I'm heading to the USA in just under three weeks' time. Apart from a week in San Francisco and New York, the major focus will be a roadtrip taking in some of the Southwest and the Rocky Mountains.
I'll be hiring (have already booked) a car in Las Vegas on the morning of the 25th of June and will return it to Denver International Airport 18 days later on the morning of the 12th of July. I realise that with the drop-off fees this is quite an expensive way of doing it, but overall it seems a worthwhile compromise, to be able to maximise time spent in the desert and mountainous areas.
I'm a keen flyfisherman and hiker, but also love long drives (provided there is some space between them). I'll mainly be doing short hikes except in the Snowy Range where I'll do longer hikes and concentrate on flyfishing.
I work in the desert of Western Australia so am used to the heat.
I would be grateful for some feedback on my proposed itinerary in relation to its practicality, any suggested changes/tweaks (e.g. would it be worth eliminating Farmington and trying to go straight through to Santa Fe that day, to give me an extra day to spend somewhere else?), and suggested accommodation. I realise that given the time of year of my trip, accommodation options may be limited. I don't have personal internet access where I work, which limits the ability to plan and book ahead. I did want to rely fairly heavily on camping, but NP campsites I've checked so far have been booked out, so I've mainly chosen hotels. I figured that given the reasonably long drives, I probably wouldn't get to campsites early enough in the day to find first-come-first-serve vacancies - although if I am wrong with that assumption, please let me know. I can afford hotels/B&Bs for the whole trip if necessary.
I'd like to have got as far north as the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, but haven't included it in this iteration of the itinerary (I'd like to see Yellowstone one day, but will skip it at this time of year). However, if anyone has ideas or suggestions on what to cut out, amalgamate or change to allow me to reach the Grand Tetons, it would be appreciated. I guess I could leave out the Snowy Range, but as I've already booked accommodation there, I'm a bit reluctant to do so.
Anyway, thanks in advance for any advice.
- 25 June - Day 1: early a.m. Fly in to Las Vegas. Collect hire car. Practise driving on the right hand side of the road somewhere relatively free of potential casualties...er, I mean other drivers/pedestrians :-). Drive to St George - accommodation booked.
- 26 June - Day 2: Hiking in Zion NP. Drive to Kanab - accommodation booked.
- 27 June - Day 3: Hiking in Zion again, plus visit Bryce Canyon. Back to Kanab for the night - accommodation booked.
- 28 June - Day 4: Drive from Kanab to Grand Canyon North Rim. Drive to Flagstaff and stay the night (accommodation not yet booked).
- 29 June - Day 5: Drive Flagstaff - Sedona - Flagstaff; short hike in Coconino NF if time. Drive to Cameron, O/N there (accommodation not yet booked).
- 30 June - Day 6: Drive from Cameron to Monument Valley. O/N somewhere in the vicinity (accommodation not yet booked).
- 01 July - Day 7: Drive from Monument Valley via Four Corners to Farmington, O/N there (accommodation not yet booked).
- 02 July - Day 8: Drive from Farmington to Santa Fe, O/N there (accommodation not yet booked).
- 03 July - Day 9: Drive from Santa Fe to Durango, O/N there (accommodation not yet booked).
- 04 July - Day 10: Drive from Durango, via Silverton, to Moab, O/N there (accommodation not yet booked).
- 05 July - Day 11: Short hike in Arches NP, then drive to Grand Junction, O/N there (accommodation not yet booked).
- 06 July - Day 12: Drive from Grand Junction to Rocky Mountains NP, O/N there (accommodation not yet booked).
- 07 July - Day 13: Short hike in RMNP, then drive to Snowy Range, WY , O/N there - accommodation booked.
- 08 July - Day 14: Hiking and flyfishing in Snowy Range - accommodation booked.
- 09 July - Day 15: Hiking and flyfishing in Snowy Range - accommodation booked.
- 10 July - Day 16: Drive from Snowy Range, via Cheyenne, to RMNP, O/N there (accommodation not yet booked).
- 11 July - Day 17: Short hike at RMNP, then drive to Denver - O/N there near airport (DIA) (accommodation not yet booked).
- 12 July - Day 18: early a.m. return hire car; fly to NYC