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  1. Default san francisco to grand canyon and other national parks

    Hello. I am new to the forum and already it has been a help. I am travelling from San Francisco to Las Vegas in late March. I have a rental car and pick up the car on Saturday morning and need to have it in Vegas in the evening on Tuesday. So I have 4 days of driving. I want to see some parks before going to Las Vegas. I dont mind skipping Yosemite, but would like to see Sequoia. I also wanted to see Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion and others if it is reasonable. Does anyone have any suggestions regarding the best routes and which parks would be best to see (and reasonable to fit into my trip). Also, can you drive through the Navajo Res.? Would that be a good way to go? I will end it here for now. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Making choices

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    While I certainly understand the desire to see all those wonderful places, I don't think it is reasonable to actually see them all in just 4 days.

    I think most likely you'll have to decide between going to the Grand Canyon or seeing Zion and Bryce. You can see Seqouia on the same day you leave San Francisco, but then you'll need another full day of driving just to get to Arizona or Utah, giving you just a day and a half to see those parks, once you factor in the several hours you'll need to drive back to Vegas.

    If you drop Sequoia, you might be able to see the other three, but it would require you to drive almost all the way to the grand canyon your first day - which is a 13+ hour drive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Hoping you share some from NH too!

    Quote Originally Posted by NHnative
    Hello. I am new to the forum and already it has been a help.
    That is good to know! Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! I really love New Hampshire -- it has been too long since I was able to wander about back there. I hope you can share some of your favorite routes from that end of the continent some time!
    I am travelling from San Francisco to Las Vegas in late March. I have a rental car and pick up the car on Saturday morning and need to have it in Vegas in the evening on Tuesday. So I have 4 days of driving.
    It would be tough to go to Sequoia and still make Bryce before going to Las Vegas. Most of the passes will still be closed at the end of March, so I would suggest using US-50, past Lake Tahoe, stop at Virginia City (one of my favorite places) and then zip across Nevada on US-50 and then US-93 to UT-56 and over to Cedar City where it is a hop, skip and jump to Bryce. I would suggest the first night at Carson City, the 2nd near Bryce, the third at Kanab (after seeing a little of zion) and then if you really want to push it, US-Alt-89 past Marble Canyon to the South Rim and then back to Las Vegas (but this would be a 10-12 hour day)
    Also, can you drive through the Navajo Res.?
    Short answer, yes -- as long as you stay on the paved roads -- long answer -- What reservation were you considering driving through on this route?

    Mark

  4. Default

    I was thinking that if I went to the Grand Canyon first (after Sequoia) and then drove on 180 to 89 (both of which go through the Navajo Res.), possibly through the Glen Canyon park, then follow 89 to the area of Bryce. After Bryce go to Zion via 15 or just back south on 89. Then it would be south to Vegas on 15. Does this make more sense than trying to make it a straight shot east from sequoia to Bryce? Are these distances crazy to attempt?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default You won't have enough time

    Quote Originally Posted by NHnative
    I was thinking that if I went to the Grand Canyon first (after Sequoia) and then drove on 180 to 89
    If you plan to stop at Sequoia you need to plan a stop about Barstow or so the first night. 2nd night at the Grand Canyon area, but you wouldn't use US-180 you would AZ-64 to Cameron at US-89 and I would still recommend US-ALT-89 and over-night at Kanab and enjoy Zion and then head back to Las Vegas on I-15. I don't think you can include Bryce on this trip. It is too far.
    Are these distances crazy to attempt?
    If the weather is good, roads are dry and clear, you can probabaly make most of it. If it starts snowing again -- all bets are off.

    Mark

  6. Default

    Thank you for your replies. I guess I have some decisions to make regarding what my priorities are. I dont want to be too ambitious and end up having a bad trip. Park preference is probably very individual, but if anyone thinks one park is better than others, or if you have other suggestions I would love to hear them. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Tahoe-Death Valley-Las Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by NHnative
    Park preference is probably very individual, but if anyone thinks one park is better than others, or if you have other suggestions I would love to hear them.
    The reality is that all national parks are worth spending time at -- they are all great. If it were me, the route I would follow would be US-50 to Lake Tahoe (not a national park) but a gorgeous place -- plenty of posts on this Forum about this location. You could still go to Virginia City -- have a bloody mary at the Bucket o' Blood saloon or for a real western experience -- slip into Fly's bar and say howdy for us. Then turn south on US-395 and check out Bodie (if the road is open) and Mono Lake & Mammoth Lakes. Overnight at either Mammoth or Bishop.

    Next day drive into Death Valley and spend the day checking out the amazing place. If there is room -- the Furnace Creek Inn with the lilly pad oasis in the middle is pretty delightful and then a nice leisurely drive into Las Vegas.


    Considerably less miles, but a very lovely road trip.

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