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USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

Oxford, United...
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USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

Looking for some advice for a 10 day to 12 day trip in late September 2013.

We have already done: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Hoover dam, Yosemite, Sequoia National Park, Death Valley, Yellowstone.

We would like to see (at least) Grand Canyon, Bryce, Monument Valley, Zion, not sure what else.

We can fly into anywhere sensible and out of anywhere (not necessarily in and out of the same place) that have flight connections to Orlando, FL. We are 2 "young retired" Brits who live 6 months a year in FL and love to explore your wonderful country. We have a FL driving license and will doing this trip with a rental car, stopping in hotels/lodges.

Looking for mostly sights/vistas though my husband may do short hikes ( 3-4 miles?) without me.

I have found out that I can avoid the extra "one way fee" for the car, maybe because we are not using a US rental company.

One question that comes to mind is to go clock-wise or anti-clockwise (or doesn't it matter) on the trip?

Any suggested itineraries?

Wednesbury, UK
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1. Re: USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

Hi.

Well a loop out of Las Vegas or one-way LV to Phoenix may fit the bill.

As you have seen LV, then it can just be a starting point, so:

1. Fly to LV.

2. Drive to Zion, 3 hours,

3. Zion.

4. To Bryce Canyon.

6. To Page.

7. Page for Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.

8. To Monument Valley.

9. To GCNP south rim.

10. To Kingman , slow drive along route 66 from Seligman to Kingman.

11. To LV via Oatman section of route66, and Laughlin.

12. Fly home.

Phoenix variation

10. To Sedona.

11. Sedona.

12. Drive to Phoenix and fly home that evening.

Edited: 19 January 2013, 20:51
Wednesbury, UK
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2. Re: USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

Actually, if you got an early flight to LV, you could probably go straight to Zion, as no jet lag for you coming from Florida, and gain an extra night, and I missed day 5, so Sedona would fit into the Vegas loop. : ).

Edited: 19 January 2013, 20:54
Wednesbury, UK
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3. Re: USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

Another option would be to fly into Salt Lake City, and do a loop that includes Moab for Arches and Canyonlands. A little more driving in this.

1. Fly SLC.

2. To Moab.

3-4. Moab.

5. To Monument Valley.

6. To Page

7. To GCNP North rim.

8. To Zion.

9. Zion.

10. To Bryce.

11. To SLC.

12. Fly home.

Again, you could go Bryce to SLC in one day and fly, but depends if you want to see the city?

1

Edited: 19 January 2013, 21:01
Wednesbury, UK
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4. Re: USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

You can also visit South Rim instead of North Rim in the SLC loop, it just means a longer drive to Zion next day.

Edited: 19 January 2013, 21:35
Oxford, United...
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5. Re: USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

Thanks guys and gals.

Adding this info to the replies I got on the Arizona/Grand Canyon forum means I am in a much more informed place now!

Also have checked with my UK rental car company and for info, they said "If you book either Alamo or Dollar there will not be a one way charge." brilliant.

As usual Tripadvisor comes up trumps (is that a US phrase, too)??

Lewes, United...
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6. Re: USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

Valiant has provided you with lots of fab info and some great routes, already.

Just to add that there are more companies than just Alamo and Dollar who offer fee free one ways within CA/NV/AZ combos, but you have to either book through the .co.uk website or through one of the consolidators that are frequently recommended on this forum. Your dates as well as how early you book will determine who has the best prices on the day.. Just one important point to add on this. If you use this route to get no drop off charges, you MUST use your UK, not US driver's license as these deals aren't open to US citizens. It must be booked from the UK, too.

Have a great trip,

SWT

Oxford, United...
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7. Re: USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

Good point about which license to use and yes we will book through a uk company.

Thanks

Oxford, United...
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8. Re: USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

Hi guys. Gradually getting there. We have now discounted the Phoenix to Sedona part (can't see what advantage it gives us except to get us nearer to the Grand Canyon to start the trip).

Hubby NOW mentioned Salt Lake City might be good, so I've now come up with the following trip.

1) does it work or am I too rushed at any point?

2) am I right in thinking I would be on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon if I was coming from Monument Valley and then on to Page (not the North Rim). I'm just not clear on this!

As usual, so many thanks for the help. What a community!

========================

1. Arrive Salt Lake City

2. SLC

3. Arches NP

4. Mese Verde NP

5.Monument Valley

6. GC South

7. GC to Page

8. Page

9. Page to Bryce

10. Bryce to Zion

11. Zion to LV via Valley of Fire

12 Dep Las Vegas

Wednesbury, UK
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9. Re: USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

Hi again, yes South Rim fits and yes that works, but it is quite rushed and you really want two nights for Arches and Canyonlands or Zion depending on your choice.

So, either drop the full day in SLC, or one night in Page, unless your are doing the raft trip you can still see Antelope Canyon the day you get there and Horseshoe Bend on the way to Bryce.

western WA
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10. Re: USA west national parks road trip late sept 2013

Since you are making multiple trips to see western US national parks, here's some advice for a future trip to the Pacific Northwest. The best months to travel here are August and September (early to mid, not late). None of the parks here are drive-bys except Mt. St. Helens and possibly Crater Lake, so allow lots of time.