road trip to California

Old Oct 27th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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road trip to California

We are in the very beginning stages of planning a driving trip this summer to California. We are from the ND, so it will be a very long trip. Would like to see a couple National Parks along the way.The Grand Canyon or Bryce Canyon and maybe Yosemite? Have already been to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Rocky Mountain. Would also like to spend 2 days at Disney Land before heading home. We plan on camping half the time and motels the other. We can take about 2 1/2 weeks and have three children. Any ideas or help is appreciated. We have never done this type of road trip. Our usual trip to drive to the destination and explore there for about 5-7 days. So I know this is going to take some planning.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 01:14 PM
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There is so much to see and do on the drive out and back. How old are your children?

If you want to camp in Yosemite, then you need to make reservations as soon as possible for the summer...same with lodging in the park!

Bryce and Grand Canyon both have great campgrounds in the park and both take reservations. I'd suggest reservations for both.

There are plenty of other great National Parks on the way out. Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, & Zion National Park all in Utah. All have campgrounds. Arches you would want to make reservations but there are plenty of BLM campgrounds near Moab, Utah.

Here's a great website:

utahtea is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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If it were me, I'd try to get the long distance driving out of the way as quickly as I could to maximize the amount of time I had at the various destinations. To me that would mean dropping south to pick up I-80 and follow it all the way Calif Hwy 49 at Auburn, east of Sacramento. If you wanted to break up the trip a little, Salt Lake City has a number of things to see and do.

Once you reach CA Hwy 49, turn south and travel along what is known as the "Gold Rush Trail". There are a variety of old Gold rush towns along Hwy 49, some of them providing organized history and others just historic. A must stop is at Coloma, site of the beginning of the gold rush. Further south, Placerville, previously known as Hangtown, would be fun for the kids. Jackson is quite historic and includes a State Park steam railroad museum I really like. All of that stretch of Hwy 49 is seriously scenic and there are a myriad of camping and fishing opportunities along the way.

At Calif Hwy 120, turn east into Yosemite. Once you are finishind there you can backtrack to Hwy 49 and continue south to its end at Oakhurst. Alternatively, you can leave Yosemite on Calif Hwy 41 and follow it all the way to US-99 then south into the Los Angles/Disneyland area.

Returning to North Dakota, I would head east from LA and catch I-15 north through Las Vegas and Utah. You can then get off I-15 at Utah Hwy 9 and drive through Zion Park on the way to Bryce Canyon. Leaving Bryce, follow Ut Hwy 12 to its end. In many people's opinion, this is one of the most scenic byways in the country. From there you can pick up I-70 through the Rocky Mountains to Denver and then back to ND.

Have a great trip.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 01:48 PM
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My husband and I are taking 30 days off in April. There is so much to see. Best of luck!
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Old Oct 28th, 2005, 07:36 AM
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Utahea Out children will be 15, 10 1/2 and 2 1/2 at the time of the trip. Would your recommend seeing either the Bryce or Grand Canyon? Or should we plan on stopping at both? Also what about the Hoover Dam? I don't think we care to go through Las Vegas at all.
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Old Oct 28th, 2005, 07:56 AM
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The L.A. Zoo is nice if you get up to Los Angeles, also the Museum of Natural History and the Getty Center are well worth a visit. San Diego Wild Animal Park isn't far from Disneyland if you can fit it into your budget.

Summertime weeknight room rates in Las Vegas can be quite low, might be nice for a night in a hotel room after lots of camping. About 5 hours to Disneyland area from here.
Weekends are the best time to explore Los Angeles, traffic is down a bit.

joesorce is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 01:51 PM
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The Grand Canyon and Bryce are both canyons that you view from the rim so keep a good eye on the 2 1/2 year old. If you can, bring a stroller. Both parks have paved rim trails for walking along the rim to see the views. If you plan on hiking, then hopefully you have a child's back pack.

You might want to consider nearby Zion National Park because you are in the canyon looking up. Zion has several hikes that are stroller friendly. Yosemite also has a lot of stroller friendly paths.

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