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  1. Default Seattle to The Grand Canyon Advice

    Hi all,

    You helped so much in planning Yellowstone/Badlands Vacation last year. This year I plan on driving from Seattle to the Grand Canyon.

    I have two now 5 year old twins (they did amazing on the Yellowstone trip). We will be leaving the first week in May and driving my SUV. As we did last year, we plan on a combination of hotels, cabins, and tent camping. I've taken 14 days off work.

    Can you tell me if my intermarry is in a good order. Also, if I should add a day or remove something. If there are any cool attractions along the way, please let me know (for the kids or for me. I'm into history).

    Day 1: May 1: Boise, ID
    Day 2: May 2: Salt Lake City, UT
    Day 3: May 3: Salt Lake City, UT
    Day 4: May 4: Zion, UT
    Day 5: May 5: Bryce Canyon, UT
    Day 6: May 6: Grand Canyon
    Day 7: May 7: Grand Canyon
    Day 8: May 8: Las Vegas
    Day 9: May 9: Las Vegas
    Day 9: May 10: Death Valley
    Day 10: May 11: Twin Falls, ID
    Day 11: May 12: Tri-Cities or Walla Walla
    Day 12: May 13: Seattle

    Thank you!

    Antonio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,724

    Default

    Two things that stand out.

    Bryce Canyon is north of Zion, so it would make sense to do that first. In early may, only the South Rim is open, but I'm guessing you're planning on going via Page/Lake Powell to get there from Zion/Bryce. That would take you past places like antelope canyon and horseshoe bend, and I'd probably spend a day there rather than 2 days at SLC.

    The other thing I don't get is going from Death Valley to Twin Falls - that's a lot of back tracking east and a pretty long day on the road. I'd look at going up towards Lake Tahoe and then make your way north through CA and Oregon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,111

    Default A Couple of Things...

    One good, one bad, so let's deal with the bad one first. Death Valley to Twin Falls is right around 550 miles, depending on where in the valley you start from. That is almost entirely on two-lane roads and while the speed limits may be relatively high, those roads are mostly straight and flat, i.e. mind numbing. Such a drive, while possible, is going to seriously test the patience of your children, and yours as well when they start asking "Are we there yet?" two hours into a nine hour drive.

    The good is the Grand Canyon, especially if you make your 'base' for your two days there in the Flagstaff area. There's a lot to do there including Walnut Canyon, Wakupiti, Sunset Crater and the Museum of Northern Arizona. I'd doubt that your kids would be happy spending two days looking at a hole in the ground, no matter how large or scenic.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,670

    Default

    I would agree with comments regarding going to Bryce first and then to Zion, although I would spend an extra night at Zion and also agree with regards to heading to Tahoe from Death valley. Perhaps you could spend the next night close to Crater lake, or if you drove through DV to Lone pine or Bishop you could consider stopping near Lassen volcanic park.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,672

    Default

    My puzzlement? Travel time.

    SLC to Bryce is a half day's drive. That's good, it leaves you the other half to see the park. I'm not sure if the road all the way out to the farthest point will be open in May, anyway. It depends on their snowplow.

    Bryce to Zion is only an hour and a half drive. However, even in May, Zion may be super-busy. Check the website!

    Zion to Flagstaff is another half day's drive, but as has been pointed out, other things could be seen along the way. The South Rim is open year-round. The North Rim doesn't open until mid-May. The East Entrance to Grand Canyon from Tusayan is Closed; one must enter from the south.

    At all places, shuttles require masks to be worn.


    Donna

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,109

    Default

    The East Entrance to Grand Canyon from Tusayan is Closed; one must enter from the south.
    Tusayan is at the south entrance, and that's open. The east entrance from Cameron is closed. You will have to go all the way to Flagstaff and cut back. This adds over 80 miles.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,672

    Default

    My bad. GLC is right, it's Cameron at the east entrance.

    Donna

  8. #8

    Default

    Great country in those parts!

    My suggestion would be SLC to Bryce via Utah-12 from Torrey, UT down to Bryce. If you were to to that way, I would consider dropping a day in Las Vegas and staying at Capitol Reef NP near Torrey to break up the driving days and give the kids some fresh air. There are some nice short hikes with petroglyphs and such. It was also provide a continuum over time from the newer canyons (Capitol Reef) to the older (Grand Canyon).

    Bryce is a high altitude location so be sure to take plenty of warm clothing and bedding. Zion is a lower altitude.

    Whether from Zion or Bryce to the Grand Canyon, a full day's drive it will be. Lots of sites to see along the way as well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    812

    Default

    Death Valley=>Reno=>Bend=> Seattle? (Disclaimer, I like Bend; but then I like beer).

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I would agree with comments regarding going to Bryce first and then to Zion, although I would spend an extra night at Zion and also agree with regards to heading to Tahoe from Death valley. Perhaps you could spend the next night close to Crater lake, or if you drove through DV to Lone pine or Bishop you could consider stopping near Lassen volcanic park.
    Hi Dave thanks for the feedback. I can add an extra day. Bryce Canyon looks like there are some other cool things around it like Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Do you think Zion would be better to add the day? What other things would I check out in the area?

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