Trip Out West

Jan 21st, 2018, 11:54 AM
  #1  
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Trip Out West

I started a thread about our upcoming trip a few days ago and for some reason the thread disappeared. The trip will be about 9-10 days in the beginning of June. Our plan is to fly out west and rent a vehicle and to see some of the national parks. For me, seeing the Grand Canyon and the sequoia trees are most important. After reading some of your comments on the lost thread I think it's a better idea to plan a trip where we are not going to rush around for 9-10 days. I think it would be wise to try to limit the destinations to avoid being rushed and try to maintain a relaxing vacation.

I'm looking for advice on where to fly (Vegas?) to and a clear path to take. Suggestions on lodging would be nice and how to go about planning this. It's been since I was 10 years old in 1976 since I've been out there and would love to share some of the views with my wife. Sorry for the re-post, but I can't find my original thread.
ilbmf is offline  
Jan 21st, 2018, 02:04 PM
  #2  
 
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Welcome ilbmf,

They have been working on the site so maybe your thread was accidentally lost. For starters here is a map with distance and time chart of the area:

Southern Utah Map - OhioHick's Travel Tips

Perhaps look for Trip reports that folks here have written about their trips in the area. To start, click my name or anyone who gives you some advice and scroll down their page to the TR area. They have what they did and often tell where they stayed ard/or ate what hikes museums etc. they visited. Hopefully that will help you figure out where you want to go and what to see. Then you can come back and ask more detailed questions.

We've flown into Vegas, Denver, Albuquerque and Phoenix, depending on cost of air fare, car and what specifically we wanted to see.

It is a pretty long drive from the Grand Canyon to the really big trees like Sequoias and Redwoods. Unless you have a lot more time, I would save them for another trip.
emalloy is offline  
Jan 21st, 2018, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by emalloy View Post
Welcome ilbmf,

They have been working on the site so maybe your thread was accidentally lost. For starters here is a map with distance and time chart of the area:

Southern Utah Map - OhioHick's Travel Tips

Perhaps look for Trip reports that folks here have written about their trips in the area. To start, click my name or anyone who gives you some advice and scroll down their page to the TR area. They have what they did and often tell where they stayed ard/or ate what hikes museums etc. they visited. Hopefully that will help you figure out where you want to go and what to see. Then you can come back and ask more detailed questions.

We've flown into Vegas, Denver, Albuquerque and Phoenix, depending on cost of air fare, car and what specifically we wanted to see.

It is a pretty long drive from the Grand Canyon to the really big trees like Sequoias and Redwoods. Unless you have a lot more time, I would save them for another trip.
So how many threads have been "lost" today? I believe I responded to at least one thread today that no longer shows up.
tomfuller is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2018, 01:29 PM
  #4  
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If it's not asking too much, I'd like some help planning this trip step by step. From which airport to travel to which parks to visit in order. The last thing I need is to screw up a vacation in an area I'm not familiar with. Keep in mind, we don't need to hit every place that's within driving distance because we only have 9-10 days and I don't want to rush. I'd be happy with just 3 or 4 destinations max. Also, it would be nice to get some lodging suggestions. We also love great food and drink if you have any experience with that.
ilbmf is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 06:05 AM
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I think people ARE trying to help you plan it step by step. For one thing, you may have to give up one of your "musts" because it takes a whole day (of your 8-9 days) to drive between the Grand Canyon and the Sequoias. So assuming you arrive by air to "somewhere" and you are leaving from "somewhere" by air, that is about 6 days remaining for your trip (9-3). You want to spend at least 2 days in a park. So now you are down to a day or so, using your "musts".
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi...alifornia.html
The Sequoias are closer to the park I consider a "not to miss out west" which is Yosemite.
Grand Canyon is closer to the spectacular chain of Utah parks.
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Jan 23rd, 2018, 03:59 PM
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Yes Gretchen, I agree and fully understand the point about giving up some of and even a lot of what I want to see. I should have been more clear, but I have decided to keep the trip limited to the Grand Canyon and some of the Utah parks if that makes sense to everyone. I like what I've looked at as far as photographs of Bryce and Zion, but I'm ready to hear from the people here on the forum.

My wife is not so excited about this trip as she is used to resorts in the Caribbean where we just relax, eat and drink so I want to get this right. We've done that at least 7 times and I'm ready to shift gears. It's been since I was 10 years old in '76 when my dad took us out west. Unfortunately he broke his ankle in CA and we missed the southwestern leg (no pun) of the trip and my mom drove back to Md towing the camper. It was still an amazing trip and I remember almost everything.

We would like to stay in more upscale hotels or should I say nicer places that may be near some better restaurants if you get my drift. I guess I'm looking for a clear path to plan including how many nights to stay near or at each park. I prefer to make a loop to return the rental car where we got it. I'm all ears and thanks everyone for the assistance.
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Jan 23rd, 2018, 05:17 PM
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I'm glad you are now in agreement with a good/great loop. I cannot help you with Utah but many here can. I hope your wife will be enamored of the truly magnificent western sites we have that surpass what man just builds for his own enjoyment..
Gretchen is offline  
Jan 24th, 2018, 04:04 AM
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If you looked at the map I posted, you can find several loops that will get you to the southern Utah parks and Grand Canyon. Or you could fly into one airport and out of another. The second option will probably cost more as there is usually a pretty stiff drop fee for not taking the car back to where you rented it.

You need to look at costs and availability of lodging for the trip.

Depending on when you go, one loop might be: fly to Vegas > Zion > Bryce > Grand Canyon north rim > Monument Valley > Moab (for Arches and Canyonlands) > Salt Lake City to fly home.

Another loop might be: Vegas > Hoover Dam > Grand Canyon south rim > Page (for Antelope Canyon) > Bryce > Zion > Vegas.

If you are planning on doing the trip during this summer's tourist season, you are late getting lodging set in/near the parks. Once you figure out what you want to see most, get flights, lodging that can be cancelled in/near parks, rental cars etc.

This trip will involve changing your lodging several times. I like that kind of trip, but your wife might not. You can make that process easier by NOT unpacking everything every night, just take out what you want to wear the next day, put soiled clothes in a laundry bag, fold the things that can be worn again and put them back in the suitcase.

This is a pretty casual area, no need for fancy dress, shoes etc. You can go to most places in jeans and a clean shirt.

Once you figure out what your priorities are and when you will be going, people can give more specific advice.
emalloy is offline  
Jan 24th, 2018, 02:26 PM
  #9  
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I like your 2nd option starting and ending in Vegas. I guess the question is, am I really late to plan this for early June and how about September? I want to be realistic as far as getting decent lodging and prefer being very close or in the parks. I don't mind hearing the truth. I am willing to plan this for 2019 if I have to in order to get it right.

This loop is completely acceptable to me > Vegas > Hoover Dam > Grand Canyon south rim > Page (for Antelope Canyon) > Bryce > Zion > Vegas.
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Jan 24th, 2018, 03:45 PM
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That sounds like a good loop to me. If you land early enough in the day, you could rent the car and go to Hoover Dam and spend the night at the Hoover Dam Lodge (2 miles from the dam).
If you feel you must spend a night in Las Vegas I would do it at the end. There is a walkway on the big new bridge with a view from above of Hoover dam. The state line and the apex of the bridge are marked on the walkway.
I just read that some of the lodging at the South Rim is being remodeled and will not be available. Maybe more rooms would be available in September. Check with Xanterra on that.
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Jan 24th, 2018, 05:17 PM
  #11  
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Thank you
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Jan 24th, 2018, 05:25 PM
  #12  
J62
 
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I'm just now in the process of booking a similar trip myself for mid September and here's what I'm finding.

We are flying in/out of Las Vegas but not staying in the city any longer than it takes to get a rental car and hit the road.

GC North Rim Lodge. No open days, period. I was able to snag one room for 2 nights, and another for 1 (I need 2 rooms), so I booked those & will check back often to snag a 2nd night. I'm confident I'll be able to do that.

Bryce. No rooms at the lodge, period. Ruby's has rooms on some days, but is booked full most days in Sept. I have rooms for one night out of 2, and put my name in for an alert if the 2nd day opens. I'm confident I'll be able to get rooms for 2nd night. There is another Best western near Ruby's - Mores expensive, and I've not checked them out yet.

Zion. Personally, I prefer to stay in Springdale, just outside the park. My preferred hotel there is Cable Mountain. They have rooms, but not the one I want on the right days, so I've booked rooms at La Quinta. Also a good location. Seem to be plenty of rooms in the town of Springdale.

We will add on Hoover dam either at the beginning or end, and probably stay nearby for 1st or last night of our trip.
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Jan 24th, 2018, 10:40 PM
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I have seen the Grand Canyon on a very quick trip. We were broke college students and we wanted to see it while we were within driving distance.

What do you have your heart set on? Because you can go on to see the other national monuments and attractions in the "Four Corners" area north/northwest of the canyon. These include the Grand Staircase, Mesa Verde, and Canyons of the Ancient. I have not seen any of those and I may be missing a couple. There are many trip reports here--and you have gotten some advice on this already above about Utah. I would also encourage you to pick up a copy of the Fodors National Parks Guide. I never, ever suggest product--but I did buy this book and it was really helpful for the parks we have been to.

People tend to fly in from Las Vegas to go to the Grand Canyon, but then often they only see the "west rim of the canyon." So note that the posters here are suggesting North Rim or South Rim. There is a reason they said that. The "west rim" is a marketing tool and not the real deal.

If you don't read anything else I write--Google Map everything. And if your itinerary warrants it, fly home from the closest airport and just pay the drop fees on the rental car. You'll be driving enough out here. The West is so much bigger than people realize.

Last edited by 5alive; Jan 24th, 2018 at 10:48 PM.
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Jan 25th, 2018, 05:08 PM
  #14  
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5Alive, I want to see at least the south rim. I will check out Fodor's national parks guide.

Thanks for the information J62. My wife dislikes the idea of any time at all in Vegas other than landing and grabbing a car too. I think I may just take my time and continue to research the trip and plan it for 2019 rather than try to rush into this half blind. At this point it seems logical to do it that way to make certain the trip is as good as I can possibly plan it. We can pretty much go anywhere else we want and still have a good trip this spring or summer. I'm glad I found this forum because it's very helpful and I appreciate it.

I would like to know, what time of year is the weather most pleasant in that area? Also, with this loop I'd like some suggestions on # of nights at each park and some recommended lodging suggestions so I can begin to plan this. Thanks for all the help!
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Jan 25th, 2018, 09:45 PM
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September should be more pleasant than June, plus school should be back in session.
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Jan 26th, 2018, 02:46 AM
  #16  
J62
 
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GC South Rim lodges seem to have plenty of rooms available all through September.
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Jan 26th, 2018, 02:56 AM
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Think about the Mesa Verde suggestion if you are going to rethink this trip. It is also just a "not to be missed".
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Jan 26th, 2018, 02:57 AM
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If someone can plot me out a trip plan for # of nights around each park I can give it a shot.
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Jan 26th, 2018, 06:18 AM
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I think YOU have to plot the parks. You want 2 days in each probably and you have distances to cover between. If you choose GC and just Utah, get a map and draw lines between the sites.
If you choose Mesa Verde you have a different set of parks.
Really.
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Jan 27th, 2018, 07:09 AM
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Ok, that's reasonable. Any suggestions on lodging would be nice.
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