Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. Default 23-day roadtrip San Francisco to Salt Lake City

    Hello guys and girls,

    I'm from The Netherlands (Europe) and exploring a possible roadtrip through western USA. It's being offered by a dutch travel agency and I am very interested in your opinion about it.



    Day
    1 Flight to San Francisco (15 hours)
    2 San Francisco
    3-4 Yosemite NP
    5 Bishop
    6 Las Vegas
    7 Zion NP
    8 Bryce Canyon
    9-10 Grand Canyon
    11 Petrified Forest
    12 Canyon de Chelly
    13 Monument Valley
    14 Mesa Verde
    15-16 Moab
    17 Rock Springs
    18 Grand Teton
    19-20 Yellowstone NP
    21 Salt Lake City
    22-23 Flight Home to Amsterdam

    What do you guys think of this trip? All worth it I hope.

    Now this trip is offered both west to east, as east to west (starting in Salt Lake City). I would think west to east would be the nicest, since you end the trip then on a high in Yellowstone NP. Agree?

    I'm also wondering what the best time of year would be to enjoy this. The way we travel will be by mini-van and sleeping in small tents (mostly, not in Las Vegas off-course ;)). So sleeping in a tent at cold night could be tough.
    I have the option of:
    April 25 (start in SF)
    May 17 (reverse trip: start in SLC)
    June 6 (start in SF)
    June 7 (reverse trip: start in SLC)
    June 27 (start in SF)
    June 28 (reverse trip: start in SLC)

    Being one goes from death valley to Grand Teton climate differense are huge. What would be in your opinion the best option to go though?

    Anyway I'm really looking forward to this trip, experiencing the beautiful country and it's nature I only know from TV.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 01-16-2009 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Typo.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default The dates.

    Hello and welcome to R.T.A.

    It's certainly all worth it and you will be seeing some of the best and most diverse scenery you will ever see. It's certainly a busy schedule but it will give you an overview of the area.

    The April start in S/F will be a problem as the Tioga pass that crosses the Sierra's from Yosemite to Bishop will be closed, meaning a rather large diversion and you will miss an amazing scenic route. It's possible it won't open untill late June and that would make either May 17 /SLC and June 6 /S/F risky as well.

    Here are the Opening and closing dates of recent years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default thoughts

    I agree that the late June options would be far better, because the ones early in the spring would put some pretty big restrictions on where you can go. In addition to Tioga Pass, visiting Yellowstone in April, and even May to a smaller degree would likely be disappointing because many things are still closed for the winter. It also looks like it would be routing to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which also doesn't open up until at least May. The south rim would be several extra hours of driving from Bryce. In most of these areas, you're going to be in mountains where it will be quite cool at night, and camping probably wouldn't be much fun unless you are prepared for cold weather.

    Honestly, there are parts of this that seem like a Travel Agent's computer plotted points on a map and didn't give much thought into how practical it would be. In addition to the weather issues, I notice that there is no mention of Death Valley or Mesa Verde even though you'd go right by them, but it does take a several hour detour to go to Petrified Forest, which is a nice park but not in quite the same league as the other ones.

    I'm not sure how much the work the travel agent does for this trip, or how much flexability you have in going with their plan. I also don't know how comfortable you are with planning your own trip. But having said that, one of the great joys of a roadtrip is being able to make the trip your own, by going at your own pace and stopping where and when you want. An itinerary like this seems like you might not be able to make the most of that freedom.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    That small map is not very accurate, so maybe look at a real map first. Tioga Pass generally opens end of may so I would take the chance and leave june 7 to San Francisco. If Tioga Pass still is closed you'll have to drive around the Sierras. I also would not want to make the Petrified Forest and CdC detour and spend more time in
    1. San Francisco. One day, jetlagged and all is very short.
    2. Zion and Bryce.
    3. Between north rim and Monument Valley is Page with Antelope Canyon. Horseshoe bend overlook, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam etc. Not to be missed.
    4. Mesa Verde needs at least half a day but preferable longer for a visit.
    5. GTNP and Yellowstone NP. At least one full day GTNP and 3 days Yell. So much to see and explore and distances are long and traffic is slow.
    6. Death Valley NP
    7. Las Vegas. From Bishop to Las Vegas with the short visit to DV will take all day. So only one night in Las Vegas.
    Maybe book flights and carrental with the travelagent and plan your own route with the help of this forum.
    Yeehaw

  5. Default

    Thanks all for your comments. I've been looking to see what other small group trips through western USA are being offered. A company called Djoser offers a trip that seems a bit more oriented on Yosemite National Park and Los Angeles. They offer this trip together with Suntrek (an USA company I believe).

    1. Amsterdam - San Francisco
    2. San Francisco - Yosemite National Park
    3. Yosemite National Park
    4. Yosemite National Park
    5. Yosemite NP - Lee Vining
    6. Lee Vining - Las Vegas
    7. Las Vegas - Zion National Park
    8. Zion NP - Bryce Canyon
    9. Bryce Canyon - Moab
    10. Moab (Arches National Park)
    11. Moab - Monument Valley
    12. Monument Valley - Grand Canyon
    13. Grand Canyon
    14. Grand Canyon - Lake Havasu
    15. Lake Havasu - Los Angeles
    16. Los Angeles
    17. Los Angeles
    18. Los Angeles - Big Sur
    19. Big Sur - Santa Cruz
    20. Santa Cruz - San Francisco
    21. San Francisco
    22. San Francisco - Amsterdam
    23. arrival Amsterdam

    Funny enough they also offer this trip on the 6th of June. It got my preference to go on this early date, to avoid the intense heat the summer can bring. Perhaps some higher passes are still closed then, but I rather take that risk, then (almost) pass out with temps over 90 F.

    Good thing about this trip is that it's a lot less driving (1000 km less) and more time relaxing in the nature (like in Yosemite NP). Also not going up north too much, so don't have to worry about extreme cold nights camping.
    Bad thing is that we spend less day's camping in the nature and more in the cities. And even when in Los Angeles we spend the night camping, instead of a hotel. :) Also no visit to Yellowstone NP.



    A question was raised why there was no mention of Death Valley. Both trips go visit that place (or maybe even travel through it? not sure) but it's not an end destination, so it wasn't mentioned. I will visit it though.

    I choose on purpose for an organised group trip, instead of driving myself, because I have noone to travel with. And experience has thought me that I miss the company when I have noone to share my experiences with. So a trip like this with a small group (max 13 persons) is a good alternative, even though a bit more restrictive and costly.

    All in all this trip seems like a more relaxed option, even though we don't visit as many different national parks.

    http://www.djoser.nl/rondreis_vereni.../23_dagen_usa/
    My own google maps overview of this trip (not the actual route we will travel, just the destinations)
    Last edited by Dyna18; 01-18-2009 at 01:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Item 5 is the questionable one - whether Tioga Pass is open yet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default weather corrections

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyna18 View Post
    It got my preference to go on this early date, to avoid the intense heat the summer can bring. Perhaps some higher passes are still closed then, but I rather take that risk, then (almost) pass out with temps over 90 F.

    Also not going up north too much, so don't have to worry about extreme cold nights camping.
    A couple things, in June its almost a sure thing that you'll see temperatures over 90 degrees in Death Valley and even Las Vegas.

    The pass issue is not really a minor one, as Tioga Pass, the one most affected here, is a stunning part of Yosemite National Park. It also makes the trip much more direct. If that route is closed, won't be able to go to Lee Vining/Bishop without a significant detour that will add a few hundred KMs to your trip.

    At the same time, its not the latitude that you have to worry about with nighttime temps as much as it is elevation. You'll still be traveling in areas of higher elevation where it can get quite cool, if not cold at night.

    If early June is the only time you can go, then by all means go then. However, if your time is flexible, then I'd recommend waiting until mid-June.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    A couple things, in June its almost a sure thing that you'll see temperatures over 90 degrees in Death Valley and even Las Vegas.

    The pass issue is not really a minor one, as Tioga Pass, the one most affected here, is a stunning part of Yosemite National Park. It also makes the trip much more direct. If that route is closed, won't be able to go to Lee Vining/Bishop without a significant detour that will add a few hundred KMs to your trip.

    At the same time, its not the latitude that you have to worry about with nighttime temps as much as it is elevation. You'll still be traveling in areas of higher elevation where it can get quite cool, if not cold at night.

    If early June is the only time you can go, then by all means go then. However, if your time is flexible, then I'd recommend waiting until mid-June.
    Thanks for responding, I realise that Death Valley and Las Vegas are in the desert, so things do heat up there alot. But that's ok. I was mostly looking for a comfortable temperature to do activities in Yosemite.
    I'll give the organisation a call tomorrow to see what dates are still available.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    I like that pic of Monument Valley and The Mittens. Unfortunately the campground is no longer there because they built The View Hotel, but they will find another campground I'm sure. Djoser has a good name and often is recommended on the forums. Also this itinerary doesn't look bad at all, but on a trip like this you'll have to make choices. Unfortunately they'll bring you from Bryce to Moab in one day which will not give you much time to explore ut12 and Capitol Reef NP. And it's a good thing they take 3 days between LA and SF and stay Big Sur for the night. Not sure why they will spend the night in Lake Havasu City, but at least you can see the original London Bridge. I would go for the last trip and start june 6. You're going to have a fantastic vacation.
    Yeehaw

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default 50/50

    The Djoser trip looks are far better option to me. It's much more focused and you will see far more by doing a little less travelling.

    Over the last 4 years Tioga pass has been open twice and closed twice on the date you travel so it's pretty much a 50/50 gamble.
    As Michael pointed out, not only is it a big part of experiencing Yosemite it is a large detour if it's not open. If possible, going a couple of weeks later would increase those odds significantly.
    Whatever you do make sure you get to see the view from Glacier point.

Similar Threads

  1. Durham, NC to Salt Lake City, UT with mom in 8 days - suggestions, please!
    By Mandy Jones in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-24-2008, 06:29 PM
  2. February Roadtrip - Salt Lake City to Oregon
    By UK Bob in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-22-2007, 09:05 PM
  3. Salt Lake City to Denver; june10-18
    By LaPetiteMaligne in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-17-2007, 10:22 AM
  4. San Diego to Salt Lake city
    By Daniel1972 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-20-2005, 08:41 AM
  5. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-19-2002, 09:41 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