7-10 days west coast NP trip in late september - please help with itineary
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Aug 14, 2012 4:23 AM Last Post By: carracar
Aug 5, 2012 11:11 PM
7-10 days west coast NP trip in late september - please help with itinearyDear members,
me and my girlfriend are staying in US for Work and Travel program and we would like to visit west coast in september. We will fly to Las Vegas/Phoenix (I read that most of you do not recommend Phoniex, so we will probably fly to LV) on 19th or 20th of september and we have flight back to Europe on 1st of october.
We know about how fare are these distances but it could be our last chance to visit USA so we want to see as much as possible
We are thinking about renting a car and do something like this:
1. Las Vegas/Phoenix to Grand Canyon
2. Grand Canyon to Antelopa Canyon
3. Antelopa Canyon to Monument Valley
4. Monumet Valley to Arches NP
5. Arches NP to Zion NP
6. Zion NP through LV to Death Valley
7. Death Valley to Yosemite NP
8. Yosemite NP to San Francisco (maybe Sequoia NP)
We will have about 7-10 days for this trip. Do you know if camping is possible in these areas? Also, i thought about using priceline.com for motel staying some of our nights.
Do you have any other ideas what to see there or what should we skip?
Any comments will be apprecitated!
Thanks for suggestions.
Sorry for my english
Aug 5, 2012 11:21 PM
1What should you skip? Well, that's a tough choice. With 7-10 days you really only have time for MAYBE two or three parks. Say, fly to Las Vegas and visit Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce.
If you try to do what you are proposing you will see nothing but your car windshield. You say you appreciate the distances, but I'm not sure if that's true. The route you propose is over 1700 miles and 32 hours of nonstop driving - and that's not even including side trips for sightseeing. The trip you are proposing would be rushed if you had a month. 10 days is just silly.
Aug 5, 2012 11:43 PM
2I agree ... just fly to Las Vegas (or Phoenix, if a lot cheaper), then travel GCNP (South Rim), Lake Powell (Lower Antelope Canyon Slot Canyon), Bryce Canyon NP, Zion NP, drive through Valley of Fire State Park, then into Las Vegas. If you fly to Phoenix, certainly check out Sedona and the Oak Creek Canyon and Flagstaff. If you fly into Las Vegas, certainly visit Hoover Dam for an hour or two on your drive to GCNP (South Rim).
With an extra day you can visit Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument - not too far from Bryce Canyon.
Any further than that list takes you well into long driving country. Sometimes less is a lot more. And BTW - in this country-side,there is a huge difference in terms of what you can achieve between seven and ten days - so it's worth settling that sooner rather than later.
Aug 6, 2012 3:24 AM
3Possibly like stopthebus said, you'll have to miss out some of the places. I did a travel last year from San Francisco to Miami and we thought we had enough time, but we had to miss out a lot to make it to Miami to catch the plane.
I would recommend Doing:
- Vegas (amazing place and you should enjoy it, even if its only for a day or two)
- Grand Canyon (the view is amazing and the trail is tough but totally worth doing)
- Zion National park (again beautiful place, and great camping spots)
- Finish in San Francisco as its a great city with really nice beaches, great views from the bridge and surrounding areas. Also great night life and really a lot to do, in the space of a few days.
Anyway enjoy your trip
Aug 6, 2012 5:06 AM
4Fly to Vegas
Evening in Vegas
1 day xZion
1 day xBryce
1 day Grand Canyon north rim
1 day xDeath Valley
2 days xYosemite
3 days xSF
Aug 6, 2012 7:24 AM
5Death Valley will still be pretty hot in September. The Average high is 41 and the average low is 24. It will be cooler at higher elevations, but may still be too warm for much hiking and, at lower elevations, not comfortable for camping.
Campsites in Yosemite can be all booked months in advance. You can check availability here There are still spaces in parts of Yosemite Valley (the best place to stay) but you should book a space as soon as possible. Campground Reservations
Aug 6, 2012 7:54 AM
not comfortable for camping.
My list again, but including overnight locations:
Fly to Vegas
Evening in Vegas
1 day xZion (camp Zion or hotel Springdale)
1 day xBryce (camp Bryce or hotel Springdale or Tropic)
1 day Grand Canyon north rim (camp north rim)
1 day xDeath Valley (hotel Lone Pine, Bishop, as far as you can make it)
2 days xYosemite (camp xYosemite, if you can get it)
3 days xSF (hotel xSF
Aug 6, 2012 11:51 PM
7Thanks for your very useful tips, you guys are really awesome!
We reduced our itineary somehow and I think we can spend less time in SF.
Now we are thinking about this:
1. Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim (is the North Rim better?)
2. GC to Page to see Horseshoe Bend (if enough time to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument)
3. Horseshoe Bend to Zion NP
4. Zion NP through Valley of Fire State Park to LV to Death Valley
5. Death Valley to Yosemite
Now, the way is like 1400 miles and 26 hours of driving.
How many hours do you think we will have to drive? Is the best way to get up early and drive as much as we can or is it good to drive some distances in night?
Thanks, your help means a lot for us.
Aug 7, 2012 12:12 AM
8Definitely worth being on the road early, and never drive at night ... apart from everything being scenic, it's very nice to be in your nightly accomm by about 4:30-5:00pm (with some exceptions, such as enjoying sunset in the parks).
When you leave Grand Canyon Village, certainly get up early to see sunrise, and do some of the South Rim trails and lookouts early, then head to Lake Powell / Page.
From Page, I would go straight to the eastern entrance of Zion NP, drive through the tunnel, and then park at the Village and take the shuttle bus up to the Narrows - all very good. Get to Springdale late that afternoon. You could go via either Escalante or Bryce Canyon NP, but that cuts your hiking time inside Zion NP.
It's a long drive from Springdale to somewhere in Death Valley (or beyond) - have your accomm secured, and check with them about arrival times. But I would still get there in daylight. And certainly travel early to maximise your time inside Yosemite NP - it's a wonderful place.
Aug 7, 2012 4:49 AM
The reason I suggest it is because it reduces driving.
Remember, Google gives a non-stop approximation. Breaks for food, sightseeing, etc. are extra.
Aug 7, 2012 3:20 PM
10Just wanted to post a quick note, as a southern girl, when we decided to go west, I too wanted to see monument valley. It is just a middle of nowhere place, and if you really are trying to make the most of your time, skip it. It was for me, a complete dissapointment. If you go into the Indian reservation, they have jeeps that take you down into the valley, it is hot, dusty, and bumpy. It is atleast an hour and a half from anywhere. A better use of your time would be Zion NP, Hoover Dam, Arches NP etc.
If you are going to see more than a couple of parks, buy a National Park Pass at the first one you go to. It lets everyone in your car in for the fee of the pass. The last one we bought, two years ago, was $50.
Aug 7, 2012 3:25 PM
Compare the prices of the pass vs. individual admissions (most parks charge per car, not person). It may or may not be worth the cost.
Aug 14, 2012 12:37 AM
Aug 14, 2012 4:23 AM
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