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Author Topic: Utah and Nevada route questions  (Read 1037 times)

Lisa

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Utah and Nevada route questions
« on: March 26, 2017, 01:38:19 PM »
Hello,

We will be travelling with my parents (we both have trailers - one 26' TT and one 26' 5th) from British Columbia for kind of a bucket list trip for them in September.  We will be meeting in Salt Lake City and will stay at Cherry Hill as we've been before and I think my parents would like it there.  Then we plan on going to see Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon (reservations already made for 2 nights at Trailer Village), Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite and then heading home through Reno.

We have a total of 2 1/2 weeks for this trip.  It will take us 2 full driving days to get to Salt Lake City.  Due to the number of places and the short time we have, I would appreciate any guidance.  My husband and I have travelled to some of these areas before, but Bryce, Death Valley and Yosemite are new to us.  I have a few questions if anyone can help me.

Salt Lake City to Bryce Canyon/Zion - Head south on I15 -- the map program takes us off the interstate near Nephi and south on 28 & 89.  I had thought we would stay on I15 and take Hwy 20 to 89.  Which is preferable? 

Bryce Canyon/Zion - we have allotted 3 nights in our rough itinerary.  I have been trying to decide if it is better to stay 2 nights at Bryce and then move to Mount Carmel Junction for the 3rd night or stay 3 nights at Glendale and drive to each park from there. 

Mount Carmel Junction to Grand Canyon Village  -- is there somewhere along the route that is worth adding a night stop for?  Keep in mind, my parents cannot do any hiking only short walks - and most sightseeing will be done from a vehicle.

Las Vegas to Death Valley -- it will be mid-September, not ideal for Death Valley but we need to stop and see it.  I am travelling with my dog so having power for the trailer to run AC is mandatory.  I'm thinking possibly if we leave Las Vegas first thing in the morning and move the trailers to somewhere closer to Death Valley, we can pile into a truck and tour it together for the rest of  the day.  If you were to do this, what route would you take from Las Vegas and where would be a good place to stay?  I was looking at Fort Amargosa RV park or Longstreet Casino & RV park but I'm unsure if there would be a better location.

Death Valley to Yosemite - I haven't done much research about Yosemite yet, but any advice on routes would be appreciated!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my inquires.  If you are able to offer any advice for this trip, I'd sure appreciate it!

Lisa






   

muskoka guy

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2017, 02:11:36 PM »
I can recommend a great rv resort in Las Vegas. Its called the Oasis Rv resort. Minutes from the strip. Very nice and is actually the nicest place we stayed on our 6000 mile tour this winter. It was 55 dollars a night for a pull thru. We also started at Kelowna bc and went down through Washington and Oregon to California. We then went across to Las Vegas then to the south rim of the grand canyon. From there we went east to Nashville and didnt go north as it was winter and we wanted to avoid the cold. We would have liked to go north to Utah. Next time.

Massmerch

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 03:15:36 PM »
I also agree with the Oasis Rv Resort being one of the nicest resorts available.  Close to everything available and the amenities were great. ;)
Randy
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AStravelers

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 08:42:43 AM »
I use RV Park Reviews http://www.rvparkreviews.com/ to research RV Parks to stay at.  You are just looking for a clean, resonably priced place to stay, so it shouldn't be hard to find a place using the website.  On the very bad or outstanding reviews read them with an eye to see if they make sense to you and that what the reviewer says is important to you.

Whenever you visit the National Parks, try to stay inside the parks.  Then get up while it is still dark and drive to the overlooks at first daylight and be there in the very early morning.  The sun casting shadows and light on the country side is fantastic.  You also get to avoid the crowds in the afternoon.  Yes it requires some extra effort to do this, but it is well worth it. 

Death Valley:
--  There is a campground or two inside the park at Furnace Creek with hookups.  But if the elect goes off or the A/C breaks your pet will have a problem
--  Consider staying at Beatty, NV and driving into the park.
  For this time of the year, a day trip to Death Valley will give you time to see the highlights of the park.  If it was winter I would recommend a longer stay. 
--  Travel from Death Valley to Yosemite. This is a very scenic route: If you are comfortable with mountain driving, steep grades (7-9% up and down) on winding roads take US-190 west from Death Valley to Lone Pine and US-395 north to Lee Vining and then SR-120 into Yosemite. The roads are in good condition, just winding and little or no shoulder.  Otherwise go south to I-15 and head to Bakersfield, CA and then N to near Yosemite. A dull and boring route.

Bryce & Zion:
--  Plan to stay 2 nights, 3 would be better, in Bryce.  You can take a side trip to Kodachrome State Park as part of the second day, since you won't be doing any hiking.  If you can't or don't want to stay inside Bryce NP, Ruby's Inn RV park is a place lots of people stay.  I have never stayed there. Plan on 2 nights at Glendale or Mount Carmel Junction.  That leaves a full day to drive through Zion.

I would flat out skip Las Vegas.  You can always fly to Las Vegas and probably have a more enjoyable stay than staying in an RV Park.  That would give you additional days at some of the natural wonders of the world.

You asked about a stop between Mt Carmel Jct and Grand Canyon.  Take Hwy 89A up to Jacob Lake and stay at the National Forest CG (there is also a RV park there) and take an afternoon trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Then on your drive from Jacob Lake to the South Rim, stop at Navajo Bridge:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navajo_Bridge.  It only takes about 30 minutes to go through the visitor center and walk a couple hundred yards out on the original bridge, pedestrians only.

Or you could take Hwy 89 from Mt Carmel Jct, stop at Lake Powell, stay at Wahweap and take a day cruise on Lake Powell.  The lake and sandstone formations are fantastic.   
Al & Sharon
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dkreuzen

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2017, 11:28:18 AM »
...Salt Lake City to Bryce Canyon/Zion - Head south on I15 -- the map program takes us off the interstate near Nephi and south on 28 & 89.  I had thought we would stay on I15 and take Hwy 20 to 89.  Which is preferable? 
I have done both although a few years ago. Hwy 20 is a good 2 lane road.

Mount Carmel Junction to Grand Canyon Village  -- is there somewhere along the route that is worth adding a night stop for?  Keep in mind, my parents cannot do any hiking only short walks - and most sightseeing will be done from a vehicle.
I would recommend a stop at the Lake Powell visitors center on US89 next to Page AZ.

Las Vegas to Death Valley -- it will be mid-September, not ideal for Death Valley but we need to stop and see it.  I am travelling with my dog so having power for the trailer to run AC is mandatory.  I'm thinking possibly if we leave Las Vegas first thing in the morning and move the trailers to somewhere closer to Death Valley, we can pile into a truck and tour it together for the rest of  the day.  If you were to do this, what route would you take from Las Vegas and where would be a good place to stay?  I was looking at Fort Amargosa RV park or Longstreet Casino & RV park but I'm unsure if there would be a better location.
I have stayed at the Longstreet Casino and it was okay. Pahrump is another possible area with lots of RV park choices, much closer than Las Vegas for visiting Death Valley.

Death Valley to Yosemite - I haven't done much research about Yosemite yet, but any advice on routes would be appreciated!
Yosemite is a great place but the trip between the two can be challenging. Taking CA190 from Death Valley over to US395 is not a route to take your parents on. Taking US 95 north to US6 then CA120 over Tioga pass bypasses the worst and is actually a little faster. And then you have to get back down Tioga pass. Tioga pass is a 4000ft climb in 12 miles.
...






   
Dennis
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AStravelers

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2017, 05:40:40 PM »
I use RV Park Reviews http://www.rvparkreviews.com/ to research RV Parks to stay at.  You are just looking for a clean, resonably priced place to stay, so it shouldn't be hard to find a place using the website.  On the very bad or outstanding reviews read them with an eye to see if they make sense to you and that what the reviewer says is important to you.

Whenever you visit the National Parks, try to stay inside the parks.  Then get up while it is still dark and drive to the overlooks at first daylight and be there in the very early morning.  The sun casting shadows and light on the country side is fantastic.  You also get to avoid the crowds in the afternoon.  Yes it requires some extra effort to do this, but it is well worth it. 

Death Valley:
--  There is a campground or two inside the park at Furnace Creek with hookups.  But if the elect goes off or the A/C breaks your pet will have a problem
--  Consider staying at Beatty, NV and driving into the park.
  For this time of the year, a day trip to Death Valley will give you time to see the highlights of the park.  If it was winter I would recommend a longer stay. 
--  Travel from Death Valley to Yosemite. This is a very scenic route: If you are comfortable with mountain driving, steep grades (7-9% up and down) on winding roads take US-190 west from Death Valley to Lone Pine and US-395 north to Lee Vining and then SR-120 into Yosemite. The roads are in good condition, just winding and little or no shoulder.  Otherwise go south to I-15 and head to Bakersfield, CA and then N to near Yosemite. A dull and boring route.

Bryce & Zion:
--  Plan to stay 2 nights, 3 would be better, in Bryce.  You can take a side trip to Kodachrome State Park as part of the second day, since you won't be doing any hiking.  If you can't or don't want to stay inside Bryce NP, Ruby's Inn RV park is a place lots of people stay.  I have never stayed there. Plan on 2 nights at Glendale or Mount Carmel Junction.  That leaves a full day to drive through Zion.

I would flat out skip Las Vegas.  You can always fly to Las Vegas and probably have a more enjoyable stay than staying in an RV Park.  That would give you additional days at some of the natural wonders of the world.

You asked about a stop between Mt Carmel Jct and Grand Canyon.  Take Hwy 89A up to Jacob Lake and stay at the National Forest CG (there is also a RV park there) and take an afternoon trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Then on your drive from Jacob Lake to the South Rim, stop at Navajo Bridge:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navajo_Bridge.  It only takes about 30 minutes to go through the visitor center and walk a couple hundred yards out on the original bridge, pedestrians only.

Or you could take Hwy 89 from Mt Carmel Jct, stop at Lake Powell, stay at Wahweap and take a day cruise on Lake Powell.  The lake and sandstone formations are fantastic.   
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

henkelphoto

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2017, 06:13:06 PM »
Just one quick note, in September when you are planning to travel, Tioga Pass and in fact all of Yosemite can and frequently does have snow in September. Tioga Pass will be closed for the winter if there is a good early snowfall.
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ArdraF

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 07:03:36 PM »
That's a LOT of driving!  Personally I would stick with southern Utah and maybe the Grand Canyon but skip Las Vegas (unless it's on the way to/from somewhere else) and Death Valley.  Going west out of Death Valley is a straight 17-mile uphill climb and I wouldn't recommend it, especially if Tioga Pass going into Yosemite gets closed by an early snow.

Southern Utah also has both Canyonlands and Arches National Parks in Moab.  The river road along the Colorado River is beautiful there.  Those, along with Zion, Bryce, and Capitol Reef National Parks can take several days each, even without hiking.  Then there are wonderful state parks including Goblin and Escalante Petrified Forest.  The Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry is up by Price.  If you've got a four-wheel drive vehicle there are lots of 4WD roads in Utah.  There also are places like the Cove Fort Historic site.  I-70 crosses the San Rafael Swell which is a wondrous geologic formation.  Rest areas along the 100-mile portion from Richfield to Green River have interpretive signs so you know what you're looking at from the overlooks.  Green River has the Powell museum that tells how Powell explored the Colorado River canyon.  From the Moab area you can go south through Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon.  And don't forget the attractions in and around Salt Lake City, such as the This is the Place monument and the Kennecott Copper Mine.

By the way, Death Valley is huge and you really should stay inside the park if you decide to go there because it's a 50-mile drive to anywhere from anywhere in the park.  It's not reasonable to drive there from either Las Vegas or Pahrump and actually do any sightseeing.  It would be one long exhausting day!  You may be able to take a tour of the historic Furnace Creek Inn.  There is a full hookup RV park with paved sites in the Furnace Creek area.  We drove through it and it seemed nice.  I don't think Scotty's Castle has reopened after damaging floods in 2015 when estimated reopening was 2019.  The area around it may be open now.

Depending on the age and health of your parents, the itinerary as planned might be too much.  I'd scale it back to fewer places and more time visiting the areas where you do stop.

ArdraF
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AStravelers

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2017, 09:02:20 AM »
Personally I agree with earlier replies about limiting the travel to see more in UT and skip some of the others. 

However if you are not going to do any hiking and you really want to visit (bucket list) these very scenic National Parks, Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Yosemite, then go for it.  It will be a busy 2 1/2 weeks with lots of driving, but you will get to get a quick view of the scenic highlights.   As I stated earlier, skip Las Vegas and fly there another time. 
Al & Sharon
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Wendy

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2017, 10:05:46 AM »
Death Valley in September is still HOT. A lot of people stay in Pahrump and do day trips into Death Valley. If you want to stay in DV, there are about 10 electricity sites at Stovepipe Wells and also some electricity sites at Furnace Creek - they are reservable and fill up early. I agree with those say skip Vegas and Death Valley and spend more time in Utah and at Grand Canyon.


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John Stephens

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2017, 02:02:43 PM »
I would be cautious about making a 6,000 mile trip in less than 20 days and still try to enjoy the sights. Last year, we drove 6,200 miles from Florida to Vegas and then back to the Midwest before heading home. The only thing that saved us was taking five weeks. I drove for six days straight to get to Arizona before camping for more than overnight and was so tired, I could barely enjoy the sights when we finally got to our destinations. You may want to either add more time to the trip or cut a few of the destinations out. Personally, I would make a two week trip out of simply driving from BC to Utah and see the sights. If you were to do something like that, you won't feel as rushed and will enjoy the trip and your surroundings much more. Something to consider is the fact that although you may be able to do the trip at that pace, your parents may not. How are they driving to meet you in SLC?
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muskoka guy

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2017, 09:02:55 PM »
We did 6000 miles in a month, and it was still too much driving and not enough site seeing.

AStravelers

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2017, 07:08:36 AM »
I'm not sure where this 6000 mile calculation for the trip comes from.  The OP talked about meeting up in SLC and doing the loop through Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite and ending in Reno.  My rough tally of the mileage for this loop comes to about 1600 miles in about 14-18 days. 

Yes there is some travel probably significant travel from both parties point of origin, to/from SLC and Reno, but I figure that is beyond the scope of the reason they posted. 

While I agree personally that this much travel would limit the amount of time "I" would want to spend in each location.  I have to take in consideration they really won't be doing any hiking.  The vast majority of sightseeing will be looking out the windshield. 

Mostly doing drive thru's and going into visitor centers, this trip seems pretty doable.  Rushed, but doable.   

« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 07:10:41 AM by AStravelers »
Al & Sharon
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John Stephens

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2017, 08:44:02 AM »
My apologies. I picked up the 6,000 miles from another post and assumed that was what we were dealing with.
John
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John97031

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2017, 11:38:38 PM »
Last year we visited (from Hood River Oregon) Dinosaur, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Natural Bridges, Mesa Verde, Canyonlands, Arches NP/NM and Glenwood Springs CO in May. We spent 3 nights at Zion, 2 nights at Bryce, 3 nights Mesa Verde then either a full day or drive through of the others. This May we are returning to some of them. 1 day each Dinosaur, Arches and Canyonlands but a week in Zion and 6 days in Glenwood Springs and adding Grand Canyon North Rim.

My reason for listing this? There is a LOT to see. There seems to be a big split in opinions here between Zion and Bryce. We LOVED Zion which is why we are staying a week and have no interest in returning to Bryce.  Also we visit early May when the temps are reasonable and places less crowded....

I just noticed you are traveling in September. We also make a September trip but hit Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, Wind Caves, Jewel Caves, Mt Rushmore and Devils Tower. Unless you have your heart set on a lot of driving I would recommend hitting some of those sites. Much less driving for you....
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 11:44:30 PM by John97031 »
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Lisa

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2017, 09:09:13 PM »
Thank you for your replies.

I too thought we should skip Vegas but my dad wants to see it.  We will stay at Oasis as my husband and I have stayed before and enjoyed it.

My dad's "bucket list" was to see the Grand Canyon.  When we said we'd go with them (my mom won't go that far anymore on their own), my dad said he also wants to see Death Valley.  My husband and I visited Moab, Arches, Canyonland and Zion a few years ago and would love for my parents to see some of Utah. Since we didn't make it to Bryce, we suggested there along with Zion, as it's so close. Perhaps we should skip Yosemite.

We have been to Yellowstone, Teton,  Devils Tower and Mt Rushmore. I absolutely loved the Black Hills area. This trip is about my parents though and what they'd like to see. Total will be around 5000km for us.

Thanks again for your input.

Old_Crow

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2017, 05:09:27 AM »
If you're going to be in the Bryce/Zion area, it's only a 2-2.5 hour drive to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Much closer than having to drive all the way around to get to the south rim.  Also quite a bit less crowded, although the campground outside the park where we hosted was full every night last year, there were always some empty spots in the morning.
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ArdraF

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2017, 03:51:54 PM »
If those places are where your parents want to go, then that's where you should go.  You may not get another chance to share such a great trip so you should let them choose where they want to go.  If it's too much driving, then slow down and cover what seems reasonable.  We were so lucky to be able to take my mother and his father with us on a few trips and we wouldn't trade those wonderful memories for anything!  They're even more precious now that they're gone....  Enjoy your good times together.

ArdraF
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Lisa

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2017, 12:59:58 PM »
If those places are where your parents want to go, then that's where you should go.  You may not get another chance to share such a great trip so you should let them choose where they want to go.  If it's too much driving, then slow down and cover what seems reasonable.  We were so lucky to be able to take my mother and his father with us on a few trips and we wouldn't trade those wonderful memories for anything!  They're even more precious now that they're gone....  Enjoy your good times together.

ArdraF


Thank you for saying this.  This is exactly what this trip is for us.  My husband has lost both his parents in the last 2 years and made us realize we need to do this now while they are still able to travel.  This trip is about them and what they'd like to see.  I think I'll take a look and do shorter travel days or stay an extra night in a few places.  I now have 3 weeks off work for this trip so that will help.

Lisa

ArdraF

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Re: Utah and Nevada route questions
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2017, 06:01:23 PM »
You're welcome, Lisa.  Sometimes we get carried away with what WE would do, but this is a case of what THEY WANT to do.  Go out there and make some beautiful memories; you'll never regret it.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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