Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: Sf-gc-lv Trip

  1. Default Sf-gc-lv Trip

    Hello everyone,

    This board is an incredible wealth of information. I have gathered tons of information and ideas here. I am planning a trip in september 10-12 days starting in San Francisco, traveling down US 1, to Grand Canyon, ending up and flying out of Vegas. A couple of questions:

    1- I have studied many route plans laid out for others on this site. But I did not find out what I ultimately would like to know, that is the best place to cut over from US 1 and the quickest way to the Canyon from there. (I want to see Hearst Castle, then anything else worthwhile, but have no desire to go to L.A.)

    2- Any thoughts on the Grand Canyon Railway, considering taking it, looks cool. In our great Western adventure, we really wanted to do a train leg.

    3- Suggestions on a cool but not super extravagant place to stay in Vegas.

    Thank you a thousand times.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Some ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by spicesea1
    This board is an incredible wealth of information. I have gathered tons of information and ideas here. I am planning a trip in september 10-12 days starting in San Francisco, traveling down US 1, to Grand Canyon, ending up and flying out of Vegas
    Welcome back --
    1- I have studied many route plans laid out for others on this site. But I did not find out what I ultimately would like to know, that is the best place to cut over from US 1 and the quickest way to the Canyon from there. (I want to see Hearst Castle, then anything else worthwhile, but have no desire to go to L.A.)
    As you know, from reading all of those posts, my fellow Moderators and other distingushed roadtrippers are always stumped by the phrase "best route" because quickest is not always the nicest or most scenic route... That being said, the fastest route after you have visited Hearst Castle would be to use SR-46 all the way accross the valley to SR-99 and then take SR-58 to Barstow where you will join I-40 to Williams, Arizona. There are other more scenic routes, but this will be the fastest!
    2- Any thoughts on the Grand Canyon Railway, considering taking it, looks cool. In our great Western adventure, we really wanted to do a train leg.
    It is a nice attraction. I have other favorite steam trains -- but the Grand Canyon trip is fine.
    3- Suggestions on a cool but not super extravagant place to stay in Vegas.
    Best value in Las Vegas right now is the South Coast -- very, very nice rooms at reasonable cost. The new Red Rock Casino is also a good bet and the Tuscany gets my vote for the best off-strip-but-close non-gaming casino.

    Mark

  3. Default

    Taking California 46 (State Route 46, or SR-46) is a pretty cool route east from San Simeon (Hearst Castle). There is at least one really nice view spot over the coast range, down to Morro Bay. And when you start getting near Paso Robles there are dozens of small wineries along the road, both before and after you pass over US-101.

    When you get to Lost Hills, near the junction of SR-46 with I-5, you'll go through the Lost Hills oil field. This is an old (70 year old?) old field that is in a very localized area -- just a reef of rigs pumping oil in a very limited area. If you cut south to Taft, there's the West Kern County Oil Museum, which is very interesting. Oil has been pumped here since about 1890, including some huge individual strikes.

    Also along this route, when you get to Kramer's Junction (SR-58 and US-395 junction) you'll see several very large solar energy plants. These produce power by heating water running down a mirrored trough. These produce over 100 Megawatts of power each sunshine day. There are also a couple of photovoltaic power plants in the are (large fields of photovoltaic solar cells).

    Also continuing on this route, you'll be skirting the edge of the Mojave National Preserve. There are a couple of interesting places to stop here, not too far from the road (but nothing is close in the desert...) These include Kelso Dunes, Zxyzx (if you're interested in funky old history), the old rail junction at Kelso (farthest off the I-40), and Mitchell Caverns (about 20 minutes from I-40). These are all before you get to the Colorado River at Needles, CA.

    As for the Railroad from Williams to the Grand Canyon -- I've seen the train, and no one I know has ever complained about taking it. However, the scale of the Grand Canyon is HUGE, and the disadvantage of taking the train is that it drops you off and picks you up near the Grand Canyon Village area with its hotels and restaurants and stores. I prefer to range a bit farther, and like the drive along the South Rim, since it gives you more perspectives and a longer view of the Canyon. Depends upon your mood and what experiences you like -- the train experience would be cool, i admit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Ca-46

    CA-46 isn't a bad route at all, I've traveled it a number of times.

    Of general interest, east of Paso Robles there is a winery that has a giant Wine Fountain right along side the highway.

    I also have fond memories of a Gas Station somewhere near the 101 that sold Dakota Style brand Potato Chips. What can I say, finding one of my all-time favorite snacks was a treat after being out west and not seeing them for several years.

    And if you look really really close, about halfway between Paso Robles and I-5, you just might be able to see the shreads of rubber from where I had a Tire blow out on a hot Saturday afternoon - leaving me to limp on a donut to Atascadero to find the one tire store that was actually open.

  5. Default Thanks

    Thank you all for the great info. I think we are going to try and hit the west rim, my father in law had been there earlier this year and said it was great; it is also closer to vegas and we can helicopter in and take the pontoon boat down the river! Now, we are left with extra days in between. Trying to decide what to do. And I have read all the posts w/all the suggestions. We'd kind of wanted to go down to San Diego but I don't know if we really have the time to do it right, and don't want to deal with the LA traffic on the way.

    We are gulf coast Pensacola beach people, and so want to experience a beach day on the Pacific. I've done a bit of research, but ultimately would like advice on the best beach town to rent a small sailboat and possibly try the surfing. For this we were thinking Monterey but it's not that far from SF. Keeping in mind we were originally planning to cut over towards the canyon around cambria. Basically, we are going to Napa from SF on the 9th, then have a few days before we plan to be at the west rim and on to vegas for the end of our trip. Also want to see Death Valley on the way over there. How about point reyes or, on the other end, Morro Bay? Just trying to fit plenty in but not overkill. Any further advice on my above ramblings would be utterly appreciated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Just to be clear

    Quote Originally Posted by spicesea1
    I think we are going to try and hit the west rim, my father in law had been there earlier this year
    Just to make sure you know, the west rim is not a USA property -- it is not part of the national park -- it is private property and the views, while great, are considerably different than those seen from either the south or north rims (which are part of the national park).

    Mark

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spicesea1
    [ ... ] We are gulf coast Pensacola beach people, and so want to experience a beach day on the Pacific. I've done a bit of research, but ultimately would like advice on the best beach town to rent a small sailboat and possibly try the surfing. For this we were thinking Monterey but it's not that far from SF. Keeping in mind we were originally planning to cut over towards the canyon around cambria. Basically, we are going to Napa from SF on the 9th, then have a few days before we plan to be at the west rim and on to vegas for the end of our trip. Also want to see Death Valley on the way over there. How about point reyes or, on the other end, Morro Bay? Just trying to fit plenty in but not overkill. Any further advice on my above ramblings would be utterly appreciated.
    Hmm... I've done a little bit of sailing on the coast of California. Depends upon what you'd like -- Monterey is OK for sailing. I've not sailed north of Monterey in California. For a day sail, I'd recomment either Dana Point Harbor in OC (south of LA) or Newport Beach. There are some nice shoreline scenery to sail along near there, or Mission Bay in San Diego is also nice (very protected) -- and the home of at least one America's Cup Team. But the realllllly nice sailing is on the Channel Islands which are a day's sail offshore. One thing to note however, is that the water in California is COLD compared to the Gulf. Even in the summer's its unusual for the water to get over 70 -- so be prepared if you get dunked.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default It's actually warmer in the winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison
    Even in the summer's its unusual for the water to get over 70 -- so be prepared if you get dunked.
    The currents in the winter are warmer than in the summer. The normal shoreline temperature of California surf rarely breaks 65 degrees. Refreshing but.... brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Mark

  9. Default

    Have extra days in our itinerary to play with. Wondering, if it would make sense to head out from SF to Yosemite and then swing back into Napa then head down the coast? Is one day enough for Yosemite? Or is there something else equally as noteworthy/entertaining that is closer to our original itinerary? Thanks.

    Need a bit more advice. Have the first half of trip planned, and the very end. 3 days in SF, 2 in Napa, then down the coast to Big Sur, Monterey, etc. The things we would like to do include a horseback ride through the redwoods at Molera State Park and the aquarium in Monterey, and Hearst Castle. So probably plan on spending at least a night in that area, maybe even 2. After that all we have planned is going to the Grand Canyon for a day, dropping off the car in Vegas the day before we fly out. Which leaves us 2-3 days to play with. We are considering driving down to San Diego, but...I have read other posts containing warnings about "several hours" to get around L.A. traffic.
    So, (trying to be as specific I can here) is it worth it with 2-3 days to spare to drive from the Monterey/Carmel area down to San Diego and then over to the Grand Canyon, factoring in all the travel time (and stress)? I hope I am making sense, I so appreciate you taking time to read and respond to my posts.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-31-2006 at 04:43 PM. Reason: Same thought

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Zig-Zags rarely make that much sense

    Quote Originally Posted by spicesea1
    Have extra days in our itinerary to play with. Wondering, if it would make sense to head out from SF to Yosemite and then swing back into Napa then head down the [coast?
    Um, no. It makes more sense to do Napa/Sonoma/Wine Country and then go to Yosemite or vice a versa, but zig-zagging back and forth from the coast is illogical.
    Is one day enough for Yosemite? Or is there something else equally as noteworthy/entertaining that is closer to our original itinerary?
    Yosemite is worth seeing and if you only have one day -- (as long as you spend the night there) it will be OK. It is too far for day trip from SF.
    Need a bit more advice. Have the first half of trip planned, and the very end. 3 days in SF, 2 in Napa, then down the coast to Big Sur, Monterey, etc. The things we would like to do include a horseback ride through the redwoods at Molera State Park and the aquarium in Monterey, and Hearst Castle.
    So... Yosemite is now out of the plan?
    So probably plan on spending at least a night in that area, maybe even 2. After that all we have planned is going to the Grand Canyon for a day,
    I might be confused here -- but are you suggesting that you will drive from Hearst Castle to the Grand Canyon in one day and immediately leave for Las Vegas? That would be a fast trip!
    dropping off the car in Vegas the day before we fly out. Which leaves us 2-3 days to play with. We are considering driving down to San Diego, but...I have read other posts containing warnings about "several hours" to get around L.A. traffic.
    Yes, traffic can be a "bear" in LA. I go there 2-3 times a month, it is OK -- but you have to be ready for slow-downs.
    So, (trying to be as specific I can here) is it worth it with 2-3 days to spare to drive from the Monterey/Carmel area down to San Diego and then over to the Grand Canyon, factoring in all the travel time (and stress)? I hope I am making sense, I so appreciate you taking time to read and respond to my posts.
    Yes, no and maybe. It is all worth seeing. If it were me, I would spend those 1-2 extra days kicking back in Las Vegas -- there is plenty to do here. But everywhere is "worth it" -- I never know how to answer such a query.

    Mark

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 23
    Last Post: 07-11-2006, 02:37 PM
  2. Colorado trip report
    By Dee August in forum RoadTrip Field Reports
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-22-2005, 04:05 AM
  3. Bid Daddys Road Trip: The Results are In!
    By Big Daddy in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-17-2004, 09:08 AM
  4. 4-month solo road trip
    By Krista in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-28-2004, 06:53 PM
  5. New Orleans - Trip report
    By imported_LAURA in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-15-2004, 05:04 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES