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  1. #1

    Default Planning trip Grand Canyon ...... SFO time limited

    This is my first post, hope I do it right. Young adult family will visit July '08, time very limited. We'd like to fly from Chicago (to Vegas?), hire minivan to drive Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, ending up in San Francisco. Is this do-able in about 5 days? Suggested routes / tips? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA


    Greetings and Welcome to Roadtrip America!

    Now onto your trip. It's possible, but very rushed. You wouldn't have a lot of time to do any one thing. But that may be perfectly fine with you. I personally don't like to linger.

    Now about suggestions - I need a little more info. You say young adult famiy -what ages are we talking about here. And what kind of interests do y'all have. History, nature, funky things, etc?

    Hopefully someone with more experience in that part of the country will be along soon to help with specifics on your route.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Squeezing it "All" in

    Laura is absolutely correct that, while you can certainly cover the ground, how much you'd enjoy it (and your $100/day mini-van) is up to you, your tastes, and what your really want to accomplish. For a little more info on this general area of the country and to see others' itineraries, checkthis post and the links therein.


  4. #4

    Default Trip Grand Canyon-SFO

    Thanks for the responses so far. Our 21 yr-old nephew & girlfriend from Scotland & Wales will be with us for only about 5 days, before meeting friends in SFO.
    Thought instead of boring old central Illinois (which he's visited & exhausted before), we'd all liaise Vegas, quick day coach tour to Grand Canyon, then hire van & drive to SFO. squeezing in what quick sights we could en route. Unfortunately this is not a 2-week trip with possibility to hike, really take in some spectacular places etc. Just thought it'd be a more unique glimpse of America. Thanks again - really appreciate people's experience. meleka

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

    Default A Possible Route for you

    Quote Originally Posted by meleka View Post
    we'd all liaise Vegas, quick day coach tour to Grand Canyon, then hire van & drive to SFO. squeezing in what quick sights we could en route.
    I understand the time pressures and your goal to squeeze in as much sightseeing as you can. A couple of caveats -- "a quick day coach tour to the Grand Canyon" -- will be ~ 12 hours on the bus -- make sure you sleep as much as you can....You can see plenty on the day trip to SFO -- some of our best trip route suggestions are in those links provided by AZBuck above.
    hire minivan to drive Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, ending up in San Francisco.
    So, you want to cover this distance in five days? I would suggest you read this field report -- and then consider this plan:

    First Day: Death Valley (overnight back in Las Vegas or St. George, Utah)

    Second Day: Drive through Zion and overnight at Kanab, UT

    Third Day: Drive to and enjoy Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Cedar Breaks, and Bryce NP (overnight at Cedar City -- even better -- push back to St. George or Las Vegas)

    Four Day: You don't have time to take two-lane roads (leave the motel as early as you can -- get back on I-15 and hammer-down to Las Vegas and take US-95 north to the Lida Junction and go west on NV-266 (see this field report) and then over to US-395 and CA-120 to Yosemite NP. Overnight at Mariposa.

    Fifth Day: Up early again -- go to Glacier Point and drive the valley road and then head for SFO.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-29-2007 at 11:04 AM. Reason: revised

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Optimize


    With this much lead time, you can probably get accomodations in or very near the national parks you want to visit. By doing this, you optimize the time you can spend exploring the park (sunsets are late in July). One possible itinerary would be.

    Night 1 - Grand Canyon
    Night 2 - Zion or Springdale/Rockville, having visited Bryce earlier in the day.
    Night 3 - Death Valley
    Night 4 - Yosemite
    Night 5 - Yosemite or San Francisco, having spent most of the day in Yosemite.

    Notice that I don't suggest the coach trip from Vegas. It wastes a huge amount of time that could be better spent visiting the park. And it doesn't gain you much on your way to Bryce/Zion.

    I also suggest you spent two nights in Yosemite because of all these parks, Yosemite has the greatest variety and requires more getting out and walking to really enjoy the visit (in my opinion).

    While any itinerary that includes all of these great sights will be rushed, I think you can have a good trip if you can stay in or very near the parks so you can get the most out of each hour of daylight.

    Have a great one,

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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