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Author: pbnj99

Joined: 6/16/2013
Posts: 4
Traveler Since: 2007

June 23, 2013

 Would love to hear from others about their experience and tips as to what to pack, what to expect. We are going to be in the parks Sept/Oct 2013

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 232
Traveler Since: 1995

June 24, 2013

I haven't been on any GCT National Parks tour, but, FWIW--we did a driving tour from Arizona to Yellowstone a few years back in late July-early August.  We woke up one morning to snow and ice on our windshield and about 30 deg.  The day ended about 85-90, depending where you were in the Park.  I'd definitely prepare for cold days, layer, layer, layer.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 486
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

June 24, 2013

 We did the trip starting on Auguat 30, 2005. It was a great trip, with some long driving days, but the PD and driver were excellent. We only had 23? on a full sized bus, so there was room to spread out. The driver and PD, were very flexible. In Cody, they found that there was a rodeo in town, so the bus took us there, just for the cost of admission. I believe that the PD was Lance Goldberg,  a New Yorker, but he knew the itinerary well. The hotels were all OK, but the two best hotels, in the parks at Yellowstone and Bryce, are no longer on the itinerary. I'm sure that the replacements will be fine, but being in the park was great. The temperatures were comfortable throughout. A windbreaker and a fleece would  probably be sufficient for outer wear, with comfortable walking shoes and convertible zip-off pants being handy for changing conditions. Remember that you are on the go, over a large area of th country on many of the days. I don't remember doing any laundry, except for rinso outs in the sink, or if there we laundromats available. If you have any specific questions, they would probaby spur memories. If you are unsteady on your feet, a walking stick would probably be useful, in places like Yellowstaone and Bryce.

Author: pbnj99

Joined: 6/16/2013
Posts: 4
Traveler Since: 2007

July 14, 2013

 Thank you for your responses. Although we have traveled extensively overseas, am looking forward to seeing our own beautiful country!

Author: jguser

Joined: 7/14/2013
Posts: 1
Traveler Since: 2013

July 14, 2013

I took this trip from May 30 thru June 16 and as far as clothes go take turtleneck sweaters, a good rain coat or windbreaker and learn to dress in layers.  You'll need to add or subtract layers most every day.  Only comfortable casual clothes are needed.  No one dressed up at any time.  Wear only comfortable walking shoes.  We encountered everything from snow to 105 degrees.  The scenery is spectacular but the days are very long.  We covered 2640 miles.  The hotels were all middle of the road, many on the outskirts of town so restaurants were not nearby.  Hope you have a wonderful trip.  This is a diverse and gorgeous country.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 385
Traveler Since: 2002

July 14, 2013

As with any tour, especially those involving elevations, the keyword for packing is -- layers.

At the beginning of October you can expect some rather cool temperatures at the elevations you will be traveling. You can expect fresh snow in the Big Horn Mountains, Yellowstone Park, and, perhaps, even Bryce Canyon. Oh, also Park City, Utah. But you can choose how much interaction you have with the snow and the cold.

Conversely, at Lake Powell it will probably be in the high 80s or maybe even 90 degrees. so you will want shorts, tee shirts, and sandals for those two days.

The tour is bus-intensive (some 2,500 miles) but the pacing is good. The only objectionable bus day I recall was from Lake Powell to Durango, but you will have spent two days in Lake Powell and will spend two days in Durango. The lunch break at Guldings in the Monument Valley is a refreshing break in the middle of the long trek.

When we took GCT's National Parks tour we knew what to expect. It was a repeat, in reverse, of a trip we had taken nine years before. But it was at a different time of year and that made a lot of deifference.

The Program Director and coach driver will make or break the trip. But from my experience with GCT (ten trips) I feel certain that they will be quite good. If anything at all is bothering you during the trip, give the professionals an opportunity to rectify the situation.

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