With the help of Fodor’s and Trip advisor I have put together a 30 day, mid July – mid August, US road trip for our family of five. The plan is completely based on photos and other people’s reviews, so I might have planned some things a little backwards. I would really appreciate some feedback from those of you with experience from road trips and the places we plan to visit.
So here it is:
Day 1: Coming in to Las Vegas from Europe in the afternoon after a 13 hour flight. Pick up rental car and check in at the hotel in Las Vegas.
Day 2: Las Vegas. Buy cooler and other things necessary for the road trip. Outlet shopping (the exchange rates playing to our favor at the moment). Swim in the shark aquarium pool at the hotel. Evening walk along the strip to see light show and fountain.
Day 3: 4-5 hour drive along route 66 to Williams, AZ. Check in at a B&B. Drive up to Grand Canyon south rim for a sunset view. Back to Williams.
Day 4: Drive up from Williams to Grand Canyon south rim, spend the whole day. One other option would be to take the Williams animated train ride to GC, but that would leave us only 3 ½ hours at the south rim for sight-seeing and hiking on our own. Comments on that? B&B in Williams.
Day 5: 3 hour drive from Williams to Page. Midday visit to Antelope Canyon – we will try to do both the upper and lower canyon. Horseshoe bend hike in the evening. Motel in Page.
Day 6: half day float trip on Lake Powell. If there is time, go to the beach near the marina for a swim. 3 hour evening drive from Page to Bluff. Motel in Bluff.
Day 7: visit Monument Valley – horse back trail ride in the morning and scenic drive-through in the afternoon. Motel in Bluff
Day 8: 2 ½ hour drive to Mesa Verde. Spend the day with guided tours and hikes on our own. 2 ½ hour drive back to Bluff OR 2 ½ hour drive to Durango (motel in one of those places).
Day 9: Durango – if you are not doing the train ride to Silverton, is Durango worth the detour? Is the train ride worth the detour? Originally this day was planned for Natural Bridges National Monument, but it seems a little redundant, and Durango would be a change from the hiking. Otherwise I could add another day to Page and a visit at Grand Canyon north rim, or a day at Moab (coming next). So, Durango OR GC north rim OR Moab – comments?
Day 10: 2 hour drive from Bluff to Canyonlands NP. We will do as much hiking as we can in the heat, and then take off for Moab (2 hour drive from Canyonlands). Motel in Moab
Day 11: Arches NP hiking in the morning and relax by the poolside in the afternoon. Motel in Moab.
Day 12: 4 hour drive to Salt Lake City. Visit the temple and listen to the tabernacle choir rehearsal in the evening (on Thursdays, open to the public). Hotel in Salt Lake City.
Day 13: 3 ½ hour drive from Salt Lake City to Idaho Falls. Lunch and walking loop to see the falls. Another 2 hour drive to West Yellowstone. Motel in West Yellowstone.
Day 14: Yellowstone upper loop. Motel in West Yellowstone.
Day 15: Yellowstone lower loop. East side exit to Cody. Rodeo in Cody that night. Motel in Cody.
Day 16: Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody in the morning. 3 ½ hour drive from Cody to Jackson Hole (according to google maps). Horseback trail in Jackson Hole in the afternoon. Motel in Jackson.
Day 17: Long drive from Jackson to Torrey – 8 hours without stops, so I count on 10 hours all in all. Motel in Torrey. Sunset in Capitol Reef.
Day 18: Capitol Reef hiking in the morning, relax in the afternoon. Motel in Torrey.
Day 19: 2 ½ hour drive from Torrey to Bryce Canyon. Horseback trail in Bryce Canyon. Hiking in the afternoon. Motel in Tropic.
Day 20: 2 hour drive from Tropic to Springdale. Hike Angels Landing (if we can stand the heat - please comment if you have done this in August). Motel in Springfield.
Day 21: 5 hour drive from Springfield UT to Beatty NV. Visit the ghost town of Rhyolite. Motel in Beatty.
Day 22: Sunrise in Death Valley and early morning scenic drive to all the look-out points. Then after breakfast, a 7 ½ hour drive on hwy 395 towards Mariposa, CA. Motel in Mariposa
Day 23: Yosemite NP. Hire bikes and take a bike trail. Do some hiking (haven’t quite figured out how to organize our two days in Yosemite, but a nice hike to see waterfalls will probably fit in here). Motel in Mariposa
Day 24: Yosemite NP. Sequoia grove, maybe some more hiking, maybe a drive to the ghost town of Bodie. Motel in Mariposa.
Day 25: 3 hour drive to San Francisco. Cable cars, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge (yes, that sounds like a check list, but we are limited in time). Alcatraz evening tour. Hotel in San Francisco.
Day 26: Drive highway 1 from San Francisco, lunch in Monterey, motel in Big Sur (this part of our trip still needs some planning – choosing what to see along the way and not spend the whole day in the car). Motel near Big Sur
Day 27: Continue highway 1 from Big Sur to Santa Barbara (still not planned, advice is welcome). Hotel/motel in Santa Barbara.
Day 28: Los Angeles – Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills (I think you can tell I have never been there and have no notion of the distances…). I will try to work out a nice day tour. Hotel near Santa Monica.
Day 29: Los Angeles – visit Universal Studios. Hotel near Santa Monica.
Day 30: Empty day! Add one more day in Yosemite, San Francisco, Los Angeles or somewhere else?
Day 31: 4 – 5 hour drive Los Angeles – Las Vegas, some more outletshopping
Day 32: Las Vegas - Adventuredome
Day 33: Return flight
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Road trip and canyon experts out there, please help a beginner!