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  1. Default Vegas-LA-San Fran-Yosemite-Vegas - which direction & is internal flight recommended?

    Hi everyone. Me and my girlfriend are flying into Vegas from London on 11th August and back out of Vegas on 28th August. We want to see Vegas, the Grand Canyon, LA, coastal drive to San Fran and towns along the way, San Fran itself and Yosemite (and any other recommended National Parks). I know there are a lot of threads about California road trips which I've found useful, but I'm still a little unsure about the best direction to go.

    We're happy to catch an internal flight to save on time and driving - maybe at the beginning from Vegas to either LA or San Francisco, and then rent a car from there, do the road trip and end up back in Vegas. Would it be better to fly to LA, drive up the coast to San Fran and then back to Vegas via Yosemite. Or fly to San Fran, spend a few days there without a car, then drive out to Yosemite for a few days, then back to SF, head down the coast to LA and then back across to Vegas. If I've already got a rental car, I've heard parking in SF can be a bit of a nightmare.

    Anyway, thanks in advance for any advice.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    You have two solid weeks with which to make the drive. So let's see here:
    Las Vegas to Grand Canyon, round trip, is around 570 miles - that's a day right there, plus some time to actually see the Canyon.

    Vegas to LA is about 275 miles, about five hours.
    LA to San Francisco is roughly 450 miles via the coastal route, that's a day.
    San Francisco to Vegas is about 570 miles via Yosemite, another day.

    That's only about four days of driving, leaving you ten days to explore the places that you want to see along the way. I don't know that flying these short distances would be cost effective. A loop trip would make the most sense to me. This would let you see all the places you mentioned without backtracking.

  3. Default Suggestion


    I am answering you as you have almost the exact same travel plans as we do. We will be flying to LAX in August and then heading out to Hawaii 18 full days thereafter, otherwise you have the same plans as we do.

    We will also start by driving to Las Vegas and spend there for 2 days first, then head up to Grand Canyon for one full day and then from there to Yosemite (the route to Yosemite is still unclear but we will probably not go through death valley but beside it on the westside and then take the Tioga Pass over the Sierras to Yosemite).

    First we thought of staying at Yosemite for a day, but now I think we will just drive through to San Francisco and spend 3 days there. It began to be a question of time and it was either Grand Canyon or Yosemite and, for this trip, we chose Grand Canyon...

    For the coastline (Big Sur) we have reserved 3 days as we want to take it slow and enjoy the scenery and the nice cities (Carmel, Monterey) and the Hearst Castle. Then in Santa Barbara for one day and the rest (4-5 days) in LA.

    If I needed to shorten one day from the above, I would:
    1) drive Big Sur in 2 days,
    2) not stay in Santa Barbara for one day,
    3) stay in LA only 3 days, or
    4) take the plane/helicopter trip to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas.

    I think there is not anything else to be left out, so I recommend one of the above to you. The last one might of course be pricy but if money is not an issue...

    Of course it might also be useful for you if you arrive at LAX and then leave from Las Vegas, you would save that one one there. You might pay extra for the flights though, when not arriving and leaving in the same place.

    Have a fun trip, we will follow your footsteps... :)

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