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  1. Default 12 days trip 3000 miles...

    Hi I'm going with my wife in the middle of may for 12 days trip from San francisco -Elko -Twin falls-Yellowstone- Bryce-zion -Grand Canyon-Las Vegas-Los Angeles and back to San Francisco. My question is- is it enough time to see all of this beautiful places and what exactly we should focus on.Are there any good and cheap hotels near Yellowstone,Bryce and Zion Park? Thank You for all suggestions and advises...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Well, Yes and No

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Yes, you could conceivably make the drive you are proposing in the time allotted. You could even make it in as little as six days and do it safely and comfortably. But would it be enough to see all of those beautiful places? Only if by seeing them, you mean that you get to pay the admission price, drive in, shoot a couple of pictures, and then drive on. Certainly not enough time to see "all" of any of the national parks on your list. In point of fact, you'd see very little of Yellowstone at all. Many of the roads there are still snowbound in May - many services at Old Faithful, for example, do not open until mid-May (sometimes later) and some other park facilities do not open until June.

    So, I would forego Yellowstone on this trip and concentrate on the parks of southern Utah and northern Arizona. Not only would this give you more time in the parks you've already got on your list, but would let you visit some of the many other parks in that general area without having to drive days and hundreds of miles to get to each 'new' one.


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

    Default Totally agree.

    I have to agree with Buck, I would concentrate my time in Cali, Utah and Arizona and leave Yellowstone for another day where you will have moe time to enjoy that area with other nearby attractions. It's just too far to make the whole trip 'special' and you really need 3 to 4 days to fully appreciate Yellowstone when fully open for the season.

    If that's what you decide to do then you could first head south down the coast which has the advantage of putting the Ocean on your side of the road. Take the scenic coast road between Monterey and Cambria [CA1]and allow at least one overnight stop. You could then head inland to the GC and up through Page to Bryce canyon, Zion and back down to Vegas. On route to Page you could detour to Monument valley and around Page you will find Lake Powell, Antelope canyon, Glen canyon dam etc.

    From Vegas you could then drive across Death valley and to Yosemite NP, which is one of the finest of all the parks imo. The waterfalls will be flowing this time of year making it more of a spectacle. The spectacular Tioga Pass [CA120]that takes you across the Sierras into Yosemite typically opens between mid May and end of June which gives you a slightly better chance of it being open by leaving this untill nearer the end of your trip. If Tioga is closed you would have to go south around the mountains via Lake Isabella/Bakersfield and enter Yosemite from the west side. Going this way would also give you the chance to visit Sequoia NP, home of the largest living thing on earth, the General Sherman tree.

    You would be on the go to see this 'little' lot, but at least it will give you more time to enjoy the parks away from the confines of the car.

  4. Default

    Thank You very much for quick response...There is no doubts that You both have a right,I was always dreaming about to see Yellowstone Park.Unfortunately its not very easy to me to go there again, because i'm travelling from Poland,and now i have to change everything.Once again thanks for tips...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not impossible.

    The weather is totally unpredictable and it's a time of year you could experience any type of weather around Yellowstone. If you really wanted to visit there, you could consider flying in and out of Vegas or Salt Lake City and drop the Cali coast, ie. LA and SF from your plans.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Are there any good and cheap hotels near Yellowstone,Bryce and Zion Park?
    Good, yes. Cheap, no.

  7. Default

    Thanks guys, I think the best we can do now is follow Your suggestion Dave.I've checked route You proposed to me,and I have to tell You looks more than good.My only concern is how much time do we need to spend in every of this place? Where we should make stops?Thank You...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Building blocks.

    Your final plan should come down to what it is that interests you the most, but heres a start. [I'm not sure if you are based in SF and therefor require no sight seeing time there or not?]

    Day 1] SF to Cambria/Cayacus area via Monterey and Big Sur on CA1.
    Day 2 and 3] To LA/ sightsee LA.
    Day 4] To Grand canyon, perhaps stop Williams or Tusayan or in the park.
    Day 5] Explore Grand canyon. Stay GC, Cameron Trading Post or Page.
    Day 6] Continue to Bryce canyon.
    Day 7] Bryce to Zion PM.
    Day 8] Zion to Vegas PM
    Day 9] Las Vegas.
    Day 10] Across Death valley to Lone Pine and north on 395 to Bishop/Mammoth Lakes. [Bakersfield if Tioga closed]
    Day 11] Into Yosemite explore.
    Day 12] Explore Yosemite to SF pm.

    If you do not live in the Bay area and wish to explore SF [great City] then I would suggest skipping the urban sprawl of LA and head inland from the Cambria area. Personally I would skip LA altogether with your time constraints and enjoy a slightly slower pace throughout your trip, but only you can make that call. If you want time to see each of SF and LA then natural 'sacrifice' would be Bryce canyon as it's a little out on a limb

  9. Default Thank You!

    Thank You!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO

    Default Copied from a private message

    Quote Originally Posted by zohan
    Hello GLC
    I'm going to drive between 19-22 May from Las Vegas to Yosemite across Death Valley .Do You think that Tioga Pass will be opened at that time?It is important to us, because we want to book a hotels in advance. Thank You
    Impossible to determine at this time. The only guaranteed ways across the Sierras are CA-178 and CA-58 to the south, and CA-88, US-50, and I-80 to the north. Go ahead and book, but make sure you have a 24 hour cancellation privilege.

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