. We've acknowledged the fact that we very well may see neither, but we'd like to increase our chances. Any suggestions?
You might enjoy the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in the town of West Yellowstone -- we did! We saw two black bears inside Yellowstone, but we failed to see any wolves. I think wolves are pretty hard to locate.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:41 AM   #20
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Day 9- Fossil Butte, Salt Lake City (?), stay near Cedar City
Day 10- Bryce (want to do a horseback riding tour)
Day 11- Zion
Day 12- Page, Az where we want to see Antelope Cave and the Horsehoe Bend, finish the night near the Grand Canyon South rim
Day 13- Hike Grand Canyon trails
Day 14- Monument Valley, Natural Bridges (?)

Is there any reason you are going in this order?

I just looked at my map, Cedar City doesn't look that far from Zion. I would do Zion First, then Grand Canyon (assuming you are doing the North rim) Bryce and the Antelope

OK just reread your plans, I really do not think you have the time to do these in that order.
Bryce, Zion, Page and then South Rim. You are doing too much backtracking going from Bryce to Zion and then off to Page. If you go then to South Rim, you are once again backtracking to Monument Valley.

When are you going? They do close the North Rim for the winter.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:11 PM   #21
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I wouldn't worry too much about leaving food in your car at Yellowstone DURING THE DAY. Nighttime is a different story. You have to get *everything* out that even remotely smells like food - trash, air fresheners, bags, etc. We were in Yellowstone for 8 days last summer, and moved between hotels several times so we ended up parking our car and leaving it (with food in it) while we did a short hike or some sightseeing and it wasn't an issue. Just to be on the safe side I'd take as little as possible, though.

I've done the Angel's Landing trail - it's pretty "airy" in places, and the hike up is a bit steep. As I recall there are chains and railings to hang on to in the really bad places, though.

1. The Wave - I have several family members who have been there (some of them twice) and LOVED it. I believe it's 6 miles round trip, though. And yes, getting a permit is difficult.

3. Let's see...of the places on your list that I've visited...not much in Bryce, as others have stated - Ruby's Inn is about all there is. We had the buffet dinner there and it was decent, but on the expensive side. We stayed in Tropic, which was pretty small - we just went to the local pizza place, which was fine. In Moab (Arches) we really liked the Moab Brewery. In Yellowstone, the larger Hamilton Stores had diners/quick service food areas. The one at Old Faithful (the one closer to the Inn, not the one closest to the Visitor Center) did a very nice breakfast - just the usual eggs/bacon/pancakes thing, but it was good. The other one (near the Visitor Center) had paninis that looked good - unfortunately we'd already eaten at the Snow Lodge Grill (which was pretty bad), so didn't get to try it. The cafeterias at Old Faithful Lodge and the Lake Lodge were decent. If you want a really good meal (and are willing to pay for it!) then the restaurants at the Lake Hotel and Old Faithful Inn are very good - but make reservations in advance unless you want to eat at 9:00 at night. (Though they do take a few walk-ups right at restaurant opening.)

5. Wolves - your best bet is the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone - there are a couple of wolf packs in the area, and there are always people setting up with spotting scopes along the road. There's also some kind of "wolf center" out in that area that can give you information on the wolves and where they have been sighted recently. For bear sightings, ask at one of the Visitor Centers about recent sightings. (Fishing Bridge Visitor Center last year had a lot of that kind of info.) The Storm Point Trail area on the north side of Lake Yellowstone is supposed to have a fair bit of bear activity. We saw bear hair there last year (where one had been apparently scratching itself on a tree), but no bears.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacaju View Post
Day 9- Fossil Butte, Salt Lake City (?), stay near Cedar City
Day 10- Bryce (want to do a horseback riding tour)
Day 11- Zion
Day 12- Page, Az where we want to see Antelope Cave and the Horsehoe Bend, finish the night near the Grand Canyon South rim
Day 13- Hike Grand Canyon trails
Day 14- Monument Valley, Natural Bridges (?)

Is there any reason you are going in this order?
No. We may, in fact, not do it in that order. In all honesty, it's now looking more like:

Day 10- Bryce
Day 11- Zion/Cedar Breaks/this local state park I found that looks cool
Day 12 Zion
Day 13- Page
Day 14- Canyon
Day 15- Monument Valley/4 corners/Mesa Verde
Day 16-17- Your guess is as good as mine???

Quote:
OK just reread your plans, I really do not think you have the time to do these in that order.
Bryce, Zion, Page and then South Rim. You are doing too much backtracking going from Bryce to Zion and then off to Page. If you go then to South Rim, you are once again backtracking to Monument Valley.

When are you going? They do close the North Rim for the winter.
Yeah, there's bound to be some backtracking whatever we do. Specifically around the Grand Canyon because there's only so many ways there and so many back out. Originally, we conceived going around the other way, passing through Vegas and over Hoover Dam. But we've done Vegas and the dam, don't really like it, and felt it would have been out of our way for no reason (although I did think it would be neat to get a drive-up vow renewal just for the heck of it). We'd like to see the North Rim and will be going in mid-September, but DH wants to hike the South Rim, so cutting that out is a no-no. We probably won't have time for the North Rim.

Quote:
I wouldn't worry too much about leaving food in your car at Yellowstone DURING THE DAY. Nighttime is a different story.
Apparently this is no longer a worry because it has been absolutely impossible for us to get reservations anywhere else in the park we'd want to stay. As such, our cooler will be staying in our room at the Old Faithful, and daytime foodstuffs will travel with us for the most part.

Quote:
If you want a really good meal (and are willing to pay for it!) then the restaurants at the Lake Hotel and Old Faithful Inn are very good - but make reservations in advance unless you want to eat at 9:00 at night. (Though they do take a few walk-ups right at restaurant opening.)
That is good to know, and luckily we like to eat late. 9pm is right up our alley.

Thanks for all the advice guys! It's well appreciated. Especially the Jackson restaurant info. Going online it seemed to me that the people who go there must subsist entirely on breakfast foods. Now, I like a good breakfast out as much as the next person, but come on, it seemed like every place there served waffles.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:09 PM   #23
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ZephyrHawk,
Did you take your trip? It sounds awesome! Would love to hear a mini trip report of what you did! We have friends in Colorado and are thinking about taking a road trip out there this summer and would like to know your experiences of many of the things you had on your itinerary!
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