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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Coventry, England
    Posts
    19

    Default Phoenix Explorer!

    Hi there, so glad I've found this forum - learnt so much already. My wife and I are planning a 'road trip' next Christmas so although we have some time to plan I thought i'd at least get the ball rolling! We are staying with some friends in Phoenix for Christmas then planning to spend 10-14 days travelling around ideally fitting in the following locations;

    Grand Canyon
    Monument Valley
    Yosemite NP
    San Fransisco
    LA
    Joshua Tree NP
    Route 66 (if possible)
    Phoenix (needs to ideally be a loop trip!)


    To visit all these places may sound quite ambitious with the time frame we have hence this post and hopefully your advice. We both prefer visiting scenic places (National Parks etc) to Cities however thought we would be missing out if we missed out the opportunity to visit San Fransisco & LA.

    My dream has always been to hire a Ford Mustang for our trip however apart from the obvious extra cost would you think this is feasible?

    The weather, this may determine which places are better to visit at this time of year so any help on this would be most grateful!

    Sorry for all the questions, just want to make the most of the short amount of time we'll have.

    Thanks

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisB; 02-06-2007 at 07:14 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    To start your planning, visit here.

    A (very) rough estimate puts your driving at a little over 2000 miles, however I must say that at that time of the year the weather will most likely not be ideal for driving around in a Mustang. I don't see any difficulty in making this a loop trip.

    Route 66 you can fit in, either on your way out to California or on your way back from California, depending on how you ultimately layout your trip.

    From what I've read, driving into Yosemite at that time of year requires that you carry snow chains (and know how to use them!).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Coventry, England
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Thanks Tim,

    Ok, this is how I envisage the trip (v basic I know),

    Phoenix to Grand Canyon, to Monument Valley, through Yosemite Valley to San Fransisco. Down to LA and back to phoenix via Joshua Tree NP and across some of the Route 66 Stretch. Could this work in 14 days? I'm sure there would be great places to stay along the way however as I'm at the early stages of planning any advice would be much appreciated. I'm going to pick up a map this weekend but if any of you have some tips on which routes to take then that be great!

    Thanks

  4. Default Can you make it a big loop trip?

    Hello ChrisB

    As a quick suggestion, you might make it a bit of a bigger loop trip? Phoenix via Globe to Holbrook (petrified Forest National Park), to Monument Valley (potentially including Canyons de Chelly National Monument), then back to Grand Canyon (driving in from the east, along the south Rim), then to Las Vegas, Death Valley, to Yosemite (you'll have to loop south via Bakersfield, since the Tioga Pass over the Sierras will be closed by snow), to San Francisco, then south along Pacific Coast Highway to San Simeon (Monterey/ Carmel, Big Sur, Hearst Castle), then LA, then head east to 29 Palms, then Joshua Tree National Park, then back to Phoenix.

    That should be doable in about 14 days, although I haven't laid out the speicifc days and distances -- and it may be challenging depending upon how long you want to stay places (multiple days in Las Vegas? San Francisco? Yosemite? LA??) It also doesn't spend much time on Route 66, as it loops above and below old 66 in most places.

    The weather at Christmas over this wide of a geographic area and range of altitudes (from 7000+ feet to sea level) can be highly variable. For example, folks don't realize that the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is 7000' above sea level, so its not unusual for that area to have snow and near-freezing temperatures in late December. Yosemite most likely will have snow, and you need to be prepared for snowy roads going into the park (the state department of transportation plows them out very quickly, but you still need to be prepared). At the same time, its also not unusual for Phoenix or LA to have weather that is very nice and sunny with temperatures in the 70-80 F range at the same time. You'll need to be prepared for both -- as well as running into a storm somewhere.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Tioga Pass will be closed

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Phoenix to Grand Canyon, to Monument Valley, through Yosemite Valley to San Fransisco.
    It is certainly possible to make the circuit in 14 days and looks to be a fantastic road trip. How are you getting from Monument Valley to Yosemite NP? Since Tioga Pass will be closed it is going to be a long detour from either end of the Sierra Nevada mountains to reach Yosemite.
    Down to LA and back to phoenix via Joshua Tree NP and across some of the Route 66 Stretch.
    There are about 900 threads on this Forum that provide some routes and trip suggestions for the route between San Francisco and Phoenix. Here is a field report about the portion of the Route 66 you would be traveling on. To find some of those threads, use the search utility and look at the threads on the bottom of this and other pages you look at.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Coventry, England
    Posts
    19

    Default How long and where?

    Thanks so much for all your help. I'll definitely be sifting through other posts! Can anyone suggest how long to spend in each place? We'd love to stay in San fran for at least a few nights but are easy for the other locations as we're not sure how much there would be to see! I'm thinking we would try and book a few places in advance but leave some for flexibility.

    Is Yosemite still worth seeing at this time of year? I'm not sure whether the detour would be worth it. Maybe we could schedule in another more 'southern' National Park on route.

    Many thanks...again

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default You have to think about what the goals are

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Can anyone suggest how long to spend in each place?
    There is no way we can offer that type of suggestion without knowing more about what turns you on about this planned adventure. In order to see a tiny fraction of the places that Larrison outlined in this excellent post, you will need to keep moving every single day.
    We'd love to stay in San fran for at least a few nights but are easy for the other locations as we're not sure how much there would be to see!
    OK, a good beginning. If you are planning to spend several days in San Francisco, you will have to eliminate at least 1/2 of your planned route. Just to make that run would require driving at least eight hours every day. Here is some information we use when we think about the kind of roadtrip folks like to plan.
    I'm thinking we would try and book a few places in advance but leave some for flexibility.
    Excellent plan and here are some more tips on that subject.
    Is Yosemite still worth seeing at this time of year? I'm not sure whether the detour would be worth it. Maybe we could schedule in another more 'southern' National Park on route.
    If you are spending "several days in San Francisco" you will not have time to go east at all (from Phoenix) but you can go to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite (southern detour), San Francisco, the Big Sur and then zip back to Phoenix (I don't see how you will have time to see Joshua Tree).

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Coventry, England
    Posts
    19

    Default I'm learning!

    Thanks Mark,

    I've done a brief check on 'Mapquest' for general directions for the route you suggested;

    Phoenix - Grand Canyon (South Rim) - Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite NP (via Bakersfield) - San Fransisco - Big Sur - Joshua Tree NP(time allowing) - Phoenix

    Total Miledge = 2150

    This trip I believe would reflect the diversity of the 'west' which is what we're looking for. If anyone has any 'favourite' routes between any of these places or favourite places to stay then please let me know. I'll do a bit of searching on this 'fantastic' forum as well.

    I'm learning alot! Thanks again...

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisB; 02-07-2007 at 02:42 AM. Reason: mis-spelling

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Coventry, England
    Posts
    19

    Default Route 66

    It seems like there is a stretch of the old Route 66 that exits the I-40 at Seligman and then meets it again at Kingman. Would this be a worthwhile detour on the section from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas?

    Always up for a bit of Route 66 experience....

    Many thanks

    Chris

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Read our suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    It seems like there is a stretch of the old Route 66 that exits the I-40 at Seligman and then meets it again at Kingman. Would this be a worthwhile detour on the section from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas?
    Chris, you may discover that when we suggest a link, it is often a good one to look at. I already suggested that you look at the filed report that details the section of Route 66 you are alluded to. Here is that link again.

    Mark

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