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  1. Default Newbie to RVing-Is this National Park Loop really do-able with kids aged 9 & 11?

    Hi everyone, we've been trawling through this forum for 12 mths and the wealth of knowledge is unbelievable, hence I'm turning to y'all for some advice please.
    We're from Melbourne, Australia and in the planning stages of a family road trip to cover some of the National Parks in the west.
    So far the plan is.....
    Pick up an RV (22-26") in Las Vegas, head to Zion, then to Bryce Canyon, back down around the South rim of the Grand Canyon, to Monument Valley, Up to Arches National Park, up to Rocky Mountains National Park/Roosevelt National Forest, Thru Black Hills National Forest/Mt Rushmore, then across to Yellowstone, down to Yosemite and finally back to Vegas.
    We've got 4 weeks to complete this trip and I'm just wondering whether we're trying to cram too much into 4 weeks (with 2 kids 9 & 11) or, have some of you seasoned travellers completed a similar journey in the same time frame?
    We'll be travelling from approx last week in May so I think weather wise we'll be fine. We plan to get a fairly accurate roadtrip laid out so we can book our campsites well in advance so any advice would be much appreciated please. Thx :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    On the surface, it seems like that would be ok for 4 weeks, although its hard to say without knowing how much time you plan to spend at each location.

    I would suggest one change. Instead of starting by going to Zion and Bryce, head first to the Grand Canyon's south rim. Move Bryce and Zion to the back end of your trip, as you return to Vegas from Yellowstone. That will save you a goo amount of backtracking.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    That will save you a goo amount of backtracking.
    With Yosemite in the equation, that would actually add over 300 miles to the trip. As originally proposed, this is at least a 3500 mile trip (which will probably become 4000+). That would be averaging somewhere around 150 miles a day. This effectively means you will have to drive one full day for every 2 days spent stationary.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Know your own tolerance

    The distance is certainly something that can be covered in that amount of time. However, a better question perhaps would be are you all comfortable with being cooped up together for that period of time - and are your kids okay with it, too? Sometimes being out on the road can bring out a different dynamic in people that are generally comfortable with each other. Something to think about, especially if you will be traversing unfamiliar territory.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    With Yosemite in the equation, that would actually add over 300 miles to the trip.
    I missed Yosemite in the trip plan. If there was one place I would drop, that would probably be it, simply because it is so far removed from the rest or your locations.

    If you do keep it, then Bryce/Zion should stay at the beginning, but then I'd look at heading to the North Rim of GC instead of the south.

  6. #6

    Default Some State Parks Are Also Very Good

    If you do the Utah Loop, here's some other great places you will pass very close to:

  7. Default

    Hmmm yes, I appreciate your feedback & I think from what you're all saying we may need extra time to complete this trip or alternatively cut out some of the further away places as you've mentioned. We could handle half a days travel every third day but a full days travel every third may be too exhausting for everyone. I love what you've all said and thx so much for everyone's thoughts...... Two heads are better than one.....or in this case several.

  8. Default

    Thinking of cutting out some of our trip......should we skip the Rocky Mountains/Mt Rushmore section OR skip Yosemite? These National parks are more out of our way than the one better than the other?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default The compact States.

    With your desire to travel half a day, in three, I would be inclined to stick to Grand Canyon and the National Parks of Utah and Colorado. As well as those on your list, there are other NPs in the area, including Canyonlands, Capital Reef, Mesa Verda, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes, to name just a few. Then there are the National Monuments - Colorado NM, Natural Bridges, Canyon of the Ancients, Canyon De Chelly (in AZ), and don't overlook the State Parks, such as Goblin Valley SP. The beauty of these States is that the attractions are all really quite close together. You should be able to see much of these with averaging around 250 miles every three days.

    The children would probably like other attractions in the area, such as Four Corners... where you can stand in four states at the one time.

    Whereas the other great NPs such as Yellowstone and Yosemite, are on most folks 'must see' list (for good reason), they will still be there when you get a chance to return, and will be more experienced at RV travel and have more of an idea of just how big the distances are... and of course, the children will be older.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default ..or with Yosemite.

    With 4 weeks you could have a great time, but to keep things at a relaxed pace I too would leave the likes of Yellowstone and Rushmore for another day, but possibly include Yosemite and Sequoia NP's with others you mention. From Vegas head to the South rim of the GC and through Monument Valley towards Arches and Canyonlands NP's. You could detour to Four Corners and Mesa Verde on the way. From Arches you could head to Capitol Reef NP and then take Utah scenic 12 through Escalante to Bryce canyon and then to Zion NP. From Zion you could make your way to Yosemite via the ET Highway and Tonopah to Lee Vining and cross the Sierras on the Tioga pass [CA120]. You would have to check the status of the pass as it usually opens anytime from mid-May into June after the snow plows have cleared the way. If it were closed you could head up towards Lake Tahoe and enter Yosemite from the west. Next up Sequoia NP and back to Vegas via Death Valley to complete an incredible journey with much more to see in between these great parks!

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