Family vacation help needed
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Hunts_with_stick 09-Jul-24
Candor 09-Jul-24
JohnMC 09-Jul-24
Trying hard 09-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 09-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 09-Jul-24
tobywon 09-Jul-24
Brotsky 09-Jul-24
JohnMC 09-Jul-24
KsRancher 09-Jul-24
JG420 09-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 09-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 09-Jul-24
Norseman 09-Jul-24
Chief419 09-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 09-Jul-24
JohnMC 09-Jul-24
TonyBear 09-Jul-24
Tilzbow 09-Jul-24
JB 09-Jul-24
Tilzbow 09-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 10-Jul-24
CBFROMND 10-Jul-24
BOHNTR 10-Jul-24
Bwhnt 10-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 10-Jul-24
Jim Moore 10-Jul-24
Grey Ghost 10-Jul-24
Lucas 10-Jul-24
PeteO 11-Jul-24
jons 11-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 11-Jul-24
Stekewood 11-Jul-24
Zebrakiller 11-Jul-24
stealthycat 11-Jul-24
Will 11-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 11-Jul-24
JohnMC 11-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 12-Jul-24
Franzen 13-Jul-24
Bowboy 13-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 13-Jul-24
xtroutx 13-Jul-24
Norseman 13-Jul-24
Hunts_with_stick 13-Jul-24
09-Jul-24
So I am thinking of taking my family on vacation in August. We are thinking of flying from Pittsburgh to Las vegas the beginning of august and staying for 10 days or so. I was thinking we hit some of the big parks, yosemite, sequoia, red rocks. Is this feasible? Do those areas get packed with tourists? I'd like to take them places without being crushed by people. Unfortunately with my kids in school we need to be back by the 17th. Are there any hidden gems we can hit? I took them out west two years ago and we had the best time ever. The places we went were not too crowded and they fell in love with the west. Feel free to PM me if you like.

From: Candor
09-Jul-24
I am of no use for you on the summer in the US parks. But related but different - one great experience we had was Vancouver, CN area. Beautiful area, inexpensive flights, and tolerable temperatures.

From: JohnMC
09-Jul-24
It will be stupid hot in the Vegas area in early August. Anything more northern and higher elevation that interest you guys? Or maybe spend a week on a lake? What about a houseboat on a lake like Powell?

From: Trying hard
09-Jul-24
Las vegas? I'm pretty sure the national parks in Utah.(Aside from Grand canyon) Will be your closest drive(s).

09-Jul-24
Good point about the heat. It is a 5 hour drive to Yosemite so that isn’t bad at all. Been to Utah. Might check out Canada if the flights aren’t too expensive. Right now flight to Vegas is 211/person.

09-Jul-24
I’m game for anything more north if reasonably priced.

I was thinking of driving to the badlands/ mt Rushmore as another option. That’s about a two day drive (20 hrs)

From: tobywon
09-Jul-24

tobywon's embedded Photo
tobywon's embedded Photo
Not much help since in haven’t been there but maybe consider Zion, Bryce then Grand Canyon. One day I’ll do this trip. Whatever you do, enjoy your vacation with your kids and safe travels!!

From: Brotsky
09-Jul-24
One thing you need to research and consider is if you can even get into the parks you want to visit. Many of them have implemented timed entry reservations and other permit requirements that likely went on sale already July 1 for the month of August.

From: JohnMC
09-Jul-24
Brotsky brings up a good point. They release another batch the night before, but it can be iffy getting one because they go within minutes

From: KsRancher
09-Jul-24
^ what they said. We went to Colorado Springs summer of 2022. Had plans to hit several things. Didn't realize how many things you had to have reservations for. My oldest son was really bummed about not getting to do the "the incline".

From: JG420
09-Jul-24
The West is awesome, buuut I would not go to Vegas unless the whole family is over 21 . Yes you can barely walk Vegas streets in August,,, it’s hot as hell.

09-Jul-24
Good advice. I only have intentions to fly into vegas - no intention of visiting there.

09-Jul-24
We have been to utah and southern utah. bryce, but not zion. Good points - I do see you need reservations for yosemite. makes me want to wait until the kids are out of school and do it during off peak season.

From: Norseman
09-Jul-24
I love the Pacific Northwest in August. Fall run Chinook on the mighty Colombia, tuna charter, awesome beaches, then head up to mount hood area to camp and hike, sailboard, wineries. Take a two day trip down to see the Redwoods, mt Shasta. a day a coastal fishing town like Westport/ Astoria is fun. Not as many tourists and you will be amazed at how many fun things and beautiful spots there are. Fly out, rent a camper, or SuV and VBRO it. Endless possibilities.

From: Chief419
09-Jul-24
Tim, Look into Grand Rapids, SD. You can see Mt Rushmore and Devil's Tower in the same day. Crazy Horse and Deadwood are close by. Spearfish Canyon is a beautiful drive with plenty of hiking, trout fishing. Spearfish is a nice town for an overnight stay or two. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is close-by in ND. Plenty to do and see in the area.

09-Jul-24
Thanks Norse and chief!

From: JohnMC
09-Jul-24
I think chief meant Rapid City SD.

From: TonyBear
09-Jul-24
Pason AZ or Lake Havasu area, not too far from Las Vegas. It will be hot but the lake is always cool.

From: Tilzbow
09-Jul-24
I’d stay far away from Las Vegas, AZ, So Cal in August, too freaking hot! I just spent 10 days in Glacier NP and would highly recommend that park. Tons of great hiking trails, if you and your family are capable, several good tours in the park and white water rafting just outside the park. Lots to see around the park along with an adventure park near West Yellowstone. Whitefish is cool, has a good music scene and there’s a ski resort close by that has summer activities included zip lines, long slides (think bobsled course but on a slide), active lifts that run to the top of the mountain and mountain bike trails. Also lots to see around Kalispell which is also close.

From: JB
09-Jul-24
We did RMNP last year and Yellowstone this year. People were tolerable. You can get away from them. Both were very good family trips.

From: Tilzbow
09-Jul-24
To add, shortly after Glacier we hit Yellowstone for a week and will be at Rocky Mountain NP for a week in a few days. Yellowstone was awesome! On this trip we’ve also been to Badlands NP, Wind Cave NP, Theodore Roosevelt NP, Mt Rushmore, Custer State Park, Needles Highway and Devils Tower. All those are reachable from a couple towns within the Black Hills; Rapid City, Custer, Spearfish. Black Hills area would make a fine family vacation. You will get tired of seeing bison!

10-Jul-24
TY! Ruling out vegas. Thanks for letting me know. Wife and I have been to Glacier, possible option. Wanted to go to bad lands, but the time frame coincides with Sturgis and have been advised to stay away during that time. I am now looking into flying in to seattle or denver.

From: CBFROMND
10-Jul-24
Jealous! Have not been on a summer vacation somewhere west for a couple of years... them kids grow up and get jobs! Too bad Sturgis rally is in the way because that area was one of our favorite vacations... Make sure you try to re visit that as an option later.. Medora ND is a great place. Sitting in the amphitheater in the evening with a couple of bull elk standing in the back drop... Awesome. You mentioned Glacier and having been there already... I think getting into Whitefish and headed north of the border might be alot of fun...

From: BOHNTR
10-Jul-24
Funny, most don’t really know AZ…..they only think of desert……even though it has the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world.

From Vegas, I’d drive to the NORTH Rim of the Grand Canyon and stay there a few days. It will be cool, usually with a few afternoon showers daily, and you’ll see some quality deer and free roaming bison. Just a thought.

From: Bwhnt
10-Jul-24
Hoover Dam is worth looking at too

10-Jul-24
I think I might settle on flying into seattle, then hitting Olympic NP, Mt Ranier and North Cascades. will be there for 10 days, thinking pretty much 3 days at each??? is that too much, too little?

From: Jim Moore
10-Jul-24
Some (or maybe all NP's require a fee or pass to get into). If you are a veteran or military, You get all the NPs for free for life. If not, check with your local parks office about passes before you go. Save a little hassle.

PNW will be nice that time of year, like others suggest, check in on some fishing charters. Kids ought to like that.

From: Grey Ghost
10-Jul-24
You couldn’t pay me to go to Vegas in August, or any time for that matter. Just me, but I’d hit some high country.

From: Lucas
10-Jul-24
Several of the parks give you a day pass if you book a tour (bus, boat, or walking). Our family liked the South/North Dakota parks but the badlands will be really hot that time of year.

From: PeteO
11-Jul-24
It's going to be hot yes but it is bearable. You are 3+ hours from Joshua tree, 4-5 from big bear/lake arrow head. Just pulling off the side of the road and hiking the desert is pretty cool. I saw desert bighorn, desert tortoise, plenty of rattlesnakes, feral burrows.... I haven't been out there in almost 30 years but I love that area of the country. I have heard the hoover dam is awesome too.

From: jons
11-Jul-24
Surprising Canmore/Banff, AB., has not been suggested, be the perfect time and a lot of country to see with the family, weather is great, the Canadian Rockies is impressive.

As far as Vegas was there in July 97 and the temps were 117 degrees, rented a car and went to Zion, if you want to see some wildlife have to be up before daylight while it is relatively cool to see them

11-Jul-24
Going to buy a NP pass good for all NP

From: Stekewood
11-Jul-24

Stekewood's Link
I highly recommend that you catch a show at the Sphere if you end up in Vegas. The Sphere Experience runs several times a day other than the weekend, when Dead and Company will be playing. It will be unlike anything you or kids have ever seen and will surely be a highlight of the vacation.

From: Zebrakiller
11-Jul-24
I'm with Jons Banff is incredible

From: stealthycat
11-Jul-24
I've been to a lot of places ... The Sequoia's and Yosemite are the most incredible places I'd been in the USA

From: Will
11-Jul-24
Lots of folks fly into LV to go to Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon... Bryce and Zion will be busy... North rim of Grand Canyon seems never to be as busy as the south. So you could likely do a loop. Especially if you can camp... If you need hotels it may be tougher.

In terms of heat in LV... I was there to do a work presentation one year in mid July. Walked outside into the exhaust blast of a tour bus one morning and thought "Gross that's hot"... Then walked OUT of the exhaust cloud and it got HOTTER!

11-Jul-24
Change of plans, heading to Seattle. So far the plan is Olympic,mt st Helen’s, mt ranker and north cascades. Any ideas are much appreciated. Thinking about heading into Oregon for one day, or just a couple of hours to say we were there.

From: JohnMC
11-Jul-24
You could check out the 'Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone' I think it was called back in the George Floyd days

12-Jul-24
Ha! No thanks, staying out of the city.

From: Franzen
13-Jul-24
Tilz: Did you go into Wind Cave? We were just there and what I was reading said it was closed, so we didn't attempt it. Did I just catch an older feed or something? We could have done walk-up at Jewel Cave, but would have needed to wait 4-5 hours. Since there isn't really much close to it to do, we decided to move on... plus, kids don't wait 5 hours.

From: Bowboy
13-Jul-24
Go to Astoria or Tillamook if you head to Oregon

13-Jul-24
Was thinking Astoria, anything a must see?

From: xtroutx
13-Jul-24
Astoria is cool little place. Stopped for supper there on the way home from salmon fishing about 10 yrs ago. Spent a couple hours just walking around.

From: Norseman
13-Jul-24
I would cut each day at the Washington nat’l forest visits to 2 days max and spend a day traveling to the see the Redwoods forest.

Hit Westport on the way down to Astoria for a tuna charter or spend the day/lunch on the board walk and visit the awesome state park beach.

Astoria 1/2 day salmon charter on the columbia would be fun. Really cool beach in the town of Seaside just south of Astoria as well.

Most importantly relax and have fun whatever/wherever you do.

13-Jul-24
Awesome! Ty!

  • Sitka Gear