U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-24-2018, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,078 posts, read 19,024,811 times
Reputation: 24192

Advertisements

We are thinking of this option in 2019. We recognize that generally self-drive, indepent travel is certainly a better way to go. But I don' t like to drive (especially with passengers) because of a visual field cut, and DH feels that at 75, he is "so-over" long driving vacations. Plus, he would like to enjoy the scenery, too.

We've traveled extensively internationally, occasionally on group tours, but not so much on the US. It's time to see the beauty of OUR country, especially the national parks out west and the typical tourist stops. We are definitely NOT going camping, RVing, farm stays, or hospitality exchanges.

Suggestions and experiences welcome.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-24-2018, 11:26 AM
 
1,182 posts, read 479,694 times
Reputation: 1932
There are a couple companies that offer bus tours of national parks in the US. I did a two week trip that covered Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon (North Rim), Monument Valley, Arches, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton (plus individual free days in Moab and Jackson) with one of them, Adventure Bus, and was extremely happy with the results. There’s an element of roughing it (you sleep either on the bus or in a camping related circumstance), but even for someone who isn’t usually a fan of this, I was fine with it. You do get opportunities to get out and hike a good bit, which was great. They have several different types of trips covering a wide swath of the US, too. The people who ran the trip were really nice and very accommodating as well. I highly recommend them. Here’s a link:

Adventure Bus
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-24-2018, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,078 posts, read 19,024,811 times
Reputation: 24192
Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
There are a couple companies that offer bus tours of national parks in the US. I did a two week trip that covered Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon (North Rim), Monument Valley, Arches, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton (plus individual free days in Moab and Jackson) with one of them, Adventure Bus, and was extremely happy with the results. Thereís an element of roughing it (you sleep either on the bus or in a camping related circumstance), but even for someone who isnít usually a fan of this, I was fine with it. You do get opportunities to get out and hike a good bit, which was great. They have several different types of trips covering a wide swath of the US, too. The people who ran the trip were really nice and very accommodating as well. I highly recommend them. Hereís a link:

Adventure Bus
Thank you, but AT 75 and 62, with DH having one knee replacement and the 2nd later this year, I don't think we all be doing any camping, sleeping all night on a bus, or
hiking. Hell, DH can't walk long distances anymore.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-24-2018, 02:14 PM
 
2,680 posts, read 1,544,220 times
Reputation: 2592
Think groups of parks, since they're spread all over the country. It's a long way from Olympic in Washington to Everglades in Florida, or Acadia in Maine to Channel Islands in California.

Much better, I think, to find a tour that covers the parks in California, parks in Utah, Yellowstone and Glacier, for example.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-24-2018, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,093 posts, read 5,912,934 times
Reputation: 30347
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
Think groups of parks, since they're spread all over the country. It's a long way from Olympic in Washington to Everglades in Florida, or Acadia in Maine to Channel Islands in California.

Much better, I think, to find a tour that covers the parks in California, parks in Utah, Yellowstone and Glacier, for example.
This.

Plus

All that getting in and out of the bus often might be too much for you for long trips. I visited Acadia in Maine by staying in the area then going by nature bus from that town to the park and back. You got to view all the scenery but weren't stuck with the issues surrounding being on a bus for days at a time.

Then you might find parks in one state in a package deal, like bigbear99 said...

Going by train would be much less physically stressful...there are trips across Canada and elsewhere...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-24-2018, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,078 posts, read 19,024,811 times
Reputation: 24192
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
Think groups of parks, since they're spread all over the country. It's a long way from Olympic in Washington to Everglades in Florida, or Acadia in Maine to Channel Islands in California.

Much better, I think, to find a tour that covers the parks in California, parks in Utah, Yellowstone and Glacier, for example.
As I said in my original post, our primary interest is in the National Parks out west. I guess I should have been more clear: Mt Rushmore, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and maybe Glacier (probably a separate trip).

And, in any event, we wouldn't plan on doing the entire US in one vacation!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-24-2018, 04:11 PM
 
2,680 posts, read 1,544,220 times
Reputation: 2592
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
As I said in my original post, our primary interest is in the National Parks out west. I guess I should have been more clear: Mt Rushmore, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and maybe Glacier (probably a separate trip).
Travel time to Glacier from Yellowstone is about 6 1/2 hours. Rushmore is about 2 hours more. I doubt you'd find a bus tour that does either pairing, but who knows. Otherwise good choices. You could spend days at Teton, Yellowstone or Glacier, and they each have in park classic luxury lodging.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-24-2018, 05:24 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,608 posts, read 39,974,527 times
Reputation: 23749
A 2 minute search show NUMEROUS tour operators who specialize in Senior Tours of USA National Parks. Addressing all ranges of ambilitory abilities and desired schedule.

Would be SO SIMPLE to book a private or with 2-3 couples into an airport van style tour company. Many MANY tour operators do this. Private tours off season... (seasonally for wine / ski venues).

Just find a good tour / chauffeur operator out of SLC and SMF. Book a trip(s) (shoulder season is the BEST time for western parks and seasonal tour busses are PARKED, and CDL drivers looking for work!

I can't express how miserable 'needy / demanding / insistent / me FIRST' people make standard tours in NP and conventional tours / excursions. SLOW!!! the rest of the PAYING customers will see 1/2 what they could have seen EVERY DAY!!! (incessant complaining, always late to get off the bus, always late to get ON the bus, always disruptive and rude to 'lowly' tour guides and drivers (ALL other passengers are lowly)

CDL driver here, done (drove and hosted) MANY tours... SAD what a very few people put others through.

Another great option...

Buy / rent a small tour vehicle in SLC and SMF (Class B or C motorhome should work), and have your housekeeper / chauffeur accompany you and do the driving!
1) you will see 10x more places (freedom and spontaneity,,, NP rangers can direct you to the special places where wildlife are hanging out and special events are happening (Often BUSES will not FIT there, + too many PEOPLE would disrupt the event / wildlife).
2) you will have the flexibility to stop wherever and whenever you want (wildlife / sunsets...cattle drives, rainbows.. food joints / interesting museums / galleries)
3) your trip will be just like YOU want it!!! (as good, or as bad )

Plan C: It is VERY ez to hire a private local driver / guide if you don't have a chauffeur or adult kid / friend / neighbor willing to help drive.

BTW: this is the MAIN reason we bought / maintain and insure our mini RV with LOTS of good VIEW seating (so we can take the rural elderly we volunteer to assist on their favorite road trips). All of ours LOVE to camp, so they get the rig and I take a tent. Sometimes weather or health + one couple (occasionally) prefer hotels, so... I drop them off at their posh hotels (including NP lodges) and I go 'stealth camp'. I pick them up whatever time they want, and we go wherever they want, whenever they want. (FREE!!!) I have covered the fuel and vehicle 100 % of the time. I let them buy their own food, or they are welcome to my stash in the onboard refrigerator (one old guy LOVES 7-Up Floats, so I make sure I stock up!). Rv travel is SO nice for western parks... take a nap when you feel like it, or there is 12 hrs of NOTHING to look at.. stop where you want for pics, coffee break, Smores, campfire evening along the rippling brook (before going to the posh NP lodge for the evening). All supplies are just in the cupboard! My elderly friends LOVE it!!! say "It's the BEST vacation they every had!!! (nothing they have to provide!, no work, no driving (and no decisions if they want to go to my special spots (+/-) I have found from living near western NP for 50+ yrs ). I took lots of youth groups to NP and toured weekly via my job and often on motorcycle, so know many 'remote group sites' that are pristine, but not marked on maps.

There are hundreds of available willing 'private' (insured and bonded) commercial drivers to show you a good time. We all get our 'random drug tests... sometimes 10x / yr... never drank, never did drugs, so I usually pass

Don't miss the GEMS
Michelson trail
Needles Highway
Filet Migon at the Hill City Hotel
Wild donkeys
Devil's Tower
Sheridan (VA center is VERY nice!!!)
Rte 14a (Ranchester / Dayton to Lovell)
Cattle drives (in fall and spring)
Thermopolis (Dubois, tho very nice terrain is not the same after the fire)
Beartooth Highway (NE Yellowstone is my favorite)
A float trip from Jackson Dam to Jackson (under the bridge / where they filmed Spencer's Mountain) very mild, spectacular at sunrise (with Tetons in background and wildlife abundant)
The back country of Tetons and Yellowstone (accessible via some tours / or horses)
WY Star Valley and over to ID via Soda Hot Springs (theme... I like Hot Springs on my road trips)
Craters of the Moon...

Big Sky MT, near Glacier is really nice, but you might want to fit that into a Lake Louise / Calgary Stampede trip.

(5) Utah Parks are very special,. and totally unique Accessible from LAS or SLC

Yosemite, Sequoia and Lassen and Redwoods are easily accessible via SMF (Sacramento)

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 03-24-2018 at 05:45 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-24-2018, 07:05 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,584 posts, read 3,670,806 times
Reputation: 12396
Amtrak has a tour component that might work but my guess is that it would be pricey. Of course, with a sleeper you get all meals included and the food is good. You meet some interesting and nice fellow travelers on long distance train trips if you are open and socialize with people.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-24-2018, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,479 posts, read 7,037,677 times
Reputation: 1908
We booked our own train trip on the Alaska Railroad to Denali and it was wonderful. We also took a Road Scholar tour of Yellowstone and Glacier, Banff and Calgary. We are soon leaving for another Road Scholar trip to the Utah parks. Check out Road Scholar, they cater to mature adults and you can choose the activity level that works for you. Caravan also has National Park trips at a very reasonable cost.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top