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  1. Default 9 Days trip to visit National Parks in CA and Utah, advice appreciated.

    Our family (2 adults and our son) plan to visit in the end of June to beginning of July. This is my plan.
    Day 1 Arriving at Las Vegas
    Day 2 Driving through Death Valley, stayed at Yosemite National Park
    Day 3 Visiting Yosemite
    Day 4 driving to Great Basin National Park
    Day 5 Tour Great Basin National Park, stay at closeby
    Day 6 driving to Zion Park,
    Day 7 visit Zion Park and Grand Canon Park North Rim, and drive back to Las Vegas
    Day 8 tour one day at Las Vegas
    Day 9 fly back

    I would appreciate if you have any suggestions/comments. We plan to stay at hotels/motels instead of camping. The list of NPs could be revised.

    Thanks a lot
    soonerfw

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome!

    A couple observations - Great Basin is out in the middle of absolutely nowhere. The closest lodging is in Ely, which is over 60 miles away. Day 7 sounds almost impossible to accomplish in one day, it's 2.5 hours from Zion to the North Rim, then 5 hours back to Las Vegas.

  3. Default

    Hello glc,
    Thanks for your comments. Do you think Great Basin is worth the look? I can skip it, instead, how about visit Bryce Canon? For day 7, in that case, I can drive back to Las Vegas on Day 8.

    Thanks again,
    soonerfw

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Either Great Basin or Bryce wouldn't make much difference that I can see as far as time on the road goes. The point to point mileage is within 15 miles. I can't comment on Great Basin because I've never been in there, but Bryce Canyon is spectacular. There is lodging right at the Bryce entrance, plus more hotels in Tropic and Panguitch.

    I misspoke earlier - there is limited lodging in Baker, just outside Great Basin.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Bryce for me !

    I have yet to visit Great Basin but I do agree it does stretch things a bit to much when you consider the time you have available overall and what you wish to do on day 7, although it's just about doable. What I would suggest is you drive to Yosemite as planned and on day 3 set yourself up for the night in Lee Vining, east of the park. Day 4 you could drive to Zion [Springdale is a great little town] and then day 5 spend strolling in the canyon, it's amazing ! Day 6 visit Bryce canyon and then head towards the North rim, perhaps staying in Jacob Lake. Next morning visit the North rim and head back to Vegas.

    The National parks are very popular and even more so in the summer season, so whatever you decide I would start looking for lodgings and book them.

    If you are coming in on an International flight you could consider reversing your trip and make the first driving leg a shorter one while you adjust your body clocks.

  6. Default

    Thanks all for the comments and I made a few changes. Instead of flying to Las Vegas, we will fly to San Franscisco. My wife wants to visit some old friends there. Here is my new plan.

    Day 1: fly to SFO,
    Day 2: Drive to Yosemite, stay close by
    day 3: Visit Deadth Valley, and lodge at Las Vegas
    day 4-5: Driving to Zion, visit Zion, Bryce, Grand Canon North Rim if possible.
    day 6-7 drive back to SFO
    day 8: visiting friends at SFO
    day 9: back home

    Any suggestions are welcome. This forum is really helpful.

    Thanks again,
    soonerfw
    Last edited by soonerfw; 05-01-2013 at 08:21 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    You are shy about 2 days to be able to do this comfortably because you moved the start/end point to SFO. I ran various routings through my software and this is about a 2000 mile trip. You can do it, but you won't have any time to enjoy the attractions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

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    day 4-5: Driving to Zion, visit Zion, Bryce, Grand Canon North Rim if possible.
    In 2 days, you're going to try to visit 3 national parks and drive nearly 500 miles? I don't know how you'll have time to do any of these parks justice at this pace.

    If you're going to try to pack all of this in, I'd recommend you try to fly into SFO and fly home from Vegas - or vice versa. That's going to save you at least a full day worth of driving. You're still going to be at a very rushed pace to see all these places, but at least you'll have time to snap a couple of pictures before you move onto your next stop!

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