Can this be done?

Old Jan 8th, 2011, 06:30 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 64
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Can this be done?

My husband and I want to take a trip out west with our two sons. They are 20 and 17. We live in central GA. and the farthest west we've been is Arkansas. The boys are not crazy about traveling, but are very cooperative. We normally take a trip to the beach every summer, but decided to do something totally different this year. We want to see the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Giant Sequoia trees, and possibly Yellowstone park. We only have 10 days in June for this trip. Is it possible to see all of these places in that short time? We probably won't get the chance to make another trip with the boys since they are older now, so we want to make the best of this time together. Any sugggestions would be appreciated.
littlelamb is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 07:03 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,904
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You are asking a lot for ten days, but here is a trip that you could do that would give you most of what you want and show the kids some very interesting areas in the west.

Fly GA to Las Vegas and drive north about 3 hrs to Zion NP spend a day or so in that area, go to Bryce NP spend a day there. Go down to the north rim of the Grand Canyon (less crowded than the south rim) spend a day or two then head up to Yellowstone (about 11 hrs from north rim). Spend a few days in Yellowstone, go south to Grand Teton NP for a couple of days and fly out of Jackson, WY. There should be lots of baby animals (Buffalo, elk, moose, etc) in Yellowstone and GT, as well as the spectacular geologic features of the area.

You will have drop off charges for the rental and a lot of driving, but would do less backtracking than with other scenarios I can think of.

Giant Sequoias are quite a bit west of this so If they are a real priority, I would plan a different trip.
emalloy is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 07:13 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,268
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
www.mapquest.com directions and distances

with 4 you would save and have more fun road tripping

Head up to Memphis pick up I-40

www.bigtexan.com Amarillo a hoot

Santa Fe New Mexico

www.visitsedona.com

Grand Canyon maybe Vegas...

2-3 days each way drive time

So the above would be plenty

YellowStone too far unless you just want to do that.

Happy Journey,
qwovadis is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 07:57 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 82,453
Received 46 Likes on 17 Posts
If you are flying, maybe.
If you are driving, no.
starrs is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 08:06 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4,004
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
littlelamb, you have quite some distance between Yellowstone and the other places you mention. The Giant Sequoias are really quite a ways from everything else as well. And I don't think 10 days will give you enough time to drive that--you will find things more spread out in the West as opposed to the Southeast.

We've gotten around that before by combining trips with a flight. For example, we have flown to Phoenix and spent a week in Sedona (also Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Tucson, Saguaro Nat'l Park, Giant Meteor Crater, etc.), then flown to Salt Lake City and spent another week in Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and that area.

You would avoid drop charges and loooooong drive times eating up your vacation. If you check airlines (such as Southwest), you can get some low fares between key destinations.

Whatever you do, keep in mind you are speaking of significant distances between the places you mention. If you try to fit them all in, you'll end up spending virtually all your time power driving from one to the other and not much else. We've made that mistake before, and it's not fun.
sludick is online now  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 10:58 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The average family spends 4 hours in a national park and it is such a shame. I say spend at least 2-5 days in most of them. There really is that much to do in each. Are you or your kids adventurous? I have a ton of ideas if you are.


Here's 4 different scenarios that I would do with 10 days for trips to the west.

San Francisco/Point Reyes/Yosemite Yosemite has Giant Sequoias, but I do like the trees in Sequoia NP better. The Redwoods are nice also. Yosemite waterfalls in June would be great.

Utah- Zion, Bryce, Arches, Grand Canyon

Yellowstone/Tetons, perhaps add Mount Rushmore

Portland/Crater Lake/Columbia Gorge/Caves/Redwoods/Coast/Mount St. Helens

I always like to stay "in park" at the historic lodges, you may be a little late to do this at some places. They fill up a year in advance.



Your kids will enjoy it so much more if you actually experience it rather than just check them off your list.

I know that everyone says that the Grand Canyon is a must see and it really is. But, there isn't that much to do there unless you intend to hike down into it or raft it. I have been to many national parks and I don't know that it would make it into my top 10 and I have rafted and hiked in it. So, don't plan your trip entirely around it, is what I mean. However, it is the one place that will nearly bring you to your knees.

Any of these trips and your kids might be begging to go back next year.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 11:23 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 64
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much everyone for all the input. We have a family owned timber business and we love the outdoors. Our boys have grown up hunting and fishing and they love exploring in the woods. With that in mind, which one of the scenarios given by spirobulldog would you recommend?
littlelamb is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 12:18 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 82,453
Received 46 Likes on 17 Posts
ARE YOU FLYING OR DRIVING?

If you are driving, the closest.
If you are flying, the one that interests you the most.

It's a 25 hour drive from Atlanta to Denver. I've driven it many times, sometimes non-stop (switching drivers). It's a hell of a drive. Everything you want to do is past Denver.

If you have 10 days and are driving, you will be driving for 6 days and have 4 days to sight-see. As suggested earlier, use Google maps to map out the locations and decide on how many hours a day you want to spend on the road and that will help you decide how far you can go in your 10 days.
starrs is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 01:15 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,702
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
spirobulldog is right, any of his four itineraries is a great 10 day trip. Two of the itineraries together would be possible in a 15-16 day trip.
Since you have not been west of Arkansas, and like trees more than a big hole in the ground, I would chose Oregon and Northern California.
Suggested Route: fly to Portland (PDX)-take the light rail from the airport into the city, OR rent the car if not going into the city. Plenty to see and do in Portland either at the beginning or end of your trip. Head east on I-84-stop at the view of Multnomah Falls and hike up to the base or farther up if you like. Continue east to The Dalles and head south on US197&US97 to Bend. Spend a night in Bend before heading out to Crater Lake. The North entrance should be open by mid-June but if not you will have to come in from the South entrance. If you can get lodging at Crater Lake NP, great, otherwise you should stay in Medford. From Medford take I-5 to Grants Pass and US199 to the Oregon Caves, continue on 199 to Crescent City, CA. See Redwood NP with its huge trees then head north on US101 back into Oregon. Enjoy all that the Oregon Pacific coast has to offer.
If you go as far north as Newport, stop at the Aquarium.
If you go through McMinville you can stop and see the "Spruce Goose" (H. Hughes amphibious plane). In Portland don't miss Powell's bookstore (city block 4 stories).
Hope you enjoy your trip wherever you decide to go.
tomfuller is online now  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 02:15 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since Yellowstone is the most isolated of the items you have mentioned, I would consider it at the key to the trip. It's a whole lot more interesting than Hoover dam and even the Grand Canyon. There is virtually no chance of ever visiting Yellowstone unless you make a concentrated effort to get there. GC and HD are easly trips from Las Vegas and you can see sequoia trees from San Francisco.

You mention Colorado in the tag but do not say what specifically you would want to see.

Depending on airfares, car rental fees and your driving tolerance, you might want to fly to Denver, drive to Yellowstone (466 miles), then go via Salt Lake City to Las Vegas ( 700+ miles) and fly back from there.

If you go near SLC, then visit the Browning Gun Museum in Ogden.

You might also look into flying into Jackson WY to visit Yellowstone and then from there to Las Vegas for the Arizona portion of the trip
bigtyke is online now  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 03:17 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,315
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My travel style is often along the lines of, "If it's Tuesday, this must be the Grand Canyon." I'm able to do break-neck travel because I think nothing of driving 500 miles in a day, which is made a LOT easier because there are no children in our family.

And even *I* wouldn't try to do The Canyon, sequoias, and Yellowstone in ten days -- even if it started with flying to the initial destination. And you've got TWO young adults who are already skeptical of the whole idea!

As others have noted, you MUST choose one, and ONLY one, area of the West to visit. This can be (1) the desert southwest, (2) the California Sierra, or (3) the Big Sky country. In June, (3) is iffy at best -- the main road through Glacier, for instance, won't be open till mid-June.

I thus suggest you choose either (1) or (2), fly to the cheapest airport for your choice (could be Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Francisco, or MAYBE Los Angeles), rent a car, and then spend your ten days really experiencing the beauty of your choice. Don't just drive through the parks, actually VISIT them.
PaulRabe is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 07:31 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would do any of them again tomorrow in a heartbeat(and do plan on going back-going back to Utah over Memorial Day). All of them are very enjoyable. June might be a little early for Crater Lake. Crater Lake, BTW ranks right up there with the Grand Canyon for really knocking your socks off. Although, I can't imagine Yosemite Valley not knocking both of your socks off.

If trees are the top of your list. Consider going to Sequoia National Park for 2-3 days, then head to Yosemite(skipping the trees there). I must say that the Sequoias in Yosemite are certainly amazing, but Sequoia is just better. The Redwoods are impressive in a different way. They aren't nearly as big in circumference, but there are many of them for miles and miles. The Sequoias are only in groves for a mile or two at a time. With the Redwoods you get to experience the coast. I did an 8 mile hike this summer in the Redwoods with my 11 year old nephew and we never saw another person on the trail. It was the James Irvine Trail and it ended in Fern Canyon- a must see in the Redwoods. You can also go tidepooling nearby. Far different than beaches in say Florida or the gulf.

You will not ever get bored in the car at Yellowstone. Heck, I could the loop in Yellowstone for days and be happy. There is that much wildlife, etc. But do get out of the car, if you go. LOL.

You can look at youtube and get a lot of ideas about each trip.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 09:53 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 102
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd consider the following (most of which I know personally from last summer's family trip, but some only from reading):

Fly into Sacramento or like (Delta flys ATL-Sacramento). Seqouia NP, Hoover Dam (or skip that, altogether or substitute Boulder Dam; but Hoover wouldn't be a priority for me, and Nantahala Dam's not so far from GA), Zion, Bryce (can be just a day stop), Grand Canyon (north rim less accessible but less trafficed; 2 nights suffice); PHX and fly home, or on to Santa Fe and fly home from Albuquerque. Yellowstone far out of way from other attractions; get the boys' promise to meet you there late summer or fall 2012.
TiltedFlipCurves is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2011, 06:45 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 12,787
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If I can chime in, I would leave Yellowstone for another trip.I think you would miss soooo much by trying to see it all. I like Sequoia, Yosemite, Grand Canyon. Nothing more.Fly into and out of Las Vegas. Have fun, ziggypop
ziggypop is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2011, 05:04 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 64
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks again for all of the suggestions. My husband and I have decided that we really don't have enough time to see everything we would like to see in 10 days, so we have thought that we could choose one of the following---maybe.

1. Fly into Salt Lake City and see the Browning gun museum, head to yellowstone for a few days and then to northern California to see redwoods and on to Portland to fly home.

2. Fly into Las Vegas and make a loop to see sequoias, grand canyon, hoover dam. We could fly into Sacramento and fly out of Las Vegas seeing things in between, or go on to Phoenix after seeing Grand canyon and fly home from there.

Anyway, these are just thoughts. Let us know what you think.
littlelamb is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2011, 05:58 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think plan 1 maybe a bit much. We easily spent 11 days in just Oregon summer before last.

I do think you could do the Grand Canyon and other Utah Parks. I think Sequoia and Yosemite is a long way from the Grand Canyon.

I think you could stick with just California and be happy as well.

I only like to couple parks together in one trip if they are fairly close together. The Grand Canyon and the 5 National Parks in Utah for instance. of Yellowstone and The Grand Tetons. or San Francisco coupled with either The Redwoods or Yosemite.

I know you want to see as many places as you can, but I just hate to see you spending half your time in the car and missing a huge part of the parks.

It is just hard to see that many places in 10 days and do them justice.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2011, 07:34 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,315
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Spiro and I continue to be in full agreement: just choose one area where there's plenty of beauty for ten days, and don't go beyond that area. Choose the sierras OR desert southwest, and just visit them.

My choice, having visited 42 US national parks? Fly into SF, rent a vehicle, visit the Redwoods, Yosemite, and Sequoia, then return to and fly back out of SF.
PaulRabe is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2011, 10:43 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Go with Pauls choice- You'll have the very best waterfalls in the entire country and the very best trees, plus a little ocean thrown in, some wildlife, and a neat city in San Francisco. Plus, not a ton of time in a car. All those places would be perfect in June.

PaulRabe, I am up to 25 of them and have 4 more planned for this year. It's an obsession that I spend way to much time on. I really can't believe I didn't discover National Parks until 6 years ago. I am 43, so hopefully health and money will hold out and I can do them all eventually.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2011, 01:35 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 246
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have been to MANY national parks. One road trip, we tried to see as many as possible in the SW and spent maybe one night at many of them. We NEVER did that again because it was draining to all of us and none of us felt we saw enough of any of the places--lots of breadth but ever so shallow.

Our preferred method of travel is to spend at least several nights in each park & only visit parks that are within a 4 hour drive of one another or so. It has resulted in many happier trips. When we saw Yellowstone, we allocated an entire week just for Yellowstone, as well as a week to see S.Dakota & surrounding areas & drive to Yellowstone. We also set aside several days to explore the Grand Tetons. We had a tremendous trip and could have spent another month just in Yellowstone.

We all have different styles, but I've never found it restful or enjoyable to speed through my vacation, nor have my kids or hubby. Whenever we've been tempted to try to squeeze in too much, I remind us all of that trip when we were in a different national park most nights & we all shudder & rethink.
HImom is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2011, 08:24 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,204
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
spiro,

I'm approaching 67 and only discovered the National Parks about 4 years ago.

Definitely get them in while you're young.

I'm trying to squeeze in as much as I can. I always thought that as I get older it'll just be my stamina that suffers.

Not so. Things keep happening. A new ache or pain every little while. Some just hurt a bit while others require attention.

A year and a half ago I had a hip replacement. I couldn't walk more than 5 minutes. Now I can walk all day. I went on 3 trips last year and all resulted in walking/hiking all day.

Do it while you're young and fit!!!!!
Myer is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
abatts328
United States
5
Oct 21st, 2015 08:37 PM
MarshaD54
United States
6
Aug 21st, 2010 06:07 AM
budeades
United States
9
Jun 18th, 2007 06:01 PM
melanie8
United States
9
Mar 17th, 2006 04:16 PM
helent
United States
5
Jan 3rd, 2004 06:42 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -