Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. Default Las Vegas-Monument Valley-GC

    Hello,
    i have just discovered this site and it's fantastic!

    We are an Australian family visiting US for Christmas - two small children (3 & 5). We have nearly a week in December (16-23) available for a road trip from Las Vegas.

    I would dearly love to see Monument Valley, but am concerned about the driving times and realistic sort of itineraries that allow for some sightseeing and enjoyment, rather than just ticking off places. We don't mind driving for 3-4 hours at a stretch, but don't really want to spend 10hours in the car everyday.

    Any advice on what we can/can't include would be good.

    We have been to Grand Canyon before, so could conceivably leave it off, but would like children to see it if possible. a night at Vegas to end would be good too.

    thank you.

  2. Default No problem

    I don't see why you can't do it all with 8 days -- at a somewhat leisurely pace.

    Day 1, leave Las Vegas and drive to Zion National Park in Utah. 158 miles. Spend the remaining day seeing the park.

    Day 2, drive to Bryce Canyon National Park, and spend a few hours seeing the park. Then continue on to Torrey over the beautiful and spectacular Highway 12. Stay at Torrey. You can spend 5 hours at Bryce and still reach Torrey at 5 or 6 that evening, although realistically it'll take a bit longer because you'll want to stop and gawk every few clicks.

    Day 3, drive on to Capital Reef National Park, spend about 3 hours there, and then drive on to Gouldings Monument Valley Inn by way of Hanksville and Mexican Hat. Be sure to use spectacular Highway 261 -- it's a white knuckle treat! You'll get to Gouldings sometime after 3pm, probably by 5.

    Day 4, spend the first half of the day or a little more seeing Monument Valley, then leave in the afternoon for a three hour drive to the Grand Canyon Village, South Rim. (If you truly have 8 days for this trip, you could spend an entire day at Monument Valley and STILL have time to see Las Vegas at the end.)

    Day 5, see the Grand Canyon. Take the kids to the Ranger's talk in the evening at the Shrine Auditorium. Don't miss the IMAX film at Tusayan, either. If you do the Ranger talk the day you arrive, you could get a start on the trip back to Las Vegas on the second day by driving to Williams for the night instead of a second night at the Canyon. This will shorten the next day's driving time by an hour or so.

    Day 6, drive to Las Vegas via Williams, AZ and Kingman. This will be about 6 hours in the car -- plus stops.

    Day 7-8, Las Vegas!

  3. Default Thank you Bob!

    Thank you very much for your prompt reply, especially as it says what i want it to!!

    we actually have only 7 days, as we are flying from vegas early on the 23rd, and probably even a bit less as there will be some stuffing around at airport getting hire car i guess when we arrive on the 16th. but even losing a day in vegas is fine for the sake of the scenery.

    can i please ask about roads at that time of year? hate to be be the cliche australian, but we are totally unfamiliar with snow/ice etc and don't have experience in such conditions. . are these roads where we should have concerns or not? (lots of australians DO understand these conditions, honest - just not us!)

    thanks for the help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Winter driving

    Quote Originally Posted by theaustralianfamily
    Hello, i have just discovered this site and it's fantastic!
    Thank you and welcome!

    can i please ask about roads at that time of year? hate to be be the cliche australian, but we are totally unfamiliar with snow/ice etc and don't have experience in such conditions. . are these roads where we should have concerns or not? (lots of australians DO understand these conditions, honest - just not us!)
    It's hard to tell wheter or not you will encounter winter conditions, but if you do just follow Bob's Winter Driving Tips and everything will be ok.

    hate to be be the cliche australian
    You don't look like a cliché at all to me! If you knew how many North Americans ask about the same thing on this very forum! And I'm sure you'd be a better driver than some Americans anyway even if you never drove in winter conditions because you seem to care. My philosophy is drive slower, at your own pace, and if some crazies tailgates you on a one-lane highway, pull over in a secure area and let them pass you. If they want to have an accident I don't want to be a part of it. Always have a charged cell phone in the car, warm clothing and tools (jack, shovel, traction aid kit). You can buy an emergency car kit at Target or any similar store for 20-40 bucks if you don't have any in the rental car.

    Drive safe!
    Genevieve

  5. Default Be prepared for cold weather

    Hi theaustralianfamily --

    Just a quick comment here. Regardless of the roads, you should be prepared for cold weather at the Grand Canyon in December. I did a quick look at the weather almanac on www.weatherunderground.com for the GC in December, and its indicating the average high temperature during the day is around 10C/ 50 F, and at night will be below freezing (-9C/ 14 F). So you do need to be prepared with jackets and sweathers and warm shoes & socks.

    The roads into and out of the GC are in very good condition. I don't have recent experience with the roads to Monument Valley and beyond, but typically the roads are in pretty good shape in that part of the country; particularly if they get significant out-of-state usage.

    You do need to be prepared in case a winter storm comes through. But the weather almanac shows an average of no snow/ no rain that week.

    I suspect your biggest concern would be the colder weather, and if you add some wind on top of the cool weather. Pack warm clothes, and just in case its always a good idea to have some snacks and drinks in the car as well as a cell phone, flashlight, kleenex/ toilet tissue, etc. If you've got kids I'm sure having some snacks and fruit drinks or the like around will make the trip more enjoyable for them, anyway.

  6. Default GC cold and roads

    Others have given good counsel here, so I will only add two things:

    While Grand Canyon National Park (and the other locations as well) could be cold (and likely will be), it is possibly the best time to see this area. There's not much of anything on Earth more beautiful than the Canyon dusted with a layer of snow! Plus, the crowds are much smaller and winter's charm adds to the experience.

    The roads are all good -- I've driven them all in the past couple of years, some of them repeatedly as this is one of my favorite areas of the country. For information on part of it, you might read this article on Capital Reef.

    It is somewhat possible that you might have to adjust your route in the event of a sudden storm -- there are some sections that are very high altitude and could have temporary road closures (such as Utah 12 between Boulder and Torrey). But I would plan this trip for myself with no qualms -- just stay flexible and think about alternate plans "just in case." Bob
    Last edited by Robert Schaller; 10-20-2006 at 09:08 PM. Reason: corrected error in word usaage

  7. Default Thank you ALL

    I very much appreciate the time you have all taken to respond to the question!

    thank you so much.

    The clothes will be fine, as we are going to Minnesota for Christmas and will have coats, scarves, gloves, etc.

    the thought of seeing snow on the Grand Canyon is a powerful incentive - if it just means being careful if it does snow, we can manage that. Would hate to miss out just because of a concern about conditions! and will definitely take the advice about slow in conditions we don't know about. (luckily our friends will be driving us in Minnesota where we are guaranteed to hit nasty conditions!)

    Thank you again.

  8. Default Further Question

    I have now read Bob's winter driving - really helpful. Can i assume that the rental car (or possibly four wheel drive vehicle - we might have a lot of stuff to haul around!) will have winter grade oil? and do you just get the antifreeze gasoline when re-fueling??

    Absolutely loved the report about Capitol Reef - shame there's no solitude involved on our trip!! Capitol was not really ofgreat interest before - we were concentrating on the big ticket things like MOnument Valley and Bryce and Grand Canyons. . . but now it sounds great too. so much to see.

    Can anyone recommend a good guide book for this area? i have seen lonely planet's southwestern usa, which seemed quite thorough. but any tips gratefully received.
    thanks again!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Anti-freeze gasoline?

    Quote Originally Posted by theaustralianfamily View Post
    Can i assume that the rental car (or possibly four wheel drive vehicle - we might have a lot of stuff to haul around!) will have winter grade oil?
    If you rented in Colorado or the Dakotas, -- probably, but unlikely anywhere else.
    and do you just get the antifreeze gasoline when re-fueling??
    There are additives that you can add to fuel, but I can't imagine needing them where you are going.
    but now it sounds great too. so much to see.
    That is the constant challenge in roadtripping -- there is ALWAYS more to see than one has time for anywhere in the world!
    Can anyone recommend a good guide book for this area? i have seen lonely planet's southwestern usa, which seemed quite thorough. but any tips gratefully received.
    Generally, we like all Lonely Planet books - I would also suggest the Backcountry Adventures series by Peter Massey and Jeanne Wilson

    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Winter Gas/Oil

    Quote Originally Posted by theaustralianfamily View Post
    Can i assume that the rental car (or possibly four wheel drive vehicle - we might have a lot of stuff to haul around!) will have winter grade oil? and do you just get the antifreeze gasoline when re-fueling??
    Winter gas and oil are almost becoming outdated elements to car maintenance.

    It used to be that you'd use a 10w-30 or 10w-40 motor oil in the winter and switch to the lighter weight a 5w-30 in the winter. (and yes, this was even more important back before the days of multi-viscosity oils) However, Most cars today recommend 5w-30 for year round use, and for the past 5 years all Fords and Hondas have recommended the even lighter 5w-20 as they look to ever so slightly improve the overall fuel economy of their car and truck lines. Irregardless, with a modern engine and a modern motor oil, there really is no difference that you would notice over the short term of a rental.

    Gasoline anti-freeze is also becoming a bit outdated. You can still purchase bottles of "Heet" or other gas line antifreeze, but much of the gas sold as regular unleaded is already blended with 10% ethanol (alcohol) - the exact same stuff sold as gas line antifreeze. However, again in this specific case, it really shouldn't come into play. Even without alcohol in the gas tank, as long as you keep the tank at least 1/4 full, you'd need close to sub-zero temperatures before you'd even have a slight chance of running into problems with a gas line freeze up.

Similar Threads

  1. Las Vegas to Monument Valley
    By Phil75 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-25-2006, 08:11 AM
  2. Monument Valley Tips & Times
    By chris.wiss in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-14-2006, 04:18 PM
  3. Las Vegas -> Death Valley -> San Francisco
    By ianv in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-08-2006, 08:40 PM
  4. Staying near Monument Valley
    By packman in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-25-2006, 09:29 AM
  5. San Fran -> Yosemite -> Death Valley -> Vegas (AGAIN!!)
    By James Brown in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-23-2006, 08:25 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES