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  1. Default CA to Yellowstone - How much time?

    Happy Holidays Trippers!
    Newby here planning our first roadtrip this summer. We are a family of 4 with two kids 7 & 9 (brother & sister). We are planning on renting a 22' class C.
    I was hoping I could get first, your advise on how long this trip might take, and secondly, good routes.

    We would like to go from Santa Cruz (home) to Boulder, Co (Brother's home). We are planning on leaving in mid June. Along the way, we would like to see the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone as MUSTS, and are looking at a few other locales. Here is the route I have looked at via Google Maps, but have NO idea how long this should take and I am thinking about 2 to 3 weeks?

    Santa Cruz to Bodie (killer ghost town)
    Bodie to Death Valley to Las Vegas (stay 1 day)
    Las Vegas to Sedona,Az
    Sedona to Grand Canyon/Zion (stay 2 days)
    GC/Zion to Boulder (stops at Bryce, Arches...? (stay 2-3 days)
    Boulder to Cody,Wy (stay 1 day)
    Cody to Yellowstone (stay 2-3 days)
    Yellowstone to Santa Cruz (route back & how long TBD)

    Could I do this comfortably in 2 weeks?

    Thanks for any help!
    Last edited by ffmedic; 11-26-2010 at 01:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default More is Better

    Two weeks is about the minimum such a trip could be done in and still be enjoyable. With such a timeframe, you’d be spending about half your time on the road and the other half of your time experiencing the places you’ve driven to. Clearly if you can add more time, all of that additional time would go to activities. Places like Yellowstone and Zion in particular cry out for more time than you could fit into 2 weeks. And why are you not visiting the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, or Arches National Parks?

    As an aside, I think you should take a serious look at the road into Bodie. Your rental contract may not allow taking your RV over such a rough, unimproved dirt road.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 11-26-2010 at 01:23 PM.

  3. Default


    Thanks for the quick reply! Yes the Grand Canyon is definitely one of the places we plan on going. I can probably swing 3 weeks. Given that timeframe, it sounds like we should be able to not be on the road the whole time.
    I can also let go of was just a thought.

    Is there a recommended path given these main locations you'd take?

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Your Itinerary Works

    The sequence you've laid out works pretty well. If you're gong to drop Brodie, then consider crossing the Sierra Nevada by taking CA-120 through Yosemite and across Tioga Pass. It will probably be crowded, but it's a spectacular drive nonetheless. As pointed out, you are going to be coming very close to several other national parks, including Bryce Canyon, Arches, Rocky Mountain, and Grand Teton, as well as Walnut Creek, Sunset Crater Volcano, Wupatki, Vermilion Cliffs, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Colorado National Monuments - So a National Parks Pass would probably be well worth the price.

    And of course, your children are the perfect ages for the Junior Ranger Program. Ask at each park and monument you come to.


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

    Default Never enough time.

    I would certainly recommend the 3 weeks if you can swing it, with all the amazing places you are visiting, while covering over 3000 miles in distance, you will need it to fully enjoy it.

    National parks are great places to spend the night in the RV, but you will need to book well in advance, and as soon after the booking window opens as you can. [Normally 5 or 6 months in advance but you can find the dates and all other info at]

    During June, I think you will be OK to cross Death valley in an RV, but you will need to check your contract, as some will not accept responsibility for any recovery or repair costs in hot desert areas.

    For Vegas, the Oasis RV resort is a pretty cool place to stop the night and the kid's will enjoy the pools. Some others we have stayed in at the NP's, which are in good locations include The Pines campgrounds in Yosemite valley, Mather campground for the South rim Grand canyon, Watchman c/g in Zion, Ruby's Inn, entrance to Bryce canyon [not nps] Devils garden c/g in Arches NP and Morraine park in RMNP.

    If time permits, I would allow 6 day's from Grand canyon to Boulder to visit the places you mention, and then there is Capitol Reef and Canyonlands to consider. From Bryce you could continue on scenic by way 12 to Torrey and through Hanksville towards Arches.

  6. Default

    AZ - Thanks for the Parks pass & Jr Ranger suggestions!

    Dave - I appreciate your suggestion for Vegas and the NP's.

    This site rocks!


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