View Poll Results: Which of these places do you prefer ?

7. You may not vote on this poll
  • Snow Canyon

    0 0%
  • Zion

    1 14.29%
  • Bryce Canyon

    3 42.86%
  • Capitol Reef

    0 0%
  • Arches

    2 28.57%
  • Natural Bridges

    0 0%
  • Mexican Hat

    0 0%
  • Monument Valley

    1 14.29%
  • Glen Canyon / Lake Powell

    0 0%
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Default Utah National Parks

    Hi everybody,

    My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip (rental car & tent) in the Southwest of the USA from May 28 tot June 20.

    I have already gathered a lot of information, but we are not quit there yet. We fly to Las Vegas and stay there for the first day (two nights). From there, I think we'll head to Hoover Dam first and then I woul like to do some of the NP's in Utah. On the map, I see :
    - Snow Canyon
    - Zion
    - Bryce
    - Capitol Reef
    - Arches
    - Natural Bridges
    - Mexican Hat
    - Glen Canyon
    - Monument Valley

    From there, obviously to the Grand Canyon, but I have no idea which of the above mentioned to choose, and in which order.

    So any advise is VERY welcome !

    Thanks in advance, I realise that many people ask the same questions, but even with all the information available on this super website, I cannot make up my mind...

    Lisa & Jethro

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default You might be able to most of them

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa&Jethro View Post
    My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip (rental car & tent) in the Southwest of the USA from May 28 to June 20.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum -- It is pretty hard to choose only one of those places....
    - Snow Canyon
    Snow Canyon is a Utah state park and a great place for hiking.
    - Zion
    - Bryce
    Zion will be lot cooler than Bryce in early June -- but Bryce is pretty otherwordly and if I really had to choose only one place -- Bryce would win out.
    - Capitol Reef
    Here is a short field report about this place -- I was just there myself two weeks ago.
    - Arches
    Got to spend 1-2 days on short day-hikes to see the best stuff.
    - Natural Bridges
    I would choose this one to give a miss -- if you had to.
    - Mexican Hat
    It is neither a state park nor a national park -- but a very cool photo place -- I will add a photo in a day or so.
    - Glen Canyon
    Harder to visit without either a boat or by hiking.
    - Monument Valley
    I just spent a week near here -- very cool.

    Happy Planning!


  3. #3

    Default Poll

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks a lot for this information. After I posted the Poll, I realized it would be better to have posted it with multiple answers, but I don't know if it can be changed afterwords and how to change it.

    I think it's really difficult to choose from all of those amazing places to see in the four states we will drive through.

    The plan is (more or less) :
    Las Vegas
    Hoover Dam
    Snow Canyon
    Natural Bridges
    Grand Canyon
    San Diego
    Palm Springs
    Los Angeles
    Santa Barbara
    San Francisco
    Lake Tahoe
    Death Valley
    Las Vegas

    We know this is a lot to do in 3 weeks, and that's why I am know making a schedule with the mileage and time it takes to travel from one point to the other. But that takes time.

    And I spend several nights per week reading all the messages on this Forum and I make a list of all the good tips and tricks per region. I hope I don't get lost in all the information !

    Anyhow, thanks a lot for the information, I'm curious how the poll will evolve.


    Lisa & Jethro

  4. #4


    Me and a buddy did a reasonably similar trip in September 2006 with the exception of the Tahoe/Reno spur. I'd say it was doable but tiring. We really should have had more time to do a proper strenuous hike in the Grand Canyon and to take a Navajo led tour in Monument Valley (don't miss that whilst you're passing through) Oh, whilst you're in Moab, don't forget Canyonlands NP either!

    If it were me doing the trip again I would lose the Lake Havasu City/Yuma/San Diego leg and just cut from Kingman back to LA. You may also wish to weigh up the advantages in the Tahoe/Reno sector. But that is purely your choice - don't think I'm telling you what to do!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Great Whistlestop Tour!

    If you don't mind keeping on the road and moving along, this trip is do-able in three weeks. But you won't have much time to linger and explore any area in depth. But I think this pace will be too tiring to really enjoy your trip. Whatever you do, try to plan your trip so that you alternate a few days of driving/doing/seeing at whistle-stop speeds with a day or two where you go and do less and can rest up from the rode. Of course, this makes planning a bit more complex but I think you'll enjoy your trip more.

    I do agree with UKCraig, if I was going to drop stuff off, the Yuma/Palm Springs/San Diego portion would go first. Tahoe/Reno would be next. Not that those places don't have much to offer but, when compared to the other areas you plan on visiting, I think that these places offer the least.

    Another option that I'll throw out is that you might just want to cut out the entire California coast section. To me, to do the fun things in LA right, you will really need at least 3-4 days. And you really need the minimum of 2 days to really do San Francisco right. That's a week right there! I just don't see what you gain from just driving through LA. And the coastal drive between LA and San Francisco itself can easily take 2 full days, if not 3, to enjoy. I can't help but wonder if you shouldn't focus on the places more in the interior and save the coastal areas for another trip in the future. Just a thought.

    But if you're willing to skidaddle, you could make it all work. However, you may need a vacation from your vacation once you get home.
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 01-14-2008 at 03:58 PM. Reason: added info

  6. #6

    Default thanks

    Thanks for the advice guys !

    The road trip as planned out in my previous post was the whole package, so very roughly. I know use to calculate how long it takes me from one point to the other, so we can decide what to do and what not to do.

    It all looks so great to visit, that's the problem ! But in any case, we were planning to cut here and there. San Diego and Lake Tahoe are corners we might skip, I'll have to read about all the place on the internet and then decide.

    Thanks anyway for all the advice, any more tips and tricks are always welcome ! (i'll let you know what we decide, in case your interested).

    Another questions : some people say some areas are not doable in juni with a tent, is that right ? In that case, we will stay some nights in a motel I think, we'll see.

    See ya


  7. #7

    Default Half the fun

    Half the fun of being out on the road is the freedom it gives you. Our original plan for that trip I mentioned was probaby only 2,000 - 2,500 miles; we ended up doing 4,000. The best option is often to try not to plan an itinery - just go with the flow when you're out there. We were energised by our surroundings and got a lot more done than we expected or anyone else said we should. It worked for us... make your trip work for you by being flexible and making final route decisions once you're on the ground.

  8. #8

    Default go with the flow :-)

    @ UKCraig :

    You're absolutely right, we made the same reflexion when we started thinking about the road trip. But on the other side, we want to have some idea about the things there are to see and the things we would like to see.

    Our plan is to have a good idea of what we could do in 3 weeks, and then, once we're there, see what we feel like doing. We will not be tight to the itinery, that's certain! That's why we go camping and we don't make any reservations in advance, so we are not obligated to be in certain places on a specific date.

    I think, once we are there, we will do what feels right anyhow, and you'll never know in advance how you will feel since we've never done a road trip before :-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default tents

    Another questions : some people say some areas are not doable in juni with a tent, is that right ? In that case, we will stay some nights in a motel I think, we'll see.
    Which areas are these some people saying tenting isn't possible?

    As with anything, its going to come down to your personal tastes and tolerances. Death Valley in June might be hotter than you'd like, and you might decide you'd simply rather have the comfort of and A/C'd motel room. Or you might get to a place where there is a good rainstorm in the forecast, and you'd rather spend the night under a more firm roof. Tent camping is a fixture of my roadtrip, but I typically plan for one night per week in a motel in case I hit bad weather or something else comes up.

    June is usually relatively mild, at least compared to July and August, and in most of the places you are talking about it will still be getting fairly cool at night, even if it is quite hot during the day. But with any of these cases, I would simply let the conditions be your guide.

  10. #10

    Default Hot hot hot

    @ Midwest Michael :

    The girl who told me it would me crazy to camp knows our itinery, and she didn't specify which part would be too hot. Meanwhile, I made a list of the minimum and maximum temperatures to have an idea. I don't see any problems, as long as we don't stay a whole week in death valley. either way, we provide a budget to stay several nights during our 3 weeks stay in a motel, for weather conditions or just because we might feel like it at that time (it's the first time we go camping for several weeks).

    Thanks for the information !


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