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  • Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho

    Im a Floridian inspired by all the pictures the WCI puts out on his family's nature trips.   I've bought airline tickets and rental car to head out west for the first 2-3weeks of July and Im planning to take my family on a road trip that I hope will take us through Utah (we arrive in Salt Lake City, not sure what to do there?), Wyoming (Teton, Yellowstone), Idaho (don't know what to do there) and Oregon (I heard Columbia river forge.. anything else).   Im planning to spend 2-3 days at each place then travel 3-4 hours in the am to the next destination.

    I have 4 kids (ages 11, 10, 3, 1), my wife and grandma  are all active.   We'd like to do more scenic outdoor stuff... nice hikes, white water rafting.. etc.   I can't camp.. nor do I have a desire to camp unless someone is setting it up for me (we would die first in a zombie apocalypse).   I'd appreciate any suggestions!   Hopefully after I completed this.. I'll put up a followup post with the prices we've paid, pictures, etc.

    Any recommendations for the best 2-3 places to see in Utah? Wyoming? Idaho? Oregon?

    Any recommendations for luxury camping, hotels, or resorts in those places?

    Any recommendations for local, one-of-a-kind.. must-try eateries?

  • #2
    Salt Lake isn't a huge tourist destination in July, nor is Southern Utah particularly attractive in mid summer unless you're into sweating, which you probably are being from Florida. But that's a great time of year for Oregon, Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone NP etc. In Idaho, you might consider the Sun Valley area or the Sawtooths/Redfish lake area. You may have trouble securing lodging in the NPs this late, but it's usually easier to get than camping spots.
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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    • #3
      I’ll try and brainstorm

      As wci unfortunately July isn’t a great time for the Utah park loop due to weather

      sun valley is awesome and has a great resort that u could do for 3-4 days

      Unfortunately sv is out of the way though

      Redfish lake is 1.5 hours north of Sun valley but that hotel books up quick

      My favorite place in Idaho is McCall. Great mountain lake with nice resort (shoreline lodge) though it might be booked up

      Jackson hole is awesome for a few days but Yellowstone can be crazy busy.

      Off top of my head, potential loops

      1. Southern Utah to Vegas- Zion’s Park, Bryce Canyon, ect but can be hot

      2. North to Jackson home then Yellowstone then up to Montana

      3. Northwest- sun valley to McCall to Oregon - but that requires more back tracking and would be a long drive to Oregon.

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      • #4
        Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon is amazing!  And not super busy, even in summer.  Take lots of bug spray.

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        • #5
          My opinion (which is worth what you've paid for it):  You're trying to cover WAY too much ground for the time frame you're allowing.  I'd do a more focused trip, limiting yourself to the Rockies of northern Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.  (Unless you're a masochist, you don't want to be in the desert during the sumemr months!)  I'd start in Denver, head north through the Colorado Parks (Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park) then up to Grand Teton and Yellowstone, then end in Glacier National Park.  If you enjoy hiking, you can easily spend a full week just in Yellowstone.  Slow down and give yourself some time to actually DO some activities other than endless highway driving!

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          • #6
            That’s an awful lot of ground to cover in 2-3 weeks, especially with a 1 and 3 year old. It’s 12 solid hours of driving from SLC to Portland.

            I’d consider doing the SLC/Wasatch-Tetons-Yellowstone-Glacier loop in 2-3 weeks however you are way too late to find reasonable accommodations in any of those parks. You might find an overpriced motel in the gateway cities.

            If you can get to Oregon and Washington you’ll probably have more luck with rooms because most of the scenic sites like Mt Rainier, Mt Hood, the Olympics, and North Cascades are within a 2 hour drive of a major city.

            So my suggestion is to look for accommodations right now, and based on the availability you find, think about rejiggering your plan to either drive less or spend more time in the PNW and less in the northern rockies.

            We are going to Yellowstone in June and when we booked accommodations in October, nearly everything in the park was already sold out.

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            • #7




              That’s an awful lot of ground to cover in 2-3 weeks, especially with a 1 and 3 year old. It’s 12 solid hours of driving from SLC to Portland.

              I’d consider doing the SLC/Wasatch-Tetons-Yellowstone-Glacier loop in 2-3 weeks however you are way too late to find reasonable accommodations in any of those parks.
              Click to expand...


              No necessarily - but you have to CALL the park hotel concessionaires daily to see what lodging options are available.  Lots of reservations get cancelled, but demand is so high that the rooms/cabins get rebooked before the vacancies can be posted to the park website's booking engine.  Call and be persistent, and there's a good chance you can get in-park lodging on the dates you need (although no necessarily at the exact locations in the park you'd prefer).

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              • #8
                Agree with others that trying to see 4 states in that time frame would result in little doing and endless driving. I would focus on 1-2 spots unless you can control your homicidal impulses towards your kids on long car rides a lot better than I can.  

                In Oregon we have the scienic, and occassionaly warm, Oregon coast, Bend, Crater Lake and the Columbia River Gorge.  These alone could keep you busy for your entire trip.

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                • #9
                  I agree with the others, you are trying to do too much. The spaces are just huge so you will be driving a lot. In Southern UT july and August are hot. Very dry but hot. Bryce NP sits the highest at 7000-9000ft so that would be your best bet. Moab and surrounding areas are amazing but again hot that time of the year. Honestly once you get to salt lake I’d go visit park city and the cottonwood canyons with some amazing hikes in the area. Then head north, Tetons, yellowstone, Glacier. Do some hikes in each of those. Then from there, if you have time, head west. Leave southern Utah for a 2-week trip in the spring or fall.

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                  • #10
                    I appreciate everyone's input!  Sounds like we won't make it to Oregon and we'll focus on the main sites in the other states.  Im thinking Park City/Cottonwood Canyons, Grand Teton, Yellowstone... then maybe go up to Glaciers and loop back somewhere through Idaho.. I like the McCall and SV suggestions in Idaho.. before heading back to SLC for our flight back mid July.   I can see lodging is going to be tough in the NP areas but I hope we can get something reasonable in the more popular off season ski towns.. then drive over to NPs for the nature hikes.

                    I see some websites for "glamping" or this luxurious camping.. which is a new concept for me.   Any thoughts on this or recommendations?   Is the weather ok for this especially at night in July?

                    Any good river rafting sites.. safe whitewater in these areas?

                     

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                    • #11




                      My opinion (which is worth what you’ve paid for it):  You’re trying to cover WAY too much ground for the time frame you’re allowing.  I’d do a more focused trip, limiting yourself to the Rockies of northern Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.  (Unless you’re a masochist, you don’t want to be in the desert during the sumemr months!)  I’d start in Denver, head north through the Colorado Parks (Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park) then up to Grand Teton and Yellowstone, then end in Glacier National Park.  If you enjoy hiking, you can easily spend a full week just in Yellowstone.  Slow down and give yourself some time to actually DO some activities other than endless highway driving!
                      Click to expand...


                      I endorse this plan.

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                      • #12
                        I vote Wyoming/Idaho/Glacier.  Hot but not as bad as southern Utah (which is also gorgeous) this time of year.  Can definitely do Glacier/Yellowstone and whatever in Idaho in that period.

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                        • #13
                          While you’re in Park City, you could head over to Kamas and get a great burger and fries at Hi Mountain . It’s about a 20 min drive from Main Street in Park City. Make sure you ask for fry sauce, not Mayochup

                          https://www.ksl.com/?sid=46298754&nid=148&title=mayochup-you-mean-fry-sauce

                          The Mirror Lake Highway also starts there. It’s nice scenic byway up to Evanston and the rest of Wyoming. There will also be some good hikes that direction too.

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