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  1. Default San Francisco - Grand Canyon - Yellowstone

    It is my hubby's 50th next year and we are planning a trip for around 12 days in late April to early May '08 starting in San Francisco driving to Yellowstone via Grand Canyon. We then plan to have a further 7 days or so in Tampa Florida. Would be grateful for any suggested routes for the first part of the trip and any advice on where to fly over to Tampa from after leaving Yellowstone. Thanks folks.

  2. #2

    Default Sounds good!

    Welcome to RoadTrip America!

    First of all, where are you based? If you're based in San Francisco then you'll probably be looking for the quickest route out of the area to the Grand Canyon, if you're not then you might be looking for destinations along the route to visit?

    How long are you planning on staying at Yellowstone and how long are you looking to spend on the road? For many of us the road is the highlight of the trip but that isn't necessarily for everyone. You're looking in the region of 1700-1800 miles for the basic trip so that's something to keep in mind when you answer!

    There will be numerous other destinations along the way, however, so tell us a little about what you would like to see/do along the route and maybe we can suggest a few.

    Finally, nearest airport to Yellowstone will depend on which area that you end your trip. This is what the NPS site says about it:

    Quote Originally Posted by NPS Website
    Commercial airlines serve the following airports near Yellowstone National Park all year: Cody and Jackson, WY; Bozeman and Billings, MT, and Idaho Falls, ID. The West Yellowstone, MT airport is serviced from June to early September from Salt Lake City, UT.

  3. Default

    Ok. Well we live in the UK. We have been to S.F and the area a few times though so really it is the drive from Grand Canyon to Yellowstone that we could do with some tips on. We do want to be at Grand Canyon on the 28th and we have around 10-12 days for the whole trip. Yes the road (and scenery) is going to be the highlight. There are just the two of us. Be good to think that we could spot a bit of the local wildlife on route and a comfy bed at night will do! Really dont know how long to stay at Yellowstone for, all I really know is that I want to see Old Faithful! I did wonder about the weather though and whether it would be ok to travel around at the end of April. Look forward to any comments.

  4. #4

    Default Can you clarify?

    Okay, so can you clarify for me, what exactly your plans are?

    ?? May 2008 - San Francisco
    28 May 2008 - Grand Canyon NP
    ?? May 2008 - Yellowstone NP

    If the scenery is what you are looking for, and presuming that you have enough time, which we'll come back to when you confirm the dates above, I might be tempted to do something like this:

    Grand Canyon National Park
    Page AZ - Navajo Bridge, Horseshoe Bend & Glen Canyon Dam
    Monument Valley
    Arches National Park
    Canyonlands National Park
    Salt Lake City
    Bonneville Salt Flats
    Grand Teton National Park
    Yellowstone National Park

  5. Default

    We will be arriving in San Francisco on 24th April, maybe staying 25th as well but not sure of this. All we know is that we want to be in Grand Canyon for the BIG BIRTHDAY on the 28th, after then it doesnt really mattter, we were planning on flying over to Florida on the 12th May. After looking at the trip (for about 6 hours yesterday!) I had considered looking at doing a circular trip, making it cheaper for dropping car off from San Francisco airport, and having more choice of flights to Tampa in Florida. Again it really is scenery we are looking for we arent really interested in towns and cities. We have done Yosemite a couple of times, which we love but is there anywhere you could suggest a little closer than Yellowstone maybe that has got the same wow factor I imagine Yellowstone has. Thanks for all your help!! Got to get this cracked and flights booked soon.

  6. #6

    Default Spoilt for choice!

    You are truly spoilt for choice in the west - scenery everywhere - and you have a serious amount of time to explore and enjoy it. Fabulous!

    You say that you've been to San Fran and Yosemite previously, and are keen to minimise rental drop-off charges, so have you considered flying into another city such as Las Vegas or Los Angeles and making the most of starting from a different location? If you fly into San Francisco again then you'll 'waste' the first day or so just getting out of the area that you've seen before.

    Note: There are usually no drop off charges for rentals between airports within California, Arizona and Nevada so you don't have to do a 'true' circular route.

    I would suggest the following as just a handful of the 'must-see' places if you've not been already (and worthy of a second visit if you have!):

    Pacific Coast Highway between LA and San Fran
    Death Valley NP
    Sequoia NP
    Kings Canyon NP
    Zion NP
    Monument Valley
    Canyonlands NP
    Arches NP
    Mesa Verde NP
    Grand Teton NP
    Yellowstone NP
    Crater Lake NP
    Multnomah Falls

    I would get a copy of Google Earth if you have not already got it, research a few of these places, if you like them mark them on the map and then see if a route stands out for you. You'll be amazed how often it does!

    I think that, with careful planning, you shouldn't have a problem doing a nice selection of these parks, including Yellowstone.

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