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Thread: US Roadtip

  1. #1
    denoir
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    US Roadtip

    In a couple of weeks I'll be going to the US on a road trip from Denver to San Francisco. I've made a preliminary plan but I wanted to check that I have missed something important and ask for some general advice.

    It's a bit complicated as there are actually two trips involved. One shorter round trip from Denver, Colorado to Yellowstone and back (one of the party has to fly back to Sweden) while the remaining three of us continue on to California. So it's essentially Denver->Yellowstone->Denver->San Francisco.

    Here's a map of the planned route numbered with the days:



    Day 1: Denver (arrival)
    Day 2: Denver->Salt Lake City
    Day 3: Salt Lake City
    Day 4: Salt Lake City -> Yellowstone
    Day 5: Yellowstone
    Day 6: Yellowstone
    Day 7: Yellowstone->Denver

    Day 8: Denver->Grand Junction (Colorado national monument)
    Day 9: Grand Junction -> Bryce Canyon
    Day 10: Bryce Canyon
    Day 11: Bryce Canyon -> Grand Canyon
    Day 12: Grand Canyon
    Day 13: Grand Canyon->Las Vegas
    Day 14: Las Vegas->Death Valley
    Day 15: Death Valley->Yosemite
    Day 16: Yosemite->San Francisco
    ( ďA->BĒ indicates travel between A&B)

    The people that I'm traveling with are, not photographers but they are pretty tolerant as far as my photography goes. Due to the relatively tight schedule and the company Iíll be in the visit to the national parks will of course be very superficial.

    So what Iíve been trying to optimize to get the most given a very limited time in each place. Iíve also limited it to place where there is lodging and where there are restaurants etc. As much as Iíd want it, this canít be a Ďinto the wildernessí type of trip. I have also very selfishly tried to plan to spend the night at interesting locations so that I can get the benefit of the good light in the evening and in the morning.

    So my questions are: Does this itinerary make sense? Have I missed something important on my list or have I included something that makes no sense? For instance, given the tight schedule, does spending a whole day at Bryce Canyon make sense or would the time be better spent elsewhere? Also, is there anything interesting near Salt Lake city? Weíll be spending a day there on the way to Yellowstone. Speaking of Yellowstone, would one day be better with the other spent at the Grand Teton?

    Those are just some random questions, so Iíd be grateful for any general advice and suggestions you can give me.
    As for camera equipment, I basically only have one question Ė do I need a longer tele lens?

    My primary camera will be a Leica M9 with a set of primes - probably 18mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm & 90mm. The lenses are generally tiny and light so thereís no problem bringing a bunch of them. Iíll complement it with a 5DII + probably the ZE21, 50 & 100 lenses, primarily for tripod based shooting. Iíll also bring a (film) Leica M6 to use as a P&S for personal documentary photos. Iíll bring a light tripod (Gitzo 1541T) as well.

    That however means that the longest lens Iíll have is 100mm. Will that be a problem? I could bring my Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, but as itís big and heavy Iím reluctant to do so.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    richard.L
    Guest

    Re: US Roadtip

    Your time in Pocatello ID -don't know why you're there but-
    you are only 2 hours from Craters of the moon... nice place for shots. Take the road through Atomic city for that old town isolation in hot sun that would make a nice Wenders film.

    you seem to be headed for all the Big Name places, which means you are going to see all the tourists while missing the oddities that make american landscape. but enjoy the drive.

    100mm should be sufficient. those spaces are big, but you will see moose, maybe bear and fat women in pink pants just outside your car window.

    No need for the long lens.

  3. #3
    denoir
    Guest

    Re: US Roadtip

    Thanks Given the limited time and the company, I don't have much of a choice except a quick and dirty tour of the big stuff. I'm aware it's going to be very touristy. Personally I'd rather spend a week in one of the great national parks rather than visit seven for a day, but alas the situation is as it is.

    Regarding Pocatello ID - I won't be spending any time there, just passing through. The number "4" next to it refers to the Salt Lake City -> Yellowstone leg of the trip.

  4. #4
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: US Roadtip

    Just a consideration -- but IMHO you don't need a full day in Bryce as you can drive to all the main overlooks and photograph them in an hour. Morning and evening light is the best there. Then you could route through and spend a day in Zion, then cut back and hit the Grand Canyon. Only issue with Zion is if it's busy you cannot drive the main canyon loop, but need to hop on the shuttle bus. Still probably worth it.
    Jack
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  5. #5
    denoir
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    Re: US Roadtip

    Thanks Jack. I might try to squeeze in Arches and/or Canyonlands if possible.

  6. #6
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    Re: US Roadtip

    Luka,

    I would second Jack's suggestion on Bryce Canyon for early morning or late afternoon. If possible, try to enter the Zion Canyon in the early morning (to avoid traffic) and there are so many places to photograph on the canyon loop entering Zion.

    Have a wonderful trip!

  7. #7
    Billy_Walker
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    Re: US Roadtip

    Quote Originally Posted by denoir View Post
    In a couple of weeks I'll be going to the US on a road trip from Denver to San Francisco. I've made a preliminary plan but I wanted to check that I have missed something important and ask for some general advice.

    It's a bit complicated as there are actually two trips involved. One shorter round trip from Denver, Colorado to Yellowstone and back (one of the party has to fly back to Sweden) while the remaining three of us continue on to California. So it's essentially Denver->Yellowstone->Denver->San Francisco.

    Here's a map of the planned route numbered with the days:



    Day 1: Denver (arrival)
    Day 2: Denver->Salt Lake City
    Day 3: Salt Lake City
    Day 4: Salt Lake City -> Yellowstone
    Day 5: Yellowstone
    Day 6: Yellowstone
    Day 7: Yellowstone->Denver

    Day 8: Denver->Grand Junction (Colorado national monument)
    Day 9: Grand Junction -> Bryce Canyon
    Day 10: Bryce Canyon
    Day 11: Bryce Canyon -> Grand Canyon
    Day 12: Grand Canyon
    Day 13: Grand Canyon->Las Vegas
    Day 14: Las Vegas->Death Valley
    Day 15: Death Valley->Yosemite
    Day 16: Yosemite->San Francisco
    ( ďA->BĒ indicates travel between A&B)

    The people that I'm traveling with are, not photographers but they are pretty tolerant as far as my photography goes. Due to the relatively tight schedule and the company Iíll be in the visit to the national parks will of course be very superficial.

    So what Iíve been trying to optimize to get the most given a very limited time in each place. Iíve also limited it to place where there is lodging and where there are restaurants etc. As much as Iíd want it, this canít be a Ďinto the wildernessí type of trip. I have also very selfishly tried to plan to spend the night at interesting locations so that I can get the benefit of the good light in the evening and in the morning.

    So my questions are: Does this itinerary make sense? Have I missed something important on my list or have I included something that makes no sense? For instance, given the tight schedule, does spending a whole day at Bryce Canyon make sense or would the time be better spent elsewhere? Also, is there anything interesting near Salt Lake city? Weíll be spending a day there on the way to Yellowstone. Speaking of Yellowstone, would one day be better with the other spent at the Grand Teton?

    Those are just some random questions, so Iíd be grateful for any general advice and suggestions you can give me.
    As for camera equipment, I basically only have one question Ė do I need a longer tele lens?

    My primary camera will be a Leica M9 with a set of primes - probably 18mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm & 90mm. The lenses are generally tiny and light so thereís no problem bringing a bunch of them. Iíll complement it with a 5DII + probably the ZE21, 50 & 100 lenses, primarily for tripod based shooting. Iíll also bring a (film) Leica M6 to use as a P&S for personal documentary photos. Iíll bring a light tripod (Gitzo 1541T) as well.

    That however means that the longest lens Iíll have is 100mm. Will that be a problem? I could bring my Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, but as itís big and heavy Iím reluctant to do so.

    Thanks!
    I would highly recommend Zion National Park down in the southwest corner of Utah as well. You're practically going to drive right past it. Well worth the look-see.

  8. #8
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    Re: US Roadtip

    Noticed your going past Page, if you've got time Antlope Canyon is pretty cool, but you need to make sure and book with one of the travel companies in Page well before you get there. Its on an indian reserve so you cant just rock on site.It's also worth doing the top canyon and try to avoid midday .

    G

  9. #9
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    Re: US Roadtip

    agree about favoring zion over bryce, the shuttle in zion is actually a nice thing; no stopped tourist cars, no RV's, easy on and off, keeps the traffic out of the park. many short hikes from the shuttle , a half-daywalk up the virgin river is well worth it, but go see the river outfitters beforehand.

    death valley is going to be hot, very hot, probably intolerable after 8am. spend an extra day in zion instead

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