Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1

    Default 3 Week road trip from L.A or San Diego

    Hi everyone,

    I've read a lot of these threads and they've been really helpful, so I thank you all for that.

    The problem is the more I read the more I want to see & do!
    Let me explain more or less what I'd like to see and hopefully you can help me with the best routes.

    My wife and I start our trip in San Francisco (for 3 days) towards the end of August this year. From there we'd like to spend 2 or 3 days driving Route 1 (Big Sur Coast Highway) down to L.A and possibly down to San Diego.
    Depending on which of the two is better to start from (LA or San Diego) we'd then like to spend 3 weeks seeing the following places if possible and ending in LA:

    Las Vegas
    Grand Canyon
    Death Valley
    Yosemite
    Arches
    Bryce
    Zion
    Canyonlands
    Monument Valley
    Mesa Verde
    Sedona
    Hoover Dam


    Not sure if 3 weeks is enough time to see all of the above. We don't necessarily need to spend days hiking, white river rafting etc. but would like to travel at a leisurely pace and take it all in.
    Which of these places is too similar and can be dropped? Are we missing anything special that we should be doing?

    Now the route is where I'm really lost. Is it best to start from LA/ San Diego then:

    Las Vegas - Hoover Dam - Death Valley - Yosemite - Zion- Bryce- Arches - Canyonlands - Monument Valley - Mesa Verde - Grand Canyon - Sedona - LA?

    Would it be better to go in an anti-clockwise direction doing it all in reverse?
    Would it be better to go about it in a completely different way?

    Help!

    Thanks in advance.
    Wesley

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default Losing your way

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Las Vegas - Hoover Dam - Death Valley - Yosemite - Zion- Bryce- Arches - Canyonlands - Monument Valley - Mesa Verde - Grand Canyon - Sedona - LA?
    I think you might want to double check your map. This would be a very inefficiant way to hit all of those places.

    The biggest problem is you're planning to go from Yosemite to Zion, which would require you to essentially double back through Death Valley and Las Vegas.

    It would make much more sense to drive up through California's central valley right to Yosemite (you could also make a stop at Sequoia/Kings Canyon, but you might already be pushing things for time.). From there go to Death Valley and onto Vegas. Hoover Dam is a short trip from Vegas, so stop there during your time in Vegas, and then just continue onto Utah.

    Your Utah stretch is also a little backwards. It would make much more sense to go to Canyonlands then Mesa Verda, and visit Monument Valley on your way to Grand Canyon.

  3. #3

    Default

    It would make much more sense to drive up through California's central valley right to Yosemite (you could also make a stop at Sequoia/Kings Canyon
    Is there a specific route/ byway I can take? Something scenic?

    Is it worth seeing Arches, Bryce, Zion and Canyonlands or do you think that's overkill and too similar?
    Also, what about Sedona? At what point do you think I should pass through?

    Thanks for your help. Apologies for my ignorance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Some more suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by WesleyUK View Post
    Is there a specific route/ byway I can take? Something scenic?
    Here is a field report that goes all of the places you are considering on the Leg from LA to Sequoia, Yosemite, etc.
    Is it worth seeing Arches, Bryce, Zion and Canyonlands or do you think that's overkill and too similar?
    None of those parks are similar to each other and I although your three weeks will involve lots of time in the car -- I think you will enjoy seeing them all. Here is a field report about Bryce and the parks around it. Another field report from Zion.
    Also, what about Sedona?
    Sedona is very urbanized -- pretty country -- but I am not sure I would divert to see it.

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default It's ALL scenic

    Once you get out of the metro areas of California, it's all scenic to me. You'll see some amazing stuff along the way.

    I totally agree with Mark in that Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Arches, etc. are all quite different. The only thing they have in common is that you will see rocks. But you will be astonished at the variety of forms and colors these rocks can take. Wow...the creativity of Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me.

    I did some playing with your route. Per Mark's suggestion, I'm dropping Sedona. If you're going through there anyway, it's worth a stop but agree that it's not worth going out of your way for.

    I may be wrong and others here might chime in with some tweaking, but I might suggest going in this order:
    1. San Francisco
    2. Los Angeles
    3. San Diego (leaving from either city doesn't make much difference so, if you want to see both cities, you might as well do that first and then head east)
    4. Grand Canyon, then go through Page to
    5. Monument Valley
    6. Mesa Verde
    7. Arches
    8. Canyonlands
    9. Bryce
    10. Zion
    11. Las Vegas with a day trip over to Hoover Dam (while Hoover Dam is kinda cool, if you're pressed for time you might drop this. IMHO, anyway)
    12. Death Valley
    13. Yosemite
    14. San Francisco (if this is where you're leaving from)

    The portion of this route from San Diego through points 4-13 and then back to San Francisco is about 2700 miles. Very do-able in 3 weeks.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks Editor and Judy for all the great info.

    I'm surprised you both suggest dropping Sedona, I had the feeling it might be similar to some of the other stuff we'll see but then I read wikitravel's entry: "Sedona was named the Most Beautiful Place in America by USA Weekend."
    I'm not too fussed about dropping it to be honest, that leaves us more time to explore everything else.

    Judy- Interesting route. You suggest going the other way around, any reason/ advantage to that route?
    Also, what route would you suggest taking from San Diego to Grand Canyon?
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-15-2007 at 10:23 AM. Reason: Preferred URL Format on this Forum

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

    Default Currently a wonder of the engineering world (in progress)

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    11. Las Vegas with a day trip over to Hoover Dam (while Hoover Dam is kinda cool, if you're pressed for time you might drop this. IMHO, anyway)
    Ah, but you haven't been here in a long time? The tour is pretty impressive and the best part is the incredible engineering work currently underway has a new bridge and highway is being built to cross the canyon just downriver from the dam. I was out there on Friday and shot dozens of images.

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Mixed messages

    Quote Originally Posted by WesleyUK View Post
    ... "Sedona was named the Most Beautiful Place in America by USA Weekend."
    I have written for that edition and so I have mixed feelings about that prose, but... there is no question that Sedona is in the top 20 most beautiful towns in America -- and maybe in the top 100 most beautiful places in the country. But, it is a bit of a stretch to award it the Most Beautiful Place in America. One of the RoadTrip Advisors, Cool, has several photos of the area on her website. Take a look here.
    Judy- Interesting route. You suggest going the other way around, any reason/ advantage to that route?
    Also, what route would you suggest taking from San Diego to Grand Canyon?
    There is no particular advantage of this way (except I think she might be thinking that you could drop Las Vegas if you wanted to).. But I dunno, it is a might nice place to pause and rest....

    Mark

  9. #9

    Default

    Any idea when the new bridge is set for completion? I reckon that it'll be an even more spectacular spectacle than the dam itself.

    Wesley, I did a similar trip to yours last year and the thing that sticks in my mind is 'why did we do San Diego' - it was whole long way out of our way - unless you have a specific reason for heading down there you might reconsider that part of your trip in favour of a little more time elsewhere?

    If you do stick with San Diego (and I've nothing against it, don't get me wrong!) then you could do worse than follow a similar route (in reverse) to the one we took from the Grand Canyon to San Diego. We headed south to Flagstaff, picked up the interstate to the east and visited Meteor Crater (not overly exciting after visiting the GC!) then headed west and followed the route of the old Route 66, stopping overnight in Kingman.

    The following day was a long one. First we headed south to visit the old London Bridge before heading south all the way to the Mexican border via the Yuma Proving Ground. Finally we turned onto the I-10 ending the day in San Diego.

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

    Default Late 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by UKCraig View Post
    Any idea when the new bridge is set for completion? I reckon that it'll be an even more spectacular spectacle than the dam itself.
    Originally it was going to be open in 2008, but the high-lift assembly fell in a windstorm last year and so now the opening is late 2010. Here is some more info about the project.

Similar Threads

  1. Summer Road Trip from Canada to San Diego
    By shadowgrrl in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-30-2007, 01:07 PM
  2. December road trip San Francisco to San Diego
    By Malkana in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-08-2006, 01:24 PM
  3. 2 Week Western Road Trip Advice Needed Desperately
    By SummerB in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-28-2006, 09:45 PM
  4. San Fran to Portland, one week - first road trip. (help?)
    By Xpanda in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-07-2006, 06:37 PM
  5. Road trip report - Seattle to Yosemite
    By S in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-26-2004, 07:46 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES