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  1. #1

    Default Roadtrip LA loop

    Me and two mates are planning to fly to LA end of April for a two week roadtrip. We plan to hire a car and drive the following route:

    LA - Vegas - Grand Canyon - San Francisco (Coastal Highway) back to LA

    As none of us have been to Western USA we would appreciate any advice/tips anyone has to offer.

    Are there any particular places apart from the above that we should include on our trip?
    Our trip is 2 weeks, is that enough time to drive this route?

    We can't wait to start our trip but are conscious that we need to plan very well to get the most out of the trip.

    Thanks in advance.

    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Lots of Info

    Welcome Back to the RTA Forum! Is this trip a part of your 3 month trip, or is this a separate plan?

    2 weeks should give you time to do a loop of those sites. Tioga Pass will still be closed at that time, so you will have to find another route over the Sierras and to Yosemite if that's a part of your plan.

    There are litterally hundreds of other threads about this exact same type of trip on the forum. I'd start by using the search function and put in some of the places you want to see. You'll certainly find an overwhelming amount of good information around here.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi Michael,

    Unfortunately, our 3 month trip has changed due to me getting a new job. I am now going with a couple of mates for 2 weeks and can't wait.

    I am glad that 2 weeks should give us enough time, thanks for the Yosemite tip. That is one place we must see, I have heard nothing but positive feedback from Yosemite NP.

    I will search the site and find info for tips on our trip.

    Our major concern is making sure we plan well enough to ensure we get to see everything we want in 2 weeks. Thanks again!

    Matt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Over/Under Planning

    I think most of us here research like crazy before we travel. But I don't think most of us over-plan our itinerary. Meaning...know what's out there and have a good idea of the things you want to see. Prioritize them because you probably won't get to see all of them. And then allow yourself some flexibility while you're actually here and on the road. Don't become too attached to the itinerary.

    Once you've reviewed some of the many threads here on this area, come up with a plan and then come back here so we can give you more specific hints and recommendations.

    Another place you might want to add to your plan is Death Valley. While getting to Yosemite is a great idea, you might find that it puts you in a time crunch. Death Valley is closer to the main routes you'll probably be travelling and is really worth checking out.

  5. #5

    Default Booking hotels

    Hi,

    When visiting places such as Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Yosemite how far in advance would you recommend booking accomodation? We are travelling early May so do we need to book?

  6. Default

    When we did our road trip there last year for 3 weeks, we just called places the day before and availability was fine. Mind you, that was in November, so probably a bit slower than in May. However, what we did do was, book places well in advance, where we thought we would be making our rest stops. That way, if last minute, we decide we wouldn't be stopping in that town, we would just call and cancel. Better to be safe than sorry, and there usually isn't a penalty for cancelling, as long as it's a day in advanced.

  7. Default Book early if its a high demand/ low availability area

    Hello mrhind,

    May is early enough that the schools haven't gotten out so the summer vacation crowd hasn't shown up yet. But... If you're looking for a specific place in a high demand/ low availabiity area, you might want to book at least a month ahead.

    For example, if you want to stay in a hotel in Grand Canyon National Park, and on the rim of the canyon -- you'll probably want to book ahead. On the other hand, if you're flexible enough to stay at Tusayan (just outside the park boundaries) or at Williams (about 45 minutes drive away) you shouldn't have problems finding a room at that period of time by calling ahead a day ahead.

    This would hold similarly for in Yosemite park, or in specific on-the-beach campgrounds on a weekend in that period, or specific hotels in Disneyland.

    But for places like Disneyland there are probably 100 hotels within 5 miles, so I'm sure you can find a room with a couple of hour's notice since there's a lot of alternatives.

  8. #8

    Default Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    I think most of us here research like crazy before we travel. But I don't think most of us over-plan our itinerary. Meaning...know what's out there and have a good idea of the things you want to see. Prioritize them because you probably won't get to see all of them. And then allow yourself some flexibility while you're actually here and on the road. Don't become too attached to the itinerary.

    Once you've reviewed some of the many threads here on this area, come up with a plan and then come back here so we can give you more specific hints and recommendations.

    Another place you might want to add to your plan is Death Valley. While getting to Yosemite is a great idea, you might find that it puts you in a time crunch. Death Valley is closer to the main routes you'll probably be travelling and is really worth checking out.
    Hi Judy,

    We have now worked out a route as follows:

    LA-SF
    SF-Yosemite NP
    Yosemite - Death Valley
    Death Valley - Las Vegas
    Las Vegas - Grand Canyon Organised day trip, helicopter ride etc..
    Las Vegas - San Diego
    San Diego - LA to fly back to London

    1) When driving up the coast from LA to SF we will stop one night halfway up, can you recommend any places to stop.

    2) From Yosemite to Death Valley we will stop for a night somewhere on route, any ideas?

    3) If you can recommend any others place on any of the above routes that would be very helpful. We want to take alot of scenic routes but we aware that it will take longer than taking highways. Any scenic routes you could recommend?

    Thanks,

    Matt

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Heavily Traveled Route

    Theres lots of information on the forum about these routes, so for you questions about scenic routes and the like, I'd start by checking out the links found Here.

    As far as overnighting between Yosemite and DV, its going to depend upon if Tioga Pass is open yet. In Early May it will likely be closed, and thus you'll have to go around to the south via Bakersfield - which could be a good stop for the night. However, I hear this has been a very light year for snow around Yosemite, so while its unlikely, there would be at least a chance the pass could be open. If that's the case, then Bishop is a popular stop thats around the halfway point.

  10. #10

    Default

    Did a trip last year which started off with the exact route LA - SF - Yosemite - DV - LV but from there we headed north to Zion NP which was fabulous. You might like to see if you can squeeze that into the trip. It looks to me that you have ample time to do so and I reckon you'd love it. At least keep it in mind as an option if you're running ahead of schedule when you're on the ground over there.

    If you're lucky enough to be able to tale the Tioga Pass out of Yosemite then you might like to check out Mono Lake and Bodie ghost town en route to Death Valley.

    Oh, unless you have a 4x4 and a good sense of adventure, I'd suggest sticking to the main roads in Death Valley. We decided to take what appeared on the map to be a shortcut. We ended up doing 80 odd miles down an unpaved gravel road. Although we smile about it now, it was a little worrying at the time!!

    Only other thing I can think of, off the top of my head, is to book the hotels in advance for Vegas. There may be thousands upon thousands of rooms, but the queues for the check-in desk are nightmarish at times and to wait 30 minutes to be told, 'sorry, sir, no room at the inn', is bloody frustrating! Oh, and they're dirt cheap if you book far enough in advance too.

    What is your route from Las Vegas to San Diego? I'm presuming you're planning on driving from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and stopping near there? You might like to head south from the GC to Flagstaff and follow part of the old route 66 west. You could then easily take a short diversion to Lake Havasu and check out the old London Bridge. It's terribly tacky, but quite amusing, nonetheless! Be sure to send my love to the thug in the ice cream shop who tried to mow me down :)

    Be sure, as has been suggested, to check out the other threads (there are loads of them!) and please do come back with any specific questions you have.

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