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  1. Default Las Vegas to Los Angeles via Yellowstone

    My first post and I have to say, I appreciate the patient and thoughtful answers replied to others! SO thanks in advance!

    Three week plan for mid-late April next year -
    fly into Las Vegas (for no other reason than I think it will be the best starting point) & recover (from Australia!) x 1
    Zion National Park x 1
    Bryce Canyon x 1
    Page & Lake Powell & Antelope Canyon x 2
    Monument Valley, 4 States meet corner, Mesa Verde x 1
    (maybe Durango & train ride) Moab & Arches x 1
    Salt Lake City x 1 (inevitable stopping point?)
    Jackson, Grand Tetons x 1
    Yellowstone x 3 (few nights to have a rest and maybe a catch up if getting here has taken longer)
    Twin Falls - think we'll need a stop on the way, but where?, therefore x 2
    Reno - think we'll need a stop on the way, but where?, therefore x 2
    Sausalito - I want to see some Redwood trees without going too much farther north...?? x1
    Pacific Coast down to Los Angeles x 3 or 4 (I believe it's better to drive this North to South?)
    Fly home to Australia.

    Grand Canyon and Yosemite are deliberate omissions - been there several times. Lake Tahoe would be a welcome addition somewhere.

    I'd love to have detailed maps of THIS route rather than an atlas which would cover all of USA in superficial detail - if I'm right in this supposition?

    I look forward to feedback and advice. At a pinch, we could stretch out another 3 - 4, maybe 5 days, if required :-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    I hate to disappoint you, but Yellowstone is still in winter mode in late April, and very few roads and facilities are open.

    Most park roads are not open to motorized vehicle traffic between mid-March and late April while plowing is underway. The closed roads begin opening April 26, 2013. Please see the spring road opening schedule below for details.

    The North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through the park to Cooke City, Montana, is open all year. Please note that the road is closed just east of Cooke City from late fall to late spring.

    For 2013, roads will open, weather permitting, to motorized wheeled vehicles as follows:
    Friday, April 26: West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful
    Friday, May 3: Norris Junction to Canyon Junction; Canyon Junction to Fishing Bridge; and Fishing Bridge to East Entrance (Sylvan Pass)
    Friday, May 10: Fishing Bridge to Grant to South Entrance
    No later than Friday, May 24: Tower Junction to Tower Fall; Cooke City to Chief Joseph Hwy.
    After May 24 (tentative): West Thumb Junction over Craig Pass to Old Faithful
    Early June: Tower Fall to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass)
    Friday, June 14: Beartooth Highway

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome!

    I hate to disappoint you, but Yellowstone is still in winter mode in late April, and very few roads and facilities are open.
    I appreciate that information!! We're planning to fly out 19th April - puts us to Yellowstone 28th. Cutting it very fine and of course next year could be different. Obviously (I'm guessing!!) there's lots to see but Old Faithful would be top of the list and could be do-able. We still have the luxury of flexibility and could push our departure out to 25th or 26th. It's already later than the very first plan to make sure Mesa Verde was 'open'. On the flip side though, we don't want it getting too warm.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default May ?

    I would certainly plan on later rather than sooner when travelling to Yellowstone, into May if possible and arrive to Yellowstone Mid May.

    Your plan looks good, but a little rushed through parts of the earlier stages. You could get from Yellowstone to Reno quite comfortably in 2 days, saving 2 days which I would add between Zion and Moab giving you more time to enjoy these wonderful National Paks etc.

    If you have no real interest in SLC other than a place to stop the night, you could consider heading up through Vernal and Rock Springs. Colorado National Monument, Dinosaur NM and Flaming Gorge Res would be among attractions you could choose to stop at.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lianne View Post
    On the flip side though, we don't want it getting too warm.
    I really don't think you have to worry about that at all if you push this trip back to May. Cold is much more likely to be a problem than heat.

    Even in Moab, likely to be one of the hottest places on your trip, the average high temperature in May is only 80F/28C and the overnight low is 48F/9C. In Yellowstone, in early May, you're likely to see temperatures around 45F/7C during the day, and 25F/-4C at night.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    I really don't think you have to worry about that at all if you push this trip back to May. Cold is much more likely to be a problem than heat.
    That's very good advice, thank you all. Trip is now looking at a May 2014 departure :-) Will scoot around Salt Lake City and see the other sights as recommended and re-apportion generous travelling days Yellowstone - Reno to earlier sights. Really, really appreciate the input.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-08-2013 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Fixed quote format

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default

    Another thing to think about Lianne is the fares from Australia to L A drop a lot for May. Ive found may compared to april is at least 4 hundred dollars cheaper per person return. When i asked why, i was told a lot more people take holidays in april. I wouldnt have thought so but ill go with that. Ill be there again this may for 5 weeks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default

    We arrived in Yellowstone Mid May in 2011 and the road between Yellowstone and Jackson had just opened.A lot of the park roads were still closed and camping and RV parks just opening.
    Fishing Bridge RV Park had a lot of snow around. If you are heading to the coast you should try and get to Crater Lake. Beautiful.
    We were early because I was on a mission to get to Moab for my wifes birthday surprise.

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