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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default

    As well as the concerns above some of your routing doesn't make sense. For example the South rim to the North rim then back on yourselves to Monument valley and then back again to Zion. I think you need to drop either Yosemite and SF or the Colorado portion of your trip to make it manageable, fun and to avoid night driving.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,987

    Default that's what you call trimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by kanadianDri3 View Post
    So we have done some trimming and organized our trip a little more. It's going to be full and we will not have a lot of time to breath.
    Not having time to breathe is about the only thing in your plan that seems correct. You haven't trimmed nearly enough, and you've left yourself with a plan that at best isn't leaving you any time to see anything and will endanger your friendships, and at worst has some homicidally dangerous expectations.

    I mean your idea to see Rocky Mountain National Park in the day, spend ALL NIGHT driving to Grand Teton, and then spend the next day seeing Grand Teton and driving to Yellowstone? That's simply absurd.

    Seeing Yellowstone during the day and then driving through the night and getting to Death Valley the next afternoon is equally ridiculous.

    Those sort of plans not only aren't reasonable, at best you're going to get yourself into a situation where you are miserable, at worst, you are actually going to kill someone by operating a 2-ton machine while at the brink of exhaustion.

    Most of the rest of your trip is only slightly better. As others have said, some of the routing doesn't make much sense, and even when it does, you are literally bouncing from place to place, perhaps checking places off a list to say you've been there, but not actually giving yourself to any time to actually see them.

    And then on top of it all, I can't see how this plan would in any way, shape, or form, fit in with your previously stated goal of doing this while camping. Camping is going to take time that you don't have, and as was previously discussed, if you want to find places without reservations, then you really need to be arriving early in the day - the exact opposite of what you're doing with your plan to see places in the morning, and then take off on several hour drives to your next destination in the afternoon.

    Real simply, if you want this to work, you've still got quite a bit to cut and rework, or you're going to end up having a trip that is memorable for all of the wrong reasons.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Camping is going to take time that you don't have, and as was previously discussed, if you want to find places without reservations, then you really need to be arriving early in the day - the exact opposite of what you're doing with your plan to see places in the morning, and then take off on several hour drives to your next destination in the afternoon.
    This bit is of particular relevance to me and I'd like to expand on it a little if you don't mind.

    I also planned to, when expecting to stay at campgrounds, arrive in the afternoon. Are you saying this won't work? The idea was, play around until noon - 2 pm, then drive for 3 - 4 hours arriving between 3 and 6 pm at a campground for the evening. In summer this should give ~3-5 hours of daylight to work with. My tent is a pop-up and all I'd really require is being able to stop, find a place to camp, get a few things ready, probably cook a meal, and relax around the campfire for an hour before going to bed. Is this not feasable? My camping will mostly be happening in British Columbia and across the northern midwest, and I don't expect to stay in really big, popular national parks so ... given that, should I still change my expectations? Thanks!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bji View Post
    My camping will mostly be happening in British Columbia and across the northern midwest, and I don't expect to stay in really big, popular national parks so ... given that, should I still change my expectations? Thanks!
    The short answer is, it depends.

    Mid-week, in places that aren't "big, popular national parks," finding a camping spot shouldn't be too difficult. Spots in and around those popular national parks, as well as some smaller places on weekends, will often fill up even by noon.

    In the case of the creator of this thread, he's looking pretty much exclusively at visiting the most popular national parks in the country - and hoping that he'll be able to find spots late in the day in or near those parks, and that's going to be difficult, to say the least.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,696

    Default Keep at it !!

    Yellowstone to Death Valley is more than 850 miles. Sorry, guys, that's a no-go, and to drive any of that stretch at night would be a little nuts (and a bit of a waste--you'd miss beautiful mountain scenery). You should re-think that piece of it.

    Rick.
    day 15 - visit Yellowstone - night drive to Death valley
    day 16 - still on the road. Maybe stop by Great Basin - late afternoon: arrive at Death valley -
    Rick may have missed the following day's plans, probably due to the fact you said "night drive to Death valley" rather than "Night drive towards Death valley" but even so night drives are not a good idea after a day sight seeing. Now if by night you possibly mean into evening and you plan to start your drive around 4pm and drive for 2 or 3 hours then that can work, as long as it's not continuous and you have set up camp by 8pm when quiet hours normally start. But even that wouldn't work in this case, if you left Yellowstone at 2pm and got near Twin Falls for the night, you would still have a full days drive to get to DV.

    The thing you have to keep in mind is setting a pace where you have time to enjoy the place you are visiting without constantly clock watching and being anxious about reaching the next place in time. Driving in National parks is slow going and there is much to see, for example arriving at the South rim during the afternoon, you could possibly head west to Hermits rest, but the next day you can spend half the day travelling along Desertview drive enjoying the viewpoints making it almost a full day from south rim to North rim. Now you really need most of the next day to explore the various areas of the north rim and stay closer by. Trying to visit 2 National parks and (Arches and Canyonlands) and then drive 4 hours to your destination is another thing you need to think about and take that thought with you as you plan through your trip.

    Don't give up, you have the makings of an amazing and memorable trip with your mates and I always start with way to much, it's just a case of realising it is better to have quality time at less places and really see them than it is rushing from one place to another and actually enjoying and remembering little. I would look to head to DV, up through the Great basin into Yellowstone and out through the Tetons and enjoy the parks of Southern Utah and Arizona.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    4,505

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    Arches and Canyonlands in the same day, while camping? Ouch, that probably won't happen. As has been said before, you will be extremely lucky if you get a site after about 10 am at almost every park I've ever been at. Some places have reservations available, so I'd definitely be looking at that. Arches has the Devil's Garden campground. If nothing is available, and it's a weekday (vs weekend), you could try one of the BLM sites along UT-128 near Moab.

    Arches, just to drive the scenic road, get out at the viewpoints, take a few photos, is going to take the better part of 6 hours. Bring your own food with you, as there are no food concessions in the park itself. Then you have the drive to Canyonlands, and then another few hours to actually see something there. When will you have time to set up and tear down camp?

    I'm with the others who say it's time to further cut back. Save something for another trip. If you try to overdo on this trip, it's quite a probability that next time there's an opportunity for a trip, you'll look back , groan, and say, "Oh, no, not again!" because you overplanned. Cut back. You will be able to appreciate everything you DO see, to a whole new level.


    Donna

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