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Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

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Columbus, Ohio
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Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

So three friends of mine and I will be flying into Salt Lake City in a few weeks and driving to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. We have two very different but also very exciting choices for after we leave Yellowstone.

The first is to travel southwest to Carson City, NV while stopping in Twin Falls, ID and other places along the way. Then, go to Lake Tahoe to visit Emerald Bay and the area they shot Godfather 2. After, we would go to Yosemite and make out way back to Salt Lake also stopping in places along the way. Obviously these are long drives but we are willing to do night drives and such. Camping is the lodging of choice for Yosemite and I'm aware of the busy lodging schedule but I assume there will be available campsites?

The Second choice is to drive back down from Yellowstone to Southern Utah to visit Moab, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Page, AZ, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park.

The overall driving time for the first choice is about 36 hours and the second choice is 29 hours. Obviously there is a ton of great things to see and do along the way of each place but I thought a seasoned or an experienced traveller to these places would have great insight into this toss up dilemma. I appreciate any info very much.

Thank you,

Hershel

Napa, CA
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1. Re: Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

You might want to ask this on the road trips forum:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri…

How much time are you spending in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons and how much time overall do you have? You might also consider going to Glacier, NP. It's closer to Yellowstone than Yosemite.

Columbus, Ohio
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2. Re: Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

We're flying in on June 17th and leave July 1st. Most likely 2 days in Teton and 3 days in Yellowstone.

Napa, CA
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3. Re: Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

Three days in Yellowstone is the bare minimum for a drive through. Spend a week there if you can.

San Diego
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4. Re: Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

If you did the 2nd route you could also go to the Grand Canyon which I certainly think is worth while.

My travel style would be to cover less ground but do it in more depth so I'd stay within Wyoming,Colorado, Arizona, and Utah instead of going out to California on this trip.

Do California as a separate visit. IF you weren't going to Yellowstone then I'd do Utah,Arizona and California.

So Cal
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5. Re: Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

I don't see Yellowstone & Yosemite as a natural match at all. Way, way too much driving, and they're both major destinations which deserve a week each. The Utah parks are all a lot closer to each other and to Yellowstone/GT, and can be strung together in a much less exhausting and more fun way. (You can come up with a route that gives you something to do each day, rather than having days with nothing but a long, hot, boring drive, or a C-list attraction.) And while you could easily spend a week between, say, Zion and Bryce, you could also spend just a couple nights at each and not feel like kicking yourself for shortchanging them. By contrast, three nights in Yellowstone or Yosemite barely scratches the surface.

Temps will likely be high in Utah, but then again, Yosemite Valley would be heating up as well.

Lewiston, California
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6. Re: Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

Skip California & stick with Yellowstone & Utah plus a couple of nights at the Grand Canyon North Rim which actually is in Arizona.

Yellowstone requires a minimum of 5 days.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

Utah is beautiful. Since you're flying into SLC why not see Utah this trip, then in a future trip fly into SFO and see Yosemite and Tahoe? We're at the point where we prefer to go to fewer places but spend more time at each (versus doing a lot if drive-throughs) So maybe consider how you will actually be spending your hours and days--sitting in the car driving or out in nature.

Owensboro, KY
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8. Re: Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

We just returned from Yosemite National Park yesterday and have previously visited the southern Utah parks. Don't miss Zion and Bryce while you have the chance to see them. They are so unique and not to be missed! We loved Yosemite but it's a long trip around the area to see everything and requires more time than you can devote. I agree that you should fly into San Francisco at a later time and do a trip down the coast and then over to Yosemite. You don't want to be rushed at such a large park. Enjoy the Utah parks that are close together because that makes a great trip! Don't forget that you are somewhat near the north rim of the Grand Canyon in southern Utah also. It's a beautifully unique place also.

St. Louis
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9. Re: Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

Zion and Arches would be my picks - you'd have less time in the car and more time in some great parks :) Zion is breath taking beauty... I loved Angel's Landing, but do not recommend it if you have a fear of heights, or are out of shape. Arches is a giant jungle qym for grown ups... just be careful where you walk to avoid stepping on the crust. The Fiery Furnace tour at Arches is a great way to get in and see more than most get to see on their own. Tickets for the tour sell out so buy them in advance. Also if you're in the area check out Capitol Reef/Fruita. It's an old settlement with orchards turned national park and they sell homemade pies that are outstanding. It's a nice break from drive-thrus on a road trip.

Enjoy!

10. Re: Yosemite vs. Southern Utah Parks Question

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