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Old 08-18-2009, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,444,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi deanne View Post
We are 3 adults and 2 children travelling to USA from New Zealand and looking at hiring a Campervan/RV to travel from Las Vegas to Yellowstone then Boise Idaho, Reno Nevada across to San Francisco and back to Los Angeles. Any suggestions welcome, we have 14 days available and all sharing driving. Travel 18 September 2009. Have visited USA many times before (skiing in winter) this first road trip in RV in late Summer/Fall.
For the leg from Las Vegas to Yellowstone, I would suggest taking I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge up to St. George, where you can take the turnoff to Zion National Park. Purchase the America the Beautiful Pass here, if you don't already have it by this point. Pass through the park on Utah SR-9 from west to east. There are restrictions on RV travel when you take this route, though, so beware of them if you go this way. Here is some info: Zion National Park - The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel (U.S. National Park Service)
If you would prefer, there are routes around the park, both to the north and to the south.
On the east side of the park, you have a decision to make. One option is to turn south on US-89 and then US-89A and AZ SR-67 to visit the north rim of the Grand Canyon, about 2-3 hours from the East entrance of Zion. From there, you would travel back to the junction with SR-9, where you would then continue north on US-89.

About an hour north of Zion, and just a short distance (about 10 miles) east of US-89, is Bryce Canyon National Park. It is worth turning off here to visit the park, then returning to US-89 to continue north. This will take you north to I-70 and beyond, if you choose to continue in that direction.

At this junction, I would suggest taking I-70 east to the Price turnoff, Utah SR-10. Continue on SR-10 until it intersects US-191 in Price, then take US-191 North to Vernal, where you can see the Dinosaur exhibits at Dinosaur National Monument. From Vernal, continue north on US-191 past Flaming Gorge reservoir, and on up into Wyoming, and eventually on up to Grand Teton National Park, then Yellowstone National Park.

Each of the National Parks and Monuments could easily take a day (or two, in the case of Yellowstone) to see on their own, and that's just to see what there is to see from the road. Plan accordingly.

From Yellowstone to Boise, you could probably make the drive in a day, but you may want to take in some sights along the way, such as Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, or Craters of the Moon National Monument north of there. Boise to Reno is most of another day. Reno to San Francisco would be part of another day, but then you'll probably want a day to sightsee once you're there. San Francisco to L.A. can be done in an easy day, but you may want to take in some of the attractions along the way, like the Winchester Mystery House, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, or Hearst Castle. Each of these will require at least a few hours, maybe even longer. This could turn the one day trip into two. Again, plan accordingly.

Depending on what you wish to do in the places you visit, you will want to figure out how long you want to stay. In Reno, for example, you might just want to pass through, or you may wish to stay and gamble or take in a meal and a show. L.A. and San Francisco both have a lot to see and do, so you can spend as long as you want in each place without running out of places to go. Again, plan accordingly.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:51 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,537 posts, read 39,914,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdavid93225 View Post
..
I see lots of suggestions for night drives between several of the locations you suggest visiting. I enjoy doing many of these drives during the day, since there is still a lot to see along the way. ..
ok, fine w/ me. They just mentioned being short on time, and long on drivers, so I was giving them some night options. Of course there will be some missed sites but I tried to be discrete with my options.

I have done the western US for many yrs as a commercial driver, so I tend to be a bit 'driven'. (paid by the mile, not by the hour). I also prefer some sights by moonlight / starlight rather than daylight / heat / congestion.
I definately don't do traffic, so usually do Yellowstone from 5-10AM and from 6-10 PM.

To each his own, gotta love the freedom of choice in the USA (unlike my years in Singapore )

Do be sure to take the backroads and shop / eat / fuel at the 'local businesses' and ask everyone lots of questions about local area. Your trip will be much richer, tho slightly increased in cost.

The Flaming Gorge is ok route, (like much of Utah) but north of there to Pinedale, near Jackson is really poor scenery, tho a little history. I much prefer the mountain route from Logan, UT to Bear Lake. It will be great if aspen are turning, and very pretty campgrounds enroute.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 08-19-2009 at 01:03 AM..
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,444,463 times
Reputation: 1927
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
ok, fine w/ me. They just mentioned being short on time, and long on drivers, so I was giving them some night options. Of course there will be some missed sites but I tried to be discrete with my options.

I have done the western US for many yrs as a commercial driver, so I tend to be a bit 'driven'. (paid by the mile, not by the hour). I also prefer some sights by moonlight / starlight rather than daylight / heat / congestion.
I definately don't do traffic, so usually do Yellowstone from 5-10AM and from 6-10 PM.

To each his own, gotta love the freedom of choice in the USA (unlike my years in Singapore )

Do be sure to take the backroads and shop / eat / fuel at the 'local businesses' and ask everyone lots of questions about local area. Your trip will be much richer, tho slightly increased in cost.

The Flaming Gorge is ok route, (like much of Utah) but north of there to Pinedale, near Jackson is really poor scenery, tho a little history. I much prefer the mountain route from Logan, UT to Bear Lake. It will be great if aspen are turning, and very pretty campgrounds enroute.
All very good points to be made. I hadn't considered the moonlight drive option, though a full moon makes the most of it. I love to see as much of this country as I can, but don't do so as a commercial driver, so I try to make the most of the few trips I'm able to make. I also don't have to cover as many miles as possible to make a paycheck. Thanks for your perspective.

BTW, I agree that US 191 from Rock Springs to Pinedale is somewhat lacking in scenery, but it makes up for it the rest of the way up the state.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:06 AM
 
47 posts, read 99,514 times
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That's a heck of a lot of territory to cover in just 2 weeks! I mean, the western states are so beautiful!! And most of it can only be truly enjoyed by just being still and letting the spirit of the place speak to you. I could never do it in that short of time, but then, I'm the kind of traveller that likes to smell the flowers along the way!
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,444,463 times
Reputation: 1927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walk In Beauty View Post
That's a heck of a lot of territory to cover in just 2 weeks! I mean, the western states are so beautiful!! And most of it can only be truly enjoyed by just being still and letting the spirit of the place speak to you. I could never do it in that short of time, but then, I'm the kind of traveller that likes to smell the flowers along the way!
I've taken quite a few two-week road trips that covered a lot of ground. On most of them, the longest I stayed in one place was about three days. It's true that it takes more time to truly be able to enjoy all that an area has to offer, but it is a good way to scout an area to see what you want to go back to. My biggest problem is that I still want to go back to almost everywhere I've been on these trips. Since the OP is coming from New Zealand, and will only have a limited amount of time, I believe they will be trying to see as much as they can at this time. Since there is so much to see in the area they'll be traveling, I figure they will want to know what's close by so they get a chance to see it if time permits.
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:28 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,537 posts, read 39,914,033 times
Reputation: 23643
This trip is about 5 - 6 days of ez driving (less than 10 hrs each), so it leaves more time to explore than spent driving. It will work, OK and allow OP to see the most territory w/o sacrificing on main sights. They might want to return on another trip to their favorite areas and spend some quality time.

It is pretty ez to make serious long distance days in this part of the west, as towns are far apart and good highways available.
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