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  1. Default San Francisco - Death Valley - Grand Canyon - Park City Utah

    Hi everyone,
    I am a 25yr old from the UK who is taking part on my first travelling experience so am unsure on forms of transport and what sites to see etc so am hoping you can help me plan a route to help me get the most out of this experience.
    My situation is I have been in LA for 2weeks now staying with a friend and am moving to Park City in Utah by the 27th of November for the start of the Ski season. So i have my destination but would like to see other parts of the US while on my way. My plan is to go to San Francisco via Greyhound bus on Wed 17th Nov and stay there for 2/3nights in the Downtown Hostel (if any of you have stayed here some feedback would be appreciated). If there are any sites in San Francisco you think I should definately check out please let me know. Nothing has been booked yet so if anyone feels they have a better plan please tell.
    From San Francisco I would like to travel towards Yosemite national park, onto death valley and then the Grand Canyon - I was in Vegas last week but it was more to party rather than seeing the sites so I have had the Vegas experience but would like to go back and see the scenery!
    I have not set my route in stone so I am open to suggestions, if there are any sites you think I should definately see please let me know as I would like to get as much out of my trip as possible!!
    I am trying to find the best way of transport from San Francisco? I can drive but ideally I would like to keep costs to a minimum and would feel a lot more comfortable on a bus. I have looked into the greyhound buses but could only find long distance trips - is this correct??
    I have no knowledge on the buses in the US so i do not know if it is possible to get buses to each location. I have also looked at tours such as trekamerica but I feel they are way too expensive!
    I am looking to be travellin anythin from 5 - 10 days. As previously mentioned I would like to be in Park City for the 27th Nov so from the Grand Canyon would be looking to make my way North up to Utah so would like to know what is worth visiting while travellin North??
    Also i will need to find accomodation for the trip - i mainly have hostels in mind again to keep the cost at a minimum so if you have any recommendations please pass them on.

    As you can see I am inexperienced so am in great need of guidance and tips to make my journey stress free and full of life changing experiences!!

    I hope you can help!

    Many thanks in advance


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

    Default Limited.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I don't think you are going to be able to get to, and explore the places you mention easily [if at all] without renting a car.

    San Fran is a compact City and quite easy to get around without a car, some highlights would be Fisherman's Wharf [Pier 39], China town, Union square and Coit tower, plus if your budget can manage it, no visit to SF is complete without a trip to Alcatraz.

    If you do drive, you will have to check the status of the Tioga pass [CA120] that crosses the Sierra mountains towards Death valley, it closes for the winter around this time of year and you will have to head South towards Bakersfield around the Southern end of the mountains.

    From the South rim of the Grand canyon, you can head North through Page with possible visits to Zion and Bryce canyon NP's with a possible detour to Monument valley. You would have to check the North rim's status if you were planning to head there, facilities will be closed and it's possible the road in will be too, due to snow.

    If you end up renting a car, it would be worth considering doing so from the outset and spen a couple of day's on the coast road around Big Sur.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The reality is that while there is bus service between cities, public transit option to rural areas - including national parks - is practically non-exisitant. You may be able to find some guided tour options - trips to the Grand Canyon from Vegas are commonplace, although try to find one that's not a one day round trip or you'll have very little time at the canyon. To see Yosemite and Death Valley renting a car is likely going to be your only practical option.

  4. Default

    Good Luck with your trip. It sounds so fun. Unfortunately we do not have a good train system or bus system to get to different parts of the U.S. There is a bus system but usually limited to bigger cities. You may want to try looking into a car rental in SanFran and return in Salt Lake. If there is an option for that. I don't know how much that will cost. Or you could fly from San Fran to Salt Lake UT and pick up a rental car there and travel south from there until you have to come back to Park City. Try searching on line and see what kind of deals you can find.

    If you get a chance I would recommend Zion National Park. Do you like to hike ? They have some amazing trails. Depending on the weather. There are easy to strenous. We went a few years ago and did most of the trails they are very nice. Angels Landing goes very high a little scary but worth the view. There is also a trail in the water you go into a cave. Depending on weather that would be fun.
    This park has a shuttle that you ride around the park if you would rather not hike that much. We stayed in Springdale UT just outside the gates down the road. There are some restaurants and hotels there. We stayed at the Best Western

    Bryce Canyon is near Zion It is nice too. We ran out of time to go there. Grand Canyon is great too. I have never been to the South Rim which is the most popular. We went to the North Rim and stayed a the cabins at the North Rim lodge. So nice there. It might be closed in Nov not sure. If you can see Arches National Park in UT too. So cool !! The rock formations are unbelievable.

    Good Luck!! I hope you have a great time. If you have any questions let us know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It's very unlikely that the North Rim will be an option. Historically, the gate is locked in mid-November. Even if it is open, there are no services whatsoever after mid-October.

  6. Default

    Hi guys,
    Thanks for all the help - it has opened my mind to a lot of good suggestions. I am currently en route to San Francisco on a Greyhound bus which has wifi so lovin that! Ive booked 2nights in the downtown hostel but will possible stay a 3rd nite depending on how much i get done. I decided not to plan anythin as yet as to what to do next as im hopin i will meet some people in the hostel who may want to travel a similar direction so i'll wait and see!!
    thank again - im reall ylooking forward to the next few days!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Thanks for the update!

    Good luck in hooking up with some travel buddies !

    Interesting, I will look forward to more updates on your "mystery tour".

  8. Default San Francisco to ??????????

    Hey guys,
    Im a 25yr old from the UK and jus spent 2months in LA and am currently in San Francisco. I would to be in Park City Utah for around thanksgiving time and would like to see some good sites on the way but am stuck on to where to go next? I do not have a car so have been using the Greyhound up to here so unless I can get some rideshare to places I am pretty limited. I dont mind takin a few de-tours to places if there is stuff worth seeing but as i dont not know much about the USA I do not know what places to consider. At the moment I have been thinkin Sacramento and then onto Reno and then Park City but i am unsure if there is anythin worth seeing at these places. And i have already been to Vegas so have heard Reno is just a mini version! I did enjoy the gambling tho!
    Im hopin you can help and give me some ideas on where to head next so i can have some great experiences and see some sites!!
    Many thanks


    Merged with previous posts. Please do not start multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 11-19-2010 at 02:47 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Limited Options

    There really is (as far as I can tell) only one Greyhound route from San Francisco to Park City, and only one run a day. Of the cities on the way where you could get off for a day and catch the next day's bus to continue your travels, Reno and Salt Lake City are your best bets for finding enough interesting things to do for a day. If you're going to be returning to San Francisco by Greyhound as well, it might be worth your while to look into getting a Discovery Pass if you haven't already.


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