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  1. Default Problems planning LV to Yosemite incl GCanyon, Zion and Bryce

    Hello , from Sydney we are planning a 4 week trip to US in Late June/early July. We have 3 children aged 10, 7 and 5.

    The last 3 of the 4 weeks we are planning for a motorhome holiday, in a 29-31’ RV.

    We will be picking up the RV in LA and driving to Las Vegas.

    From Las Vegas, we want to do Grand Canyon; Zion, Bryce Canyon. (not sure what order)

    We were then hoping to go see Death Valley (but understand through the research I have done a) very hot in summer b) most RV rental companies won’t allow you to anyway.... So looking for a route that is scenic with enough interesting stops on the way for 3 kids into Yosemite.

    From Yosemite , to San Francisco for a few days.. Followed by driving the coastal road back to LA.

    I have been doing hours of research and am finding myself stumbling over the best route from las vegas to Yosemite, taking in the Grand canyon, zion and bryce if possible – can you assist.

    Also, are there particular RV parks you highly recommend on the way. We would like to spend a few nights in several locations to break up the long distance driving.

    Also, given we are driving a huge RV, can you please be explicit and advise me of any routes or roads I must avoid throughout the entire trip.

    PS. Is there a service or bureau or someone who can actually design a detailed route, including all roads, parks, suggested schedule etc....I would be happy to pay for such a service to ensure I get it right and not have to worry about it too much once there!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Here's my suggestion - and I'm going to leave a hole in the middle for options. Have some paper maps or a mapping program to follow along with me.

    Depending where you are in LA, get to I-15 and take that to LV. From LV, take I-15 to UT-9 to Zion. Leave Zion through the tunnel ($15 toll for a RV, escort required) east on UT-9 to US-89. Take that north to UT-12 to Bryce. For now, I'm going to leave a hole in the middle and discuss options at the end of this post, and I will pick up now on I-40 south of the GC. Take that west into California to Barstow to CA-58 to US-395. Take that north to Lee Vining and take CA-120 over Tioga Pass into Yosemite.

    Now, from Bryce to the GC you have several options. Do you want to go to the North Rim or the South Rim, or both?

    Option 1 - both rims. Retrace your steps back on UT-12 and US-89, stay on 89 to Kanab, take Alt-89 to the north rim access road (AZ-67). Coming out, go the other way on Alt-89 to US-89, take that south to AZ-64, take that in the east entrance to the south rim. Leave via the south entrance on AZ-64 to Williams and get on I-40.

    Option 2 - north rim only. Follow option 1, except stay on US-89 all the way to Flagstaff and pick up I-40.

    Option 3 - south rim only. Follow option 1 but stay on US-89 from Kanab through Page all the way to AZ-64.

    Option 4 - south rim with additional sightseeing. Leave Bryce and go east on UT-12. This is a famous scenic highway. Take that to Torrey and go east on UT-24, visit Capitol Reef. Get back on 24, take that to Hanksville, take UT-95. Visit Natural Bridges, get back on 95 to US-191. Take that south to US-163 and go through Monument Valley. At Kayenta, take US-160 to US-89, go south about 10 miles and take AZ-64 into the south rim.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default A start.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have a great trip ahead of you and the scenery and diversity will leave you amazed ! glc has given you some good options and No. 4 would get my vote as you have the time to do so. You actually have time to visit Arches and Canyonlands NP's from Hanksville towards Moab but that might tip the balance and make it all set at a faster pace than you might want to go at.

    To help you with direction here is a report on our RV trip through the area. We started out in SF but it will show you 2 options from Vegas or Zion to Yosemite near the start of our route and at the end, one across desert on the ET highway and the other through Sequoia NP via Lake Isabella.

    If you are planning on camping in the National parks [highly recommended] you will need to go to nps.gov and get the booking info on each park and find out when the booking window opens. When it does book as early as you possibly can as the large sites can go very quickly. Here is a list of some good locations within the parks > Yosemite, one of the "Pines" sites on the valley floor [lower, upper etc] Grand canyon, "Mather" campground [close to the rim] Zion, "Watchman" campground. For Bryce canyon "Rubys Inn" is right by the entrance to the park and in Las Vegas, you and the kids will love the pools at Oasis RV resort if you don't mind "splashing out". [pun intended !]

    Also, given we are driving a huge RV, can you please be explicit and advise me of any routes or roads I must avoid throughout the entire trip.
    I can't think of any you "must" avoid but if you decided to head into Sequoia NP you have the option of entering from Three rivers as we did and driving the Generals highway where there is a "recommended" lenght limit of 25ft but a legal requirement is under 40ft as it gets narrow and twisty in sections. If you took UT261 between Hanksville and Monument valley you would come across the Moki dugway which is quite an "exciting ride" [see trip report above]but you can go around the long way.

    Give yourself time to adjust to the extra size of the vehicle, the width is apparent when you first get in but you have to be especially switched on to the "swing" at the back. The overhang from the rear wheels is very long so be careful not to side swipe anything when parked close to objects like a car or fuel pumps. [picture it like spinning around with a plank of wood on your shoulder]. Always get someone to see you back when reversing and don't feel rushed in anything you do. On smaller roads you will get pull outs where you can pull in to let cars past, this is customary and law in some places but not only will doing so take the pressure off you, 9 times out of 10 you will be rewarded with a toot of the horn with a smile and a wave.

    PS. Is there a service or bureau or someone who can actually design a detailed route, including all roads, parks, suggested schedule etc....I would be happy to pay for such a service to ensure I get it right and not have to worry about it too much once there!
    No need ! Get a good map of the US and use the info throughout the forums and above and when you have decided on exactly where you want to go post up an outline itinerary and we will help you "fine tune" your trip so that you can get the best from it. I use the word "YOUR" trip as that's just what it should be, not a pre organised tour of somebody else's "ideal trip" as we are all individuals.

    Enjoy the planning and get back to us with what you have come up with.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default A picture is worth a thousand words !

    This is an idea of what option 4 of glc's would look like with a detour to Lake Isabella and through Sequoia NM and the NP on the way to Yosemite. You can zoom in and out and left and right using the tools.


    With 3 weeks you could work along the lines of, Las Vegas 2 nights > Zion NP 2nights>Bryce 1 night > Capitol Reef/Hanksville 1 night > Monument valley 1 night > Grand canyon 2 nights > On route to Lake Isabella 1 night [kids might enjoy Calico ghost town Lake Isabella 1 night > Three rivers [Sequoia] 1 night > Oakhurst 1 night > Yosemite 2 nights > San Fran 2 nights> coast to LA 2 nights and a couple of nights in LA to unwind. You could cut out the route along scenic 12 to Hanksville and drop down through Page and/or cut out one or both the Sequoia parks and have more down time in the other places, but see what you come up with and we can go from there.

    Hope that helps some more !
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 02-21-2010 at 12:16 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Dave's route takes you up the western side of the Sierras, mine takes you up the eastern side.

  6. Default

    Lots of ideas to work with - feeling very relieved and all excited again. Will work on the route some more and definintely be back for some fine tuning! thank you!

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