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  1. Default Vegas, grand canyon, yellowstone, yosemite, san fran, LA in 10 days!

    Hi everyone, I was planning on doing a bus tour that did a similar route but it got cancelled. I know that it's a lot to cram in to 10 days, but is this alright? Also, any tips for each place, anything I've missed along the way? I've hired a convertible mustang, which I'm now thinking is a really bad choice; especially with chances of snow! This is my planned itinerary. Starting 28th September, ending 8th October:

    28th: Vegas to Grand canyon, stay in st. George
    29th: Lake Powell, Bryce canyon, antelope canyon
    30th: Jackson and Grand Teton, stay somewhere close to yellowstone
    1st: Yellowstone + stay close to yellowstone
    2nd: Yellowstone, stay in salt lake city
    3rd: Drive (long drive) salt lake city to somewhere near death valley/tioga pass
    4th: Yosemite
    5th: Yosemite, stay in San Fran
    6th: San Fran, stay in San Fran
    7th: 17 mile drive, stay in LA
    8th: LA to Vegas to return car

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm sorry, but I just don't think you have a good understanding of how far apart things are in the west. You're just not giving yourself enough time to see the places you've listed, and have time to actually make the drives between them.

    Vegas to the Grand Canyon back to St. George would be about 9 hours of driving, assuming you went to the North Rim. That doesn't leave any time left to actually see the Canyon.

    Bryce Canyon to Jackson is a long day on the road just to drive, and wouldn't leave any time at all to see Grand Teton.

    Yellowstone is a huge park where you need a minimum of 2-3 days to do it justice.

    You could drive from SLC to Lee Vining, near Tioga Pass in a day, but that's if you do nothing but drive and you don't include Death Valley. You can't make it there, even if you try to drive through DV.

    SF to LA via the coast/17 mile drive requires at least 2 days.

    In reality, you need to double your available time to fit everything in on your agenda in 10 days. You're going to have to cut some things out. I'd probably start with Yellowstone, as it is a very long way away from the rest of your locations, and by early October, the park is going into winter mode with very limited services available. Cutting that alone wouldn't be enough, but it would be a start.

  3. Default

    I know that it's going to be a VERY hectic trip, with leaving at 6am and arriving at hotels at 11pm. I also know that I won't have too much time at each place. I would love to extend the trip, but there is just no way that I can. I think I will cancel the Grand canyon and just do it on a bus tour from vegas. Other than that I would really like to stick to that plan! I certainly appreciate your comments though, and I know I won't be able to fully experience each place!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I'm not sure how I can explain this better: What's the point of going places if you don't have time to see them?

    What you've laid out isn't a hectic trip, it's a trip that's going to be impossible to do safely. You can't safely be on the road from 6am to 11pm every day for nearly 2 weeks. Even if you could, it's foolish on a number of levels. Heck, even if you could sustain that pace, some of the things you're proposing to do can't physically be done even on that dangerous timeline.

    Daytrips from Vegas to the Grand Canyon generally do not go to the National Park, they typically go to the closer, and much less impressive West Rim. Trips that actually go to the National Park via bus are pointless because by the time you get off the bus, look over the edge, you essentially need to get right back on the bus. You can say you've been to the Grand Canyon at that point, but you'll be fooling yourself if you think you've actually seen it.

    We certainly can't stop you from trying to push forward with this death march of a trip, but I'd certainly ask yourself what's the point? Is it that important to you to be able to say you've been to these amazing places, that you don't care that you won't have time to actually appreciate and enjoy any of them?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default No comparison!

    Trying to do alone what a bus tour would have done, is impossible. Those tours change drivers at regular intervals, are not driving in unfamiliar territory - hence never take a wrong turn - and are only focused on driving, not sightseeing. They allow a minimum of time to sightsee for their passengers, without being distracted by the attraction themselves. Passengers are probably asleep in the bus by the end of the day, a luxury not available to you.

    As a solo driver you are taking all of this on your own shoulders, in an area you have never driven before, do not know the short cuts when there are holdups, and do not have the back up of a big bus company. Neither are you able to notify the attraction ahead of arrival that you are on your way, and given preferential treatment - such as bus lanes and group treatment at special locations..

    If you want to enjoy this trip at all, or even return home from it unscathed, I highly recommend that you follow Michael's advice.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Given the time of the year for this trip, the distance involved, and the fact that Yellowstone facilities will be pretty well closed down in October, you might just want to drop the Yellowstone/Grand Teton portion of the trip. It will give you more time for other things.


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


    I agree with Donna, take yellowstone and the Tetons and SLC out of it and you woud be left with a busy, but enjoyable schedule. I would consider dropping LA as well and cutting inland around cambria and back to vegas. A day in LA would mean most of it being spent in traffic. It is a case of sometimes less is more.

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