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Driving from Bryce to Zion with time for Narrows

Long Beach...
Level Contributor
16 posts
Driving from Bryce to Zion with time for Narrows

Hello! I'm doing a trip through the Mighty 5 next week, and I have a question about driving logistics into Zion. Our plan is to leave Bryce Canyon Friday morning and drive to Zion with enough time to do the Narrows. I made a gear reservation for Friday morning and need to be there to get outfitted by 10am.

We have a campsite reserved in Watchman, so I know we have a parking spot that comes with that. But I'm not sure how long it will take to get into Zion, regardless. So I guess my question is two-fold: If we arrive at the outfitter by 10am, and then go into Zion to park, will we have enough time to do the Narrows justice? (I'm not sure how far we will go, but I definitely don't want to feel rushed!) And the second question is: To arrive at the Springdale outfitter by 10am (or an earlier time that makes more sense), what time should we leave Bryce Canyon?

4 replies to this topic
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
83 posts
48 reviews
1. Re: Driving from Bryce to Zion with time for Narrows

You need to leave Bryce 2.5 hours (at least) before your outfitter time. It takes two hours from Bryce with NO traffic. When you enter the park from the east, there is a tunnel that will close to one-way traffic as RV's pass through because they take up two lanes. This will be your main hold up. Then, there will be just general slow traffic you make your way down the canyon.

Edit to add: Someone with camping experience can probably weigh in on the watchman situation. I don't know what time campers need to leave the spots from the night before. That may also factor into your time spent. If you start The Narrows at 11 (At the earliest), you're pushing it, in terms of being able to reach the end and making it back in time.

Edited: 11 May 2018, 02:18
Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell
Level Contributor
20,125 posts
36 reviews
2. Re: Driving from Bryce to Zion with time for Narrows

Oversized vehicles can I my access the tunnel after 8 AM. If you time your departure early enough, you probably won't get delayed at the tunnel.

Keep in mind that you will have ride the shuttle bus from the visitor center to the Narrows trailhead. There can be long queues waiting for the shuttle. The Narrows trailhead is the turnaround point for the shuttle bus and is about a 40 minute ride from the visitor center. The shuttle makes several stops on the way. It could possibly be 2 PM before you get to the trailhead. From the trailhead It's a mile walk to the Narrows.

Long Beach...
Level Contributor
16 posts
3. Re: Driving from Bryce to Zion with time for Narrows

Thanks for the help! So, to be clear, if we leave Bryce by 6 or so, we won't get caught up at the tunnel?

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell
Level Contributor
20,125 posts
36 reviews
4. Re: Driving from Bryce to Zion with time for Narrows

You may not get caught at tbe tunnel even if you are later. It depends on if there are oversized vehicles that need an escort. It's just more likely after 8 am.

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