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  1. Default San fran - L.A - Vegas - Grand Canyon

    Hi there all

    Any help for this would be great. We are from Australia and use to driving fair distances, however having not driven or visited this area before we were looking for a bit of help and clarification on some details. So basically we will travel as it says, with of course stays in between if the hours get too long. Any yesses or nos to the following timetable would be a great help.

    Leg One: San Fran to LA (2days?)
    Want to go down the coast road, Highway1? This is preferably a two day trip for sights to be had? Any ideas for a night stay along the way?

    Leg Two: LA to Las Vegas (half day/ 1 day?)
    Basically we want to see Grand Canyon so this will be our overnite stop yeah?

    Leg Three: Vegas to Canyon (1 day)
    Want to get here for an afternoon tour/sunset tour, how long would it take to get from Vegas to the Canyon? Would it be recommended to stay out here for the night or could it/is it safe to make a night return to Vegas?

    Leg Four: Vegas to San Fran (?)
    Is this possible in a day? Thinking about heading to Nappa Valley, so taking this in mind can anyone suggest a possible route in this direction from Vegas with a stay (maybe not San Fran) along the way.

    So thats the plan, any help and clarification would be great roadtrippers. Its def longer than we thought but we are thinking 6/days and Sat Nav!!.

    Look forward to replies

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    10,060

    Default A popular query

    Quote Originally Posted by hi9sight View Post
    Leg One: San Fran to LA (2days?)
    Want to go down the coast road, Highway1? This is preferably a two day trip for sights to be had? Any ideas for a night stay along the way?
    It can be done in one day (10+ hours) but two is a much more reasonable rate. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Here is a list of threads that address some of the best routes, in our opinion for such a trip.I really like the small town of Cayucus -- and you can read about other recommendations here.
    Leg Two: LA to Las Vegas (half day/ 1 day?)Basically we want to see Grand Canyon so this will be our overnite stop yeah?
    By the fastest possible route -- this is about 5 hours.
    Leg Three: Vegas to Canyon (1 day)
    Want to get here for an afternoon tour/sunset tour, how long would it take to get from Vegas to the Canyon? Would it be recommended to stay out here for the night or could it/is it safe to make a night return to Vegas?
    It is really too far for a day trip -- about 4-6 hours each way to the south rim viewpoints.
    Leg Four: Vegas to San Fran (?)Is this possible in a day? Thinking about heading to Nappa Valley, so taking this in mind can anyone suggest a possible route in this direction from Vegas with a stay (maybe not San Fran) along the way.
    Again, if you use the fastest route, this is 8-9 hours in the saddle --If you put Napa Valley in that day -- need to figure 10-12 hours.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,066

    Default More Direct

    Quote Originally Posted by hi9sight View Post
    Leg Two: LA to Las Vegas (half day/ 1 day?)
    Basically we want to see Grand Canyon so this will be our overnite stop yeah?
    If your only goal is to get from LA to the Grand Canyon, then Las Vegas is a fair bit out of the way. You'd be much better off just driving direct. It could be done in a long day, or you could stop for the night in Williams and then make the quick 1.5 hour trip to the rim the next day.

    I'll also say that its certainly possible to drive the distances you're talking about in the time you're talking about, but it also sounds like an extremely exhausting trip where you'll constantly be moving, with very few chances to stop and catch your breath.

  4. Default

    thanks for the threads and for the information guys, really appreciate it! we will take a closer look. Im glad we weren't completely off on days and times. We still have a couple extra days up our sleeves, so we should be able to take our time, because after this we drive up to Portland and Seattle! Should be cool! Thanks again, this is a very handy forum!

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

    Default Need any help with the Portland/Seattle portions?

    How much time are you allowing for this part and what do you want to see? I'll be glad to help as that's my backyard, if you'd like.

  6. Default

    NEW ITINERARY BROKEN DOWN WITH RETHINKING AND MORE VISITS October and November.

    29th – San Fran to Santa Barbara
    30th – Santa Barbara drive to Williams
    31st – Grand Canyon Day, stay in Williams
    1st – Williams to Las Vegas stay Vegas

    There maybe a change in here as I would love to drive the extraterrestrial highway, not at night during the day. I know it goes in the opposite direction, but i would really like to do this. I believe i start at Nevada 93 (North) and Nevada 375 (West) Near Alamo Nevada and follow 375 to Rachel? Seems pretty straight forward, time wise i think i should give 4-5 hours?. Any suggestions?

    2nd – Vegas to Santa Barbara, I think this my be the hard way but I think we would like to go back to Santa Barbara for a day to relax a bit.
    3rd – Santa Barbara stay
    4th – Santa Barbara to Napa – not sure if this can be done? We have an extra day if we need to stop halfway, would an o/nite stop be advisable?

    Furthermore we have added legs up to Seattle

    5th – Stay Napa
    6th – Napa to Arcata, preferably taking a coast road
    7th – Arcata to Portland
    8th – Portland to Seattle

    We have heard there is a nice drive through to the redwood Forrest’s. So we would like to go this way, that’s if the park is open.

    Any advice on this would be great.

    Thanks guys.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default Seems rushed to me!

    29th – San Fran to Santa Barbara
    If you want to enjoy the lovely coastal highway, you're looking at almost 400 miles. With the twists and turns and slow traffic, you'll want to figure 8 hours for this stretch. You will go past many places worth a stop and explore so it wouldn't surprise me if this actually took more like 10 hours, or even more. It's do-able but it's a long day. If you take 101 instead, you could probably do it in more like 6 hours of driving but then you're missing the coast, so what's the point?

    30th – Santa Barbara drive to Williams
    A bit over 500 miles; figure a good 10 hours in the car. Any sightseeing will just be quick stops.

    31st – Grand Canyon Day, stay in Williams
    You'll have time to hit the highlights in the Grand Canyon with one full day. Get up early to go into the park because it can take awhile to get through the entrance. (Although that might be tough after your long driving days.)

    1st – Williams to Las Vegas stay Vegas
    Just over 200 miles. If you get up early, you should be able to get into Vegas early enough to enjoy a tiny bit of the things to see and do there that day/evening.

    There maybe a change in here as I would love to drive the extraterrestrial highway, not at night during the day. I know it goes in the opposite direction, but i would really like to do this. I believe i start at Nevada 93 (North) and Nevada 375 (West) Near Alamo Nevada and follow 375 to Rachel? Seems pretty straight forward, time wise i think i should give 4-5 hours?. Any suggestions?

    2nd – Vegas to Santa Barbara, I think this my be the hard way but I think we would like to go back to Santa Barbara for a day to relax a bit.

    3rd – Santa Barbara stay
    4th – Santa Barbara to Napa – not sure if this can be done? We have an extra day if we need to stop halfway, would an o/nite stop be advisable?
    This all confuses me. If you do the ET Highway on the way to Santa Barbara, you're looking at over 700 miles. This is at least 12 hours driving, minimum. And you'll be zipping past some of the most amazing scenery with no time to stop and enjoy it. Even if you just go to Santa Barbara by the shortest route, you're looking at about 350 miles. I just can't see any reason to backtrack like this. Why not just stay in Santa Barbara an extra day while you're there in the first place? Why not do Napa while you're in San Francisco before heading to Santa Barbara? This adds tons of extra miles and I don't see the benefit.


    Furthermore we have added legs up to Seattle

    5th – Stay Napa
    6th – Napa to Arcata, preferably taking a coast road
    7th – Arcata to Portland
    8th – Portland to Seattle
    Arcata to Portland is over 400 miles and will take you about 7 hours if you veer inland to take I-5. And then you're missing the gorgeous Oregon Coast. If you take the coast, you're looking at about 500 miles. But with the windy, slower-driving road, and all the things to stop and see along the way, it's really not worth doing unless you allow a good two days for this leg of the trip.

    We have heard there is a nice drive through to the redwood Forrest’s. So we would like to go this way, that’s if the park is open.
    The park will be open but I don't see how you'll have time to stop and enjoy it.

    I really think you need to go back to the drawing board. With the time you have allowed for this, you're just driving. If you can't add more days to your trip, I think you should consider either doing the Santa Barbara-Grand Canyon-Las Vegas-ET Highway trip OR the Napa-Arcata-Oregon Coast-Portland-Seattle trip, but not both. I think your original itinerary was closer to being a good trip.

  8. Default

    Hi Judy

    Thanks so much for the reply, has helped a lot. We will mull over this and get back to you with a better plan, i think the hardest part is working the distances for us, and how much time to allow. We have alocated 2 1/2 weeks to do this, which we hope is enough. That includes stays in the cities.

    But we will post another itinerary later on!

    Thanks again.

    Also if you could give any suggestions to car hire in san fransiscowould be great. We have tried a lot of online quotes, with alamo, easycar, avis, thrifty, budget etc but maybe someone else has a better suggestion. Or a thread to this would be great.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
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    10,060

    Default Read the posts in the Gear-up Section

    Quote Originally Posted by hi9sight View Post
    Or a thread to this would be great.
    Read the Adventure on Wheels posts and the rest of the car rental suggestions in the gear-up section.

    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default 2-1/2 weeks?

    Quote Originally Posted by hi9sight View Post
    We have alocated 2 1/2 weeks to do this, which we hope is enough. That includes stays in the cities.
    The itinerary I responded to looked like it only had 8 days in it. If you have 2-1/2 weeks, your plans make more sense. I still wouldn't back-track to Santa Barbara for that extra day but your plans are far more do-able in 17-18 days than the 8 I thought you had.

    I might suggest:
    Days 1-2: San Francisco with a day trip into Napa Valley
    Day 3: Napa Valley
    Days 4-5: Down the coast to Santa Barbara
    Days 6-7: Drive to Williams, AZ
    Day 8: Grand Canyon
    Day 9: Drive to Vegas
    Day 10: Vegas
    Day 11: ET Highway to Tonopah
    Day 12: Tonopah to Weed, CA
    Day 13: Weed to Portland
    Day 14: Explore Portland
    Day 15: Portland to Seattle (with a stop at Mt. St. Helens on the way)
    Day 16-17: Seattle

    Something like this makes more sense to me. However, it's just a suggestion. You need to meet your needs. But it still leaves out the Oregon Coast. I think this is a must-see but that's an individual call. Anyway, take or leave this as you wish.

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