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  1. Default Greenville,SC to Williams-Grand Canyon, AZ w/ 12,8, and 3 y-old kids

    comments/advice/must see on this are greatly appreciated

    i have 8-9 days to cover about 2000 miles (4000 mi RT)

    could go for 12 hrs a day and be there in 3 days (Greenville,SC- Little Rock, AR- Amarillo,TX- Williams,AZ), spend 2-3 at the Canyon, and come back.

    Would like to see Petrified Forest, Canyon de Chelly, Flagstaff, Williams, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona, how much time should I plan for the Grand Canyon (a day? I am not planning on going down the canyon, just the SOuth Rim), perhaps another day for the other points?

    thanks in advance for your constructive comments :) (i.e. my wife already told me I am nuts),

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Hours, Not Days, at Your Destinations

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    At 2,000+ miles one way, you are looking at 4 days on the road each way. That assumes 10 to 12 hour days with time factored in for traffic, meal breaks, gas stops, bathroom necessities, and the occasional mental/physical exercise break. Mapping routines which tell you that you can travel 700 miles in a 12 hour day don't take any of those real-life requirements into account. In particular, trying to push children along at such a pace will leave them hating the idea of a RoadTrip and not really appreciating any of the sites you'd be dragging them to. At best you could spend an hour or two at each of the natural wonders along the way, hardly worth the effort. A trip such as the one you're envisioning would require a couple of weeks at least to be an enjoyable and memorable experience for you and your family.


  3. Default You can do it, if you really want to, and more!

    OK, I'll admit that you should really be taking two weeks for this = 16 days including both weekends. However, due to limited vacation time, my wife and I and two kids did a similar trip years ago. It will take willpower, planning, and sticking to a strict timetable, but it can be done. Here is how.

    Day 1 and earlier: Leave the evening BEFORE your first day of vacation and drive nonstop through the night and all day the next day until you get NEAR the Grand Canyon. Having late-arrival reservations will help, unless you sleep at a rest area. I've driven from Detroit to Las Vegas nonstop several times; same distance. The night before vacation, you're all excited and raring to go! Leave around 4pm if possible. Take two-hour shifts with the wife. Passing through two time zones will help mentally as you turn back the clock. You will get near the Grand Canyon somewhere around midnight (31 hours). Maybe you'll have made camping/hotel reservations somewhere. The kids will tolerate one long day in the car without much trouble. End of a very long and tiring day 1.

    Day 2: Sleep in and take your time getting to the Grand Canyon National Park. Take your time at the various viewpoints. You'll be glad if you made reservations for camping/hotel there or somewhere nearby.

    Day 3: Drive to Zion National Park, 6hours. If you leave around 6am you'll be there at noon. Get hotel/camping reservations in Springdale ahead of time!!! There is a hotel/campground less than a mile from the park. The city has free shuttle service to the park. The highlight of your kids trip will be a walk IN the virgin river, down the NARROWS. Research this! Don't go if there is danger of flash floods! You can walk for hours and hours, although even a 90 minute hike is great. One of you can wade with the three year old in ankle deep water at the beginning of the water trail.

    General info

    flash flood info

    short video (no, not me)

    Day 4: Hang around Zion. Its gorgeous. Or, drive to Bryce Canyon National Park about 2 hours away. Bryce is a magical place. The kids will really love hiking down into the sandstone formations. Or, take a horse if you weigh under 200 lbs.

    general info

    hike video (not me)

    Day 5: Drive to Rocky Mountain National Park in about 12 hours. Wait until tomorrow to enter the park and drive across the summit.

    Day 6: Drive the summit across Rocky Mountain National Park

    Day 7&8: Drive home about 26-30 hours


    Well, THAT'S my suggestion on how to do it, if you're really going to do it without your kids revolting.
    Last edited by travelingman; 04-19-2010 at 05:58 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Simply Bad Advice

    I wholeheartedly disagree with travelingman's advice that you drive a 2,000 mile leg through the night on no sleep and two back to back 800 mile legs on the way home. Such antics will just get you or someone else killed eventually. The fact that he has gotten away with such unsafe practices in the past and now recommends it is no different than someone handing you a loaded pistol and saying Russian Roulette is perfectly safe, after all, they've done it. Please note that RoadTrip America does NOT encourage or even condone such reckless activity. I stand by my original recommendation as to the time needed for this trip and how hard you will have to push yourself and your children under your current time constraints.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default perhaps the worst advice I've ever read

    I can't disagree more strongly with the idea that switching off every two hours can allow anyone to safely travel 2000 miles in one shot. If anyone has written a more reckless and homicidal tip, I can't think of it.

    I honestly would feel safer if you drank a 12 pack of beer and then decided to get out on the road. I can assure you, the differences in driving skill, abilities, and reaction times for someone driving those kinds of distances would be just as bad, if not worse, than someone with a BAC of double, if not triple, the legal limit. In my younger and more foolish days, I drove a few times after I'd had a few too many, and I also drove when I hadn't gotten nearly enough sleep, and I can tell you I came much much closer to being involved in a very serious crash when I was tired (frankly, when I was drunk, I knew I shouldn't be on the road and tried to compensate by being extra conservative, when I was overtired my body just shut down). I never actually crashed in either case, thank god, but using travelingman's theory, since I didn't kill anyone and since I wasn't arrested, it must have been safe? I would hope you would not agree with that line of thinking.

    With Travelingman's tip, you don't have to worry about your kids revolting, your bigger concern is who would be planning their funerals. Please, don't consider using such reckless advice.

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