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  1. #1
    imported_susan Guest

    Default West Coast Must See Spots starting in Vegas

    A friend and I are flying out to Las Vegas for 2 weeks at the begining of june. We are bringing camping gear and plan on hitting up all the national parks, such as grand canyon, zion, bryce, sedonia, canyonlands,yosimite and on the way back stopping by LA. We are looking for any advice on the best route,best photographic and must see places and equipment needed. We were also wondering how to space out the trip, like which spots deserve more than one day? We are also on a tight budget so any advice to save money would be appreciated. Thanks and safe travels to all. Susan

  2. #2

    Default to do around Vegas

    Personally, I think you have already listed plenty to do in two weeks...I would skip the sidetrip to LA. LA can easily take two weeks by itself. I would also skip Yosemite on this trip as well. Very crowded and a bit out of the way.

    In addition to the parks you've named: Arches, Costa Mesa, Durango, CO; Sante Fe, NM; Albuquerque, NM; would be on my list. Four Corners is kinda fun, too.

    There is more than enough to do in just the Vegas/Utah areas without adding more to your trip.

  3. #3
    Don Woodmancy Guest

    Default Costa Mesa?

    I would bet the previous poster meant Mesa Verde.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Good catch

    Costa Mesa kinda stopped me too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default If it were me...

    Two weeks in early June -- I would spend the entire time in Canyonlands NP, especially if you have the capability of doing some hiking/camping. The Maze and the confluence of the Green and the Colorado to be more precise.

    The canyons and buttes of this park offer unmatched photographic opportunites.

  6. #6

    Default Do the Grand Circle

    Starting from Las Vegas go to Sedona, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyonlands: Needles District, Moab, Utah, Canyonlands: Island in the Sky District, Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Scenic Hwy 12, Bryce, Zion and then back to Las Vegas.

    Leave out Yosemite and LA. To much driving in such a short time.

    In Moab, Utah just outside of town on either the Potash Road or Hwy 128 there is BLM camping that is really cheap. The national park campgrounds aren't to expensive but you have to get there pretty early in the day to get a site.

    As far as how much time, well the only place you can make a reservations in the park is Grand Canyon and Zion. I make those at the beginning and end of the trip and kind of wing the rest.

    Take plenty of film because this area is one good picture after another. My favorites don't misses are the hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in the evening just before sunset, Green River overlook in Canyonlands: Island in the Sky district.

    Here is a great web site on this area:


  7. #7
    imported_susan Guest


    I appreciate the advice, It sounds like you guys highly recommend canyonlands. Well here is our ideas on how many days to spend at each place. let me know if it sounds do-able and i would appreciate any feed back:
    1 day in sedonia, 1 day in grand canyon, 4 days to see bryce zion canyonland and arches, 1 day to drive to yosimite, 1 day in yosimite, 1 day to sequoia/king canyon, 3 days in LA to visit a friend, 2 day in vegas = 14 days.
    Is that a good break down and are we leaving out any must see spots or shot we skip out on some stuff? thanks for the help. - Susan

  8. #8

    Default Oops!

    Thanks for cathing my snafu! Costa Mesa would be a bit of a drive. :-)

  9. #9

    Default A lot of driving!

    I hope you realize this is a lot of driving in a short time!
    Las Vegas to Sedona 285 miles,
    Sedona to Grand Canyon 117 miles,
    Grand Canyon to Zion 250 miles,
    Zion to Bryce 85 miles,
    Bryce to Moab 265 miles,
    Moab to Yosemite is 752 miles!

    I would leave out Sequoia/Kings canyon and spend a little more time in Yosemite.

    Most of the trip sounds do able and you will get a taste of all the areas. Just be aware that from Moab to Yosemite is going to be ONE LONG DAY! Most of the driving will not be on interstate so it will be a lot slower driving.

    I think I might drop Canyonlands and Arches and save them for another time. From Bryce take Hwy 12 to Torrey and Capitol Reef National Park and from there head to Yosemite. This will give you more time in the areas you do visit.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Car camping at its fastest

    It is physically possible to follow your schedule, but it won't be very laid-back. I agree with Utahtea, that the drive to Yosemite is going to be a very loooooooong day. The only thing that makes it doable is that Tioga Pass just opened. Opening day was June 1st. It is a wonderful drive with amazing views and drop-offs.

    It is going to be darn hot at the south rim of the Grand Canyon for car camping. Are you sure that you have to push that hard on your vacation? Plus with that many miles to cover, fuel costs are going to be at least $500 -- does this still fit within your "tight budget"?


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