My Mom's 60th birthday is August 24th so with that in mind we planned A road trip.My grandparents rented a house in Monterey, so we wanted to find a time to see them. Then my sisters had wanted to do something to show how much we loved and cared and came up with a weekend in San Francisco (where my mom lived before my dad from 18-35). Finally, I had never been to so many of the amazing national parks, and my mom had taken my sisters on similar trips to Zion and Bryce, so we figured doing a road trip through the parks.
Friday the 19th
Friday morning we started at 6 am so we could get the long drive done. It's 5.5 hours from park city to Bryce I've done the majority of the drive many times in my life driving between park city and palm desert. So it's kind of boring to me.
we did it mainly all by driving we turned into the furthest viewing point and then drove back from there stopping at the lookout points we thought were interesting. There're hikes down into the canyon, but we didn't care to do them. As you can see much by car.
Just a 2-hour drive from Bryce, but completely different. Bryce is super surreal, with the wired alien like rock formations, While Zion is more well known and has more hikes and diversity in areas.
We stayed the only hotel inside the park, Zion Lodge. It's hard to get a reservation but it is at the bottom of the canyon, so it has great views.
Things to do
Angel falls the big hike, my mom and one of my sisters went on it and nearly died (because they lacked preparation). We just did the falls which are easy but in August long after the snows melted the falls are not so beautiful.
Saturday the 20th
We left at 6 am and planned to go through Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon Skywalk and spend the night Las Vegas. We had booth been to the Grand Canyon, but since we were so close I had thought the skywalk looked cool.
Hoover Dam- when driving through Boulder City and we saw it was the home of the Hoover Dam we knew we just had to see what it was all about. It is an amazing the structure and the details from the 1920s. It takes an extra 30 minutes total so why not?
Grand Canyon Skywalk- 2.5 hrs from Vegas 5 hrs from Zion. The Skywalk is a part of the Hualapai Tribe reservation. They have 1 million acres at the west rim of the Grand Canyon and have taken such good care of it (way better than the national park). You pay for multiple stops including the skywalk and another view area as well as an old western town. The most amazing part is there is no railing, and it's kind of scary, kind of amazing. The skywalk is also incredibly cool it does the look like it sticks out enough to be over the canyon but it is. They don't allow you to bring your cameras or phones on the walkway, so you have to buy the pictures. But it's worth it.
Las Vegas- we drove back to Las Vegas (2.5 hours) went to the Wynn for an errand. And then to the outlets (their outlets are second to Cabazon, last year we got like 5 Burberry Blazers for $75.) For lunch, we stopped at in-n-out if you've never been your life is not complete and when your starving from a road trip it's even better. After going to boiling outlets and everything going on we just decided to get on the road and cancel the hotel reservations for the night in Las Vegas. (Las Vegas is really fun but like I said we used to drive back and forth from Palm Desert to Park City all the time, and we would stop in Vegas) In the summer it's boiling.
Death Valley- Going to Yosemite from Las Vegas, Death Valley is not on the most direct route, but it's only an extra like 30 minutes or so. We never had plans to get out of the car. We just wanted to see what we could see. When we were leaving Las Vegas, we thought we would sleep there at a hotel (there's 3), but we arrived around 4:30 and weren't feeling it.
We drove till bishop- it was the fourth city after Death Valley and halfway to Yosemite. The four little city are so cute very nostalgic USA.
In the morning before we headed out we asked what was Iconic Bishop as my uncle had grown up there and. We wanted to send him a pick.
Schat's Bakery- this Iconic bakery is so cute, and it's a cute Dutch themed.
Our original plan had been to drive Las Vegas to Yosemite which is 9 hrs
From Bishop, it was just 3.5 hrs
Mono Lake- On the west side of Yosemite is this unusual lake called mono lake. The lake formed from a volcano. The water is similar to the Dead Sea (and smells like it). At the top is a Visitor Center which has great views. Then you can go to Lake and stick your feet in the lake (it gets everywhere, but you have to do it)
Tigon pass- my mom realized we were coming in on the backside which is her favorite way to come in because go from the top down into the valley. The sites on the road are gorgeous we stopped at that most perfect lake and just fantastic views all around, climbing into the mountains and down into valley where all the hotels lie
Yosemite- we got to Yosemite around 10:30. My mom first wanted to show me the old Ahwahnee that's now called the majestic. We walked around the hotel and then from there we drove and parked at the general store and walked around the community and then drove over to see our "Glamping" site and check in; unfortunately, it wasn't ready.
Yosemite tour- you can take free tours of the valley which we had signed up for on Monday since we thought we would be driving all day Sunday. With the crowds from Europe and all around, we decided that my mom has been to Yosemite enough and taken the tour, so she just gave me the tour. Taking me to great photo spots the tour had taken her to. The central spot we were going to go to was Glacier point which has fantastic views of the entire valley and mountains. The drive up seems like forever as you have to go up and then down. We noticed the hike from the Valley is only 4 miles so a better way may be to take the bus up and hike down.
We checked back to see if our tent was ready. Luckily it was unluckily it was not some things we wanted to stay in. We checked out and headed to the majestic for dinner. We were going to hang out in the hotel and use the internet. We thought we only had an hour, and we could get into dinner at 5:30 instead of 6 after realizing our phones were still on Utah time, so we had 2 hrs, and the Restaurant wouldn't change it we decided just to drive through to Carmel.