Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Default San Francisco, Yosemite, Vegas, Grand Canyon (again!)


    I just joined your great forum today but I've spent hours reading the various threads about this popular trip over the last few weeks - so a big thank you for being such an amazing resource of valuable info. I'm very impressed.

    We are planning a 2 week trip and this is our current itinerary:

    17th Oct San Francisco arrive
    18th Oct Day in San Francisco by the coast - possibly mountain biking?
    19th Oct Napa Valley
    20th Oct Drive to Yosemite in am, afternoon in Yosemite, staying in the park for 3 nights
    21st Oct Yosemite
    22nd Oct Yosemite
    23rd Oct Drive to Death Valley in am, attractions in afternoon staying in Furnace in Ranch(?)
    24th Oct Death Valley in am and drive to Vegas in afternoon, night in Vegas
    25th Oct Spare day – need your help!
    26th Oct Drive to Grand Canyon
    27th Oct Grand Canyon – Bright Angel Trail
    28th Oct Drive to Monument Valley in am, tour in pm
    29th Oct Drive to Antelope Canyon, drive on to Bryce Canyon
    30th Oct Bryce Canyon
    31st Oct Drive to Zion, few hours in Zion, drive to Vegas for 9pm flight

    A lot of this has come from reading your advice. So as you’ll see we have a spare day at the moment. We can use this anywhere in the trip, although we have booked into El Trovar in the Grand Canyon and we got their last room, so if we added it into the end of the trip we’d have to change our hotel in the Grand Canyon. So any guidance on this would be welcome, either on extra places we should see, or where we might appreciate the extra night.

    We had decided to only spend one night in Vegas because we don’t think there is much to do during the day, so it seems like a wasted day when we could be in a beautiful national park. Two nights there would be good, but all the day trips we seem to be doing anyway in our second leg. Maybe we’ve got this wrong though.

    San Francisco is a possibility for the extra day – we have both been before so things like Alcatraz are not on the list. But perhaps we could find two fun day activities – any suggestions welcome.

    The other question I have is about Napa Valley. We’d like to do some sort of tour so we can sample the wines and not have to drive. Would we be better doing a tour from San Francisco, so we don’t have to uproot for the night? Or would you recommend spending the night in Napa? Are there any good tours anyone can recommend? Any that involve cycling? We are very outdoorsy and active, so would be up for cycling round the region.

    Thanks so much in advance for any advice you have.


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

    Default Some thoughts.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your itinerary looks in pretty good shape, you have been doing your homework !

    I think your spare day could be used in Vegas even if you wanted a day trip to Red rock canyon or The Valley of fire but there is plenty to see and do in Vegas.
    Although it might be inconvenient [or impossible] to change you lodgings in GC could you perhaps do the Bright Angel trial on your spare day [25th] stay outside the park and travel back in the next day, stay the night and head to MV a day early. I suggest this as driving from Bryce to Zion and getting to Vegas for a flight might be pushing it and Zion really is a wonderful park that you could spend days in never mind a few hours. Another option is to drive to Zion on the afternoon of the 30th and wake up in Zion, Springdale is a great little town for food and lodging.
    As you are travelling in Oct you could keep the day open and see how the mood takes you. It would also be a back up if the Tioga pass [120] closed early and you had to go the long way around the Sierra's to Death valley via Bakersfield. I would say the odds are in your favor that it will be open but it is a possibility it could close.

  3. Default Vegas it is!

    Thank you - that is really helpful. We have just been discussing Vegas over dinner and had come to the same conclusion as you about doing an extra night there. My hubby has never been and I agree that there is a lot to do - even just wondering around and soaking up the craziness of everything! It would be a shame to cram the Vegas experience into just one night. We shall be taking your advice I think.

    And I like your suggestion of getting closer to Zion on the 30th so we can have some proper time there on our last day. Is there anywhere you would recommend staying/eating there? And for a half day in Zion is there anything you would prioritise - walks/sites etc?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    I love this forum!

    Any responses on Napa would also be appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Riverside walk.

    I am sure CaloldBlue [or other members] will be along at some point with great info on Napa and a possibility of a winery or two ! I would google "Springdale utah lodging" to find suitable lodging for Zion, it's a great little town and you can hop on the free shuttle bus from there into the canyon. A very gentle stroll along the riverside walk is very rewarding and you can easily spend 2 or 3 hours just soaking up the scenery along the way and a steep but very short path will take you to Weeping rock. The shuttle bus will take you to all the trail heads and the drivers and rangers are very informative. Emerald pools is another nice walk but I think you would have to choose between that and the riverside walk plus weeping rock with your limited time. To have to choose it would be close but it would be the riverside walk for me.

  5. Default Thank you

    Thanks so much - that is very helpful. Our guide books just arrived, so I have a day of immersing myself in all the detail of our road trip planning - heaven!

    If anyone has any more suggestions for our trip I'd be all ears. Particularly any things we might pass on route that we should look at, or great places to stay in the places we are going. We don't mind paying a bit more for a really nice place, and we also love great places where you don't have to pay any more!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A couple more.

    While in Yosemite I would definitely take the time to drive up to Glacier point, the views are out of this world ! As you are hiking on your full day in the GC, I would take the shuttle bus to Hermits rest [hopping on and off at different viewpoints along the way] on the day you arrive and when you are departing towards MV along Desert view drive [64] make sure you allow enough time to stop off at the various viewpoints along the way. You might want to take an hour out and look a round the fascinating shops at the Cameron trading post. It's a bit commercialised but It's still quite enjoyable.
    If you arrive in time you can enjoy a nice sunset between sunrise point and Bryce point along the rim trail at Bryce canyon. If the next day you drive down the canyon road to Rainbow point keep going untill the end and then stop at the various viewpoints on the way back up as the pull outs will all be on your side of the road. Ruby's Inn is the closest and a very popular lodging choice for Bryce which has good food, nice shop and is close to the Old town.
    On the way to Zion you could make a quick couple of stops on the road at Red rock state park [There's a pull out just beyond a rock arch across the road not far from Bryce] and then there is Checkerboard Mesa on the Mount Carmel highway [9] into Zion.

  7. Default Great tips

    Thank you so much for all these fantastic tips and the great links. I shall be printing this all out to take with me.

    I have now booked all our accommodation and we've taken your advice and booked into the Desert Pearl Inn in Springdale for our last night. It sounds like we might be able to get a late checkout so we can spend the morning hiking in the park, and then come back and shower before our journey back to Vegas. Perfect!

    Thanks again for all your help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default You're welcome.

    You are going to have a wonderful time, please come back and share your experience with us. It's always great to hear back from people and add there thoughts.

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