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  1. Default Road conditions from Vegas to San Diego to Sedona to Grand Canyon

    First off this site is fabulous! Already got lots of great info re places to see what's doable and what's not etc.

    The ultimate goal is San Diego but we would fly into Vegas and then rent a car, that's cheaper than the direct flight plus then we have more freedom to explore (with the rental car and unlimited miles). Ok so we would have 9 days (not counting our main travel days to and from home)

    I THINK the trip is doable timewise but am open to feedback if I'm off base. My main quesion though is about the TYPES of roads we would be driving on. Never having been out west before and having lost our brakes on a back mtn road in VA (and smelled burning brakes on our vehicle many other times in the mtns on back roads), I am leery of roads with long steep continous declines. Having said that, we did the Blue Ridge parkway in VA with no problems and drive I40 through NC/TN mtns on trips to MN with no problems but if you are familiar with Grandfather Mtn in NC, that is one road that we had to have someone else drive us up/down as we were not comfortable driving on it because of the incline/decline.

    So the proposed trip is (and I've used Mapquest for all the routes)

    Day 1 - Vegas through the Mojave Natural Preserve then taking a quick look at the Joshua Tree National Park and on to San Diego, FULL DAY

    Day 2 to 5 - chillin in San Diego

    Day 6 - San Diego to Sedona, possibly stopping earlier in Phoenix

    Day 7 Full day in Sedona taking pictures and exploring area then head north to Grand Canyon arriving before dark but not actually seeing it this day

    Day 8 Grand Canyon pretty much pictures only then back to Vegas stopping to see the Hoover Dam.

    Day 9 Vegas and then fly home next day

    I didn't put the specific routes as I'm assuming MapQuest would give the main ones and I've also made notes on several routes from the many articles on this site so basically need advice on how these main roads are (which ones might be better than others, ones to avoid or if we should spend the extra money and fly right to the coast and just enjoy AZ pics online!), for an admitedly 'somewhat' whimpy traveler (for mountain roads) who still has a 'little' spirit of adventure! Also any advice on the side roads that lead to these main attractions would be appreciated.

    Thanks much!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-16-2007 at 05:07 PM. Reason: fixed minor typo

  2. #2
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    Default When are you going?

    Quote Originally Posted by todurn View Post
    First off this site is fabulous! Already got lots of great info re places to see
    Always nice to hear! Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! I may have missed it, but when are you going on this adventure?
    I THINK the trip is doable timewise but am open to feedback if I'm off base. My main quesion though is about the TYPES of roads we would be driving on.
    There are all sorts of mountain ranges in southern Nevada and other points on the route. Nevada is not called the state of basins and ridges by accident. That being said, it is possible to choose a route that skirts most of the passes -- if you really want to.
    So the proposed trip is (and I've used Mapquest for all the routes)
    You might wish to double-check the route using either the Yahoo or the AAA planner -- we have tested both of them and report our findings here.
    Day 1 - Vegas through the Mojave Natural Preserve then taking a quick look at the Joshua Tree National Park and on to San Diego, FULL DAY
    This is way too long a day. If you were to drive the fastest route (I-15 all the way) it would take about six hours. If you spend any time in Mojave (the visitor's center at Kelso is excellent) and here are some fun things to do -- that would add 2-3 hours. If you also went to Joshua Tree on the way--add another 3-4 hours. This would be a killer day at 11+ hours on the road!
    Day 6 - San Diego to Sedona, possibly stopping earlier in Phoenix
    Mapquest may be "lying to you" -- fastest possible time would be 8 hours -- if you stop and look at some of the gorgeous country you are driving through -- this would easily be another 10+ hours on the road!
    Day 7 Full day in Sedona taking pictures and exploring area then head north to Grand Canyon arriving before dark but not actually seeing it this day
    What part of the Grand are you heading for? It is about two hours from Sedona to the south rim.
    Day 8 Grand Canyon pretty much pictures only then back to Vegas stopping to see the Hoover Dam.
    This is pretty reasonable, with ~ 275 miles and a stop at the dam (there will be traffic delays due to construction at the dam!) but you can expect about a seven hour day or so on the road.
    Day 9 Vegas and then fly home next day
    There is a lot to see and do here! Parts of these routes are mountainous and the bypass routes will add several hours each day. I think you will be fine.

    Mark

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