We’ve had this trip on our bucket list for quite some time and was so excited to finally get to experience these beautiful places for ourselves. After taking a look at the map, we decided the best route was to fly to Las Vegas to start our road trip. We knew we would be on the road for a while and with our parents and baby in tow we decided to rent a RV since we would be making a lot of rest stops and wanted to maximize our time spent together. We spent a little less than a week on the road visiting these places and thought it was the perfect amount of time!
Starting off in Las Vegas, NV
We decided to fly the short distance between the Bay Area and Las Vegas which saved us 10 hours of driving. We spent two nights here enjoying some shows and good food. We also used this time to pick up some groceries and other necessities for the trip. We decided to go with Cruise America for our RV rental because they had great pricing and support for first time RV drivers like us!
Pick up for our rental was easy at their Las Vegas location with a brief overview of how everything in the RV worked. They also have a 24 hotline service for any questions you might have on the road. We went with a “Standard RV Rental” that comes with a shower and toilet, kitchen with stove, sink, refrigerator and microwave, as well as enough beds to sleep 5. After packing everything in, it was time to hit the road. The RV certainly made our whole trip more relaxing and fun!
First stop: Zion National Park
The drive from Las Vegas to Zion is about 2 1/2 hours. There is an hour time difference so we got there right after sunset. We stayed at the Watchman Villas for the night which was most ideal for our family since the villas have full kitchens and a living area to spend time together for bigger groups. They are also only a mile from the entrance to Zion National Park with one of the shuttle stops just a few steps away. We made a delicious dinner in the comfort of our own place and called it an early night so we could get an early start the next day- plus the beds were amazingly comfy!
The next day we cooked a big healthy breakfast to start out the day before walking to the shuttle stop. Since we had older and younger members in our group with us we opted for the Riverside Walk which is an out and back partially paved trail that is about 2 miles. We packed some sandwiches for lunch and ate them at the end of the trail which is also the start of the famous Narrows hike through the Virgin River. The beautiful red canyon walls with the blue waters of the river was a sight to see! There was wildlife and the leaves were just starting to change adding to the array of colors.
We headed back into Springdale town to pick up some food for dinner to eat back at our villa. We also grabbed some beer to enjoy on our patio looking out to the beautiful red canyons as the sun set- perfection!
Quick detour to Bryce Canyon National Park
The next day we packed up the RV for our next leg of the trip. We wanted to do a slight detour to Bryce Canyon National Park (1 hour detour North) since it is a very unique park that isn’t as well known. The specialty of the park are the Hoodoos that is the largest concentration found anywhere on Earth. This park also provides an awesome shuttle service to all the main view points in the park. We took the shuttle to Inspiration Point and walked along part of the Rim Trail to Bryce Point. It was super windy the day we went but the views of Bryce Amphitheater were amazing!
Heading to Antelope Point Marina at Lake Powell
After getting warmed up back in our RV, we started our drive to Antelope Point Marina which was a 3 hour drive. We grabbed some bbq to go in Page, AZ before heading to the Marina to check into our houseboat! The marina has 8 different houseboat models to choose from depending on size and total number of people it sleeps. They are the newest marina on Lake Powell and is the best way to explore the lake and the best departure point for any recreations on Lake Powell. Almost all the models come with your own private hot tub, direct tv, wet bar, and water slide. We stayed on a 70′ Titanium that had 4 private bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and of course a full size kitchen and large living room. After dinner we all headed into the hot tub for a midnight soak under the stars!
The next day we had a morning tour to Lower Antelope Canyon. The lower canyon is a bit more narrow with more ups and downs with ladders which just added to the adventure and beauty. With every turn in the slot canyon, you can see why this canyon is one of the most photographed places in the world! The amazing texture and patterns in the rock are created by flash floods that flow through the canyon every year. You can’t take a bad photo here!
After our tour we headed back to the marina for our Antelope Canyon Boat Tour. The tour takes you through some of the winding corridors of Lake Powell which was formed when they built the Glen Canyon Dam. The Lake is made up of water from the Colorado river which created Lake Powell within the beautiful walls of Antelope Canyon.
Then it was back to our houseboat for more hot tubbing, sunset drinks, and bbqing!
The next day we packed up and headed back to Las Vegas. The total drive back was about 4.5 hours. We did a quick stop at Horseshoe Bend before heading back to return the RV. The drive back was smooth and easy with our RV since we were able to eat snacks along the way (including ice cream!) and the passing views were not bad either! We had lots of photos to look back on and many stories to reminisce. We had a relaxing and amazing trip and can’t wait to go back for another visit to this part of the USA!