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Another California/Utah/Arizona Road Trip...Itinerary Comments?

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I have a draft itinerary for an upcoming "Grand Circle" next month. I know there are probably 30 draft itineraries out there but if anyone is bored and would care to comment, here it is.

Background is that I have done the "loop" several times over the last (erhem) years in various combinations. I am going with a friend who has never seen Bryce or Grand Canyon. I haven't been to the north rim in a very long time. Budget is moderate, and we need separate beds. Starting from Sonoma County, and ending in Long Beach, CA.

We will start near Healdsburg, Sonoma, two half days and one full day. We have a long list of recommendations and are staying at a vineyard private house for just the cleaning fee!

Depart morning and drive to Camp Curry, Yosemite. Two nights in Curry Village (booked). Want to do the free Camera Walk, which I did years ago. Then light hiking, Sentinel Dome, Valley floor, Mist Trail. Maybe a ranger talk. Should we Breakfast at Ahwanee one morning?

Depart Camp Curry, exit along Tioga Road. Stop at Whoa Nellie Deli, arrive at South Tufa area an hour before sunset for photos. Continue on to Bishop to stay with a friend.

Schats in the morning and head via Death Valley for Mesquite (yes, I know it's hot). Maybe visit Manzanar. Quick stops in DV depending on temperatures. End at Eureka Casino and hang out in pool. Not sure about dining in LV, was looking at Lotus of Siam but I live 30 minutes from Renu Nakorn (same menu) so will pass on leaving my car in that parking lot with all our stuff in it.

Very early start toward Springdale (for lunch & leg stretch, Deep Creek Coffee?) then via Hwy 9 to Best Friends (Angel Canyon). Haven't decided if we will volunteer in the afternoon or just take a tour. For dinner Rocking V Cafe, do they take reservations? Or cook in the cottage. Maybe check out at the grocery store in Kanab and decide then.

Half day Best Friends (volunteer or tour or relax), early lunch at their cafe .
Head for Bryce Canyon with a packed lunch for 1 night at. Bryce Lodge. Hike Queens Gardens/Navajo Loop, watch sunset. Maybe a ranger talk or star-gaze. Room has micro/refrig so we will not have to eat at the Lodge!

Head for North Rim, stock up/gas up in Kanab. One night Frontier Cabin which has no amenities. Not even a coffee maker?. Not sure if we should check in and then go out to Cape Royal for sunset, and have dinner after return at the bar?. Or I could get a 6:15 pm Lodge dinner time but will I be frustrated at being inside during sunset? Any recent experience with quality of meals here?

Sunrise at 6:12 am...Gonna be tough. From Bright Angel Point. Do the trails near the Lodge in the am, Walhalla Overlook. Checkout is at 11 am. Jacob Lake Inn for lunch. Head for Cliff Dwellers Lodge. Eat dinner there, visit Lee's Ferry , walk the Navajo Bridge, watch sunset. A bit of a rest day unless I get up at 5:30 am LOL.

Head to South Rim, stop at Cameron for "tea and pee" and to look at the rugs. If it isn't hot, maybe Ooh Ahh Trail. Condor talk? For sunset bus out to points west (arrive by 5:30 pm). Overnight at Maswik. Not sure what to do about meals, hated the Arizona Room. Not sure I want to spend $$ at El Tovar without stellar reviews.

Sunrise 6:14 am, head for home via Williams, breakfast there. Stop in Seligman for Delgadillo's. Other fun stops or restaurant suggestions? We will just play the last night by ear depending on how we do may try to drive the whole way back to Long Beach.

Thanks for any critiques. Will report back on the latest adventures of "Thelma and Louise".!

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