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Old 10-04-2012, 06:13 AM   #21
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

AAA is an auto club. The maps are just regular state maps. They show main roads and dirt roads, but not hiking trails. They would be larger than a Road Atlas map, so a little easier to read. You could buy them at any truck stop, get them free at the Welcome Center of the states you visit, or I can get them free at AAA. A state map is not totally necessary if you have a Road Atlas. I was just trying to make things a little easier for you. If you also have the Topo maps on your GPS it will show the hiking trails.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:50 AM   #22
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Thanks for your offer on the AAA maps really kind of you... I might take you up on that one but we are still figuring out more precisely our itinerary
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:24 AM   #23
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Off topic, but my wife found a use for unneeded/old maps. Use them as wrapping paper for presents. Almost everyone we've given a present to wrapped with a map has made positive comments about it.


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Old 10-04-2012, 09:21 AM   #24
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

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Originally Posted by saabman
We are also trying to figure out the issues of snow and getting to Yosemite... Until when in spring would it be tricky snow-wise?
It depends on the winter, but check the following link out - could be closed until summer!

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tiogaopen.htm
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:46 AM   #25
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Most of the time Sonora Pass (108) opens before Tioga but not by much. If the roads open and a larger storm flys through, as a rule both generally close back up for a short time depending on the season. But Cal-Trans is more pro-active on clearing Sonora Pass as compared to Tioga so there is more of a chance that 108 will re-open first. From 395 to 108 and over the pass, you could then take highway 49 south to lower highway 120 and make Yosemite Valley. The goal is to get both passes open by the end of May but as posted times vary. Be aware that the Valley usually requires reservations to stay there (if you want to camp) and most of the other upper camps outside the valley will generally be closed. Off 120 inside the park, hodgedon meadow CG is usually a year round camp that is open and more than likely will be clear of deep snow by then. I'd rather stay there over the valley but that's my opinion.

There are other options outside the park, some that I've posted about on my web site shown below. Feel free to PM me for more info if you need to.

You should see Yosemite at all cost, and at that time of the year the falls will be pumping out the water. Enjoy your trip.


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Old 10-06-2012, 11:21 PM   #26
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

I feel like you're trying to do too much. You can spend an entire week at most of those places and driving 7 hours, getting a campsite and leaving the next morning is not much better than driving through.

Also, simply skipping Barstow and going through Death Valley saves you an hour on Google maps. Even if you're only driving through, Death Valley would be higher on my list than Lake Powell.

Speaking of which, Lake Powell? Why? If you're not staying and renting a houseboat, or offroading I'm not sure what it has to offer over a hotel pool.

Next, why start in LA? This might be an object blindness to the realities of International Travel, but Salt Lake City to Grand Staircase, Grand Canyon, then the rest is no longer on Google, and I would think a lot better than driving OUT of LA any given day or time. Plus you get to go through Moab, which I'd put high on a list.

The next alternatives are Denver to Colorado 50 through Moab (scenic but you're eating time and miles), and Albuquerque (Although I personally do not like New Mexico, and might be small for a one-way RV rental place). Denver to I-70 gives you an amazing experience of the Rockies, but it's not exactly stress-free driving. Denver might be a better International destination, however unless you really want to see the Rockies driving through, Salt Lake City might be better.

So overall I'd make it a lot simpler:
Salt Lake City Utah
Stay closest NP to get settled in the RV
Drive through Moab
Stay in Canyonlands or Glen Canyon, as close to getting to Grand Canyon as possible
Stay in Grand Canyon (North or South Rim is the question)
Stay in Bryce area
Stay in Las Vegas (only assuming you want to do the Las Vegas thing)
Drive Through Death Valley
Stay in National Forests and/or through to Yosemite
Stay in Yosemite
Finish at San Francisco

I wouldn't put cities that you absolutely don't have to be in on your list, and put almost any National Park between you and wherever to break up the drive. Keep the 7 hour+ drives far apart, and as big of blocks in Grand Canyon, Bryce/Zion and Yosemite as you can.

Also, don't be surprised if by the time we're done we have you going to Yellowstone or New York City!
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:55 AM   #27
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

^^Agreed on all accounts!
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:11 AM   #28
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Also, don't be surprised if by the time we're done we have you going to Yellowstone or New York City!


We have taken the hints on the distances and reducing the amount of compulsory stops...

One extra question for the warmer areas of my initial list how are the temps say from April to June? We are not exactly used to really high temperatures but could cope with the help of some AC unit

Thanks again for all the suggestions
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:42 AM   #29
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

In my opinion, you will not need any air conditioning at any of your stops in June. You might need a fan. But early June is still nice weather even in Las Vegas. In April you may need a warm jacket or sweat shirt for the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Yosemite.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:04 PM   #30
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

All the previous suggestions are good. Here are a few more suggestions.
Fly into Las Vegas instead of Los Angeles. Early June would be good. When you have had enough of Vegas, a rental company will probably pick you up at your hotel and take you to your RV. It will have 110V AC. Head east toward the Grand Canyon. Stop for a look around Hoover Dam. At Ash Fork, turn south off the interstate and visit Jerome, Prescott, Montezuma's Castle, and Sedona (artsy-craftsy, overpriced shops and galleries, home of the famous Pink Jeep tours). Stay off the interstate highway. Go up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. In or near Flagstaff visit the Northern Arizona Museum, Lowell Observatory, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater. There are websites that describe all these attractions. Fit the Grand Canyon in here somewhere and then continue with the rest of your itinerary.
After visiting Monument Valley and your choice of Utah's National Parks, finishing with Bryce Canyon, consider an alternative route to Lee Vining (California) and Yosemite Park. Instead of returning to Las Vegas and going through Barstow or one of the routes suggested by others (all of which are very good ideas) head west from Bryce. Go to Cedar City (this is a pretty trip, anyway), then west from Cedar city to Modena and the Utah-Nevada border. Then to Panaca, Caliente, Rachel (Area 51, flying saucers, aliens), Warmsprings, Tonopah, and California highway 120 that will take you into Lee Vining. Enjoy Mono Lake and then head over Tioga Pass to Yosemite.
These are all good highways across Nevada. They are lightly traveled, and you will see country very different from Arizona and Utah. I think this route saves about 100 miles over the other choices. Be sure to gas-up at Caliente and Tonopah.
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