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  1. Default

    Thanks for the feed back again.

    I think I may have not explained myself very well.. When I listed the places (Salt Lake, Denver, Albuquerque) I didn't mean that these would be the only places we'd stop, I'd want to take it slow and -as suggest- take half/whole days here and there to check out national parks etc! I thought I'd look into that in more detail next, I just wanted to have an idea of a route be able to take us near to all these great spots. With that in mind does this sound like a good route?

    I will keep in mind Dave that I need to build the route around the things I want to see not the other way round, appreciate the advice.

    Happy New Year in advance!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,982

    Default cart then horse

    I just wanted to have an idea of a route be able to take us near to all these great spots. With that in mind does this sound like a good route?

    I will keep in mind Dave that I need to build the route around the things I want to see not the other way round, appreciate the advice.
    I think those two statements are kind of in contradiction.

    A loop to SLC, Denver, Albq, etc is a good route, if that's the places you want to go! But if your goal is to hit a bunch of national parks, building a route where you list cities is as a guide post is basically building a trip backwards!

    There are a ton of great parks within that circle, but there are plenty of places that are great that it might not include. For example, Yosemite wouldn't be a natural fit on that loop.

    If you pick your top destinations first, then the route starts to build itself, and natural fits that lie in between will also develop.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,212

    Default

    You will also find out that when you start building the route around attractions, very often you will not be on Interstate highways and won't be going anywhere near large cities. That's fine!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,695

    Default The magic circle.

    Hi Kas.

    I thought I'd look into that in more detail next, I just wanted to have an idea of a route be able to take us near to all these great spots. With that in mind does this sound like a good route?
    Think of it as a circle rather than a route at this moment in time and then explore what's within that circle that appeals to you, then talk routes. It would not surprise me to see that circle get much smaller as the planning progress's and that was kind of my point. You are covering large distances and the larger those distances are, the less time you will have out of the car to visit the parks etc. There is nothing wrong with that as long as it is suited to what you really want from this trip. Also consider that by the time you start adding detours to National parks and other areas within that circle your 2900 mile loop could easily become closer to 3500 miles and more.

    On the other end of the scale, a smaller loop from LA to GC to Monument valley to Southern Utah [home to Zion, Bryce canyon, Arches and Canyonlands NP's] to Death Valley to Yosemite to San Fran and back down the coast to LA could easily feel 2-3 weeks, [It could easily fill 2-3 months and not see anywhere near everything] but it would be with more time out of the car exploring these great places with Lot's of scenic mountain driving and small towns away from Interstate. You could start in Denver, if Yellowstone is a 'must see' for you, and head down to Grand canyon and back to Denver as a smaller loop and catch plenty of National parks like those mentioned in Utah.

    These are only suggestions to consider, it's your trip and the only thing that matters is what you want. Once that's sorted we can help you get the best from it !

    Enjoy the planning.

  5. Default LA>Grand Canyon,Zion,Bryce,Arches>Yellowstone>San Fran>LA. Opinions appreciated!

    Hello.

    So I'd previously posted about a "Chicago, Yellowstone, LA" route and was advised to do some more research. Having done lots now I've come up with a new route that I love but as I've never been to the US or done a road trip before it's hard to fully tell if my route is feasible. My objectives for the route were to get to Yellowstone, to see lots of the amazing NP's and to drive along some of the West Coast. On paper it works but I'm not sure about reality so would really appreciate if anyone could give my route a read and give me some feedback. Be gentle on me!

    Fly into Los Angeles, Pick up car.
    Los Angeles – Williams. 431miles 6hrs 45mins. Spend the night here.

    Williams – Zion via Grand Canyon NP. Set off in the early morning (during sunrise for best lighting..?) to visit the Grand Canyon NP via the South Rim entrance. 57.8miles 1hr 13mins. Half day at Grand Canyon then set off for Zion. 251miles 4hrs 58mins.

    Zion NP – Spend 2 nights at Zion with 1 full day to see the NP.

    Zion – Torrey via Bryce NP. Set off early for Bryce NP, 88.1miles 1hr 54mins. Spend half day at Bryce then on to Torrey via scenic route, rt12 & rt24, not the interstate. 103miles 2hrs 7mins. Spend the night here.

    Torrey – Arches NP. Continue on “scenic route” (rt24 to Green River then interstate) to Arches NP, 166miles 3hrs 14mins. Spend half/full day here then follow route to Salt Lake City, stop for night somewhere along here. ~~Any suggestions of good towns?

    Nights stop - Yellowstone NP via Salt Lake City. Total distance from Arches to Yellowstone (following route listed below)= 673miles 12hrs 52mins. Ideally only 1 nights stop ~~Is this feasible? Any suggestions of good towns?
    Route/Sightseeing options:
    o Salt Lake City? ~~Worth a stop?
    o Ogden’s 25th street. This is a small town done up like an old west town and has an old car museum at the end of the block.
    o From Jackson come off the interstate and take rt84 through Teton Mountains NP stopping at Bear Lake and Wasatch-Cache National Forrest along the way.

    Yellowstone NP. Stay here for three nights, try to be near West Yellowstone by end of stay.

    Yellowstone NP – Twin Falls via Craters of the Moon NP. Exit Yellowstone via the West, visit Craters of the Moon NP. 174miles 3hrs 17mins. Travel on to Twin Falls for the night, 108miles 2hrs 1min.

    Twin Falls – Reno
    . Long drive through desert. 455miles 7hrs 22mins. Stop at Reno for the night.

    Reno – San Francisco. Visit Virginia City on route “30 miles SE of Reno… the best preserved old west mining town in the US”. Inc. Virginia City- 270miles 4hrs 50mins.

    San Francisco - 2 nights

    San Francisco – Los Angeles. Go via CA-1 which is the scenic route following the coast edge, not the interstate. 461miles 8hrs 57mins. Stop for 1 night along the way.

    Total miles: 3149.8

    This is 16 days(ish) in total but myself and my friend should have 3 weeks so this could leave time for a bit of "free-styling" and unexpected incidents.

    Sorry it's a bit long. Really appreciate any input! Thanks.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,695

    Default You've been busy !

    Hi Kas.

    That's looking a lot better but another couple of pointers.

    Right out of the box the first mistake is planning on flying into LA from the UK and then expecting to pick up a car and drive to Williams. You will be tired and Jet-lagged and trying to deal with LA traffic will be a nightmare. It's the worst possible way to start your trip, even without considering the fact you plan a 'BIG' day the following day. As nice as it might seem to get a head start, it's a false economy that could also be disastrous for your well being. Get an airport Hotel and a good nights rest before hitting the road.

    The second point is that you are relying on mapping program generated travel times that are not accurate in the real world. Most of your travel days seem OK, but just keep that in mind along with the things you want to do within that day. For instance you might be better off stopping in Page on route to Zion and the second night at Zion giving you a little more time at the GC. Another example is Torrey to Arches and on to ? [wherever] I think you would be better off staying overnight at Arches NP followed by a full days drive to Jackson WY. That will give you a nice drive through the Grand Tetons into Yellowstone next day as prat of your Yellowstone experience.

    Altogether it looks much better and more manageable, but it will keep you on the go, there is just so much to see and the parks are BIG ! If you can squeeze that extra time I would definitely recommend crossing the Sierra's into Yosemite NP on the way to San Fran. It's one of my favourite spots on earth !

    As you can see I have merged your threads. Although your trip is taking on a new shape we still prefer to keep to a one thread for one trip scenario. This way people can see the planning unfold and see the full picture. This not only helps future visitors to this thread with their planning, it will also let everyone see the full picture and will insure you get the best advice possible without repeating things already covered.

  7. Default

    No worries about merging the threads Dave, good idea.

    Glad you approve of the new route! You are right about having a breather after arriving at LA, I forgot to write it but we would intend to do that.

    Stopping at Page before Zion is a good suggestion, it's amazing how small a difference in distance it looks on the map but it's a good couple of hours which as you said could be spend at the GC. Staying at Arches NP was one of my first thoughts but I was worried that staying in the park itself would require booking ahead of arrival which I wouldn't want to do as then we're on a time limit to get there. Also I thought that would really cut in to the amount of time we could spend at Bryce as we'd have to rush off to get to Arches...?

    I will definitely keep Yosemite in mind, I would love to squeeze it in if we have the time.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,695

    Default

    Staying at Arches NP was one of my first thoughts but I was worried that staying in the park itself would require booking ahead of arrival which I wouldn't want to do as then we're on a time limit to get there. Also I thought that would really cut in to the amount of time we could spend at Bryce as we'd have to rush off to get to Arches...?
    I was actually thinking more along the lines of stopping in Torrey as planned and then in Arches/Moab giving you time in both Bryce and Arches NP. Then drive from Moab to Jackson [full day] which would become ' Night 1' of your 3 night stay around Yellowstone. Located just a couple of hours from Yellowstone lake with a drive through the Tetons thrown in on the way would give you most of the day there anyway. It wouldn't leave you time to sight see in SLC though so it's a matter of what appeals to you the most. City's are not really my thing and I have not been to SLC so can offer no help.

  9. Default Where to spend 2 extra days? Zion/Bryce/Arches/West Coast?

    Hey all,

    My friend and I have an extra couple of spare days on our itinerary and I was wondering what your opinions would be on on where to spend them (it could be 2 extra days in 1 place or 1 extra day in 2 places):

    • ZION (Currently here for 1 day. Would have come from Williams that morning, spend the night at Springdale)
    • BRYCE (Currently here for 1 day. Would have Springdale that morning and need to set off for Torrey that arvo/eve)
    • ARCHES (Would have come from Torrey that morning, spend the night at Moab)
    • SAN FRAN-LA COAST- (Currently spending 3/4 days doing this section. SF-Monterey-Cambria-Santa Barbara-LA)


    Really appreciate any thoughts.

    Kas.

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-04-2012 at 05:29 AM. Reason: Merged

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