Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. Default San Francisco, Yosemite, Death Valley, Zion, Monument Valley (and others!)

    Hi all,

    I am hoping to get some general thoughts on a 14 night road trip planned for this June. I donít know if I am cramming too much in and would really appreciate any comments on below especially on the routes (ideally scenic) and the number of nights I have allocated to each place. I want to see as much as possible and any must see places anyone can suggest would be great!

    Also not sure of the terrain and what type of hire car would be suitable (would love a Mustang but not entirely convinced this is practical!)

    Thanks in advance!!

    San Francisco to Yosemite (3 nights in San Fran with an early start for Yosemite)

    Planning on taking highway 120/tioga pass into Yosemite.

    Yosemite to Sequoia (2 nights in Yosemite)

    Drive to Fresno then onto CA-180 E to big stump Entrance.

    Sequoia to Death Valley (1 night in Sequoia)

    Not entirely sure about this route. I think I will have to go via Beakersfield

    Death Valley to Vegas (1/2 nights in Death Valley?)

    Get onto the 95 straight into vegas

    Not sure whether 1 night is enough in DV or 2?

    Vegas to Zion (1 night in Vegas)

    Get the interstate 15 North.

    I would ideally like to go straight to Zion but am not sure of the route or if this will be too long a drive.

    Zion to Bryce (1 Night in Zion)

    Do I need to spend a night near both Zion and Bryce or can bypass any?

    Bryce to Monument Valley via Lake Powell (1 night Bryce)

    Take 89 to Lake Powell and then head south again on 98 to 160 and 163, and into MV. Then north on the 261 then east on the 95 and back south on the 191

    Would anyone recommend staying the night at Lake Powell? If so, I could shave a day off Vegas at the end

    Monument Valley to Vegas (1 night MV)

    Continue on the 191 to highway 40 through flagstaff and then the 93 from Kingsman up to vegas

    Vegas to Grand Canyon (1 night GC)

    Thinking about signing on a GC tour once I get to Vegas

    2 nights Vegas then fly to the UK

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    Looking over your proposed trip, it looks good (mostly). Bear in mind that Mustangs are not noted for their storage space or fuel mileage nor are they are a cheap rental (unless you can get in on a "good deal").

    As far as the Grand Canyon is concerned, I'd find a way to visit it myself rather than a tour. First, you'll be able to go where YOU want to go, not just where the tour takes you. You can stay as long as you want at EVERY scenic view point, take as long as you want in the Village, hike down a short way into the Canyon, which is something a tour wouldn't give you enough time to do (usually). Many tours to the GC out of Vegas will take you to the Indian-owned/non-Nat'l Park western rim. That's because it's closer, but it isn't nearly as spectacular as the Grand Canyon Nat'l Park itself. Also, in a national park, the brochures and signage is very informative so that you understand what you're looking at. This is something you won't see much of (if at all) on the Indian lands. Finally, everything is less expensive there in the long run.

    Also, bear in the mind that Death Valley temperatures are going to be in the 100s, even in June. It's definitely a HOT place. You might want to save that overnight there, drive through DV straight to Vegas, and use the overnight to take yourself to the GC later in the trip.

    Since you are going to see so many national parks, you might consider purchasing a national park pass ($80) at the beginning of your trip. It will get you into all of the national parks and should result in less money expended. If you only put one signature on it, you could donate it to a thrift store at the end of your trip (unless you think you'll be back to the USA again before it expires). Then they can sell it. Regular entrance fees: Yosemite=$30, Sequoia=$20, Zion=$25, Bryce=$25, Grand Canyon=$25, Death Valley=$20. (These are all the carload price. If you are traveling as an individual, it may be a little cheaper at each place. Even so, you can see that it's $145 if you pay at each place, and the $80 card is a steal-of-a-deal.)

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 03-01-2015 at 09:40 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default An amazing trip !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums ! Here are a few little pointers but generally speaking you have done a good job.

    You can enter Yosemite on CA120 but the Tioga Pass section actually crosses the park and takes you east to Mono Lake, the main attractions, Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Mariposa Grove etc are all on the west side.

    One night in Death valley should do you just fine, but I would consider two nights in Zion [or in the lovely nearby town of Springdale] before heading to Bryce for a night, and yes, you can drive to Zion comfortably from Vegas the same day.

    From Monument Valley to Vegas you will be driving right by Grand canyon National park [South rim] and that would be the time to visit there and not with a tour from Vegas that will possibly take you to the West rim, nowhere near as spectacular !

    A few suggestions. Tioga Pass is spectacular and I would consider one of two options so that you can drive it as an onward part of your journey to Death Valley. Either visit Sequoia NP first and then to Yosemite, or settle for the giant Sequoia trees in Yosemite at Mariposa Grove. From Furnace Creek in Death Valley, you could head direct to Zion NP as you are heading to Vegas at the end of your trip. And then as already mentioned, spend 2 nights in Zion and vist GC between MV and LV and end your trip with 2 or 3 days in Vegas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    A few things I'd change.

    1. I would go from SF to Sequoia first, via Visalia and Three Rivers. Then I would go to Yosemite via Fresno and CA-41. Leave Yosemite via Tioga Pass to US-395 to Lone Pine to get to Death Valley.

    2. Leave Death Valley via CA-190 to CA-127, then turn right followed by an immediate left. This is the shortcut to LV via Pahrump and NV-160. No need to spend a night in LV if you don't have to if you are going to finish your trip there anyway, it's less than 3 hours to Zion from LV. Via the shortcut, it's about 2 hours from the DV exit to LV.

    3. I don't understand why you would drive from MV to LV, then go back to the GC. Visit the GC on your way from MV to LV, and finish up your trip with a few nights in LV.

    4. What I would do from Bryce is take UT-12 to Torrey, take a look at Capitol Reef, then take UT-24/UT-95 to UT-261 to US-163 to MV. Note that you need to check on conditions on UT-261 because the Moki Dugway is unpaved. A good source for current info is the ranger at the visitor's center at Natural Bridges (also worth a drive through). You can go from MV to Lake Powell then go to the GC.

    I get the impression you are planning the trip using only a computer screen. You need good paper maps, they put things in much better perspective. I would order a Rand McNally Road Atlas, you can get one from our store.

  5. Default

    Thank you all for your comments, they were super helpful!

    I have factored in all of the points in my itinerary.

    I knew about the NP pass but I didn't know you can donate it which I now plan on doing.

    I was looking online and using a Rand McNally map, I clearly wasn't very good at it!

    Thank you again :)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-04-2014, 04:42 PM
  2. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-23-2012, 10:24 PM
  3. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-27-2011, 03:50 AM
  4. San Francisco to Yosemite, Death Valley and Vegas in early November
    By olliep in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 09-16-2011, 02:23 AM
  5. Las Vegas to San Francisco - via Death Valley and Yosemite
    By Gareth from Wales in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-10-2010, 12:50 PM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts