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  1. Default one way drive trip to Dallas

    Am moving from bay area to Dallas in july. Instead of shipping van, plan to drive from Bay area to Dallas
    I already went through the map wizard on this page and prepared the plan. But want to run it with Gurus on this site so as not to miss.
    Plan is start on july 1st and want to by reach july 4th evening(total of ~4 full days)

    1. On first day take hwy 5 and then 40 and visit Red rock canyon, Mojave, Go through hwy 66 for some distance and get onto hwy 40 to reach Grand canyon, south entrance and stay for the night
    2. Day 2, (go for sunrise from south entrance early in the morning and back home to relax) - planning to drive 6-8hrs only. will be starting late and visit walnut canyon, meteor crater, petrified forest . Anything else? Please suggest place to stay. Also any good camping site?
    3. Day 3, if nothing important is there to see, drive and reach dallas by evening.

    Am a big fan of national parks and already have Grand canyon in my list. am regular visitor to Sierra's so don't want to add to the list. Could you please suggest any other national park, not-to-miss places which can make the trip more enjoyable.

    one of my friend might come with me but high probability of me driving alone.
    Ohh forgot, I like stargazing and prefer to camp if possible.

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

    Default You will need 4 days to do anything other than drive.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I am a little confused as you talk of having 4 days, but say you want to reach Dallas on night 3. Well first of all it's a solid 3 days of driving from the Bay area to Dallas without any diversions or sight seeing. Even if you were to drive direct with no sightseeing , the GC is too much of a drive as a start to a multi day trip. Kingman is the furthest point you should head for and that would be driving direct. From the GC area it is a 2 day drive to Dallas. So if you have 4 days, you could visit GC and a couple of spots from Kingman and perhaps stop in Flagstaff for a 2 day journey to Dallas.

    (go for sunrise from south entrance early in the morning and back home to relax)
    I'm not sure what you mean here but I am pretty sure you don't mean going back to the Bay area !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Definitely Needs a Rethink

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You are really getting off on the wrong foot with a first day that is simply impossible. What you've laid out is a 750 mile drive that would be far more than safe or reasonable even if you hopped out of bed and immediately got on a practically deserted Interstate with a 75 mph speed limit. But you've also got to clear a major metropolitan area during rush hour on the Friday morning of a major holiday weekend and drive a significant portion on surface roads through a fair sized city and take a little-used and poorly maintained 'historic' roadbed and find lodging in or near a major national park at its busiest time of the year. That's simply not going to happen.

    Day 3 is even worse. As near as I can tell from your description, you plan to drive over 950 miles from your last stated stopping point (Walnut Canyon) to Dallas. None of what you've described is even remotely possible, let alone taking extra time to set up camp each night and strike it in the morning. You can certainly make the drive from the Bay Area to Dallas in four days (not three!), but not if you plan to take major detours or spend more than a couple of hours a day on detours and sight-seeing. As you re-plan, keep in mind that you need to cover about 450 miles each and every day and that you can not make up a sight-seeing day by covering 900 miles the next. 550 miles should be your maximum on any given day.


  4. Default

    Sorry, my mistake. I mean go back to hotel room after seeing the sunrise.

    My main idea of stretching first day was to stay near GC so as to see sunrise. I was there before but did not get chance to see the sunrise.
    From my plan on map wizard, did not see any notable places, after I reach santa rosa please advice any places
    Other plan I can think of is
    Day 1 - drive to kingman and stay near by hotel
    Day 2 - Drive to Grand canyon - spend the day at canyon and stay for the night
    Day 3 - See sunrise and start the drive and stay close to santa rosa for the night
    Day 4 - Drive to Dallas

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

    Default That's more like it.

    That's the only way to make the trip work with the time you have and to see the Grand canyon really. You will need to get an early start to make it to Kingman on that 1st day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Better, But...

    Your new plan has a better chance of working, but there are still a couple of possible bugs with it. The first is your plan to get to Kingman on the first day. As noted in my initial response, I think that's being optimistic given that you plan to leave a major metropolitan area on the Friday of a long weekend. Traffic is going to be heavy at best and trying to cover over 600 miles under such conditions, including surface streets for much of it, is verging on wishful thinking. The other potential rough spot is your plan to stay in the Grand Canyon area on the Saturday night of that same holiday weekend. If you don't already have reservations, I think you are in for a severe disappointment. I can almost guarantee that you won't be able to get anything inside the park at this late date unless you are very, very, very lucky, and even Williams, Tusayan, and Flagstaff are likely to be booked up. Check into that immediately.


  7. #7


    1st day from SF to Kingman seems bit long drive unless you want to start early. May want to consider something short drive and then reach GC following evening and stay night in GC.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I will chime in to agree with *need* reservations. The Grand Canyon is hard enough to stay at/in even without the added aggravation of the 4th of July weekend. I'm guessing that the weekend is fully booked. You may be lucky to get into a hotel in Flagstaff (there are quite a few), but that's a good 1-1/2 hours from GCNP. You won't be seeing any sunrise, though you could possibly do a sunset (also beautiful) before heading out.

    I have been planning our summer vacation for several months. I ran into a lot of problems with availability of lodging over the 4th of July weekend, *and* near a national park in the week following. We were planning to get a place near a state park on the 4th weekend -- we were lucky and got a cancellation.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Reservations are only the start.

    I'd go further. Not only do you need reservations at and near a major NP on public holidays, you need a LOT of patience. Only once did I visit the GC on a public holiday. Long queues to enter the park and at all services within the park, not to mention the time it took to find a parking spot. Since I had been there several times I decided to drive down Desert View Drive, and head on to my next destination.


  10. Default

    Thank you all for the responses.. Am getting clear on the route to take.
    Instead of staying at kingman on day 1, will be staying close to Needles(need to look for hotels though)
    Day 2 - Drive to GC and spend the day and see sunset. Booked campsite at Mather campgrounds, GC south rim, just now(only couple more left at the time of booking) so as to drive in early in the morning for sunrise
    Day 3- drive to Santa Rosa (need to book hotel)
    Day 4 - Destination.

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