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  1. Default Seattle to Las Vegas

    Planning a two week trip in March next year to celebrate my 30th. There'll be 3 of us and none of us have been anywhere in the States before.

    Still at the first stages of planning, but was thinking of something along the lines of:

    Seattle, San Francisco, Vegas and an overnight plane trip to the Grand Canyon. Would like to spend at least a couple of nights in Vegas and be there for my 30th, but apart from that the rest of the trip is pretty flexible.

    Theres loads of things I'd like to find out from this. I'd like to see as much as possible but without completely exhausting me and my mates which I guess is the usual trade-off. But, could we fit in more as I would like to see some of Arizona too or would this be too much? And which places on route would you say are a definite 'must-see' and which are a definite 'no-no'.

    Also, thought we'd book our accommodation in San Francisco and Vegas in advance but the rest of the way we thought it'd be easy enough to find places on the day. Is this a reasonable assumption?

    Thanks in advance for any help and advice


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Boeing to Bling

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    As you can tell from the number of similar threads listed at the bottom of this page, this is a popular route. You should probably have a look at those to get some ideas on the different routes available, what's along each of them, and the time required to drive them. I'm not quite sure what you mean by an 'overnight plane trip to the Grand Canyon'. You hardly need to fly all night to get there from Las Vegas, it's maybe an hour or so each way even in a relatively slow prop plane, and that's hardly a flight that should be made at night - you wouldn't see anything! You can see much of northern Arizona in a two day trip out of Vegas with one overnight stay somewhere, and two weeks will prove to be plenty of time, I think, for what you and your friends plan to do. As far as booking accommodations beforehand, that probably won't be necessary. You might be able to shop around for a better deal if you pre-book, but you will lose some flexibility in determining your itinerary on the fly. Such are the trade-offs of life.


  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply. Have taken a look at the links below, bought and read (parts of) the Lonely Planet and think I've come up with a route and have an idea of places to see along the way.

    Think we're ready to book some flights now and a car. Can anyone recommend a good car rental company that we could use - we'd be wanting to pick up in Seattle and drop off in Vegas.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default So what route did you decide on?

    I have no expertise in car rentals so I can't help you there, but I'd love to help you with your route and to alert you to anything you should see/do along the way. Which route are you taking and why?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Car Rental Basics

    It has been my experience, and I have seen other posters say pretty much the same thing, that there is not much difference in cars or service between the major car rental companies. So you might as well make your choice on the basis of cost. There will be big differences in the quotes for such a one-way rental, not only between car companies, but at different times from the same company. I was setting up a one-way rental last week and found a good price one day from one of the majors as I was comparing prices, but when I went to book it the next day, the rate had increased by over a hundred dollars! So my advice to you, since you have lots of time to shop, is to start comparing prices through a search engine, such as ours and keep track of what prices are generally running. Check back once a week or so. Once you know what the average price is, you'll be better able to recognize a bargain when you see one pop up. Just be sure to read the fine print about drop-off charges, mileage and geographic restrictions and the like. I did a quick check and I'm seeing an estimated cost of about $700(+/-) for a one-way two week rental for an intermediate sized car, which is the smallest model that is going to comfortably handle three people for such a long trip.


  6. Default

    Hi Penster

    You did say March was when you were going to be taking the trip? You might want to check for snow and weather for that period of time, particularly if you're looking to visit somewhere in the higher elevations in the Cascades or Sierras on your way south from Seattle. You won't have snow on the coast or any of the main valleys (Williamette, Sacramento, etc), but places like Crater Lake, Lassen, and etc may be still have substantial snow depending upon the year. (I was at Lassen National Park a few years ago in April, and there was 15' of snow -- closing the road. I got 6" in Sequoia 2 Aprils ago...)
    Where were you folks planning on visiting?

    In 2 weeks, depending upon your tastes, there are quite a few interesting places to stop -- and its possible you can do a quick loop south from Vegas through some interesting parts of Arizona as well (potentially Grand Canyon, Petriefed Forest/ Painted Desert, Monument Valley, Sedona, or even Phoenix).

    If you want to do some visiting in Arizona, plan for at least 2 nights would be my suggestion, although it could be done in one. A one night trip, leaving and returning to LV would be the Grand Canyon, out the east entrance, down through Wupatki Ruins and Sunset Crater to Flagstaff. A longish day -- 5 hours roughly to Grand Canyon, several hours sightseeing there, and then 2-3 hours to Flagstaff. Depends upon your taste and what you want to visit...

  7. Default

    Ok, so this is the route I thought we'd take:

    Seattle -> Portland -> Eugene on I5.
    Eugene -> Florence on 126
    Florence -> Eureka -> San Francisco Hwy 101

    Then it goes a bit fuzzy....

    San Francisco -> Sacramento -> Tahoe Vista I80
    Lake Tahoe
    Yosemite National Park on 395
    Las Vegas on 95?
    Vegas -> Hoover Dam -> Flagstaff (on 93, I40, 89)

    Then back to Vegas to get the plane home :o(

    Ok, so at the mo we're planning on staying in Vegas for 2 or 3 nights but the rest is flexible.

    I'd love to hear your feedback opinions on this route/trip. How does it all sound?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default One Problem

    Lake Tahoe
    Yosemite National Park on 395
    Las Vegas on 95?
    You're going to have a little bit of difficulty with this section of your trip. Tioga Pass will be closed in March, so Yosemite will not be accessable from 395 at this time of year.

    To see both Tahoe and Yosemite, you'll either have to visit Tahoe and then go back across the Sierras, either using I-80 or US-50, visit Yosemite, and then head South to Bakersfield and start heading back east on CA-58. Or you could visit Yosemite first, go back north to Tahoe, and then head directly to Vegas from there.

  9. Default Plan B

    Thanks for the tip on the pass being closed. Thinking of still going to Lake Tahoe as planned, and then from there going straight to Vegas. Not really sure on the route as I'm not really sure what the must see places are on the way.

    Guess if we go down the Hwy 395 we could see Death Valley.

    Can anyone recommend a good route and places to see and go between Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas?


  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    You're going to have a little bit of difficulty with this section of your trip. Tioga Pass will be closed in March, so Yosemite will not be accessable from 395 at this time of year.
    Could we go to Lake Tahoe, and from there go down the 89, and CA-4 (stopping at Calaveras Big Trees thats been recommended to me), and then Hwy 49 and Hwy 120 to Yosemite? From there we'd then go down to Bakersfield and across.

    Would this work in March?

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