First, I just want to thank the forum. I'm a newbie and have been spending the last weeks scouring archives of posts, and love the fact there has been so much help and activity. I'm looking forward to participating and sharing my experiences with the rest of your.
So, my wife, one year old daughter and I are taking a road trip from Oakland to Phoenix this July for a family reunion. With work, and the reunion, we're stuck to a fairly specific travel time-frame. Which, unfortunately, for all that exists between these two locations makes it difficult to decide where to spend more/less time at.
We can leave early Tuesday and need to be in Phoenix mid-day Friday. So that gives us a solid 3.5 days of driving/site seeing.
My current thought for travel is this:
Tues/Day1: On the road early, head into Yosemite. See the valley briefly (1-2 hours max), then head over Tioga Pass. With the kid, we'll have to make regular stops, which will be ideal since we'll want to stop throughout the park for brief picture opps.
That night we'd bunk somewhere between Mammoth Lakes and Lone Pine ... depending on how motivated we are and how traffic/timing through the park does us.
Wed/Day 2: Day 2 we do another early start to try and get into and through Death Valley and bunk in Vegas for the evening. Again, making regular stops, but nothing too time consuming in the way of hikes/adventures.
Thurs/Day 3: Head up to Grand Canyon from Vegas - go to the SkyView overlook, and start heading toward Flagstaff for the night.
Fri/ Day 4: Wrap up the trip and head into Phoenix.
First things first:
I know this is quick, and doesn't give us the ideal amount of time in any of these locations. The way I look at it, this is more of a scenic/get to see some cool stuff/long drive vs. a traditional road trip, and hoping this could be a more fun and rewarding trip than the direct route via I-5/I-10.
That being said, here are my questions:
- Is it too quick? Will we just regret this trip in the long run because we zip past everything?
- Do you recommend an alternate route, where we perhaps focus on one major road trip destination vs the three (yosemite, death valley, grand canyon)? We live in Oakland, so Yosemite isn't too far for us to do on any given weekend. Perhaps hitting Sequoia instead and skipping Yosemite and Death Valley?
- Is death valley stupid in July with a toddler? I know lots of people do it in July, and I wouldn't mind normally, but want to make sure I don't put her at risk.
- Is Vegas out of the way? We have no intent on visiting Vegas, but I get free, great hotel room, so thought it would be a nice breather. But definitely not a necessity.