Thanksgiving in Zion!
July 18, 2016 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Help and feedback for a Zion birthday adventure!

In my friend group, we take a trip when one of the members turns 30...and this year it's my turn! The plan, as it stands, is to take a trip to Zion over the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov 23 - 27)

We're still debating on how to get there--we're all based in LA and some are okay with flying to Vegas>driving the rest of the way to save some time/stress (though from what I hear about McCarran it might not save THAT much stress) while others want to drive due to budgetary constraints. Our group is comprised of fairly active and adventurous late-20s/early-30s folks who are willing to get up early/sweat a lot/drive long distances but also enjoy some comforts.

From there I was thinking:

Wed Nov 23--Get to Zion early enough in the day, preferably by noon, to explore the park a bit. Overnight for 3 nights in a house rental near east entrance, at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort--I know Springdale might be more ideal, but thinking again about budgetary constraints

Thurs Nov 24--More Zion, Angel's Landing (weather permitting)

Fri Nov 25 -- More Zion, Narrows? (weather permitting of course)

Sat Nov 26th -- Start early and drive out to Page, explore Antelope Canyon/Lake Powell/Horseshoe Bend? Head back toward end of the day and overnight in Kanab hotel

Sun Nov 27th -- Visit Best Friends or Coral pink sand dunes or surrounding nature and then head home

I'm wondering how feasible this plan sounds? I haven't been to the area that late in the year before, and I'm mainly wondering if I should anticipate any roads being closed. I know weather is unpredictable, but generally for the past few years how has it been?

Also any tips from people who have gone to the area around that time would be greatly appreciated!
posted by sprezzy to Travel & Transportation (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My first trip to Zion we stayed at a ranch near to where you are staying (Clear Creek Ranch) . We were there in August and we were the only guests at the ranch. I'd expect you'd have a lot of the place to yourself. The East entrance isn't as convenient as Springdale since you'll have to navigate the tunnel several times a day.

I've been to Zion in early November and there was snow on the top of Observation Point. Mind you that this didn't stop us from getting to the top...just something to consider. I'd probably have second thoughts about Angel's Landing in snow. Also the Narrows will likely be quite cold in late November so I don't know how much you should plan on the Narrows besides seeing the mouth of the canyon.

As for your schedule, definitely consider Observation Point/Hidden Canyon. They are both really neat. If everyone is gung ho and fairly active, your time on Angel's is probably just the morning of a day to give you some perspective.

Since you will be east of the park, you might consider driving over to Bryce Canyon NP for the day. The Hoodoos in the natural amphitheater are quite spectacular in person. Definitely dress warmly as Bryce is at a higher elevation than Zion.
posted by mmascolino at 9:13 AM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Luck of the draw, obviously, but I was there over Christmas a couple years ago and everything was clear. I think the Narrows might have been closed one day while we were there, and I saw signs that one of the roads toward Bryce was closed. I definitely wouldn't climb Angel's Landing if there's snow around, though people do it.

McCarran is gross. We did the drive from there, but I'd be inclined to drive from LA if I were doing it again from where you are.

The Zion Lodge (inside the park) had a nice, home-y vibe in the dining room for Christmas meals, in case anyone wants the same for Thanksgiving.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 3:52 PM on July 18, 2016

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