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  1. Default Touring Western USA in December

    hi, we'll be travelling in a party of 9 (including 5 teens & 2 senior citizens) on our first 3-week road trip in the USA from Dec 10 to 31. We're flying into LA from Singapore and we're hoping to cover the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Yosemite, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Here's the driving route that I've pieced together from information I got off the internet:

    LA - Anaheim (1 night)
    Freeway 1

    Anaheim - Palm Springs (1 night)
    Take MacArthur Blvd. North to Highway 55, to Highway 91 East, to Highway 60 East, to I-10 East, exit at Highway 111

    Palm Springs - Laughlin (1 night)
    Freeway 10 – Freeway 95 to Needles / Bullhead City

    Laughlin - Route 66 - Grand Canyon (2 nights)
    Highway 40 to Kingman – Route 66 – Back to Highway 40 – Williams Route 64

    Grand Canyon - Jacob's Lake - Kanab - St George - Las Vegas (3 nights)
    Route 64 – US Route 89 north – Jacob Lake Route 89A to Kanab – thru Zion Canyon on Utah State Route 9 – at Mount Carmel Junction turn left into Interstate 15 – St George - Las Vegas

    Las Vegas - Bakersfield (1 night)
    Interstate 15 west to Barstow; Highway 58 west to Bakersfield

    Bakersfield - Fresno - Yosemite (3 nights)
    I-5 north to Highway 99 north to Fresno. In Fresno, take Highway 41 north into Yosemite National Park

    Yosemite - Sonora - Modesto - San Francisco (4 nights)
    Interstate 120 – Interstate 205 – Interstate 580

    San Francisco - Monterey/Carmel - Morro Bay (1 night)
    Highway 1

    Morro Bay - Santa Barbara - LA (4 nights)
    Highway 1

    For places where we're spending one night, it's just to break the journey. Would like your advise - is this itinerary too ambitious? the driving routes - are there better routes to where we want to go? have i broken the journey in the right places?

    One major concern is driving to and within Yosemite. I read that roads are steep and winding. We'll be hiring a 15-seater passenger van (only car category that's available to accommodate all 9 of us). Is there cause for concern? We're not used to driving in winter conditions because all we get here in tropical Singapore is either rain or sun with high humidity all year round.

    Any advise/suggestion would be greatly appreciated. thanks much!

  2. #2

    Default LA & Anaheim

    From LA to Palm Springs is only 3 hours. And Anaheim is in the wrong direction. If you arent doing anything there, I sugest skipping onto Palm Springs.

    From LAX, take the 405 South. The 1 (PCH) is out of the way. Unless you want to travel down the coast and smell that sweet salty air. If thats the case, then take the 405 South to PCH, then go south.

    From Anaheim.....I am assuming you picked this because Disneyland? MacArthur Blvd doesnt run through Anaheim. Take the 5 South to the 55.

    I am from that area so if you want any sugestions for places to go and things to do, just let me know.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default A few ideas

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You seem to be generally on the right track for this trip. I've just got a few things.

    The start of your trip could be done a little more efficently. Anaheim could certainly be done as part of your 4 days in the LA area at the end of your trip. Also, If Palm Springs and Laughlin are just places to break up the journey on the way to the Grand Canyon, you could go a lot more directly by taking I-15 to Barstow and then I-40 across to Arizona. With just one overnight stop, you'd still get to the Canyon at a very comfortable pace.

    You will need more time to get from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas via Zion. That's not a drive that should attempted in a day. You'll need to add in an overnight stop, and I'd think about adding a second night so you can fit in a look at Bryce Canyon and/or Monument Valley.

    Heading back west, Las Vegas to Bakersfield is only 4-5 hours, so you could push onto Fresno pretty easily in one day. And for sake of mapping, you won't go all the way to I-5 during the stretch of the trip, just go from CA-58 right onto CA-99 and head north.

    Driving in Yosemite shouldn't be a problem unless you hit a snowstorm. The roads from the Fresno side are plowed and maintained in good condition, however you will need to carry chains. They can be rented in the villages that surround the park.

    Finally, I might add another day driving down the coast. You can make the trip in 2 days without much problem, but a 3rd day will give you more time to explore places like Monterey or Hearst Castle.

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