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  1. Default Danville CA to Yellowstone Park

    I am planning a summer road trip with 3 kids from Danville CA to Yellowstone Park. We want to also stop by Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. Because of the kids, we cannot drive more than 5 hours a day and I also want to take a different route for my return trip, preferrably taking the Reno,Lake Tahoe route. Any suggestion is welcomed. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Suggestions.

    How much time have you got available for this trip ? To hit the spots mentioned while going to the North rim you will be looking at between 8 and 9 days of driving for 5 hours per day. On the way out you could go via Yosemite and Tioga Pass [CA120] to Mammoth Lakes and then direct to Vegas with both days being more like 6 hours with short stops. Of course if you have the time you could stop in Yosemite, then perhaps Bishop and then drive across Death valley to Vegas. From Vegas to Jacob Lake for the North rim could be done within your 5 hours but again you could break the trip up with visits to other attractions such as Valley of Fire and Zion NP. You could then get to Jackson WY [Grand Tetons and gateway to Yellowstone] in 2 days via I15 and stop over around Provo UT or you could take an extra day or two and head towards Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef NP's on scenic UT12 [perhaps stopping the night in Torrey] and then to Vernal before continuing to Jackson via Flaming Gorge Res.

    It's best to plan for at least 3 to 4 days to appreciate Yellowstone, the park is huge and it takes time to get around with traffic and animal jams.

    Coming home, Twin Falls would make a good first stop with a visit to Shoshone Falls and Perrine bridge that crosses the Snake river canyon. Winnemucca NVwould be an option along I80 as the next stop although you could head down to Ely NV and take US50 aka, The Lonliest Road to Reno and Lake Tahoe before the final leg home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Looking at your wish list, you're talking about 2300 miles just driving between the points - Danville to Las Vegas, over to the north rim of the Grand Canyon (south rim means more miles), up to Yellowstone, over to Lake Tahoe and then home. If your kids can only ride in the car for 5 hours a day (?), then you are talking at least 10 days just to drive, driving 200-300 miles per day. The first leg of your trip, to Las Vegas, would be a 2-day drive. To the Grand Canyon, another day. To Yellowstone, another 2 days. To Lake Tahoe, another 2-1/2 days. Home, another day. Then factor in the amount of time you wish to spend at each place. Dave is correct that Yellowstone deserves 3 days, if possible. Add time if you want to go down to Grand Teton NP. Grand Canyon North Rim deserves a day.

    I'm a little puzzled -- my own daughters regularly rode along with us and did fairly well with 400-500 mile days as long as they brought things to do, listen to, etc. We just made sure that we stopped a lot for bathroom/stretch breaks. Now, as adults, they say that they're well-prepared for their own road trips and that they also developed strong muscles while waiting for the rest area to come along! :-) They were road-tripping from about 4 weeks old, since their closest grandparents (mileage-wise) lived 350 miles away -- a 7 hour drive.


  4. Default

    Thank you Dave and Donna for your valuable advice. We have about 16 days for this trip. Do you guys think it's feasible? I will write down the route you suggested and figure out where to stop and look for things to do for kids.

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

    Default A nice amount of time.

    With 16 days available you can have a great trip with time to include some of Utahs NP's and other places mentioned. Of course there are always other options, so explore them all on a map while using RTA for research and when you have dots on the map we can help you to 'fine tune' your trip and make alternative suggestions.

    Don't forget to get the Kids interested in the planning, you will find they will travel much better with a vested interest as to where they are and where they are going.

    Enjoy !

  6. Default

    Thank you Dave. It's a good suggestion to include the kids in planning. I will do that.
    Happy New Year!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Another suggestion for the children.

    Get the children to keep a journal each night, before bedtime. Just an ordinary blank book will do. Something where they can write a little of the hilight of the day, stick in pictures, souvenirs or entry tickets. Just anything at all to remind them day by day, of the trip.

    Even a three to six year old can do this, with a little help from Mum. They can draw a picture of their hilight, paste in tickets and pics and with a little help from a parent, have a few words written to explain. If you have problems with this concept, it may pay to get some help from their teachers. It was my grandchildren's teachers (in the US) who first encouraged them to keep a journal. Now they have a shelf full of books of all the places they have been. Mum has added photo albums to their collection.


  8. Default

    Hi Dave, we changed our plan and I don't know how to post a new thread so I reply in here. We will only go to Las Vegas from Danville CA this summer. We have 3 kids and so we decide to plan not more than 5 hours driving everyday. I want to stay 3 days in Lake Tahoe/Reno, then 5 days in Las Vegas including visiting Grand Canyon. On my return ride, I would like to go to Hearst Castle and Monetery. (total 3 days). Can you help me to plan this trip? Thank you so much.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default First thoughts.


    Have you still got 16 days available ? What would you like help with ?

    First thing that stands out is the fact you say that you will include a trip to the Grand canyon during your stay in Vegas. First of all, it would take at least one overnight stay in the National park to really appreciate it and is what I would recommend. Day tours from Vegas generally go to the West rim on Indian Lands and where it is at one end of the Grand canyon, it is not part of the world famous National park and does not offer the same views and is more expensive. So plan to spend at least one night in the National park or nearby. It shouldn't be a problem as you might find 3 nights in Vegas enough as a family with kids. From the Grand canyon you could then travel to the coast and not go back to Vegas.

    You could consider reversing the order of your trip so that you head south down the coast and put the ocean on your side of the road, making the pull outs on the ocean side easier to access without having to cross traffic flow.

    To break the journey up to Las Vegas you could travel down US395 and stop in Bishop or Lone Pine the night and then drive across Death valley the following day. It'll be hot but you can enjoy much of the landscape from the comfort of your air-conned car. Along 395 you will find Mono Lake and the June Lake loop road.

    From the Grand canyon to the coast you would be looking to break the journey around Barstow which will take around 6 hours on the first day, but you can break it up with a visit to the route 66 town of Kingman and a small detour before then would take you on a section of old route 66 through Seligman. You could shorten the journey to Barstow by staying the night in Williams after visiting the South rim.

  10. Default

    Thanks Dave. No, we only have 10 days only. Since I am not familiar with the route number. Let me summarize your suggestion.
    Danville ------->Monterey------->hearst castle -------->Grand Canyon--------->Las Vegas--->Deaath Valley------->Reno/Lake Tahoe------>home
    is this right?

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