Where are you in Vegas

Staff trip report: Las Vegas and Southwest with national parks
by Yvonne Albachten

Las Vegas

At the end of September I (Yvonne Albachten, employee of Trans Amerika Reisen / Trans Canada Touristik) made myself with the airline Condor on the way from Frankfurt to Las Vegas. After arriving and entering the USA and a short taxi ride, we arrived at the hotel "The New Tropicana" at. The hotel was taken over by the Hilton hotel chain and the renovated rooms are decorated in a tropical style. After breakfast the next morning, we rested and picked up our Jucy Camping Car at the rental station. Small, compact, manoeuvrable and contains everything you need for a two-week vacation in the USA. After the detailed briefing by the friendly staff at the rental station (German-speaking staff), we put our luggage in the Jucy Camping Car and drove to the nearest Walmart. Two hours later and packed with countless shopping bags, we made our way to the Zion National Park.

Zion National Park

Two nights on one followed campsite in the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. The Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort has a pool, a wellness area and a restaurant. The extensive facility is located on a large area with trees and wooden log houses. In the season, a large selection of outdoor activities is offered, e.g. riding excursions, zip-line, rodeo, a ride in a hay cart, climbing on the climbing wall, etc. This resort is therefore particularly suitable for families with children.
Our tip: Discover the Zion National Park on the beautifully landscaped hiking trails. There are simple short ones Hiking trails, medium-difficulty hiking trails and hiking trails for experienced hikers. We recommend you "Angels Landing"For the adventurous as well as the hike to the" Observation Point "for experienced hikers.

Visit several on your trip National parks it is advisable to purchase the national park pass when entering the first national park. This pass gives you free entry to many national parks. The National Park Pass is valid for one year and currently costs 80 USD.

Bryce Canyon

After two nights in the Zion National Park we visited the Bryce Canyon. The overnight stay was on Ruby's campsite and RV park. The campsite is right at the park entrance and you can use the free shuttle to the park. The sanitary facilities are relatively new and well maintained. The various pitches usually have a picnic table, a grill and sufficient shade. In the vicinity you will find a small supermarket, restaurants and souvenir shops. At Hotel Ruby's Inn you also have the opportunity to have a very special souvenir of your vacation. Let yourself be photographed in the "Wild West Style". Maybe as a cowboy or barmaid? You are free to choose a costume.

In Bryce Canyon we hiked the "Figure 8". This is a relatively strenuous hiking route that consists of 3 individual hiking routes (Navajo Loop, Peekaboo Loop and Queens Garden). If you stay several nights at Bryce Canyon, you can split the individual hikes over several days or ride the Peekaboo Loop on horseback and enjoy the wonderful view from there.
Our tip: Cowboy Ranch House at Bryce Canyon Resort - Restaurant with Mexican cuisine and a cozy ambience.

Las Vegas

On the way back to Las Vegas We stayed at the Willow Wind RV Resort. The well-kept campsite is centrally but quietly located in Hurricane. Shops and restaurants are within walking distance. This campsite is ideal if you want to travel to the northern part of Zion National Park. Here we recommend the for experienced hikers "The Subway" hiking trail. Please note, however, that you will need a permit for this.
In order to recover from the hikes in Zion National Park and in Bryce Canyon and to relax a little, we spent two nights in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. This 4-star hotel is a bit away from the "Strip", but offers a free shuttle to the "Strip" during the day. The suites in the HRH Tower of the hotel are comfortably furnished and leave nothing to be desired. The subtropical pool area is very attractively designed and has, among other things, an artificially created sandy beach as well as a swim-in casino and a "party pool". Collectibles from musicians are on display throughout the hotel and the Hofbräuhaus is directly opposite the hotel. If you miss the German beer and food, you've come to the right place.
Our tip: The lunch buffet at the Hotel Bellagio. The price is currently only around 22 USD + tax and the selection and quality of the dishes are exceptionally good.

Grand Canyon

After our stay in Las Vegas again, our journey took us along the Route 66 to the Grand Canyon. A lunch at the Road Kill Cafe in Seligman is an absolute "must". Rustic dinner with a special kind of menu. Then a little “stroll” through the somewhat different “souvenir shops” and then it goes on to Grand Canyon. We had that in advance Mather Campground booked. The parking spaces are spacious and are located directly in the forest. Also this year the stag “Lukas” paid us a visit with his family. The deer lies comfortably on the campsite or wanders across the various pitches. We met him on the Aspen Loop this year and last year.
Our tip: At the Visitor Center you have the opportunity to rent bicycles and take part in guided bike tours. Use this opportunity for a tour along the "Grand Canyon Rim" and enjoy the spectacular views.

Monument Valley

Then we made our way to Monument Valley. The Monument Valley and the Table Mountains are known from numerous westerns. Feel like John Wayne and ride through Monument Valley on horseback. Due to the high temperatures, we recommend that you book this riding excursion in the morning or in the evening. You will get particularly beautiful pictures at sunset and sunrise. The Navajo Indians also offer jeep tours of Monument Valley.

Mesa Verde

After an overnight stay on the Gouldings Lodge Campground facing that Monument Valley, brought us the Jucy Camping Car to Mesa Verde National Park. We stayed on the Morefield Campground. This older but very well-kept campsite is located directly in the park and is often visited by bears. Many places have picnic tables, a fireplace and plenty of shade. In the evening we made a short hike from the campsite to a lookout point. The view was unique. On the way back we were able to watch a bear on the campsite from a safe distance. A very special experience for us.

Mesa Verde is a very extensive national park and has very beautiful hiking trails and impressive pit houses. To visit some of the mine houses, you need to book a guided tour with a ranger. This unique journey of discovery takes you at the Balcony House over high wooden ladders and through a small, narrow tunnel that you have to pass on all fours. We also visited the freely accessible Spruce Tree House.
Our tip: Book the “Balcony House Tour” in advance at the Visitor Center as well as the “Twilight Cliff Palace Tour” during the season.


We made a short stop in Durango. This small town enchanted us with its "Wild West Flair".
Our tip: From Durango you can take the historic steam train through the breathtaking landscape Silverton drive. After a stay in the western town of Silverton, the historic steam train will take you back to Durango. The views during the train ride are spectacular. If you would like to have a little Mexican snack, we recommend “Nini's Taqueria”. The various Mexican dishes are freshly prepared in front of your eyes and you can choose between 9 homemade sauces. From “Nini's Taqueria” you have an excellent view of the hustle and bustle on the streets of Durango.

Lake Powell

After two nights in Mesa Verde as well as walks and a visit to the Balcony House we stayed in Page on the "Wahweap" campsite with a view to Lake Powell. The very well-kept campsite is right on the water and has, among other things, a beach. Boat trips can be booked in the area. With a view of the water we could enjoy our cocktail in the evening and hear the waves rushing.
Our tip: When the sun shines, visit Lower Antelope Canyon. After entering the canyon through a narrow crevice, you can be enchanted by the splendor of colors and the stone formations. The tour is carried out by a Navajo Indian who will tell you a lot about his culture and help you with the photographs.

Zion National Park and Las Vegas

Again in Zion National Park Once we arrived this time we stayed on the Watchman Campground. The campsite is located directly in the park on the Virgin River and has very well-kept washrooms and toilets. There are no showers. The pitches are spacious and some are located directly on the Virgin River. Picnic tables and fire pits are of course available. I can only recommend this campsite to you because of the beautiful surroundings and the view in the middle of nature. The Visitor Center is just a few minutes' walk from the campsite.
At the end of our trip we reserved a room in the Mandalay Bay Resort. The hotel is at the end of the "strip" and has the largest pool area in Las Vegas. We spent our last hours at the various pools and relaxed before we had to say goodbye to Las Vegas.

Our tip
: Book for extra legroom as well as exquisite Premium menus the Premium Economy Class from Condor and benefit from the excellent service on board.

Jucy Camping Car: We booked this for our round trip Camping Car of Jucy. This small and compact vehicle has two gas burners, a refrigerator and full kitchen camping equipment. In the Camping Car from Jucy you have a seat with two benches and a table, which you can easily and quickly convert into a bed in the evening. The “penthouse” is located on the roof. Two people can also spend the night here. We used the "penthouse" to store travel bags. The Jucy Camping Car only needs about 12l of petrol / 100km and can be parked quickly and easily in normal parking lots thanks to its small size.

This is just a brief travelogue about the Southwest USA with Las Vegas and the National parks in Utah and Colorado, Arizona. If you've got a taste for it, take a look at ours Rental car tour "Canyonland America" and experience the Southwest of the USA up close.

We would be happy to submit one to you Complete offer including flight. Call us.