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


    I would imagine Pahrump would offer better value lodgings but you would also have the option of staying at Furnace creek or Stovepipe Wells in Death valley or Panamint Springs just out the other side. As mentioned above, DV is extremely hot in the daytime sun, but if you arrived in the evening and left early[ish] morning you may have a little more time to enjoy the park as well as the sights over Tioga Pass.

  2. Default

    Thank you all so much for all of the advice and feedback--and even specific directions! :-)
    Here is the most current itinerary based on feedback:

    Day 1: fly to vegas early, drive to zion, hotel
    Day 2: visit zion, hotel
    Day 3: drive to Bryce, visit, hotel
    Day 4: drive to cortez, hotel
    Day 5: visit Mesa verde, back to cortez hotel
    Day 6: drive to grand canyon north rim lodge, stay at lodge
    Day 7: see sunrise, explore north rim a little, leave midday, drive to Pahrump, hotel
    Day 8: leave EARLY, drive through death valley(stop at visitor center) to mammoth lakes area, vrbo rental with room to spread out and comfort :-)
    Day 9: (wednesday) visit eastern parts of Yosemite, and glacier point, back to vrbo in mammoth
    Day 10: wake EARLY drive to yosemite valley, explore a little, drive on to sequoia in the afternoon/evening, vrbo rental nearby
    Day 11: explore sequoia/kings canyon, back to rental
    Day 12: monterey (rental)
    Day 13:monterey (rental)
    Day 14 or 15: plane from sf

    how does this look/sound to people? do you think it is possible/worth it to head to sf from monterey early morning on our last day, see a couple sights (golden gate bridge, sea lions, lombard st?) then catch a 5 pm (ish) plane? or is that over-ambitious?

    or any different ideas we haven't thought of?

    thanks again for all the help :-)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Looks good !

    You're trip is certainly looking a lot better and taking in some great sights ! The one thing I would tweak would be going all the way back to Mammoth Lakes from Glacier point. As nice as it is to have a 'home' for a couple of nights that's a long trek over the Sierra's on Tioga Pass and you would have to do the journey 3 times and the journey from Glacier point to Mammoth would be around 3 hours each way.

    I think you could possibly visit a little of SF but it would be extremely pushed to see the city and the Golden gate bridge, SFO is about 15 miles south of the city and you have to consider SF traffic. You could drive over the GG Bridge to the Marin headlands on Conzelman road for the views or head towards Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. If you had an extra day for SF I'm sure you would enjoy the boat trip to Alcatraz.

  4. Default Family trip gcnp, Zion, Death Valley, Yosemite, Kings canyon, Monterey

    Hi everybody! We posted a year or so ago and got so much great advice from this forum. Thank you!

    We delayed and re-planned our trip and it is now hopefully more manageable :) we know we are not doing everything justice with enough time, but we are really wanting to expose the kids to multiple places on this trip. We are light hikers, 1-2 mile hikes a day at the most. We like leg stretchers and overlooks, and looking at scenery as we drive. Kids are 11 14 and 17. They appreciate scenery and are good in the car.

    We'd love any advice or tips on the current trip.

    Our schedule is:
    Day 1 early morning fly dc-Phoenix, rent minivan, stop at montezuma castle, sleep an eat in Sedona
    Day 2 early up, stop at wupatki, head in to Grand Canyon desert view entrance, leisurely drive with stops, see sunset, sleep at yavapai lodge
    Day 3 up REALLY early, sunrise over canyon, trail of time, visitor center, leave at lunchtime to drive to Bryce, sunset in Bryce hopefully, sleep at rubys best western
    Day 4 up for sunrise in Bryce and explore for the morning before heading to Zion in the afternoon, explore Zion in the late afternoon/evening, sleep at flannigans
    Day 5 up super early, hike part of the narrows, relax for the afternoon, see any sights we missed in Zion that evening, sleep early
    Day 6 sleep in a little, head to Death Valley, hoping to get there in the mid/late afternoon, see dante's peak on the way in, go to visitor center, checkin at furnace creek, bad water drive/basin and artist drive around 7 pm
    Day 7 up early, head to the dunes for sunrise, then on up to tioga pass and Yosemite, exploring tuolumne and nearby stops/leg stretchers, ultimately ending up in forests at a rental house for 3 nights
    Day 8 explore the valley in the morning, lunch at rental house, glacier point in the late afternoon/evening
    Day 9 pioneer village, lunch at the house, visit any spots in the valley or glacier point that we missed or want to see again
    Day 10 leave early-ish, head to kings canyon/sequoia, explore overlooks and views along the way, checkin to wuksachi
    Day 11 explore kings canyon and sequoia, sleep wuksachi again
    Day 12 leave early for Monterey, rental house on the beach for 3 nights
    Day 13 drive the coast highway with lots of stops (advice on best way to do this, timing, stops, greatly appreciated :)
    Day 14 relax, enjoy the beach
    Day 15 drive to San Jose to take plane home :(

    Thanks for reading this all and thanks for any tips!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-12-2017 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Merged with original thread about this trip

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Are your kids typically early risers? Its one thing to say you are going to wake up early a day here or a day there so you can see the sun rise or because you have a long day, but the entire first week of your trip you're planning to get up between "early" and "super early," and I think that would burn out most kids/teens pretty quickly.

    Throw in the fact that on several of those days you are planning to be active all day - planning things right up until sunset, and I think you could pretty quickly have an overtired family who will quickly struggle to get along.

    Finding the balance between seeing everything you want to see and not trying to squeeze in so much that you can't enjoy anything can be tricky, but I think you're a little far over on the too much side right now. There isn't any one specific day that stands out as a problem, but put together, you could be pushing too hard.

  6. Default

    Thank you so much for the feedback! We slightly modified, we are now flying into Phoenix in the evening of July 5th, staying in Phoenix, then getting up regular early :) (7/7:30 ish) and slowly heading towards flagstaff, seeing montezumas castle and chapel of the holy cross along the way, and driving 89. We will stop in flagstaff, eat, grocery shop, head to wupatki and sunset crater, then to hotel outside flagstaff (sonesta Es) for the evening (not Sedona anymore). This gives us slightly more time for the grand canyon(we can start early on the 7th).

    More specifically, yes, our kids generally do ok getting up early on trips like this, and they are pretty good about napping in the car. I think you're probably right, there will be some grouchy moments :) but hopefully having a slightly less rushed start to the trip will alleviate a little of that. We areal so hoping being on east coast time will lead to falling asleep earlier and getting up earlier more naturally.

    Any advice or thoughts on things we shouldn't miss, or things we can skip? Any great ideas for places to stop for meals, or sunset/sunrise spots in any locations?

    Thanks so much to everyone as we have tweaked and re-tweaked our trip :)

  7. Default

    Oh, and one last thing--we went back and read our original post/trip plan and OMG spent the
    Last ten minutes dying of laughter at ourselves for our original proposal! THANK you for so kindly and patiently nudging us in the direction of a slightly more manageable trip :-). Thank goodness for this forum :)

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