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  1. Default Road trip planned for DEcember... makes sense to old pros or should I be medicated?

    Hi Ol' Pros!

    Here's the plan:

    12/21 Fly into Phoenix from DC - Rent car drive to Grand Canyon
    Night @ GC
    12/22 Visit GC and drive to Las Vegas VIA Bryce canyon
    Night in Vegas
    12/23 Las Vegas
    12/24 Rent RV and drive up 395 through Yosemite Park (flexibily here for more time if needed/wanted)
    12/25 Yosemite NP
    12/26 Drive to San Fran
    Night in SF
    12/27 Drive down Rte 1 to LA via Big Sur
    Arrive in La (anywhere between 12/27 and 12/29)
    then drive back to Phoenix and fly back on the 1st.

    What I'm looking for is:
    - any tips from people who may have done this itinerary
    - appoval/dis of how realistic driving distances are in this plan
    - anyone think there's a BETTER way to do this considering dates (12/21 to 01/01)?
    - any other piece of advice!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Difficult to Impossible

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Just a few specific comments, caveats and warnings regarding your proposed itinerary.

    It is about 230 miles from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, which is an easy enough half-day's drive under normal circumstances. But you will have just flown across nearly a continent, presumably having gotten up early in the morning to make your flight. Remember to add 2 hours to whatever time your arrival schedule says to get the time-of-day that your body will be screaming at you. I just don't think it's wise to plan on covering that much ground after that long a flight.

    On day 2 you propose to see the Grand Canyon and drive 500 miles and see Bryce Canyon and get to Las Vegas. That is a literally "Don't blink or you'll miss them" schedule for two of the crown jewels in the National Park System. Remember that most of your driving is going to be over two-lane highways, not Interstates. Again, this is too much to try to do in one day.

    So much for difficult, now for the impossible. The only way to drive up US-395 and then through Yosemite is to take CA-120 across Tioga Pass. But Tioga pass will close in a few weeks and remained closed until well into the spring.

    As for hints, I'd drop Bryce Canyon and Yosemite from this trip and concentrate on the other venues. Trying to pack too much into a trip is a sure way to ruin what could otherwise be a relaxing voyage of discovery. Otherwise 10-11 days allows for a nice leisurely loop of Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and back to Phoenix. Just laying it out like that, you can see that you'll need a day at each site and a day (at least) to drive between each pair. That alone will fill your time. For a look at how others have planned to take similar trips, read through the threads linked to here.


  3. Default Thanks! VERY useful! Let me revise those ambitious plans then...

    Very useful info indeed... I hadn't planned on passes being closed lol... if I'd drop anything though it would be the SF/Big Sur/LA part so...what if I use Vegas as a hub then, how does this look to you now...? Better?

    12/21 Fly into Vegas from DC – Night in Vegas

    12/22 Rent car drive to Grand Canyon Visit GC 5h
    Night in GC

    12/23 Drive to Bryce canyon Night BC

    12/24 Drive back to Vegas

    12/25 and 26 Rent RV and drive up 95 through Death V. to Yosemite Park (flexibily here for more time if needed/wanted) back down to Vegas down 395 via 168 (through Big Pine)

    Which leaves me with 4 days to play with…

    Makes sense?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Any Reason for the RV?

    I'm just curious? If it's just you, then you could rent an SUV to stay in and camp at campgrounds with facilities. Some more experienced campers can add more to this. I'm just thinking that with the unpredictable weather that time of year that a smaller vehicle would be better. But, if it's you and all your buddies or if you feel comfortable with the RV then go for it.

    Other than that I love the fact that you've got 4 days to play with. I had that on my last trip and absolutely adored it. I would spend the night before with my map and plot my course for the next day. I discovered so many cool places that I wouldn't have even thought about otherwise.


  5. Default It's not just me... it's me, my 9yo son, and my mom...hence the RV...

    Because BELIEVE ME if it were just up to me there would be no RV! ;o)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default You can not reach Yosemite that way!

    Quote Originally Posted by veroniqueb9 View Post
    12/25 and 26 Rent RV and drive up 95 through Death V. to Yosemite Park (flexibily here for more time if needed/wanted) back down to Vegas down 395 via 168 (through Big Pine)
    You will not be able to drive from US-395 to Yosemite NP in late December -- the pass will be closed due to snow. Renting a RV and trying to camp in winter conditions does not make any sense unless you are an experienced RV'er (Death Valley is great for RVs in December but the rest of your plan makes little sense. Stick to the rental car!


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