I've read through most of the relevant posts already (this is a fantastic site!) and put together a rough itinerary for a roadtrip my sister and I are planning to take this Summer (July/August). We have 17 nights and fly in/out of San Francisco (from London). We're more interested in natural wonders than man made ones, although we wouldn't want to miss Vegas or San Francisco.
I would really appreciate any thoughts/advice from people who've travelled this route/locals to the area.
In particular, are we being too ambitious in terms of the distances we plan to cover each day?
Any recommendations on good places to stay along the route (max USD 100 per night for two - with the exception of San Fran, LA and Las Vegas where we realise we might have to pay more!).
Any 'must sees' which we have missed out?
See also some specific questions below
Look forward to hearing from you, thanks in advance for your help
Day 1 Arrive late pm San Francisco, pick up hire car & drive to Sacramento to overnight there
Day 2 Drive to South Lake Tahoe, overnight there
Day 3 Drive to Yosemite. 2 nights there
Day 5 Kings Canyon/Sequoia/Death Valley? Stay overnight in this area - where?
Day 6 Drive to Vegas. 2 nights Vegas
Day 8 To Grand Canyon, overnight here
Day 9 Spend the morning at the Canyon, then to Flagstaff & overnight there
Day 10 Head towards LA - Visit Joshua Tree National Park? Or Palm Springs? Stay somewhere in this area - not sure where?
Day 11 Arrive LA. 2 nights
Day 13 Head up the coast - stay over 1 night somewhere (Carmel?)
Day 15 Arrive San Francisco. Get rid of car? 4 nights here - or maybe one in Napa Valley area?