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  1. Default Phoenix to Grand Canyon to Kings Canyon to San Fransisco

    We are 2 adults with 2 teenage boys travelling to the Southwest in late June/July. so far our plans include a night in Sedona or Flagstaff and 2 nights at the Grand Canyon. Then on to Las Vegas. Any suggestions for somewhere fun to stay in Las Vegas? We then want to drive to Kings Canyon and on to Yosemite, taking in some white water rafting along the way. Any ideas for a good route from Las Vegas to Kings Canyon and any recommended places to stay close to rafting rivers. By looking at the map it looks like there isn't a direct route from Vegas to Kings Canyon. We are not particularly interested in Death Valley as I hear you cannot step outside your car at that time of year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Don't write off Death Valley

    Quote Originally Posted by Anneoc View Post
    Any suggestions for somewhere fun to stay in Las Vegas?
    LV is not a particularly family friendly place. It's focus is on the over 21s. Maybe a walk down the strip to see the sights, but you will not be able to take the children inside. If you have extra time there, why not take a trip to one of the many parks in NV and / or UT.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anneoc View Post
    We are not particularly interested in Death Valley as I hear you cannot step outside your car at that time of year.
    It is true that it can be pretty hot at that time of year, but that does not mean you should by-pass Death Valley. Just don't go on any hikes. It is such a spectacular place any time of the year. Driving through the park, on its many roads you can pretty well take in the views and the atmosphere. Then there are many places where you will want to briefly get out of the car, such as at the Devil's Golf Course, Badwater, Dante's Lookout, etc. Even then, you will need a wide brim hat, sunscreen and water. (I always left the engine running with the a/c on.) And of course, the visitor centre is a must.

    Lifey who urges you to consider it

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Time ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I agree with Lifey, Death valley is an amazing landscape and just driving across it and stepping from the car to take some pic's is rewarding in itself.

    You don't mention how much time you have in total for the trip, but you could drive through Sequoia NM and/or NP on the way to Kings canyon. The trip through the National Monument starts at Kernville by Lake Isabella and follows the Kern river towards Johnsondale which I believe to be popular for rafters, but you would need to use the Web to confirm this and more detail. Near to Johnsondale is also the "Trail of 100 giants", a quiet grove of giant Sequoia tree's.

    Another option could be to head North on 395 after Death valley and crossing the Tioga pass [CA120] into Yosemite and then to Kings canyon. With enough time you could then cut across to the coast and up to San Fran.

  4. Default Good ideas.

    Thank you for those ideas. I have had problems with passwords but finally got it sorted out! I think we will go through Death Valley and over the Tioga pass to Yosemite and spend 3 nights there, getting time to do some rafting and see the park. the Yosemite Bug looks interesting. i have found lots of ideas elsewhere on the site, it's all very helpful.
    we have 3 weeks in total. After Yosemite we are off to San Fran and then down the coast. We haven't got as far as thinking about that part of the trop yet. A must is a good amusement park for the roller coaster junkies in my family. Think i'll go shopping that day. Is there an amusement park with serious rollercoasters near San Fransisco?
    another question. We will be at yosemite over July 4th weekend. Is that the busiest weekend of the year? I would hate to be part of huge traffic jams everywhere.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    California's Great America is in Santa Clara, about 40 miles south of SF. This is a Cedar Fair property. When you get down south, Six Flags Magic Mountain is in Valencia, about 35 miles north of LA. Six Flags is open year round, but GA is seasonal.

  6. #6

    Default Rafting options on your road trip

    You have quite a full itinerary planned for your roadtrip. IMO I would skip Death Valley in the middle of summer, if you want to be active at all, as at that time of year you will only see DV from the windshield of your airconditioned vehicle, with only a few short hops out to take photos. Dont know how much that will hold the kids attention. I know I like to be active and in that heat it will be almost impossible. Your time might be better spent elswhere in midsummer.

    As far as rafting, there is a really fun 1-day whitewater trip in the Western Grand Canyon between Vegas and South Rim. It includes a helicopter ride out. It is run by the Hualapai Indians, I have done the trip and it is fun. Also, the Merced River right out of Yosemite is fun, but the season may be over by the time you are there. The premier river in CA, is the Tuoloume River, right near Yosemite. The two day trip is truly amazing. You might call 1-800-473-4576 or . Their service is free and they work with all the Grand Canyon raft companies and some of the best rafting companies elsewhere in the West.

    Best of luck! I think rafting would be a highlight of the trip.

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