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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Plenty of down time.

    There really should be no need to drop Mesa Verde if it's somewhere you really want to go. I think you have given yourself plenty of time in some parks to relax and re-energise to avoid the risk of burning out.

  2. #12


    Sounds like a great trip! Are you planning on hiking into the back country in some of the larger parks?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Public Lands campgrounds.

    Have you checked the Public Lands site? There are some great camping spots along US-191 - Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway - south of The Tetons.

    Hobach campground is 8 miles south of Hobach Junction, on the western side of the road, right on the Hobach river. Right by the road, but ever so quiet and secluded. There is another about five miles further south, on the east side of the road, also on the Hobach river. Not far after crossing the bridge over the river. A further one can be found at greater altitude - hence, no trees - at Warren Bridge, just south of the bridge on the western side of the road. Tom and Dianne are the camp hosts there, and Tom takes great pride in keeping the place neat and tidy. All these are about $15 per night.

    BTW, I would not count on an eight hour drive to Moab. US-191 in Wyoming is an attraction in itself. Don't short change yourself. There's much more than the NPs. Check out the Flaming Gorge / Green River Scenic Byway.

    Call in at the BLM office in Pinedale, and have a chat with them there.


  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Call in at the BLM office in Pinedale, and have a chat with them there.
    There is also camping at Freemont lake just outside of Pinedale.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the tips! I am planning on doing some backcountry hiking. I'm trying to figure out where to hike in Yellowstone so I can reserve a permit. The public lands site will be helpful.

    Grand Canyon rafting trips are still available. I'm trying to decide between motor or paddle boats.

  6. Default

    I've been hesitating on the Grand Canyon rafting trip because it's so expensive. But I'm pulling the trigger on a 5.5 day upper canyon oar trip. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. That gives me some dates where I have to be somewhere, so I'll redo my Utah itinerary around that, and incorporate the useful advice I received here. I'll post my updated itinerary when I have it.

    My original itinerary had several days at both the North and South rim. I'll be hiking out at Phantom Ranch. I'm not in a hurry, so is it worth hanging around the South Rim for a couple days after my rafting trip? Should I plan to hit the North Rim too, or will I be all "canyoned out?" I'll have all of Utah to do after the Grand Canyon rafting.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Decisions!

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryTreks View Post
    It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. .
    I can't think of a better reason to do it. Hope you have a great trip. Wow! 5.5 days, that is some trip.

    As to whether you visit the North Rim as well as the South Rim is completely up to you. I would, but ever so briefly. There are other attractions there as well as the rim. But heck, if it is going to cut you short of time at some other great parks.... well, that's what roadtrips are all about.... decisions, decisions, DECISIONS!

    As well as all this planning, I trust you have also been planning how you are going to keep your journal. This is a trip we will all want to follow. Can't wait for it to start. :)


  8. Default

    I hope to blog about this, but I haven't had time to set up a blog with all the planning! I came up with another revision to my itinerary accounting for having to be in Page, AZ on September 22 for Grand Canyon Rafting. I deleted King's Canyon, Sequoia, and Joshua Tree, which allowed me to add more time to some places and some free days. I even have two days unscheduled to allow me to catch up. I want to be able to leisurely spent more time in fewer places, rather than rushing from park to park just to check them all off my list.

    3-Sep Driving Day (500 miles)
    4-Sep Driving Day (500 miles)
    5-Sep Day in Badlands NP
    6-Sep 2 hr drive to Wind Cave NP. Spend day.
    7-Sep Morning in Wind Cave NP. 1 hr drive to Mt Rushmore.
    8-Sep 2 hr drive to Devil's Tower. A couple hours here. 5 hr drive to Bighorn Natl Forrest.
    9-Sep 3 hr drive to Yellowstone. Yellowstone day 1.
    10-Sep Yellowstone day 2
    11-Sep Yellowstone day 3
    12-Sep Yellowstone day 4
    13-Sep Yellowstone day 5
    14-Sep Yellowstone day 6
    15-Sep Yellowstone day 7.
    16-Sep 1 hr drive. Grand Teton NP day 1
    17-Sep Grand Teton day 2
    18-Sep Grand Teton day 3
    19-Sep Grand Teton day 4
    20-Sep 3.5 hr drive to Rock Springs, WY via 191. Continue South on 191, leisurely exploring Flaming Gorge-Green River Basin Scenic Byway.
    21-Sep 6 hr drive to Manti-La Sal Natl Forrest. Allow more time for pictures.
    22-Sep 6 hr drive to Page, AZ. 7:30 pm orientation. Allow more time for pictures.
    23-Sep Grand Canyon rafting day 1
    24-Sep Grand Canyon rafting day 2
    25-Sep Grand Canyon rafting day 3
    26-Sep Grand Canyon rafting day 4
    27-Sep Grand Canyon rafting day 5
    28-Sep Grand Canyon rafting day 6
    29-Sep Grand Canyon South rim day 1
    30-Sep Grand Canyon South rim day 2
    1-Oct 8 am Trans-Canyon shuttle to Marble Canyon, arriving 10 am. 2 hr drive to Page, AZ. Half day free.
    2-Oct Visit Slot canyons.
    3-Oct 3 hr drive to Monument Valley. A few hours here. 2.5 hr drive to Mesa Verde NP
    4-Oct Mesa Verde NP
    5-Oct 2 hr drive to Canyonlands NP. Explore the Island in the Sky.
    6-Oct Canyonlands. Backpacking in the Needles
    7-Oct Canyonlands. Backpacking in the Needles
    8-Oct 1 hr drive to Moab, UT. Relaxation day.
    9-Oct Hot air balloon or mountain bike tour
    10-Oct Arches NP
    11-Oct 2.5 hr drive to Capital Reef NP. Half day in Capital Reef.
    12-Oct Capital Reef NP
    13-Oct 2.5 hr drive to Bryce Canyon NP. Half day in Bryce Canyon.
    14-Oct Morning at Bryce. 1.5 hr drive to Zion NP
    15-Oct Zion day 1
    16-Oct Zion day 2
    17-Oct Zion day 3
    18-Oct Zion day 4
    19-Oct 2 hr drive to Las Vegas. Relaxation day
    20-Oct Hoover dam
    21-Oct 3 hr drive to Death Valley. Death Valley day 1.
    22-Oct Death Valley day 2
    23-Oct Death Valley day 3
    24-Oct 4 hr drive to Yosemite. Yosemite day 1.
    25-Oct Yosemite day 2
    26-Oct Yosemite day 3
    27-Oct Yosemite day 4
    28-Oct Yosemite day 5
    29-Oct Yosemite day 6
    30-Oct Yosemite day 7
    31-Oct 3 hr drive to Malibu CA. Relax on the beach.
    1-Nov Channel Islands kayaking day 1
    2-Nov Channel Islands kayaking day 2
    5-Nov 6 hr drive to Bisbee, AZ
    6-Nov Relax and/or sightsee in Bisbee
    7-Nov 5 hr drive to El Paso, TX
    8-Nov El Paso
    9-Nov White Sands
    10-Nov El Paso extra day
    11-Nov 2 hr drive to Guadalupe Mountains NP. Day hike.
    12-Nov Guadalupe Peak Trail - highest point in Texas
    13-Nov .5 hr drive to Carlsbad Caverns NP
    14-Nov 4 hr drive to Big Bend NP. Big Bend day 1.
    15-Nov Big Bend day 2
    16-Nov Big Bend day 3
    17-Nov 6 hr drive to San Antonio, TX
    18-Nov San Antonio
    19-Nov 1 hr drive to Austin, TX
    20-Nov Austin, TX
    21-Nov 3 hr drive to Houston, TX
    22-Nov 6 hr drive to Hot Springs, AR
    23-Nov Morning in Hot Springs. Drive 7 hours
    24-Nov Drive 3 hours. Return car by noon

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Here's a time saver.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryTreks View Post
    I hope to blog about this, but I haven't had time to set up a blog with all the planning!
    Terry, no need to worry about that. We have the perfect facility for you to record your trip(s). (You may have been reading some of ours in your research.) Send the link to all whom you would like to follow the trip, and they can all read it without having to register, and leave comments if they wish to register. Even link this planning thread to it, so folk can see just how much has gone into the planning.

    And of course, we love to see your photos as well.


  10. Default

    I'll try to do that once I'm on the road, Lifey.

    I found a mistake in my itinerary. I have to be in Page, AZ on September 21, not 22. So I unfortunately will cut a day from Grand Teton.

    The thing I'm not sure about is the drive from Grand Teton down to Page. I really hate to have to skip by so much amazing scenery, but I have to get to Page. I'm allowing two overnight stops to try to make it leisurely. Maybe one night in Flaming Gorge, and one in Fishlake Natl Forrest, or Dixie National Forrest? I have no idea about these places, but it would be nice to be able to camp out somewhere scenic.

    If I only did one overnight on the drive down, I could get an en extra day in Grand Teton.

    The other thing I'm worried about is camping. I can count the number of times I've camped in my life on one hand! I hope I don't get tired of camping. This drive down to Page might be a good opportunity to take a motel break. It will be my last chance for more than a week.


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