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  1. Default Capitol Reef National Park to San Francisco advice via Death Valley advice!

    Hello roadtrippers,

    I am leaving from SF to the Grand Canyon with a few stops in mind i.e. Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Bryce National Park then I plan on taking Highway 12 to Torrey for a stop at Capitol Reef National Park.
    I will leave SF June 4th and plan on going via Las Vegas to Kanab, UT.

    I am looking for an alternate route from Torrey back to SF... possibly through Death Valley. I will have about 3 days left, to take time into consideration.

    Also, below find a rough idea of my trip... please comment if you feel moved to, any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    6/4: SF to Las Vegas
    6/5: Las Vegas to Zion National Park & Kanab
    6/6: Kanab to North Rim Grand Canyon
    6/7: North Rim to Lake Powell, back to Kanab
    6/8: Kanab to Torrey via Panguitch & Highway 12
    6/9: Capitol Reef National park
    6/10: Torrey to.......... via Death Valley

    I plan on being back in SF by the 13th or 14th latest. Thanks for your help, and happy traveling!

    ps - please allow yourself to tell me I am out of my mind with timing... I'm not great at estimating time...thanks =)

  2. Default

    Hi jtofighi,

    6/4: SF to Las Vegas: This is going to be a long boring day of driving approx 570 miles but you probably already knew that. You might hit some traffic between Barstow, CA and Las Vegas since this is a Saturday but you should be there late enough in the day to pretty much miss that.

    6/5: Las Vegas to Zion National Park & Kanab - If you could find lodging in Springdale, Utah you would be able to spend more time in Zion. It will only add 40 miles to your next day trip.

    6/6: Kanab to North Rim Grand Canyon: Do you already have accommodations at the N. Rim? If not, you might find it hard to come by. There aren't as many places to stay as at the S. Rim. May I ask why you choose the N. Rim over the S. Rim?

    6/8: Kanab to Torrey via Panguitch & Highway 12. There is no need to go all the way to Panquitch. The turn off to Highway 12 is before that. You might want to make a quick stop at Bryce Canyon National Park since you will be passing right by it. Even if you just go to Bryce Point, Sunset or Sunrise Points, it will be well worth the time.

    6/10 Torrey to Death Valley: It's only adds about 145 miles to add Death Valley to your route back to San Francisco. Torrey to Death Valley 6/10, see park on 6/11, drive back to SF on 6/12 The good news is Death Valley is off season in the summer so you should be able to get accommodations. The bad news is will probably be so hot you won't be able to leave the vehicle for very long. If Tioga Pass isn't open thought Yosemite, you will be stuck driving back on Hwy 5

    If you decide against Death Valley consider taking Hwy 50 across Nevada. It's a beautiful drive that passes right by Great Basin National Park, Pony Express stations, petroglyphs, historic silver towns, sand dunes and easy enough to make a stop at Lake Tahoe.

    Since you have a couple of days, I'd highly recommend spending more time in Zion. I'd also suggest doing the S. Rim of the Grand Canyon if you've never been. It really won't add much to your driving. SF -> Las Vegas -> South Rim -> Lake Powell/Glen Canyon -> Zion -> Bryce and Hwy 12 -> Torrey/Capitol Reef.

    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-14-2011 at 03:35 PM. Reason: Removed in line quote of previous post

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


    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    If you travel from Kanab to Torrey via Panguitch you actually go around scenic 12 and Bryce canyon, you turn onto scenic 12 before Panguitch, unless it is a detour for some reason. You could stop in Torrey and then go to Capitol Reef and then continue to Hanksville and take UT95 and 261 down the Moki dugway to US163 and Monument valley. From Monument valley you could drive through the GC South rim to I40. You could also detour onto part of route 66 through Seligman to Kingman and then over Hoover dam back to Vegas for a trip across Death valley. A popular route from DV would be North on 395 and over Tioga pass [CA120] into Yosemite, but I think the odds are against it being open and you will have to go around the Southern end of the Sierra's, Sequoia NP or forest near Lake Isabella are options.

    It would certainly keep you on the move as will the first half of your trip. The other suggestion would be just to slow down a bit and enjoy Zion, Bryce and the Grand canyon with a bit more time in that area, it depends on your preferred choice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The quickest way to Death Valley from Torrey is take UT-24 to I-70 at Sigurd, and head back down to Las Vegas. You can take NV-213 around the north side of the city to US-95 to Beatty and enter the park that way. Otherwise, head through town and take NV-160 to Pahrump and Bell Vista Ave/Ash Meadows Rd to Death Valley Junction and go in that way.

    The fastest way back to SF would be 395/14/58 through Bakersfield. You could take CA-178 through Lake Isabella to cut off some miles and get better scenery. Another option would be 395 to Tahoe, then US-50 to Sacto.

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