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Old 02-26-2008, 09:18 PM   #21
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We took that trip a few years ago and it was great! Got off to a wonderful start - DW spent an hour playing the slots before we departed Vegas and won $600....
I wish I had your luck but slot machines and I don't get along! Sounds great, though.

It now looks like I may have a few days in late April to go to Las Vegas for work. I can probably stay for a few more days after to go to the Grand Canyon/Zion, etc. (will check out the recommended Grand Circle to see how much of it can fit in my schedule). I hope the weather is decent then. That will free up the summer to go to Glacier/Yellowstone.

Can't wait!
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:07 PM   #22
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One of my best road trips (completed twice) is to start in Vegas and do the Grand Circle through the national parks in southern Utah and Grand Canyon. You will see the most amazing scenery! Makes me want to go back just talking about it.

Link:

1 Week Grand Circle Road Trip - Byrce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon and more! - US-Parks.com
I have not read the article, but this is what I did.... and did not know it was the Grand Circle.... but it was great.... recommended... but it is a lot of driving...
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:57 AM   #23
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It will shave more than a day off the driving. We have driven to the Grand Canyon and it is a long way from Minnesota. Los Vegas is a long way from Minnesota. I think the idea of flying to Vegas and renting a car is a good one.

That said, I sure like Yellowstone and Glacier. Yellowstone is a moderate drive from Minnesota. You can entertain yourself on the trip by stopping at the corn palace for kitsch:


.
I have that SAME picture, but from 2006............

Mitchell was a hoot, and was the perfect place to stop on our trek from Milwaukee to Keystone, SD.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:25 AM   #24
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If you don't have reservations for the most popular parks now (Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon), you won't be able to find accomodations within the parks. Most are already sold out for August.
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:53 PM   #25
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Go to Yellowstone and Glacier. Glacier is, as a previous poster mentioned, losing its glaciers. If you don't see those glaciers soon, you won't see them (although the park will still be gorgeous). So, here's what I'd do:

1. This trip: Yellowstone and Glacier.

2. Next trip out to SF: Yosemite and King's Canyon or Sequoia.

3. Third trip, some pretty spring or fall: Fly cheap to Vegas, rent a car and do Zion (a couple of hours from Vegas), the Grand Canyon, and a couple of the other parks out there. (My favorite is Capital Reef -- small, quiet, and lovely, as well as uncrowded).

Have fun!
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:57 PM   #26
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DH and I are planning a trip in the US for August or early September. We can't decide between these four national parks, and would like your advice.

1. Yosemite
2. Yellowstone
3. Glacier
4. Grand Canyon

Which would you pick out of the four if you were us? And why?

Thanks for taking the time to respond!
I can't comment on the Grand Canyon as I've never been there, but I think Glacier beats Yosemite and Yellowstone hands down. All are tourist traps to some extent, but my recollection is that Glacier is better than at least Yellowstone.

The mountains around Glacier are beautiful. Whitefish nearby is a great town. Flathead lake has a lot of opportunities. Rafting.

But the main reason is the glaciers. They are disappearing fast. Grand Canyon and Old Faithful will look more or less the same in 20 years. The same cannot be said of Glacier.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:53 PM   #27
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We've been to both Yosemite (alot) and the GC once. I'd agree with the posts above that they are very commercial and crowded. To really enjoy them and to see more of what they have to offer you need to get into the back country which means backpacking - and I wouldn't do that in either place in August!.

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Old 03-13-2008, 05:42 PM   #28
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Thanks! I think we'll go to GC in early May and Glacier in mid-September. Should be moderate weather both times. I wonder if there's any trace of the flooding of GC left by May. It won't be hardcore hiking / backpacking though. DH and I are too lazy for that.
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:23 PM   #29
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I went to Glacier national park last year, it was great. Get there before the thing is melted. Here's a photo I took on the way to Grinell glacier.
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Old 03-30-2008, 01:39 PM   #30
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I've never been to Las Vegas, either. I've never considered it my type of place, but it DOES have cheap flights from Minnesota, where I live. It will probably shave a day of driving each way, so it's probably worth the money.

Thanks!
We had never been to Vegas until this year. Spent 2 months in NM and AZ this winter, then stopped and spent 3 days in Vegas on the trip home. Suspicions confirmed, it is NOT our type of place.

In August the temperature will be nice in Yellowstone and Glacier (warm in the day, cool/chilly at night). Grand Canyon will be a furnace - go there in the early spring or late fall. Our son, daughter and a few of their friends spent last weekend backpacking to the canyon base and back up. Very strenuous 2 day hike, even for those in shape. Yosemite is very pretty but the crowds will choke you at that time of year.

Last year DW and I spent 6 weeks (Feb and Mar) in our camper traveling the western national parks, etc. Great time. At age 60 you can receive a Golden Age pass at the entrance of any National Park for only $10. It is good for entrance for all members in you vehicle and is good for life. One of the best bargains for seniors.
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Old 03-30-2008, 01:47 PM   #31
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Where is Glacier?
About 70 miles East of my back door. Sorry, the made me do it. (Yellowstone is 70 miles South of DW's parent's ranch.)
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Old 03-30-2008, 01:51 PM   #32
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Thanks! I think we'll go to GC in early May and Glacier in mid-September. Should be moderate weather both times. I wonder if there's any trace of the flooding of GC left by May. It won't be hardcore hiking / backpacking though. DH and I are too lazy for that.
Days will be nice, but nights can get cold at Glacier by mid-Sep. Take proper clothes.
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Old 04-05-2008, 02:20 AM   #33
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The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is too much of a drive from Vegas. Go to Zion, North Rim of Grand Canyon, and Bryce Canyon National Parks, but not in the hottest parts of the summer. From North Rim, driving east to Page Arizona, you will pass the Vermillion Cliffs--my favorite scenic place in all of Arizona. In Page, take both "slot canyon" tours. Having seen all those red rock formations, there you get to walk inside one of them. Thirty feet deep, only a couple of feet wide, think of a well lighted cave, water-carved into striped red sandstone. Then visit Lake Powell and tour down into the bottom of the 600' dam. In one day, you've gone from high green forest (fir and aspen) to treeless red rock desert with a huge blue lake in it. Like Dorothy said to her dog, "Toto, I think we're not in Kansas anymore."
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:49 AM   #34
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My avatar is from Glacier. Great views. Been to all four. Yosemite if you are into John Muir and Waterfalls. Grand Canyon for geology and being able to look back 1.5 billion years. Yellowstone for the geysers and Old Faithful plus its own Grand Canyon.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:22 AM   #35
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Thanks for all your help! I'm heading out to the Grand Canyon in early May. Trip to Glacier and Yellowstone planned for September. Can't wait!
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:06 AM   #36
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Thanks for all your help! I'm heading out to the Grand Canyon in early May. Trip to Glacier and Yellowstone planned for September. Can't wait!
I hope you enjoy all of them as much as we did! Nature is awesome!
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:11 PM   #37
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Update

Just an update, inspired by Sarah's post about Mongolia:

I made it out to Las Vegas, Zion, and the Grand Canyon in May, and just recently returned from a trip to South Dakota/Eastern Wyoming. Had a great time on both trips! Haven't made it all the way to Glacier and Yellowstone yet -- still on the to-do list.

Here are some photos from the trips, starting with Zion. Hope you enjoy it.
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File Type: jpg Zion1.jpg (105.3 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Zion2.jpg (72.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Zion4.jpg (81.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Zion5.jpg (62.6 KB, 1 views)
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Badlands and the Black Hills
Old 07-23-2008, 02:13 PM   #38
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Badlands and the Black Hills

...should be obvious which is which...
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File Type: jpg Badlands3.jpg (35.6 KB, 0 views)
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:15 PM   #39
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Great pics! The colors are very cool! I love the one with the tree in the foreground and the mountains in the distance--very arty.
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Devils Tower and Custer State Park
Old 07-23-2008, 02:15 PM   #40
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Devils Tower and Custer State Park

BTW, we did visit Wall Drug and the Corn Palace, but I don't have any great photo to show for them.
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