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Old 10-26-2014, 04:57 PM   #1
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Zion Tunnel to Bryce

We want to go from Zion Ntl Park to Bryce Ntl Park next May. We will be towing our 27ish ft TT with our truck. About fifty ft. total length. There is that small narrow tunnel between the parks, in the switchbacks section of the highway. It looks like we would have to pay for an escort through the tunnel, too. Think we need to go back out to the I-15 and around.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Is my info correct?
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:11 PM   #2
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I think I would try another route.

The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel - Zion National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:47 PM   #3
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Still the easiest way to go. You pay and they shut down the opposing traffic at the other side and you drive right down the middle of the road through the tunnel. Dozens of people do it every day. I drove that tunnel four times (no trailer) last fall and three times was following a motor home or trailer. Was great. The one time I didn't have the road to myself I had to fold in my mirrors and white knuckle it through. The other two options are 59 south to 389 to 89 north, or I15 to 20 to 89 south. Do NOT take 14 from Cedar City to 89 with your trailer. Goes from 6K to 10K elevation with steep grades and lots of curves. It can be done, but I wouldn't do it. If you are staying in Zion it is well worth exploring rt 9 out to the east entrance without the trailer. It is simply amazing scenery.


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Old 10-26-2014, 11:21 PM   #4
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I think that I am going to include the Mount Carmel Tunnel at this point in our planning. It will save more than an hour in time going through this way. The Rangers at the entrance kiosk will know if our rig will fit or not. Need to ask when we get there. Plan to stay at least 2 nights in Watchman, then onward.
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Old 10-27-2014, 05:22 AM   #5
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We went through the tunnel in June, 2013, in our Sunseeker 3100 towing a Pathfinder with no problem. We just drove up to the tunnel, the ranger held us until the opposing traffic was clear, and we drove through straddling the centerline, as they instructed.

There are great views through the tunnel wall opening, but I didn't get to enjoy the view. There are only a few turnouts on the entire road big enough for an RV, so don't expect to stop and enjoy it. Of course, I pulled over to let faster traffic pass when I could.

Here's a link to the Zion National Park tunnel web page. It's hidden on the park's home page under Fees and Registration.

The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel - Zion National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Be sure you aren't included in the following, from the web page. Height will be your consideration.

Prohibited Vehicles
Vehicles over 13 feet 1 inch tall, Semi-trucks, vehicles carrying hazardous materials, vehicles weighing more than 50,000 pounds, single vehicles over 40 feet long, combined vehicles over 50 feet long. All Bicycles. Pedestrians.

By the way, since we had a dog and dogs aren't allowed in most of the park, we had to have a campsite with electricity. Since we were approaching from the east, we stayed at Zion Mountain Ranch RV which is a short distance from the east entrance. It was good, but the ground was just powder. The store across the road had fresh pizza made to order which gave a nice break for the cook. The west side is much more developed and has more RV parks, restaurants, and lots of people. Of course, if you are dry camping, there are campgrounds in the park.

A great thing about staying there was the drive into the park. We are early risers and were driving in with little traffic. There were Desert Sheep along the road three of the four days we drove in.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:35 PM   #6
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If coming from I-15 [west entrance?] and just staying at Watchman, does the tunnel come into play, or does it only matter if you are driving from Zion to Bryce or vice versa?

How many nights do you recommend for Zion? How about Bryce?

Any idea on what the weather is like late March early April?
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:36 PM   #7
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The tunnel is on the east side of Zion. You can download a map of the park from the Zion Web page on the National Park Service's Web site.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:52 PM   #8
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Good to know. Thank you.
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:37 AM   #9
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I see no one replied to your question of how much time to spend in Zion and Bryce. Of course, the answer is - it depends. If you just want to see them, two days in Zion and one in Bryce are enough. If you want to get spectacular photos, you'll need to be there lots more so you can be at several different places when the light is best for those places. In those places, photos taken mid-day tend to be less colorful or interesting. If you like to hike, you can spend a week at Zion and several days at Bryce.


Be aware that Zion has a free shuttle and cars are not allowed in the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive most of the year. It works very nicely. When you get off at an area it's often quiet and not very crowded.
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Old 11-16-2014, 03:20 AM   #10
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We are planning to stay 3 nights at each place so we don't feel hurried. It is a vacation after all.
One night in Vegas for on the way, like to get the farthest I can the first day and this will about an 8 hour drive with stops for fuel and stretching, meals etc..
Then 3 at Zion, Bryce, North Rim, and probably Sedona area for 3 also.
Then to Yermo/Calico for 1 night for the stop on the way home which will be about half way. Might stay for 2 but It will depend on a few factors. We will see.

Have made some of the rezzies already at a couple of places but waiting for the rez window to open for the North Rim. It is after midnight now but think I have to wait for 8:00am for the 6 month window to open.
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