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Old 03-28-2014, 08:40 PM   #21
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As much as I love the parks in Utah, it's hot as hell there all summer. I've gone in the spring & fall only, and I had pretty hot weather in May when I wasn't at high altitude such as Bryce Canyon.

Western Washington & Oregon normally has decent weather in the summer and it's rarely hot west of the Cascades. Depending on where you stay, you could visit Olympic NP, the San Juan islands, Victoria B.C. Olympic NP is big and has at least 3 very different parts to visit. In southern Washington and nearby Oregon there's Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Columbia gorge, and of course, Portland.

The eastern Sierra Nevada has a lot of diverse attractions, though it can get very hot in the valley, too, as you go south. I suspect that Mammoth might have lots of rentals available because it's a ski area in the winter. In the region, there's Mono Lake, Bodie historic site, Devil's Postpile, fascinating ancient Bristlecone Pine forest at 10,000 ft, Alabama Hills, Manzanar historic site, an unusual Obsidium Dome, superb Indian basket collection at the Eastern California Museum, and the Tuolomne Meadows area of Yosemite all fairly easy to reach on day trips.

Black Hills of South Dakota, maybe. There's a lot to see there. Caves, impressive mammoth fossil site, Crazy Horse memorial, historic towns, and Rushmore. Also, it's close enough for daytrips to places near the Black Hills such as the superb Devils Tower and Badlands NP (the latter is hot in the summer, however).

Northern New Mexico, perhaps?
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:15 PM   #22
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We think a nice vacation would start by flying into Sacramento area taking day trips to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Sequoia Nat'l Forest, Hearst San Simeon, Napa Valley, and the historic gold mining areas east of Sacramento. Since we have never been there it might be too much distance to have just one central location to see all these places. It might be better to split up the destinations and pick two central locations to make easier day trips. This trip is definately on my bucket list.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:13 PM   #23
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Unless you feel you have to stay in the States I'd suggest you consider the Canadian Rockies. Base yourself in Banff and there's no end to the gorgeous terrain and wildlife you'll encounter.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:25 PM   #24
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We think a nice vacation would start by flying into Sacramento area taking day trips to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Sequoia Nat'l Forest, Hearst San Simeon, Napa Valley, and the historic gold mining areas east of Sacramento. Since we have never been there it might be too much distance to have just one central location to see all these places. It might be better to split up the destinations and pick two central locations to make easier day trips. This trip is definately on my bucket list.
Eons ago when still single, I flew into Sacramento, rented a car, and just meandered all over Northern CA and SW OR for two weeks. Generally, up I-5, kinda followed the Rouge over to Bend, back to the coast over the Cascades, then back to SF on the coast road. Neat trip. Not planning would drive my DW nuts, so no more of that falderal...
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:31 PM   #25
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Oregon and Washington mtns and coast are amazing...in the summer.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:54 PM   #26
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Highly recommend Glacier NP. Later in the summer actually works perfect for this area. Probably our favorite NP based on some great memories of family hikes and wildlife viewing. If you want to see bears you can almost be guaranteed that at Glacier. Our two most favorite hikes are Grinnell and Iceberg Lake. My avatar is a picture taken from the Grinnell glacier hike.

Second choice would be Yosemite. That may be my personal favorite....hence my namesake. Beautiful!!!! And special in an almost religious way. The valley is a temple surrounded by granite cathedrals. It will be crowded is the downside. But you can still find good places to stay. And the hiking trails aren't as crowded as the popular roads and viewing areas. You can also combine a trip to Sequoia NP and Kings Canyon NP with Yosemite if you are there long enough. Both these are very nice as well.

I get excited just thinking about it. And I enjoy reading everyone else's ideas also. I'm now fired up to revisit Utah although I agree an earlier season trip would be better for this area.

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Old 03-29-2014, 07:25 PM   #27
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Unless you feel you have to stay in the States I'd suggest you consider the Canadian Rockies. Base yourself in Banff and there's no end to the gorgeous terrain and wildlife you'll encounter.
+1
For a summertime trip, this would top all of the other suggestions IMHO.
I didn't know Canada was on their radar. Maybe it should be.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:07 PM   #28
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With two weeks, you are certainly not restricted to one state. The four corners area of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico provides a lot of area including Santa Fe, NM, Durango and Silverton Colorado with the narrow gauge train, river rafting, Mesa Verde, Moab, lots of fly fishing, Jeep tours especially in Moab and Ouray CO, horse back riding, the Grand Canyon isn't too far, and on and on. When our kids were small we would do those trips in a van with a pop-up camper. We would leave the camper at a camp for a few days and go from there and then we could move to another camp farther along the journey.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:50 PM   #29
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Unless you feel you have to stay in the States I'd suggest you consider the Canadian Rockies. Base yourself in Banff and there's no end to the gorgeous terrain and wildlife you'll encounter.
Gorgeous area and the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper is the most beautiful drive I've ever done.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:11 PM   #30
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Another vote here for Utah, especially Moab area but also a swing thru Brice area.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:05 AM   #31
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You can't go wrong with visiting Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area. Flying into Reno, NV or Sacramento, CA. You can see so much in a 3 hour driving distance....truly amazing.
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