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10-14 daycar fr. Monterey, CA to Jackson WY. Help - towns / Nat'l Parks

10-14 daycar fr. Monterey, CA to Jackson WY. Help - towns / Nat'l Parks

Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 02:06 PM
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10-14 daycar fr. Monterey, CA to Jackson WY. Help - towns / Nat'l Parks

Hi All - We're going to by flying into San Fran and going directly to friends in Monterery area for a few days and then will have 10 - 14 days to get to Jackson, WY (flexible on time). We will spend a week in Jackson (house) and then fly out of Billings 4 days later.

2 adults and boys (14 and 16).

Would love to get some "must see" ideas --- thinking for sure Yosemite, Zion, (maybe) Arches, Death Valley? I have no interest in Vegas.

We love to hike, great food, art museums (boys would say otherwise), contemporary architecture, farms, etc.

Questions:

1) Are there other parks / towns that we might not be thinking of? (We've never been to this part of the country)
2) Towns that we should see?
3) Must do's?

Thanks for any help!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 04:26 PM
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What time of year?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 05:46 PM
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You really need to indicate when you want to take this trip and if you are interested more in wildlife, hiking, out door activities or city life, museums, tours etc..

If it is in the summer, some of your stops will be very HOT and some will be quite crowded, so how long to stay there will vary from what might be an ideal trip.

If it is winter, some roads/routes will be closed due to snow

If you are into nature, stop at Bryce between Zion and Arches and while in Moab for Arches, go to Canyonlands NP too.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2017, 03:21 AM
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So sorry ... we'll be flying in July 24 and need to be in Jackson by August 6. Yep ... worst time of year for heat!

No cities but small towns with great museums would be worth a stop.

Love farms (I dont know if we have any Agri-tourism in the States).

Hiking and Parks - I know we'll suffer through crowds at some places and will do that if the scenery is amazing.

Horseback riding - River floats - (easy) Mountain Biking - Hiking. Great drives -- I hate the interstate.

Hope this helps Patty and Emalloy. Thank you!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2017, 03:24 AM
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Are the 4 days between rental house in Jackson and flying out intended for visiting Yellowstone? If so that is the absolute monimum time for this huge park. The house in Jackson will not make a good base for Yellowstone. Much too far of a drive.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2017, 06:22 AM
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You might have trouble returning a rental car you rented in San Francisco to the airport in Billings MT.
My plan would be to see everything in California (skipping Death Valley) and then return the car where you rented it and flying to Salt Lake City (good museums and zoo) and see Tetons and Yellowstone and if there is time, several of the "Big 5" in southern Utah before flying home from SLC.
Yesterday I saw video of flooding in Death Valley.
Someone drove a Jeep through a flooded road in DV with water up to the headlights (crazy).
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Old Jan 23rd, 2017, 07:37 AM
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I would avoid Death Valley at that time of year and the other desert areas will be very hot as well. Yosemite accommodations will be difficult. We've taken a more northerly route from Carmel to MT/WY in May and September via Tahoe, northern NV and southern ID or northern UT. I think the southern route is better suited to late fall to early spring than summer. I also agree with Dayle that you may want to spend a few nights in Yellowstone if you haven't been there before and use the time in Jackson to explore the Grand Tetons.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2017, 03:07 PM
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If you are able to get the rental car without a drop fee, then driving will give you some flexibility, otherwise the plan that tom fuller suggests is ok.

You need to decide which of the parks you want to visit for sure and get lodging in or near by if possible.

Death Valley, Zion, Canyonlands and Arches are likely to be on the hot side. You might be able to get a raft ride in Canyonlands if water levels are high enough.

I agree that you need a few days in Yellowstone.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2017, 03:36 PM
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>>Death Valley...... likely to be on the hot side.
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Old Jan 27th, 2017, 05:44 AM
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In Jackson, if you like museums, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is a must-see. It truly has some of the finest wildlife art, anywhere.
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Old Jan 28th, 2017, 07:36 PM
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Some great advice and as we are having a challenging time finding a rental car, the idea of renting in CA and doing a week there and then flying to SLC might be better idea. Ok so Death Valley officially OFF the table!!

It's terrible but we'll probably do a fast day trip to Yellowstone and spend more time in GTNP. I doubt we can get lodging in the park. Not sure what we will do the last 4 days to be honest ... Bozeman? Will work on that after CA and UT ...

I cant tell you all how much I appreciate all this advice!
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Old Jan 29th, 2017, 05:58 AM
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For lodging in the park, call for reservations every day, more often as time gets close because people do make res. a year in advance and then cancel as time gets close.

With 4 more days there is plenty to do without going too far. Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Jewel Cave, etc.
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Old Jan 29th, 2017, 03:47 PM
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There appears to be some scattered availability for in park lodging at Yellowstone in early August so you may still be able to put something together and Yellowstone is so large that moving around isn't a bad idea http://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/ Even if you can't get exactly what you want now, you can always grab something now and keep checking for cancellations.
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Old Feb 14th, 2017, 05:15 PM
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Thanks so much Patty and emalloy. Will get on the horn!
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Old Feb 15th, 2017, 06:48 AM
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You don't say you'll be spending any time in San Francisco itself--maybe going a little north to Eureka or Sonoma.
Then you could go to the Sequoias and Yosemite. Spend time? Go to Tuolomne Meadows.
Drive through to the eastern edge, and on toward Jackson. Drive to Jackson via Logan Canyon north of Salt Lake City. Beautiful.
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Old Feb 15th, 2017, 09:24 AM
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Suggest this concise book


Fodor's The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the West .

All of western US About 330 pages.

Vaga
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Old May 30th, 2017, 05:26 PM
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Thanks all. Trying to convince kids to go north vs south but they seem convinced that HOT is good (we're from SE Virginia where hot and humid rule in the summer - ugh).
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