Hello! I have about 10 days off of work from May 30th to June 8th this year. I'm supposed to go visit my friend in San Diego, but as I was checking prices on flights, I realized that I would much rather drive (even if it's a long trip). Google tells me that it's about 2200-2500 miles from Grand Rapids, MI to San Diego, depending on the route I take. That's maybe 30-35 hours of driving time each way (a good chunk of my 10 days). I also would like to spend 2 or 3 days in southern California with my friend that I am going to see.
I need your help to use the rest of my time wisely! I would like to spend a day (and night) in both the Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks. Any advice or recommendations on things to do with possibly only one day in each of these parks would be great. My friend (and driving buddy) and I would like to camp for most of the nights to and from San Diego. We're driving a Subaru Forester and we'll be camping in a tent. We're also beginner hikers (but hopefully our knowledge and experience is growing!).
On the drive to California from Michigan, we will be going through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. On our trip back to Michigan, we will go through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois.
Please let me know some recommendations and advice on places to camp and things to see in the two national parks and along our routes!