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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Right now in Montreal (Canada) until May '07.
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    3

    Default California Road Trip

    Hi Everyone!

    After few months reading this awesome forum, I learned a lot of things and it helped me to determine the steps of my road trip. I especially read this message where there is a lot of usefully links to different messages. I just want to show you my plan for this road trip and have your thoughts/advices on the road, the timing, especially if you already traveled this route to the different areas. Thanks a lot in advance!

    The part where I'm not sure about the road is from SF to Sequoia Park to Death Valley.

    So we (me and my parents, from France) will arrive in San Francisco on May 11 and come back to France on May 27. This is our first road trip, it’s a dream for us to do this trip in California, and it’s finally here! It’s not the real adventure because we already booked our hotels… I mainly used Google Maps to have the general itinerary. This is the link to our complete itinerary (warning! It’s slow to load!)
    Basically we’ve planned to drive from the morning to around 2/3pm and then we can enjoy the parks, cities,… in the afternoon.

    Day 1 to 3: Visit of San Francisco
    Day 4: San Francisco to Sequoia National Park, hotel at Three Rivers.
    From San Francisco to Sequoia National we’ll take the 580E, 205E and then at Monteca down with the 99 to Fresno then we’ll almost be at Three rivers.
    Day 5: Sequoia National Park, Death valley and hotel at Beatty.
    From Three rivers we’ll take the 99 to Bakersfield then 58E, 385N to Death Valley Park, go through it during the afternoon to arrive at Beatty before the night.
    We’ll not have the time to go on the Sherman pass road I guess.
    I know that it’s a long day drive, but that’s the only solution?
    Day 6: Beatty to Las Vegas via the 95. Because it’s a short drive we’re planning to arrive at Las Vegas at the beginning of the afternoon.
    Day 7: Stay at Las Vegas
    Day 8: Las Vegas to Grand Canyon.
    We’ll take the 93 South to Kingman, 40E to Williams and then up to Grand Canyon. Visit of the canyon the afternoon and then hotel around the Canyon.
    Day 9 (huuuge day drive): Grand Canyon to Barstow via the 40 West.
    We’ll have few stops of course and we are planning to drive a bit on the Route 66 (I think there is a part around Needles).
    Day 10: Barstow to Los Angeles during the morning.
    Day 11 and 12: Los Angeles
    Day 13: Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo mainly via road 101.
    Day 14: San Luis Obispo to Monterey via road 1 along the ocean.
    Day 15: Monterey to San Francisco.
    Day 16: San Francisco.

    So, that’s it. Thanks a lot for you comments and your help! :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default You have done some homework!

    Quote Originally Posted by mathieu View Post
    I just want to show you my plan for this road trip
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Thanks for taking the time read many of the threads here --
    The part where I'm not sure about the road is from SF to Sequoia Park to Death Valley.
    There is a thread that addresses this part of the route, in detail, it was included in that mini-index you referenced above, but here it is again, if you missed it.
    It’s not the real adventure because we already booked our hotels…
    This road trip will be an adventure whether you have reservations or not!
    Basically we’ve planned to drive from the morning to around 2/3pm and then we can enjoy the parks, cities,… in the afternoon.
    Most of the route legs are very good, but I am not sure that any of them can be achieved in that time span. It will be much closer to hitting the road about 8:00 am and getting to your motel about 5:00 pm (with 1 or 2 exceptions).
    Day 5: Sequoia National Park, Death valley and hotel at Beatty.
    Overnight at Beatty is a little odd, you are closer to Las Vegas when you are Furnace Creek and so to travel all the way to Beatty (where are you staying in Beatty -- choices are very limited up there) -- it would seem to make more sense to simply go east from Death Valley to Las Vegas.
    Day 7: Stay at Las Vegas
    You could have two nights here if you cut out Beatty.s
    Day 9 (huuuge day drive): Grand Canyon to Barstow via the 40 West. We’ll have few stops of course and we are planning to drive a bit on the Route 66 (I think there is a part around Needles).
    There are three primary sections -- here is a field report about Seligman Pass and Oatman, which I highly recommend, Goffs and also the section near Amboy.

    The rest of your trip sounds fine. You need to remember that the driving times listed in Google Maps are not realistic. For most of the route, you have selected, you will not be able to average much over 57 mph over the course of the day, when you factor in fuel, food stops and traffic delays.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Right now in Montreal (Canada) until May '07.
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    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    There is a thread that addresses this part of the route, in detail, it was included in that mini-index you referenced above, but here it is again, if you missed it.
    Ok, I'm gonna read it again in details. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Most of the route legs are very good, but I am not sure that any of them can be achieved in that time span. It will be much closer to hitting the road about 8:00 am and getting to your motel about 5:00 pm (with 1 or 2 exceptions).
    Or really? It's true that google maps driving times are not realistic at all. :(
    Because at most of our stops we have something to visit (sequoia park, grand canyon). If we don't have the time to visit them during the same day I don't know what to do (except changing everything in the itinerary).

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Overnight at Beatty is a little odd, you are closer to Las Vegas when you are Furnace Creek and so to travel all the way to Beatty (where are you staying in Beatty -- choices are very limited up there) -- it would seem to make more sense to simply go east from Death Valley to Las Vegas.
    We're staying at the Motel 6.
    You think that in one day we can go from Three Rivers, through Death Valley and then Las Vegas? That's why we chose to stop at Beatty, to have the time to visit Death Valley during the day. No?

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    You could have two nights here if you cut out Beatty.s
    We already have 2 nights at Las Vegas (the first night when we arrive and then after our full day at Vegas).

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    There are three primary sections -- here is a field report about Seligman Pass and Oatman, which I highly recommend, Goffs and also the section near Amboy.
    Ok, I'm gonna check that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    The rest of your trip sounds fine. You need to remember that the driving times listed in Google Maps are not realistic. For most of the route, you have selected, you will not be able to average much over 57 mph over the course of the day, when you factor in fuel, food stops and traffic delays.
    And now I'm not really reassured. I'm scarred to not have to time to visit everything during the afternoon.

    I'm going to check everything and I'll come back if I have other questions.
    Thanks a lot for your help!

  4. #4
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default

    I advise to Pre-book Beatty Nv., or drive a bit furthur and stay in Parump Nv.

    Because of the Good Neighbor Rules I won't post our and many others experiences with the town, but we suggest get a guaranteed price & and reservation.

    It's one of the very, very few towns in Nevada without a Nevada Visitors Bureau welcome sign as you enter, and for good reasons.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Being picky can be a good thing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross & Alice View Post
    I advise to Pre-book Beatty Nv.,
    There is only one place I would recommend in Beatty -- I have stayed there a couple of times. It is not fancy -- but OK. (can't think of the name -- but on the north side of town)
    Because of the Good Neighbor Rules I won't post our and many others experiences with the town, but we suggest get a guaranteed price & and reservation.
    I don't think you quite understand how this policy works -- the whole point of this Forum is to share personal experiences -- if you have such experiences -- please share them -- but there is a style to how that is done here.
    It's one of the very, very few towns in Nevada without a Nevada Visitors Bureau welcome sign as you enter, and for good reasons.
    I dunno -- I have been in Beatty many times -- I have never had a bad time....

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Right now in Montreal (Canada) until May '07.
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    Default

    I have booked the Motel 6 at beatty already. I'm currently thinking to switch with a night at Furnace Creek but we're not sure yet.
    The review of the Motel 6 at Beatty I read on TripAdvisor were fine, like a simple Motel 6.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default Between those choices -- no contest!

    Quote Originally Posted by mathieu View Post
    I have booked the Motel 6 at beatty already. I'm currently thinking to switch with a night at Furnace Creek but we're not sure yet.
    I would go for the Furnace Creek Ranch motel -- nice spring-fed swimming pool, nice cafe, GREAT museum -- plus you will be staying overnight in a national park as opposed to a very busy truck route... (Motel 6 in Beatty).

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default More rule of thumbs....

    Quote Originally Posted by mathieu View Post
    Or really? It's true that google maps driving times are not realistic at all.
    The driving time estimates used by Google Maps are based upon complex algorithms that are supposed to take into account posted speed limits and current weather conditions (supposed to is a generous evaluation...) but the reality is that nothing in the real world of roadtripping is as simple as the world where those computer bots live. Our rule of thumb suggests that on western states highways you can average about 57 mph over the course of a full day of travel (this assumes that you will be driving 70+mph wherever it is possible and includes stops for fuel, food, attractions and traffic slow downs). In the national parks, the posted speed limit is often 35 mph and effective speed (what you can really travel) is much closer to 32 mph when you factor in stopping at some of the view points and "speeding a little bit" like most of do the rest of the time). On some highways I can average considerably above what Google Maps would suggest -- but I am traveling considerably above the posted speed limits -- you have to decide if you want to risk a few hundred dollars in speeding fines....(I have never gotten a speeding ticket --- but....)
    Because at most of our stops we have something to visit (sequoia park, grand canyon). If we don't have the time to visit them during the same day I don't know what to do (except changing everything in the itinerary).
    All of your legs are possible, but like I posted above -- you will need to plan to be on the road 8-10 hours (including the time to see the views and attractions) each day.
    You think that in one day we can go from Three Rivers, through Death Valley and then Las Vegas? That's why we chose to stop at Beatty, to have the time to visit Death Valley during the day.
    If you can stay overnight in Death Valley at Furnace Creek or Panamint Springs or Stovepipe Wells (they all have motels) that would be the best choice. But yes, you can drive from Three Rivers to Las Vegas in one day as long as you don't spend too much time in Death Valley. Most of what you will probably be visiting in Death Valley is in the southern portion of the park (around Furnace Creek) and so to drive to Beatty is out of your way and , in fact, Pahrump or Las Vegas is closer than is Beatty.
    We already have 2 nights at Las Vegas (the first night when we arrive and then after our full day at Vegas).
    I have been here over seven years and haven't seen all of it yet... I wouldn't worry that you will run out of stuff to do and see.
    And now I'm not really reassured. I'm scarred to not have to time to visit everything during the afternoon.
    This trip is not like Disneyland -- where you drive to a park and then begin to see stuff -- the entire trip is the attraction -- You just need to space it out -- your daily destinations should be thought of as the place you sleep -- not what you see during the day.

    Mark

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