A Fun Weekend Road Trip to Utah and Arizona from Las Vegas

Last year we finally got together with our closest girlfriends and made an extended weekend trip to Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Lower Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend. We received a lot of responses with our post Exploring Horseshoe Bend and Lower Antelope Canyon in Arizona and Hike Through a River at The Narrows, Zion National Park and some of the questions we got asked quite often was:

When we began planning our trip, we decided the best place for the four of us to meet-up was in Las Vegas. The plans were to spend most of our time in Utah and Arizona and the best route was to fly into Las Vegas, rent a car, and make it into a mini road trip. 

Day 1 - Las Vegas

The four of us flew in from different locations and arrived in Las Vegas right before noon. We picked up our rental car and headed to the SLS Hotel. We didn't walk around the strip since our plans were to wake up early the next day for our drive to Zion National Park (Utah). We had dinner inside the hotel at Katsuya and took advantage of their Happy Hour. After dinner and drinks we headed back to our room and called it a night. 

 
 SLS Hotel Las Vegas

SLS Hotel Las Vegas

 

Day 2 - Zion National Park

We woke up at 6am and began our three hour drive to Zion National Park. Google maps suggested that it would take about 2.5 hours, but it actually took us about 3 hours. We made a couple of quick stops (food and bathroom breaks) and didn't take the scenic route, so the drive was pretty straight forward.

 ZION NATIONAL PARK

When we arrived at Zion National Park, we had to park on the street since all of the lots were full. It was Labor Day Weekend and the park was pretty packed and the temperatures were in the high 90s. Despite the heat it was surprisingly cool when we began trekking the Narrows. The scenery was breathtaking and we spent the entire day here.

 BACKPACK FROM   PACSAFE

BACKPACK FROM PACSAFE

 TOP & BOTTOM FROM   ATHLETA

TOP & BOTTOM FROM ATHLETA

After our long day in Zion, we had dinner and then began our drive to our next hotel in Page, Arizona. The drive to the Hampton Inn & Suites was about a two hour drive and we arrived around 8PM. We were beat and ready for bed. We had another early morning ahead of us. 

Day 3 - Horseshoe Bend, Lower Antelope Canyon, Scenic Drive

Horseshoe Bend

The location of our hotel was only a few miles away from Horseshoe Bend and we woke up around 5AM to catch the sunrise. After a long day at Zion National Park, it was pretty tough waking up, but we were so glad that we did. The sun rise at Horseshoe Bend was gorgeous and worth the early wake up call. Plus there are less people at sunrise compared to sunsets, so if you want to avoid the crowds and the heat we recommend coming here early.

 SUNRISE AT HORSESHOE BEND

SUNRISE AT HORSESHOE BEND

 TOP FROM   ANATOMIE STYLE   // BOTTOMS FROM   ATHLETA

TOP FROM ANATOMIE STYLE // BOTTOMS FROM ATHLETA

 TOP & BOTTOMS FROM ATHLETA // TRUCKER HAT FROM   PRANA

TOP & BOTTOMS FROM ATHLETA // TRUCKER HAT FROM PRANA

Lower Antelope Canyon

After sunrise, we headed back to the hotel to check out and made our way to Lower Antelope Canyon. Lower Antelope Canyon was a short five mile drive from the hotel and we arrived on-time for our reserved 9AM tour. Lower Antelope Canyon was truly amazing and it is just as beautiful in person as in pictures. We couldn't believe how incredibly gorgeous it was inside the canyon. 

 LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON

LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON

 The light shining in was breathtaking at Antelope Canyon

The light shining in was breathtaking at Antelope Canyon

 Walking through the narrow areas of Antelope Canyon

Walking through the narrow areas of Antelope Canyon

Scenic Drive from Arizona to Las Vegas
We didn't book a second night in Page, Arizona so after our tour it was time to hit the road back to Las Vegas. However, on the way back, we decided to take the scenic route and made a few stops along the way. 

 THE SCENIC ROUTE WAS SUCH A BREATHTAKING VIEW FOR MILES AND MILES

THE SCENIC ROUTE WAS SUCH A BREATHTAKING VIEW FOR MILES AND MILES

Scenic Stop #1 - Historic Navajo Bridge

Our first stop was a quick one and definitely a site to see. The views of Marble Canyon and the Colorado River are spectacular and mesmerizing. The photos don't do it justice! 

 ENTRANCE TO THE NAVAJO BRIDGE

ENTRANCE TO THE NAVAJO BRIDGE

 THE PHOTOS REALLY DON'T DO IT JUSTICE. IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL SITE TO SEE IN PERSON.

THE PHOTOS REALLY DON'T DO IT JUSTICE. IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL SITE TO SEE IN PERSON.

 GORGEOUS LANDSCAPE ALL AROUND US

GORGEOUS LANDSCAPE ALL AROUND US

Scenic Stop #2 - Cliff Dwellers - Stone House

We honestly had no idea what this place was, but it was apparent that the ruins used to be living quarters. We found out that a married couple, back in the 1920s, used to live here and later turned the area into a small business. The land no longer belongs to the original owners, but a functioning hotel called the "Cliff Dwellers Lodge" sits right next to the original dwellings. 

 CAN YOU SPOT CRYSTAL AND KATHY?

CAN YOU SPOT CRYSTAL AND KATHY?

 INSIDE ONE OF THE HOUSES

INSIDE ONE OF THE HOUSES

 THE LANDSCAPE HERE IS AMAZING!

THE LANDSCAPE HERE IS AMAZING!

We were planning on making a third stop inside Kaibab National Forest to see the "Smokey the Bear" statue, but we somehow missed it! The remaining drive back to Las Vegas did not disappoint. We drove past gorgeous red rocks and then at one point we were surrounded by the Kaibab National Forest. This is the forest that surrounds the Grand Canyon. We thought we would get a little nap in-between taking turns driving, but we didn't want to miss out on anything and stayed awake the entire drive back to Las Vegas. 

Day 4 - The Cosmopolitan

It was the last night of our girl's trip and we stayed at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The lobby is gorgeous and there is a sparkling giant tri-level chandelier that exudes luxury. The chandelier recently completed renovations, so if you haven't visited since 2016 it's worth a visit if you are back in Las Vegas.

 VIEW OF LAS VEGAS STRIP FROM OUR ROOM

VIEW OF LAS VEGAS STRIP FROM OUR ROOM

 DIGITAL BOOKCASES AT THE COSMOPOLITAN. THE DIGITAL DISPLAY HAD DIFFERENT IMAGERY THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

DIGITAL BOOKCASES AT THE COSMOPOLITAN. THE DIGITAL DISPLAY HAD DIFFERENT IMAGERY THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

 GORGEOUS LOUNGE/BAR AT THE COSMPOLITAN

GORGEOUS LOUNGE/BAR AT THE COSMPOLITAN

 THE COSMOPOLITAN POOL

THE COSMOPOLITAN POOL

The Cosmopolitan staff were super friendly and even offered to upgrade us (free of charge) to a room with an amazing view of the Vegas strip. Thank you for the upgrade!!! There is always something to see and do in Vegas and we decided to skip the day gambling and walked around the city. We came across this really cool bar called Tipsy Robot where your drinks are made by a robot. The whole experience gives you a futuristic vibe from start to finish. The drinks are a little overpriced, so we only ordered one drink for fun. 

 TIPSY ROBOT LAS VEGAS

TIPSY ROBOT LAS VEGAS

Speaking of drinks and food, we did all of our dining at the Cosmopolitan. For breakfast we had the brunch buffet at The Wicked Spoon, for lunch we all ordered a yummy bowl of ramen at Momofuku and for dinner we had amazing Asian Mexican cuisine at China Poblano. China Poblano was by far our favorite. Surprisingly, our least favorite was the brunch buffet. We thought with all the options we would find a variety of yummy dishes, but a lot of it was quite bland. We've been to several buffets in Las Vegas and hands down Bacchanal Buffet is still our favorite buffet. 

 ASIAN CUISINE FROM BRUNCH AT THE WICKED SPOON: SUSHI, KIMCHI JJIGAE, & PHÓ

ASIAN CUISINE FROM BRUNCH AT THE WICKED SPOON: SUSHI, KIMCHI JJIGAE, & PHÓ

 DINNER AT CHINA POBLANO. WE CHOSE TO SIT OUTSIDE OF THE RESTAURANT.

DINNER AT CHINA POBLANO. WE CHOSE TO SIT OUTSIDE OF THE RESTAURANT.

It's been so long since the four of us got together to make a trip out of our hometowns. Having a family and varying work schedules makes putting these trips together a bit more challenging, but so worth it. We really need to make these trips happen more often and not wait so long. Looking back on the trip, we all agreed that we enjoyed our time in Utah and Arizona more than Las Vegas. Not sure if we are getting older or if we just enjoy being out in the nature more than the big city. We still had a blast in Vegas, but if you prefer the outdoors, we definitely recommend cutting your stay in Las Vegas and adding it to Utah and Arizona instead. 

WHERE WE STAYED

Hampton Inn & Suites
This hotel is located within a few miles from both Horseshoe Bend & Lower Antelope Canyon

SLS Las Vegas
Had great Happy Hour prices at Katsuya.

The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
The perfect hotel for a Girl's Vacation! Great rooms and attentive staff.

 Arizona Utah Weekend Trip