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  1. Default Roadtrip Vegas to monument valley, zion, death valley, yosemite, san fran

    Hi we are planning a road trip holiday in July starting at Las vegas picking up hire car (large SUV) on 5 July then to Monument valley staying at The View (booked for 7 July). We would prefer not to prebook our accom as it gives us more freedom but are not sure if this is silly considering that it is peak summer hols.

    We need to be back in San Fran by 17 July but otherwise we plan to road trip our way. We would like to see Zion NP, Death Valley, Yosemite but are open to suggestions. My husband was very keen to seen MV that is why we are going up there and our idea is LV - Kingman - Flagstaff (we have allowed 2 days) then after MV thought we would go via Page to Zion then down to Las Vegas and then Pahrump to Death Valley to Yosemite and then tioga pass to San Fran. Are we crazy thinking we can do all this in 13 days???? Is there places we should go and others to avoid??

    We are a family of 5 from Australia - 2 adults, 2 kids and an adult niece.

    Thanks in anticipation of your ideas.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hi Kaye, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Last things first. You may find this site helpful, if you would like not to have to book two hotel rooms every night.

    The first obvious oversite which jumps out at me is the Grand Canyon. Of course you may have a good reason for that. You will be passing right by there, and I for one, find it hard to pass without 'calling in'.

    You are certainly planning on packing a lot into 13 days, which may not exactly make it a relaxed holiday. For me, it would make much more sense returning to LV and flying out of there. Is there a special reason to go to SF? (It could also mean your car rental and / or flights would work out cheaper.)

    With five, I would definitely book ahead, especially as you say, during the top tourist season.

    A little hint, if you have not been to North America before, take a small flag with you, and put it in the rear window of the car. Also make sure you bring your Automobile Club Membership (RACV, NRMA, etc) with you. It will give you access to free maps and tourist information from the AAA. You will need good maps - don't be tempted to rely solely on a Satnav. You may be able to get the Indian Country map, which is by far the best map covering the area of your trip.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Monument Valley

    The main thing to keep in mind about Monument Valley is that it is not a US national park. It is a Navajo Tribal Park. As such it is not developed to nearly the extent that you may be expecting. In particular, most of the roads through the more impressive geological formations are rutted dirt. So chances are that you will not be permitted to take your rented car (even though it may be a 'sport-utility' vehicle) through the park, since most rental contracts prohibit driving on either 'unpaved' (usual contract language) or 'unmaintained' (occasional contract language) roads. You should check this detail before you pay extra for capabilities in your rental vehicle that you won't be allowed to use. In any event, you might be better off hiring one of the native guides and their jeep to take you through the park, especially if this is a prime destination for your husband.

    Also, besides the major parks you have listed, you might also want to consider stops at some of the lesser known sights such as Goosenecks State Park, Valley of Fire State Park, and Mojave National Preserve. For more information on this general area, check out some of these discussion.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-02-2014 at 11:42 AM.

  4. #4


    hi, see our trip from July 2011 here.

    scroll down for the full itinerary. Death valley will be a hell in July, and there is only one hotel which will be probably packed.Suggest to just pass through it, leave the car for 10 mins make pics and leave as airconditioned as possible. i recommend Yosemite (but surrounding areas are nothing special), Flagstaff (old west town friendly people!!! we had the greatest time), Gran Canyon and MV (you MUST go there, it's in all western movies)

    Kingman is no more than a service may want to stop and see hoover Dam, on the way from LV to Arizona.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 02-14-2014 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Good nieghbour rules/link format.

  5. Default

    Hi Lifey
    Thanks for the great website link I think that will be very handy. We have decided to do Grand Canyon and only reason we weren't was because we are doing a flight from Las vegas but have decided to stay at the village on our way to Monument valley.

    We are going to San Fran because my husband wants to go there and also because we are doing Yosemite and thought it was logical to go onto San Fran.
    Thanks again for your advise and suggestions.

  6. Default

    Thanks AZBuck we understand the limits with hire cars and plan to do a guided tour of MV whilst we are there.

    I will have a look at your other suggestions and see what we can fit in.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Know what tour you are getting.

    We have decided to do Grand Canyon and only reason we weren't was because we are doing a flight from Las vegas
    Visiting the National park is a wonderful thing and well worth taking the time to do. Most tours from Vegas only go to the West rim which is not part of the National park and will not give you the spectacular views that have been made famous the world over through film and photography. You could drive to Williams or Tusayan from Vegas and continue to Grand canyon next day, Tusayan is the nearest and the dearest option. If you spend the whole day in the park then the Cameron Trading post would make a good choice for the following night. It is located just out of the east entry point and on route to Monument valley and is a mini destination in itself with interesting stores and a restaurant.

    You have a reasonable amount of time for a great trip and I would check out Bryce canyon, it's a little out of the way but could easily be fitted in in between Monument valley and Zion with an overnight stay.

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