Hello there - I am so glad to have found this website, there's so much great information here! I haven't found a thread that answers this question but if there is, if someone can point me to it that would be great.
I have just started planning a road trip from San Francisco to Utah, and I would love any suggestions. I'm a single mom of an 8-year-old son (he'll turn 9 this summer) and he loves camping and the outdoors so I thought this summer we'd take a few weeks and visit the 5 national parks in southern Utah. (I've never been there either.) I work for a school, and so my plan is to leave the minute we're both out of school (June 15) and hit the road. I've realized that Death Valley is on the way to Zion, and I think he would love the sand dunes, but I'm wondering if we'd be crazy to go to Death Valley in mid-June, since I've heard DV in the summer is insanely hot. Or maybe it's not that hot by then? I'm also now wondering if hitting all 5 parks in Utah would be overkill in one trip, although we can be gone for about 2 - 2 1/2 weeks. I found another website that suggests spending 2 days in each park, so maybe it's doable?
Also, Googlemaps seems to be suggesting driving south from SF - Vegas - Zion if we went to Zion first, and ending at Arches then driving back to SF through Salt Lake City. Does that seem accurate?
I've gotten some guidebooks out of the library, and plan to go to my AAA office and pick up some maps, but my basic question is does this trip seem reasonable to do in a few weeks?
SF - Sequoia or Kings Canyon NP (to break up the driving) - Death Valley - Zion - Bryce - Capitol Reef - Canyonland - Arches - SF