We are getting married the first week of August this year. We almost never get to go abroad together so we are really hoping to make the most of it with this trip. We have booked our flights and are narrowing down our route. So we're just looking for advice - recommendations on where to stay, if there's a slightly different route you would take, any 'must see's' on the way. We are aware there is a lot of driving involved, however we see that as part of the adventure. We are also thinking of camping several nights along the way, to feel a bit more at one with the locations. We enjoy hiking, and outdoor activities/sights as apposed to nightlife and luxuries. Other than the obvious heat factor of the desert, is there anything we should know about the areas we are planning on going to?
Day 1 (10th) We fly to San Francisco, arriving late that evening. Stay overnight in San Fran.
Day 2 (11th) Day in San Francisco sightseeing, Overnight in San Fran.
Day 3 (12th) Hire car first thing (or the night before) and drive to Yosemite. Walk/hire a bike. See the sequoia trees. Overnight in Yosemite.
Day 4 (13th) Up early, drive towards Vegas, this is a long way - stop somewhere for lunch and stretch our legs, Mammoth Lakes? Evening wander around Vegas along the strip. Overnight in Vegas.
Day 5 (14th) Morning sightseeing in Vegas. See Hoover Dam and head to Zion NP. Overnight in Zion.
Day 6 (15th) Morning walk in Zion emerald pools. Head to Grand Canyon in time for sunset. Overnight Grand Canyon.
Day 7 (16th) Up very early, see sunrise over Grand Canyon. Hike - bright angel trail? Drive towards Lake Powell. Overnight in Lake Powell.
Day 8 (17th) Take in the views of Lake Powell. Drive to Antelope Canyon and take a tour. Drive to Monument valley and take a Navajo tour. Overnight Monument Valley.
Day 9 (18th) Drive to Arches NP Moab. Drive to Salt Lake City airport.
Flight to Orlando (my parents have a house there) have a nice relaxing 6 days, then fly home.
Would you suggest staying overnight at locations between two destinations to break up the driving or stay in the destination itself. For example drive to Yosemite first thing in the morning, have the day there, and also stay overnight there, starting the drive to Vegas the next day. Or... Drive to Yosemite first thing, have the day there, then in the evening drive a few hours towards Vegas, staying overnight somewhere in the middle, then in the morning you're closer towards Vegas. If that makes sense!
Thanks in advance for any help!