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  1. Default Planning help SF-Yosemite-Death Valley-Grd Canyon-Yellowstone-Rocky Mtn-Denver

    Hi there from sunny London

    Would welcome some help with my itinerary for this August

    Aug05 - San Fran touristy day (Golden Gate, Alcatraz etc)
    Aug06 - San Fran ->Yosemite
    Aug 07 - Yosemite for day, drive to Lone Pine pm
    Aug08 - Lone Pine -> Death Valley -> Grand Canyon
    Aug09 - Grand Canyon -> Monument Valley
    Aug10 - Monument Valley -> Logan?
    Aug11 - Logan -> Grand Teton
    Aug12 - Grand Teton -> Yellowstone
    AUg13 - Yellowstone
    Aug14 - Yellowstone -> Rocky Mtn
    Aug15 - Rocky Mtn
    Aug16 - Rocky Mtn
    Aug17 - Denver -> Home :-(

    I think it involves quite a lot of touring but last big trip before our first baby due in November so trying to pack it in. Problems I have are:

    Grand Canyon - can anyone recommend somewhere decent to stay nearby. The hotels in South Rim are all booked up and hard to know how close things are to drive back into the park on the 9th
    Monument Valley drive North - Am planning to drive up to Grand Teton taking a couple of days. Can anyone recommend places to visit en route and where would be a good place to break the journey. Am keen to get say 2/3 of the way to Grand Teton before stoppig overnight. Had thought Logan but no idea if this is picturesque and would rather stop somewhere nice and scenic
    Yellowstone - I know it's packed in the summer. What are the highlights to see in a day's visit
    Events en route - any ideas where I can look for events going on en route as would be good to visit some one offs happening rather than just view scenery from the car

    Any help or recommendations greatly appreciated and please let me know if I'm being overambitious as to date my planning is based on times suggested by google maps!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default maybe a bit ambitious

    hello and welcome.
    it's a wonderfull trip laid out but i can't help but think you would be better off going either north or south after yosemite and sticking to it or else you could end up driving to these places without seeing much. by heading south there are a lot of wonderfull parks in utah and colorado on the way to denver[which could still include rocky n.p.]that would give you less time travelling between.
    for instance on aug 8th to get from lone pine to grand canyon via death valley with some brief stops will probably take 10-12 hours if not more,the distances over there are vast. that leaves you arriving late in the g/c and next day you will be off to m/v which would seem a shame to travel all that way to one of the worlds wonders and not actually have time to see it,and then followed by another long day towards the tetons.
    i think you could cover the ground o.k. but it depends on how much time you want to spend behind the wheel against sightseeing/walking.
    for the grand canyon flagstaff is a popular town to stay but tusayan is the nearest to the southern entrance of the south rim,just a very short drive away.
    on google maps i think you will find them a little ambitious unless you stick to freeways,diversions like across death valley [which btw is well worth it] soaks up a lot time doing vast distances over single lane roads.they also do not consider fuel,bathroom or rest stops never mind visiting places along the way.
    i'm sure someone will be along with some help on the overnight to the tetons as i am not familiar with these parts,but don't hesitate to ask more questions and have a great trip!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    You are packing a lot. Too much imho.
    Maybe try this, but it already will be a long drive.
    I would leave Yellowstone/GTNP/RMNP for another visit.
    8/5: San Francisco
    8/6: SF in the morning and the drive to Yosemite in the afternoon.
    8/7: Yosemite NP. At least one day.
    8/8: Yosemite NP-Tioga Pass-Lee Vining-us395-Lone Pine
    8/9: Lone Pine-Death Valley-Las Vegas
    8/10: Las Vegas-GCNP. See Hoover Dam and some nice old R66 towns like Seligman and Williams. For accomodations: Williams has ampel lodging and is just one hour from GC Village. There's a hotel in Valle at the 180/64 intersection and there're some 6 hotels in Tusayan at the south entrance of GCNP. Probably you'll have to stay in Williams.
    8/11: Williams-GC Village-east rim-Cameron Trading Post (also a hotel) to Page. (Ample lodging)
    8/12: See Horseshoebend, Antelope Canyon and drive to Monument Valley. Accomodation at Goulding's Lodge prob.will be booked. Other accomodation in Kayenta en Mexican Hat.
    8/13: See Monument Valley and drive to Moab.
    8/14 and 8/15 See Cayonlands Island in the Sky, Dead Horse Point SP, Arches NP etc. Maybe rafting, biking,jeep tours etc.
    8/16: Great drive to Denver via ut128 and I70. See Colorado NM near Grand Junction on your way.
    8/17: Home from Denver.
    You'll miss RMNP but the drive on I70 goes over 10.000 feet at Vail Pass and stops along the road are highly recommended.
    If your Yellowstone etc. visit is set in stone we'll come up with another route but better skip GCNP south rim then. Maybe google for the Moab area first. Also breathtaking.
    Happy planning.

  4. Default Thanks

    Guys - thanks so much for the advice. Have taken your advice and put some extra time in at Grand Canyon. Finally managed to get a room for one of the nights at the South Rim so getting up for dawn should be a bit easier!

    Am still going to head all the way to Yellowstone as wife is really keen to see this as well and we won't be able to come back for a while so guess will just have to enjoy the scenery from the road - luckily we have hired a soft top for that real road trip experience.

    Still struggling for a place between Moab and Grand Teton. Not sure if I should stay in Salt Lake/Logan or try and find somewhere else near Flaming Gorge - not sure if anyone has any views on this

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default your welcome

    well it's sure going to be an exciting trip!
    are you going from g/c via m/v and staying over in moab that evening?
    if so i would of thought it would be possible to reach ,or get near to the idaho falls area. i would imagine,[as that part i'm not familiar with] that it would be a 10 hour day with short stops and that would be following on from a pretty long previous day,but it would put you right on the doorstep of the tetons and yellowstone and maybe a more relaxed time there?
    i guess it will depend on how much you want to push on that day to get between the two,but an early start should see you o.k.
    have a great trip!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I'm a bit confused on your final route/itinerary

    Quote Originally Posted by vincer View Post
    Still struggling for a place between Moab and Grand Teton. Not sure if I should stay in Salt Lake/Logan or try and find somewhere else near Flaming Gorge - not sure if anyone has any views on this
    It's just over 500 miles from Moab to Grand Tetons. You can make that trip in one day and don't need to stop for the night. With the tight timeframe you have for this trip, I don't suggest lingering along this particular stretch.

    The miles is almost identical whether you go through SLC or Flaming Gorge. The route and types of scenic vistas through Flaming Gorge are more to my liking (less city, more rural) so I would recommending going via Flaming Gorge.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    If you decide to drive via Flaming Gorge there's a good hotel Red Canyon Lodge amidst the pines and close to the water. It will be a detour (in time)though. Fastest drive is Moab-Salt Lake City (4 hours via Price) and 5 hours from SLC to Jackson.

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