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  1. Default Road Trip West Coast

    Hi everyone,

    Me and 2 friends are planning a road trip to the west coast. We will be arriving from Portugal.

    We would like to see: San Francisco (stay 2 nights), LA (stay 2 nights), Las Vegas (maybe 1 night), Death VAlley, Yosemite, Grand CAnyon, and we would like to do the Pacific Coast.

    Wich places do you also reccomend?

    The big problem is that we only have 10 days. Maybe we have to cut some of the places, becasuse we don't want to be rushing everywhere.

    From the places above which itinerary do you reccomend, the most scenic possible, but sometimes the fastest, because of the number of days we have.

    Do you reccomend starting in LA and finishing in SF, or the other way around? Or starting in one of these places and return?

    Thank you in advance..

    Bruno

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default That Loop

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    This is easily the most popular RoadTrip discussed on these forums. For a list of several threads which discuss this general itinerary, have a look at this post. In general, I think this trip is best done as a loop returning to your starting city. This will save you on both airfare and the cost of a car rental, and there's really no stretch of it that you would want to miss. The big problem is that to do it at a fairly leisurely pace and spend the time you'd like to in the cities would require about 12 to 13 days. I think the best I can do for you at this point is to lay out where I think those days would be spent and let you decide either where to cut or whether to add another 2-3 days to your trip (if possible).

    Let's assume that you fly into San Francisco and spend your first few days there {2d}. You then drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. That's 450 miles and a full day's driving, but there's at least a day's worth of things to see and do along that stretch of road, trying to just buzz through to LA would not do it justice {4d}. Then spend 2 days in LA {6d}. The drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is a relatively short 270 miles, but by the time you add in the time to get through LA's traffic and make even a cursory stop somewhere in the Mojave Desert, call it a day's drive {7d}. Spend a day in Las Vegas {8d}. Seeing the Grand Canyon adds another couple of days, since it's 275 miles one way, and you have to spend at least the better part of a day just taking in the Canyon {10d}. Similarly, Las Vegas to Yosemite through Death Valley is another day's drive (450 miles) plus a day devoted to actually seeing and experiencing the two parks {12d}. Finally, you have a short day's drive (190 miles) back into San Francisco to catch your plane home {13d}.

    Now, it is possible to shave a half day here and a half day there from the above itinerary, but that would leave you doing exactly what you said you didn't want to do, namely rushing everywhere. So, something's got to give. What I would leave out would be the two days in Los Angeles, and maybe take only a day and a half for the Pacific Coast Highway, turning inland around San Louis Obispo, and call it another half day to get from there to Las Vegas. That would get me down to 10 days, just. But what you decide to do is, of course, totally up to you.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Thanks for the answer.

    I talked with my friends, and based on some of the things you mentioned, we changed our itinerary.

    We are arriving in SF on the 25th of april.

    Then stay there until the 28th of April. In the morning we will leave to Yosemite, and return in the same day, probably to Monterrey (don't know if it too much, but based on some tours we haave seen in the net it's doable).

    Then on the 29 head to LA. Stay in LA until 2nd May.
    Here it starts our problems.

    We have seen a Tour (from Tours4fun) to Las VEgas and Grand Canyon. This tours costs around 128 usd, and it takes you in the first day to LV, in the next morning to Canyon and return to Vegas, and in the next day return to LA.
    Do you know tours4 fun, are they trustfull, and do you think 2:30 it's enough to see the canyon?

    Then on the 4th May we arrive to LA again.

    The other option it's to rent a car and go by ourselfs to Vegas and Canyon, trying to stop in Death Valley, if its possible, and if it's worthy. It' will be more expensive.

    Bruno

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Yosemite Valley is too long as a daytrip

    Quote Originally Posted by Travellers07 View Post
    Then stay there until the 28th of April. In the morning we will leave to Yosemite, and return in the same day, probably to Monterey (don't know if it too much, but based on some tours we haave seen in the net it's doable).
    Unless you are a professional driver, I woudn't think you can consider driving to Yosemite from San Francisco and back to Monterey in one day a doable option! Spend a night near Yosemite!
    We have seen a Tour (from Tours4fun) to Las VEgas and Grand Canyon. This tours costs around 128 usd, and it takes you in the first day to LV, in the next morning to Canyon and return to Vegas, and in the next day return to LA. Do you know tours4 fun, are they trustfull, and do you think 2:30 it's enough to see the canyon?
    It is five hours one-way from Las Vegas to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. So ten hours on the bus plus a couple of hours at the Grand seems like a very long day to me. I have spent an entire month at the Grand Canyon and only saw about 10% of what one can see. But for a quick view of the scenery 2.5 hours is better than nothing!
    The other option it's to rent a car and go by ourselfs to Vegas and Canyon, trying to stop in Death Valley, if its possible, and if it's worthy. It' will be more expensive.
    The advantage of the bus is that you can sleep while someone else is driving.

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Tour: Too Much

    I don't know anything about the tour company you are refering to, but I know I wouldn't want to take that Las Vegas/Grand Canyon tour. They are really just trying to squeeze way too much into too little time. In a nutshell, you'd be spending 20 hours on a bus over the course of 3 days, and all you would be getting out of it is a half day in Las Vegas followed by a couple of hours at the Grand Canyon. The fact that you can let someone else do the driving helps a little, but its still not worth it to me.

    I think you'll be much better off renting a car for your entire trip. Ultimately, it won't cost you much more than trying to do these bus tours, and you'll have far more freedom to explore and enjoy the things you want to see.

  6. Default Road Trips Las Vegas

    Hey,

    i'm arriving at Vegas on the 25th april by plane.

    I'm planning leaving towards the Grand CAnyon on the 26th, and then on the 28th to LA (from Vegas).

    Could hepl me out wiht the routes to take?

    From Vegas to Canyon (south rim) i would like to visit Hoover damm in the way.

    From Vegas to LA (i would like to see joshue tree).

    Another question that i have is, i would like to pass route 66, for a short time, just to check it out. Do you think i should do that in wich route?

    I would prefer to LA, because i've more time to get there.

    thanks in advance

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Roads Hopefully to Your Liking

    Now that you have a couple of days to see the Grand Canyon, you can get a better feel for its majesty as well as work in a few of your other preferred sites. What I would suggest is that you take the better part of the 26th enjoying the drive to the canyon. Stop and see Hoover Dam - you will be driving right over the top of it as you take US-93 south out lf Las Vegas. Then when you get to Kingman, you can spend some time on the old Route 66 in either direction, joining 40 Seligman. From Williams, you'd then take AZ-64 north into the National Park where you'll now have a full day, the 27th, to drive along the south rim, hike the rim trail in parts, and listen to the talks given by the rangers.

    Then, on the 28th make the drive to Los Angeles. Head back out AZ-64 to I-40 west to Needles where you'll take US-95 south to Vidal Junction and then CA-62 west which gives access to both the North and West Entrance Stations as well as the Oasis and Joshua Tree Visitor Centers and the Black Rock Nature Center of Joshua Tree National Park.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-03-2007 at 06:57 PM.

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