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  1. Default April 2008 Vegas - San Fran - LA

    Flying out from England to Vegas in Mid April for 14 nights. We are hiring a car at Vegas Aiport. Is this itinerary realistic:

    1 - Arrive PM - overnight Vegas
    2 - overnight Vegas
    3 - overnight Vegas
    4 - AM travel through Death Valley and head to Bakersfield area for overnight stop @ Bakersfield (or nearby)
    5 - Drive to Yosemite arrive in afternoon - explore yosemite? (spend night)
    6 - Explore Yosemite & drive to San Fran stay overnight
    7 - overnight San Francisco
    8 - Drive down through monterey overnight somewhere on the coast
    9 - Arrive LA overnight stay
    10 - overnight in LA
    11 - Leave LA drive through Joshua tree (overnight in area)
    12 - Drive to Vegas stay overnight
    13 - scenic flight to Grand Canyon - overnight Vegas
    14 - overnight Vegas

    Would it be worth spending an extra night @ Yosemite (not sure how much is accessible in April) or alternatively on the Coast instead of two nights LA or less time in Vegas?

    Instead of driving via Bakersfield to Yosemite is it worth heading up towards lone pine from Death Valley and heading up to Tahoe or is this a much longer drive?

    Thanks.

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

    Default Spring in Yosemite NP

    Quote Originally Posted by LKH View Post
    Flying out from England to Vegas in Mid April for 14 nights. Is this itinerary realistic?
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Your itinerary is well-done -- all is doable.
    4 - AM travel through Death Valley and head to Bakersfield area for overnight stop @ Bakersfield (or nearby)
    Bakersfield is fine -- but I would suggest an overnight in Death Valley or Ridgecrest. Here is a field report about the Furnace Creek Inn.
    5 - Drive to Yosemite arrive in afternoon - explore yosemite? (spend night)
    6 - Explore Yosemite & drive to San Fran stay overnight
    If you can spend a extra day in Yosemite -- it will be worth it -- Spring in the valley is pretty darn special. Just about the whole park is open in April. Here is an excellent book for exploring Yosemite.
    7 - overnight San Francisco
    8 - Drive down through monterey overnight somewhere on the coast
    I would suggest you stay in the Monterey area -- so you can spend all day on the Big Sur. Be sure to stop and see this waterfall.
    9 - Arrive LA overnight stay
    10 - overnight in LA
    Here is a great overview about visiting LA
    11 - Leave LA drive through Joshua tree (overnight in area)
    I would suggest a stay at the Twentynine Palms Inn -- very interesting place!
    12 - Drive to Vegas stay overnight
    13 - scenic flight to Grand Canyon - overnight Vegas
    14 - overnight Vegas
    Lots of cool stuff to see and do around Las Vegas. Grapevine Canyon is a little visited place that is gorgeous in April.
    Instead of driving via Bakersfield to Yosemite is it worth heading up towards lone pine from Death Valley and heading up to Tahoe or is this a much longer drive?
    This is a really beautiful drive -- but it will take you about 14 hours to reach Yosemite Valley this way!

    Mark

  3. Default

    Thank you very much for your advice and tips! I am now considering staying in Death Valley and spending an extra night a Yosemite. How long will the drive take us from Death Valley up to Yosemite (taking the southern route) taking into account it is April and roads will be closed due to snow.

    I have also been looking into flights from LAX to LAS and we have decided that it may be an option on our last day just to fly directly back to LAS and then fly onwards home. This will give us more time in Yosemite, SF, Big Sur and LA. With this in mind, what car rental companies would you recommend to pick up a car in Vegas and drop it off at LAX? Will there be a significant charge to do this?

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by LKH; 11-02-2007 at 09:43 AM.

  4. Default San Fran - Vegas to LA

    How long would it take to drive from LA (santa monica area) to Las Vegas directly and/or taking a slight detour and driving through Joshua Tree?

    I would most likely be taking this journey on a Monday and trying to avoid the rush hour.

    Thanks.

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

    Default 5+ Hours

    Quote Originally Posted by LKH View Post
    How long would it take to drive from LA (santa monica area) to Las Vegas directly
    Fastest possible would 5.0 hours, if you left at lower traffic times.
    and/or taking a slight detour and driving through Joshua Tree?
    Adding a "detour" to Joshua Tree NP would add 3-4 hours (you have to find a way around the mountains....)

    Mark

  6. Default

    I have revised our trip slightly to give us a bit more time in places - do you think this seems a bit better?

    1 - Vegas
    2 - Vegas
    3 - Vegas
    4 - Death Valley
    5 - Yosemite
    6 - Yosemite
    7 - San Francisco
    8 - San Francisco
    9 - San Francisco
    10 - somewhere on the coast
    11 - somewhere on the coast
    12 - LA
    13 - LA
    14 - LA or Vegas - depending whether we fly or drive back to Vegas.

    Also, we are thinking of staying in Hollywood for our LA portion of the trip - is it a safe area at night?
    Last edited by LKH; 11-06-2007 at 06:58 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Remember -- Tioga Pass will be closed!

    Quote Originally Posted by LKH View Post
    4 - Death Valley
    5 - Yosemite
    Remeber, in April, you will be unable to get to Yosemite Valley from the east. Tioga Pass will be closed due to snow. You can still reach Yosemite from Death Valley but you either have to go around the southern end of the Sierra Nevadas (Bakersfield area) or cross at Lake Tahoe.
    Also, we are thinking of staying in Hollywood for our LA portion of the trip - is it a safe area at night?
    Like any urban city -- there are safe and less-than safe areas. Here is a great overview about Los Angeles.

    Mark

  8. Default

    Yes, we know that Tioga pass will be closed and that we will have quite a long day of driving that day to get to Yosemite. However this should be our only really long drive of the whole two weeks.

    Thanks for the link on LA. I will take a look.

  9. Default Where are you thinking of visiting?

    A couple of random comments here..

    Where are you thinking of visiting along the coast, and in LA? What are you thinking about visiting or seeing? The reason for this, is that we can perhaps offer some suggestions about other places in the area or places to stay.

    Staying in Hollywood has the advantage of putting you near downtown LA, and near Universal Studios, Grauman's Chinese Theater, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But the area doesnt have really good, quick access to other places in the LA area (limited freeway acess on freeways that can be quite congested, and is a very urbanized area...). Depending upon what else you want to stay, you might want to either locate in a couple of areas ("basecamping") or similar.

    You might also consider flying to Las Vegas from other airports in the LA area. LAX (LA International airport) is a very large airport, with lots of flights all over. But there are 4 other regional airports in the LA area which might be closer, or have easier access depending upon where you are visiting in the LA area. Those airports include Burbank, Long Beach, Orange County/ Santa Ana (aka "John Wayne Airport"), and Ontario. There are flights to Las Vegas from all of these airports -- for example, Jet Blue Airlines offers $60 flights from Long Beach to Las Vegas with 3 flights a day (althought you have to look at their web site to find this.. and the flight price depends upon the date and how booked the flight is...)

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