Recommended Stay: 3-7 days
Distance from Salt Lake: 308 miles / Drive Time: about 5 hours
Trip Cost Estimate: $550-$1220
While Zion and Bryce National Parks are both well known national parks that attract thousands of visitors a year the special places along the route to them often get over looked. This post will give you some ideas of places to see along the routes to and from Zion and Bryce to make your trip even more memorable.
The first natural point of interest worth pointing out as you head south from Salt Lake City in your campervan rental is the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway. This gorgeous addition to your drive starts in Payson, Utah and connects back on to Interstate 15 in Nephi, Utah. The Nebo Loop Scenic Byway is a seasonally open, meandering road that provides access to camping, hiking, and spectacular views. The most famous overlook along the byway is Devil's Kitchen. Devil's Kitchen features erosion similar to Bryce National Park and is surrounded by beautiful conifers.
As you continue south on I-15 the next natural point of interest is Meadow Hot Springs located just southwest of Meadow, Utah. This hot springs has several pools that you can drive very close to. One swimming hole is full of colorful non-native fish that people have put in the pool. The primary swimming hole is about fifteen feet long by twenty feet wide and gets about ten feet deep. While the pools are not scalding hot the main pool will keep you warm while it is cold outside.
About an hour and a half south of Meadow, Utah is Kanaraville Falls. Kanarraville Falls is a spectacular slot canyon hike. It is a moderately difficult 5 miles round trip hike. The fall is in a tight canyon where an old tree tacked with 2x4 rungs that lets you climb to the top of the fall. This is a very popular hike. The only places you are allowed to park near the trailhead cost $10 so bring some cash to support the local community and maintain the trail. After your hike it is a short jaunt over to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.
On your way back to Salt Lake you may want to stop at one more hot spring to relax after all your hiking. North of Bryce Canyon close to your route back to Salt Lake is Mystic Hot Springs. Mystic Hot Springs is a developed attraction that has hot springs, camping, and often hosts small music festivals. If you are ready to return your campervan rental to Salt Lake after your time here Salt Lake is a hop, skip, and jump north.
If you have any questions or want help planning a trip like this please contact us. If you are ready to reserve your campervan rental from Salt Lake City click here.