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4 week road trip proposal - comment please

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4 week road trip proposal - comment please

Flying in from the UK for a family bucket list road trip.

The route I'm thinking is listed below - it's long. Pick up a car at LAX and drop it at SLC.

In the cities I'm interested in seeing a few sights I only ever saw on TV but not obsessive about them, not interested in amuzement park.

Am interested in amazing scenery, national parks etc, swimming, some walking and a bit of local culture if possible.

It would be nice to see some old town that looks like the westerns I used to watch or any other such memorable stuff.

The group is two parents and four kids from 12 to 27.

We'll do camping wherever we can so tips/advice on getting that organised cheaply would be great.

I'd appreciate any comments, objections, alternative, ideas for stops along the way - whatever.

Day by day proposal:

1 LA arrival from UK in last week of July

2 LA

3 LA

4 LA / or go to Sequoia NP?

5 Coast Cambria

6 Coast Carmel/Monteray

7 San Fran arrive late

8 San Fran

9 San Fran

10 Yosemite El Portal

11 Yosemite

12 Yosemite

13 Overnight somewhere like Lone Pine

14 Arrive Vegas via Death Valley, arrive evening

15 Vegas

16 Vegas

17 overnight Grand Canyon - catch sunset and sunrise

18 overnight Monument Valley - do tour PM or AM?

19 Page / Zion / Bryce - river stuff?

20 Page / Zion / Bryce

21 Page / Zion / Bryce

22 Stop on way up - SLC area?

23 Grand Teton - more river stuff?

24 Yellowstone

25 Yellowstone

26 Wind river area (eclipse)

27 Overnight SLC or Denver area

28 Fly home from SLC or Denver

Edited: 10 January 2017, 04:33
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28 replies to this topic
1. Re: 4 week road trip proposal - comment please

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Park City, Utah
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2. Re: 4 week road trip proposal - comment please

Welcome to the forum. You may want to post to the Road Trips forum. The overall plan is OK with a few thoughts. The coast drive is OK. Get more detailed responses from California forum. You don't have time for Sequoia on this plan.

At Yosemite, you definitely want to stay in Yosemite Valley in the park. El Portal is outside the park and won't be as good an experience. Hard to get lodging in the valley but work on it now. Huge advantage to being there. I also think you could drop one night in Yosemite and use it in Yellowstone.

For your three nights in Page/Zion/Bryce, you really need to drop something there. You can't realistically do the three destinations in three nights - you just won't experience anything. I would suggest you do Page then go to Bryce and skip Zion unless you can add another night.

For your in-between stop, hit our mountain resort town of Park City - exactly midway to Jackson.

You definitely need more time in Yellowstone/Grand Teton - another day or two minimum.

On your exit, SLC would seem to make more sense - a bit further to drive to Denver.

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: 4 week road trip proposal - comment please

Some observations:

You have a lot going in this trip and some places you don't have enough time.

It will be very hot in Las Vegas in August. You might want to reconsider a 3 night stay there. Your children under 21 will not be able to go into any casinos. You could really use 2 of those nights elsewhere in your itinerary.

If you are going to do the 1/2 day float trip on the Colorado River, you'll need 2 nights in Page. Otherwise, one night is sufficient.

From Page, go to Zion NP. Look at staying in the town of Springdale UT which is literally at the entrance to the Park. You need a minimum of 2 nights at Zion.

After Zion, go to Bryce Canyon. 1 night is sufficient there.

Recommend an overnight in Park City rather than SLC. From Bryce, drive Scenic ByWay highway 12 to Torrey. A night in Torrey would be good so that you don't have rush the drive over highway 12.

Grand Teton NP would be a good place for a float trip. Recommend doing an AM float trip on the day you drive to Yellowstone.

Your time in Yellowstone is very short. It's generally recommended 4 nights for 3 full days. With 2 nights, you'll see very little of the park. Yellowstone is huge with 300 miles of roads.

Flying out of Denver would mean a 2 day drive from the Yellowstone area or one very long drive day. It makes more sense to fly out of SLC which would only be a 5.5 hour drive pack. There's a Delta non-stop from SLC to London.

I have to ask if you have campground reservations in place at the national parks. That will be crucial because some parks only have a one or two campgrounds that take reservations. The rest are first come/first serve which means you have to be there at the crack of dawn to get a spot. If you don't have something currently reserved in the Grand Teton/Yellowstone area, you may be out of luck. The area is going to be packed around the time of the eclipse.

Since this trip covers several states, you should probably post on the Road Trip forum as well as the forums for each stay that you will visit.

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4. Re: 4 week road trip proposal - comment please

I can ditch a the last day I had marked as LA, ditch one night at Yosemite, ditch one night at Vegas.

That's 3 days for the latter part of the trip.

In Vegas I'm only interested in getting an idea of the scene scape

I don't gamble at all - I'm really only interested in taking a look at some of the outlandish buildings and maybe doing a few rides. My wife wants to do a show but no idea what.

Park City, Utah
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5. Re: 4 week road trip proposal - comment please

That sounds like a good modification that will allow you to get more out of the parks, especially GTNP and Yellowstone.

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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6. Re: 4 week road trip proposal - comment please

Well if you don't gamble and all you want to do is look at some outlandish buildings and maybe go to a show, then one night is plenty in Las Vegas. You can gawk at the outlandish buildings on either a slow drive down the Strip or a walk on the way to whatever show you go to. However, I have no use for Las Vegas. Those 2 nights you don't use in Vegas and the night taken from Yosemite will be better used at GTNP/Yellowstone and Zion NP.

So Cal
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7. Re: 4 week road trip proposal - comment please

And I would keep all three Yosemite nights - the park is huge, and there's a lot to do and see. But as I mentioned on your CA thread, if you drop Sequoia and/or one LV night then you can add time to Yellowstone.

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8. Re: 4 week road trip proposal - comment please

Thanks the sequoia night is gone.

I've got four night I think now for page/Zion/Bryce.

Just worried about getting camping in Zion and Bryce.

Any tips? Is it hard?

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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9. Re: 4 week road trip proposal - comment please

>> Just worried about getting camping in Zion and Bryce. Any tips? Is it hard?

The best tip is to make reservations ASAP, especially for Zion (Watchman).

The toughest camping reservation is going to be Yosemite.

Sedona, AZ
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10. Re: 4 week road trip proposal - comment please

I'd skip San Francisco. It's become a literal cesspool.

Add 2 nights to Death Valley. It's the largest of all the parks. You're doing a virtual drive by. Considering that you want to see amazing scenery, you're blowing by a lot of it at Grand Canyon National Park and Page.

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