a VirtualTourist member from Kingston
Will be traveling from Grand Canyon leaving via east gate to Zion & Bryce NP via Kanab in mid May. Which hwy would be the most scenic 89 or 89A, In no hurry will likely overnight around Marble canyon. Also any interesting things to look for.
Well, if you're overnighting at Marble Canyon, then you're pretty much already set on 89A. Or are you open to Page? Page actually has much better lodging choices.
For scenery, I would choose 89. You get Lake Powell, Glen Canyon and its dam, and Escalante Monument. The drive up from the southern split with 89A is pretty as well. But I like 89A because Marble Canyon offers you a chance to actually get close to the Colorado River, one of the few places you can do that.
Why not both?
I suppose you'll leave in the morning, you don't say south rim where, in any case get out from G.C. at East Rim, this would save some miles, petrol and time, after a couple of hours of driving 89 North, not far from Page, on the way I would stop at [both] Antelope Canyon, it's a short diversion, both are worth visit, google Antelope Canyon and you'll see why.
For the night I would stay in Page, as already written there's more choise of accomodations and restaurants for dinner. After the two canyon and found an accomodation for the night. There's an other woth visit to make but I would skip during the day as is always very crowded, it's Horseshoe Bend, I would keep it for following sunrise morning in case you'll sleep in Page. I did so myself, very beatiful colors, very nice pics and only six people there, unbelievable!
In the afternoon, in case you prefer 'rocks' instead of 'water' AND YOU'VE an high clearance car, better if 4WD, you can go south and take the 89A, a stop at Navajo Bridge, then Vermilion Cliff seen at its best, in late afternoon/nearly sunset.
Follow 89A West till you have to reduce speed because ahead there's a turn left and the road goes up to montain, on the right there are few houses, not very easy to explain, have a look here where the point is
Here take House rock rd., follow this, fantastic scenic drive, again, this road is better if done in the afternoon towards sunset, in any case drive easy and slow AND do not attempt with normal car!! Last year I saw one suspension broken just less then 50 yards from paved 89!!!
Following morning, better if very early morning, just 2 or 3 miles South of Page there is Horseshoe Bend, it's on 89, there is a park, a short, half mile, hilly walk. There's also a dinosaur track next to end... I never met one person who knows it.... well you know now :lol:
After this take 89 to go to both parks you want
in case you like driving off road AND YOU'VE an high clearance 4WD car, after 30 miles you find on the right Cottonwood Rd. you get inside Staircase Escalante N.M.
Also here, drive easy, better go slow, do not be in a hurry, also your tyres could suffer. Once finished Cottowood rd you'll be on UT-12, go West and Bryce Canyon would be on the way but before getting there other scenic views!!
In case you want something more relaxed, I would not stop at Page for the night, following 89, you could go straight to Kanab, here I suggest Victorian Inn Hotel, the only hotel in the area where I did really want to go back again and I'll do any time, from there Bryce is not so far. In Utah on 89 beware at speed traps, there are many on the way and not always there is a puppet but a real human policeman inside the car parked at edge of the road.