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  1. Default Family trip with 2 kids Utah-Vegas- Yosemite

    Hello ... My name is Aimee...I want some input on where are te best "go To's" if we travel from Utah to Vegas to Yosemite. This is an 8day trip from May 31- arriving Utah and leaving possible on 7th June or latest 9thJune.. We are doing this road trip with our 2 children ages 8y/o and 6-3/4y/o...
    I really need some input, have read some blogs like:

    Utah- Zion (Narrows, Angel's Landing,Canyon)- Moab-Arches- Las Vegas-GrandCanyon (south)-then head to California through Death Valley and to Yosemite...

    These are just some landmarks I could think of...

    Any help or advice would really help and thus Im appreciative of...

    Thanks!
    -Aimee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default The full picture.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    When you say "arriving Utah" where will you be starting out from to actually get there, Salt Lake City perhaps ? Seeing the bigger picture will help us to help you.

    With just 8 days you have so much to choose from with a relatively short amount of time to travel. Knowing the actual start and finish points wil be a big help in advising which order might work the best, as it's unusual to start a road trip from Zion and end in Yosemite.

  3. Default

    Hello... well as someone that had never done a road trip, I was just delegated by my husband to research this task.. Honestly not good at it. All Im basing is from the websites Ive looked and readings on blogs...

    I guess from Salt Lake arriving in the am of the 31stMay...(1-2days) I guess we want to hit Zion...then some people mentioned a The Narrows,Canyon Park or Angels landing, Valley of Fire park, Dinosaur discovery museum, Grafton. (Another 1-2 days)- Then head to Bryce to Capitol reef and or see Arches / Moab/Canyon lands/ Goblin Valley...Then see at Vegas the grand canyon (a day) then head to California and stay a night and to Yosemite for a day... I guess Honestly no clue what to do...Sorry, need help




    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    When you say "arriving Utah" where will you be starting out from to actually get there, Salt Lake City perhaps ? Seeing the bigger picture will help us to help you.

    With just 8 days you have so much to choose from with a relatively short amount of time to travel. Knowing the actual start and finish points wil be a big help in advising which order might work the best, as it's unusual to start a road trip from Zion and end in Yosemite.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Back to basics.

    Whereas the reading of blogs and forums is one of the most valuable ways to learn about your options, it has obviously been a cause of confusion for you. So let's go back to basics.

    From your reading you have no doubt made a list of those places which sound of interest to you and your family. What may help you a great deal now is to get out some good quality old fashioned paper maps, such as those produced by AAA. If you are a member they are free. I'd get at a minimum, the map of UT, NV, AZ and CA. They may also have some more detailed maps of the area, such as the Indian Country map. I notice also that they have a new series which features States from border to border. (You can't have too many maps.)

    Sit down with the maps, and hopefully also with your husband, and just look to see how many national parks and state parks and other attractions are marked on those maps. Look at the options for scenic routes - they are marked with a dotted line. A little research will make it clear which parks interest you most. Once you are someway along with that project you will have more of an idea as to where you want to go. Don't worry too much about the route. Members here will be able to help you refine it into an efficient mileage and time wise route.

    Have you considered flying into and out of Las Vegas?

    Enjoy the planning, it is so much part of the trip.

    Lifey

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

    Default The Canyons.

    Ok, here is a couple of things to consider.

    I first of all think that you are planning to do far to much with only 8 or 9 days at your disposal, that's why I asked about your plans to see if this was part of a bigger trip, or you had to get to and from an airport before Zion and after Yosemite. Distances in the south west can be deceiving as can the size of the parks.

    Zion NP is a wonderful park with great sights and plenty of easy walks that you children will enjoy, DO NOT ATTEMPT to take them through the Narrows or Angels landing, neither is suitable for children. The Riverside walk, Weeping rock and Emerald pools are some of the nice walks that are family friendly. At any NP you can get booklets and talk to the park Rangers about what Trails are recommended for your group.

    Yosemite is an amazing park but if you want to do 'the Canyons' I think it's too far from the others for this trip while still having some quality time at those you do visit. If you started out from Vegas you could first head to Zion with a possible detour through Valley of Fire. I would recommend 2 nights there so you have at least a full day to enjoy. The lovely town of Springdale is an ideal base for Zion. The following night you could spend at Bryce canyon and then either head to Moab for Arches and Canyonlands NP's where you will again need a couple of nights, or you could stop overnight on route near Capitol Reef NP. From Moab you could then drive down to Monument Valley and either stay the night nearby or continue to Kayenta or the interesting Cameron Trading post. Next day you could enter the south rim of Grand canyon NP via the east entrance and spend the day admiring the views, witness a sunset over this wonder of the world and stay in the park or nearby. Next day you would close the loop by driving back to Vegas with a possible detour through the quirky route 66 town of Seligman and a stop at the Hoover dam.

    That's one way to fill your days and of course there other alternatives, but that may help get you started and realise how quickly time can go.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Let me second Dave's commentary about The Narrows and Angels Landing. They are definitely NOT for children. Our children enjoyed the Emerald Pools when they were around 8 and 9. It was not a flat walk, as I remember it, but once we reached the pools, the girls loved it.


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default A Reasonable Framework

    OK - Believe it or not, you're actually well on the way down the road (pun intended) of defining your upcoming RoadTrip. You've got a starting point, a basic agenda, a timeframe, and an ending point. Now all you have to do is to determine a basic framework around which to build your trip, fill in a few small details, and you're done. So let's see if we can't help you with that basic framework. As others have pointed out, it's going to be a jam-packed eight days and may, in the end, prove to be too much. Keep that in mind.

    First: If you are landing in Salt Lake City in the early morning, I'm guessing that you are coming on an overnight flight from somewhere. If that's the case, then you shouldn't plan on doing any serious driving on that first day. You simply won't have gotten any meaningful sleep on the flight into SLC. Maybe just make short visits to the Great Salt Lake and the Mormon Temple while mainly resting and getting a good night's sleep before starting out the next day.

    Next, a basic route. This is apparently going to be a loop trip starting and ending in SLC. Such trips can be done in either direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise) but I'll describe a clockwise route. From SLC head south on I-15 past Prove and take US-6 east to US-191 south (duplexed for a bit with I-70 east) to Moab UT and Arches National Park. Then head for the Grand Canyon through Monument Valley using US-191 south, US-163 south, US-160 west, US-89 south and AZ-64 west. AZ-64 is in fact the South Rim Drive along the Canyon with many pullouts and overlooks. When you get to Grand Canyon Village where the Visitor Center is it will be time to turn around and head back out the way you came. Continue on US-89 north through Page and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument past Hatch UT and take UT-12 east to Bryce Canyon National Park. Double back on UT-12 west and US-89 south to Mount Carmel and take UT-9 west to Zion National Park, then continue west to I-15 south to Las Vegas. From there use NV-160 to Parhump and use Bell Vista and Ash Meadow roads to CA-190 through Death Valley National Park. Exit the park to the west on CA-190 and use CA-136 to connect to US-395 north up to Lee Vining. Use CA-120 over Tioga Pass to enter and leave Yosemite National Park and continue on it east to US-6 in Nevada. At Ely Nevada switch over to US-93 and Alt-US-93 to Wendover UT and I-80 east for the final leg of your return to Salt Lake City.

    I realize that the above description might be a bit overwhelming, but get out a good old paper map like everyone is recommending and mark it up. You'll not only see how the route makes sense, but you should also notice a number of other smaller venues along it. 'Hidden' gems like Goosenecks State Park in Utah, the Cameron Trading Post in Arizona, Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, Mono Lake in California, and the Bonneville salt flats on your way back into SLC.

    There are so many opportunities for you on this trip, that I would suggest you cut it back a bit and spend more time at each of fewer sites so that your family can truly appreciate all the wonders they're seeing. As it stands, you'd need a minimum of five days of driving to cover it all, leaving only two or three days to spend actually on the ground at your destinations. I'd probably drop Yosemite and Bryce Canyon, as that would do the most to cut back on the driving and resulting in more of a 50/50 mix between driving and actually being in the many parks still on your list.

    AZBuck

  8. Default

    Again, thank you very much for all your suggestions/ comments/ advices... I would follow your advices and of course have my husband look up on these blogs and get matetials e.g. maps we need to route our trip...I know time is of the essence and will make it be ( if to the point of cutting back one park or so...)

    thank you for your understanding and patience on this matter...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Creating memories.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimeegregory View Post
    thank you for your understanding and patience on this matter...
    Aimee, it's our pleasure. Remember, we've all been there. Now it's time to share. Good to see you take some of the suggestions on board to create a truly unique roadtrip for your family.

    Be sure when you get to a national park that you enquire at the visitor centre for the Junior Ranger program. Your children will benefit greatly from it, and have some treasured souvenirs to take home. You might also think about getting both to keep a journal of the trip. All that takes is for them to record the most memorable thing they did each day. Sit down with the children at a convenient time at the end of the day, and get each child to record was most memorable to them (no prompting now). This can be in the form of words, a drawing, the tickets to a place or an event or even a leaf picked up along the way. Anything which will help them recall the trip. [My three year old grandson still talks me through his journal about the trip to Britain last year. Created of course with Mum's assistance.]

    Lifey

  10. Default

    Just a couple of comments about Zion:

    From the end of the scenic road, there's an easy flat paved riverside walk that's entirely suitable for families. Then the Narrows Trail starts where you have to wade through the river and that's the point where it becomes unsuitable for children.

    The Angels Landing Trail starts with an easy walk beside the river, then up a series of zig zags to the first superb view. That's quite a strenuous pull up but paved and walled, so totally safe, and as far as I would advise anyone with children to go. Beyond that there's a flat trail through Refrigerator Canyon, then another steep set of zig zags (Walters Wiggles), then the extremely dangerous section with the chains and the huge drops to reach the top and that part is most definitely totally unsuitable for children.

    BTW in summer the most scenic area of the park where all these trails are can only be accessed by the park's excellent free shuttle bus service.

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