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Old 01-26-2020, 11:17 PM   #43
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Obviously, some of you have never talked to those from other countries visiting ours. We have and find their traveling methods very interesting. They are so easy-going without cares. I think Europeans are much better travelers than us. They're used to it between their small countries. The majority come here, rent and take off with no issues. They don't need 'practice'. They are the calmest RVers you'll know. These are small, easily navigable RVs. They don't fret crowds and weather. They know what they're getting into. They are here to see our country and take whatever it holds.

By the way..... millions absolutely love the desert. We certainly do. It has a calming beauty and it's not just rocks. Same goes for the Grand Canyon. If you get out of the parking lots and gift shops and get on a trail you can find exquisite beauty.

I really don't think this couple and children will have any problems. They seem adventurous.

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Old 01-26-2020, 11:58 PM   #44
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Be sure to double check all RV systems and hoses etc before you set off. Especially the sewer hose, I have helped some folks with rental units couple times (Road Bear and El Monte are the ones I see most here around LA) that were struggling with hookups due to worn out hoses. Worst case you can stop at any Walmart along the way and just buy some new ones. Don't bother shopping in LA just turn on the fridge and get out of there ASAP before afternoon traffic builds. Plan on 1.5-2hrs hours to get from downtown to outskirts, 3 hrs if after 3pm. If going to Sequoia stop in Santa Clarita or Bakersfield for groceries. If you skip Sequoia and head east on 15 then stop in Victorville or Barstow for groceries.
I agree with others about skipping Sequoia, yes the trees are impressive, but you are adding a lot of miles just for that. Come back next year for a CA and Pac NW tour! If you must go though, you may want to see if Sequoia Ranch RV park has availability I have stayed there couple times it's much closer to entrance. Be prepared for lots of traffic that time of year too... Can take 1-2 hours just to get through the park entrance cars line up for miles. Get started VERY early! Bus/shuttle is good idea for sequoia because once you get to the parking area for Sherman Grove it will be full too (get there early!)
If you skip Sequoia, consider taking I-40 east to Williams AZ and ride grand canyon railway. Our kids loved the wild west theme and train ride, but they were younger than yours at the time. It's a great way to get quickly into park though avoiding the traffic jams. Walk around on trails for few hours then train ride back. From Williams I think you can head north to the parks on your list in southern Utah.
As others noted make sure you have reservations everywhere.
Love that someone suggested Great Basin Park . I spent about 3 years living there just a mile from Lehman Caves in Baker NV when I was a kid, back before it became a national park. It's VERY remote not many visit - incredible star gazing and hiking (hike to summit of 13,000ft Mt Wheeler) and unlike all the other parks it won't be packed with tourists!!

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Old 01-27-2020, 12:22 AM   #45
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I’ll have to look a bit harder at the schedule but I’d skip calico for sure. I’d skip the helicopter and staying in Vegas. I’d probably Work to get another day in Yellowstone and a day in grand Tetons since they are next to Yellowstone and incredible.

I love sequoia but I’d think hard about if you could come for another trip for that and Yosemite and the redwoods and then parks in Oregon and Washington. Biggest issues is there is to much to see here! I live in Los Angeles and have traveled all the parks out here and I could spend a week easily in Yellowstone every year and not see the same things every year. It’s vast. Make sure you see Yellowstone Grand Canyon both rims and the Norris gayer basin and old

Are you renting from someone who would allow you to pick
Up the rv in Los Angeles and return it somewhere else? If so I’d do that and maybe rework the route some so that you don’t have to go out and back but maybe zig zag a bit more and that Would probably give you another four days or so for sight seeing. Heck even if you had to return in salt lake that would be helpful.

Biggest concern I see is having enough time to see everything. There is never enough time.

I’d consider adding a day to Bryce Canyon, too I think.

Biggest issue in Yellowstone will be slow drive on the way in.

What routes are you thinking of taking?
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:30 AM   #46
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Helicopter tour?

Even before the tragic Kobie Bryant accident I had heard that helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon were dangerous. The person who told me was a pilot who said he’d never get on one of those tours. Just an FYI to consider.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:35 AM   #47
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I live in slc and have done the Yellowstone thing. Many times. The park loop will be stop and go most of the time and South to jackson will be the same. Park visitors will stop in the middle of the road and stay to get the best pic they can. It will take long days time wise so prepaid for that. Your going at the busiest time of year.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:49 AM   #48
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I think your driving itinerary is very sound. I subscribe to the 3-300 rule: stop after 300 miles or 3PM. When I make an itinerary, I try to plan out 275-325 miles per day. Anything over that will tire you out too much, especially if this is the first time you are driving an RV.

The only thing I would criticize about your trip is only spending three days in Yellowstone. We went there last year and spent two weeks, and that still wasn't enough time to see everything simply because to really take in Yellowstone, you need to visit the same locations and drive the same routes at different times of the day because where the sun is in the sky changes the appearance of the sights. I don't think you will do Yellowstone properly in only three days. One seasoned traveler told me when I was planning last year's trip to make your plans for Yellowstone and then double the time you thought you needed, and that still won't be enough.

Other than that, I think your trip is a good plan. I just checked out Lemon Cove last night and found them to be extremely expensive. Sequoia Resort is almost half the price so I booked there. We will be catching many of your stops on this year's trip.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:20 PM   #49
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Sequoia National Park

We live about 20 minutes out of Sequoia National Park. I would suggest staying at Lodgepole instead of Lemon Cove if you can get a reservation (also check the size of rv allowed in the park--there are restrictions). Lodgepole is my husband's favorite spot; and he grew up near Banff. If there are no available spots in Lodgepole, Three Rivers has a couple rv camping areas also. The campground right off 198 is convenient.

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Old 01-27-2020, 10:16 PM   #50
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We took our 13 year old grandson on a similar route last year. He loved it! One of his favorites was the sunset tour at Monument Valley. Sabrina was our Navajo guide. You need to book in advance! This tour and the Antelope Canyon tour (we took upper Canyon) must be booked with the Navajo. He also really liked Yellowstone and stopping in Rock Springs, WY at the college to see a T-Rex, other dinosaurs and a wonderful collection of taxidermy. Enjoy!
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:32 AM   #51
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You have all been so helpful with interesting comments and suggestions, thank you so much!

We have modified some elements of the trip since posting it in this thread. We have given thought to all your suggestions and this is the result:

- we are leaving one day earlier so that on the first day we will 'only' have to become comfortable with the RV basics, stock on groceries and such do a few miles and generally start our trip with as less stress as possible (we know that the first day will be extremely stressing).

- we will be picking up the RV in Riverside, which seems already a bit out of Los Angeles, we don't know if the traffic situation will be better because of that, we hope so...

- we will probably stop in Calico on our way from Sequoia to Las Vegas. The reason is not that we are really so eager to visit Calico, but that we decided to break that stretch in two days to 'take it easy' and Calico is more or less in the middle. We figure our two youngsters would appreciate it.

-we will do just one night in Vegas. We decided against the helicopter tour (even before the horrible accident with Kobe Bryant which was my sons and husband's hero, they are heartbroken :-( ).

-We will go from Zion to Grand Canyon North rim. It looks more appealing to us. Unfortunately the RV camping near North Rim is under renovation so they don't take reservations this summer, only first come first served...we will try to leave very early and see if we can find a spot there.

-We have already reserved all the 'difficult to book' spots in the parks. We know we should be flexible and allow for last minute problems and such, but it would be impossible for us to just go and see if they have place in July at peak season. We have to at least try to be prepared. So we have bookings for the very difficult spots such as Zion (just outside), Yellowstone (inside), Bryce (just outside), Fruita, Arches (inside), Monument valley (just outside). And we were right to look for them so early as some of them are already fully booked now.

-As for allowing days for Sequoia and doing only three days at Yellowstone...yes, we understand. If we were living in the US the logical choice would be doing more trips and enjoying everything the beautiful America has to offer. The problem is: a trip to the US for all four of us costs more that 5000 dollars ONLY for the plane tickets. The whole vacation is bound to cost between 15000 and 20000 dollars. You can probably understand why we won't be coming back that soon. It is a lot of money. So we wish to pack as much as possible into it.
We are Italians living in Switzerland. I will make now a comparison, to give you an idea. If you were going to do a one month tour of Europe and asking me for suggestions, as a very proud Italian I would tell you that you would need at leas a year to see all the beautiful things that Italy has to offer. I would tell you: don't go to Paris this time, go another time and enjoy Italy at its full, don't rush it. There isn't just Venice, Florence and Rome to see, there are so many extraordinary places to see and enjoy...but if you have just one month and you want to see Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Prague, Bern....and so on, I understand that you will only have a few days to see some. It is better than nothing. I could also say...leave out Spain and do Italy better....but I think it is better a little bit than nothing at all. (If any of you is ever going to travel to Europe and needs advice, please let me know and I will be happy to help! :-) )

So, thanks again for your kind advice. It has been very helpful and impressively kind.
We are very excited and can't wait to begin out great adventure in Beautiful America!
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:18 AM   #52
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I know you said that you were planning to use the shuttle at Bryce. I would pick one of the places that it stops at. Ruby's Campground has a stop at the front to the property.
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:51 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by BigMona View Post

- we will be picking up the RV in Riverside, which seems already a bit out of Los Angeles, we don't know if the traffic situation will be better because of that, we hope so...

-We will go from Zion to Grand Canyon North rim. It looks more appealing to us. Unfortunately the RV camping near North Rim is under renovation so they don't take reservations this summer, only first come first served...we will try to leave very early and see if we can find a spot there.
Unfortunately, Riverside will be like Los Angeles - busy.

Since Grand Canyon North Rim will be renovating the campground, you might want to try for reservations at DeMotte National Forest campground at the gate entrance to the national park. It's very pleasant and only a 10 min. drive to the Rim. Here's the reservation site.


Or.... if you want to try for the national park's campground without reservations and find there are no openings, then there might be an available site at DeMotte without reservations.

Or.... if DeMotte is full just take the first gravel road south of the campground and drive down the good road for 1/2 - 1 mile and there are fabulous boondocking spots. Just pick an open spot but not creating your own by driving on the vegetation.

None of the above 3 options have electric. The national park does have a tank dump station and water fill.

I'm sure you'll have a fantastic trip!!
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:48 PM   #54
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If you're here, don't skip Calico. Especially if you've already put this much planning into it. And yes, its a VERY GOOD midway stopover between Sequoia and Vegas. Calico is a neat place to visit and learn about California's history. Kids will enjoy it too. It will help explain the historic active and abandoned mining towns between Sequoia and Calico.

Between Calico and Vegas, look out for the Worlds Tallest Thermometer in Baker CA. Stop for food at Bun Boy or the Mad Greek. Both historic restaurants.

If you're here, alllll the way from Switzerland, don't skip Las Vegas either. At least drive the down strip of Las Vegas. Night time is better because of the fancy lighting, but daytime is OK too. Or do both!!

Time permitting, Hoover Dam can be seen and accomplished in <1hr after arriving there, if you are efficient and do free self guided tour. There is some free parking, big enough for motorhomes too. Arrive as early in the day as you can to beat the crowds, and get free parking on the AZ side.

Also, make sure you get the full California experience with a stop at any In-N-Out. There are several along your route during first few days in California; several near LAX airport, Riverside, Barstow (on the way to Calico) etc...

Also, time permitting to/from Calico, consider driving part of Historic Highway 66 in Barstow/Calico/Baker area.
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:29 AM   #55
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NP RV trip thru Idaho

Hi there!
So glad you and your family are coming over to see our National Parks. Make sure that you get an “America the Beautiful” pass!! They are $80 USD and get you free entry into all federal lands that have a day use fee and it will also get you 1/2 price camping in many Forest Service campgrounds.
As you travel from Utah to West Yellowstone (better known as West), you may want to stop and check out a few things just down the road from YNP.
There is a cute County park in the town of Shelley, ID on I-15 (Bingham County Park), that you may want to stop at and then start your journey to West (about 100 miles) the next day.

My husband and I volunteer in an undiscovered forest near West called the Caribou-Targhee. The town on the highway is called Island Park and is 32 miles long.
Right before you hit Island Park, there is a state park called Harriman State Park. It has great hiking. No overnight camping. You will see swans, Moose, beaver and maybe bear. Right on the Snake River.
Mesa Falls is right off Hwy 20, the highway to West, and ID 47, your pass will get you in free. Google it. It is gorgeous and a great chance to stretch your legs. No cell service though. It is the only undisturbed waterfall the whole length of the Snake River. You will not regret stopping.
Also google Johnny Sack Cabin. Another short stop right off Hwy 20 at Big Springs, which is the literal start of the Snake River. Another free attraction. Moose and Otter are often seen here.
You are allowed to camp in the forest for free. No hookups but if you are just stopping for the night, boondocking can be fun.
Just remember, July is THE busiest month at the park. Someone else said it and I cannot stress it enough, get up and out early! That is how you see wildlife. Pack snacks and lunch, it’ll save you lots of cash. Make sure to go to the Lamar Valley. Take your time. Pull over. Don’t block traffic. Drive careful! And please do not approach the wildlife, even if other people are dumb.
When you go to the Tetons, go to Schwabacher’s Landing. So beautiful.
Jackson is crowded, drive around back of the elk refuge and you should be able to see Bighorn.
Do not go over Teton Pass in your RV.
If you want to talk more about the greater YNP region and things to see .. Bruceandjeanroberts@gmail.com
Enjoy your trip!
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:32 AM   #56
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I will testify that the Mad Greek is excellent food!

Best Regards,
Jean and Bruce Roberts
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