Five Days in the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park

I set out for Zion by way of Vegas for a getaway weekend in the great outdoors with a loose itinerary. I knew what I wanted to accomplish, but I could deviate from the plan at any time. It was one of my favorite trips to date simply because I’ve grown to love being in nature. What’s not to love about trees, mountains, and canyons?

Day 1: Fly in Vegas
I spent the first day in Vegas and actually treated myself to a cheeky helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. The view from above is absolutely phenomenal, and I would highly recommend splurging on this experience if the budget allows.

Day 2: Drive to Grand Canyon (South Rim):
The breathtaking beauty and vastness of the Grand Canyon instantly captured my heart, this is one of those places you can try and describe, but it will never be the same as a visit there.
Tip #1: Don’t stop at the very first point at the Visitor Center. I recommend going west and parking as close to Hermit Road as you can and then take the Red Route, then walk the trails once you get off of your first point on the Red Route.
Favorite Points on Hermit Road (Red Route):
  • Maricopa Point: A little more intimate viewpoint than some of the others. You are able to see some close-up details before the view opens up to a vista of the canyon.
  • Powell Point: You should get off at this stop to see it and then walk to Hopi Point (0.3 miles, 10-min walk).
  • Hopi Point: 360 View! AMAZING
  • Mohave Point: This is where you can see the Colorado River at the bottom of a canyon!

Day 3: Paddleboard through Antelope Canyon on Lake Powell
I was looking for a way to experience Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell without the crowds. Paddleboarding on Lake Powell into the slots of Antelope Canyon was definitely one surefire way to achieve that! When setting out, I highly recommend that you go early and give yourself about 4-5 hours for paddling into Antelope Canyon slots and another 1-2 hours or so if you want to do the hike into the canyon (which I highly recommend doing). It is definitely not for the faint of heart because it is a long paddle (however you can also rent kayaks if you’re more comfortable with that).

Day 4: Sunrise Horseshoe Bend
Another early morning but totally worth the experience. To get here, there is a 15-20 min walk uphill, then downhill in the sand to reach the edge of the canyon. Well worth the short walk with an amazing view of the river.

Tip #2: Sunrise is a better and less crowded view than Sunset.

Day 5: Zion National Park
There is no doubt that Angel’s Landing is the most popular hike in Zion. The trail involved chains and some courage, it is challenging but very doable for those with a reasonable fitness level. I echo the advice of others to set the alarm and get out as early as possible! If you are lucky enough to be staying in the park at the lodge, you can actually go before the shuttle starts. The landing is not very spacious so it can be daunting with all of the crowds. The view from Angel’s Landing was truly incredible and being that high up, it’s easy to see how it earned its namesake.

Tip #3: Wear some good hiking shoes!

When to go:  The best times to visit the Grand Canyon and Zion are Spring and Fall, specifically March through May and September through November when daytime temperatures are cool, and the crowds are thin. If you do decide to visit during the summer (the park’s peak season), be prepared for tourists and limited lodging availabilit

Want to learn more about these national parks and other amazing road trip you can take right in our own backyard? Give me a call at (888) 229-0082 (ask for Vanessa) or email me at