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  1. Default which road trip to take?

    Hi Everyone.

    Me and my friend are travelling to Los Angeles in May and aswell as spending time in LA we would like to see New York do some sort of road trip.......theres so much we want to see in America but realise we cant do it all. Would like to spend about 2 weeks on the road. We were thinking of either going from LA, through Arizona, up into Utah and Colarado, then back through Nevada to stop in Los Vagus and upto San Francisco then back down to LA and then we will get a retun flight over to New York. Or another option we were thinking of was Starting in LA and goin along the south through arizona, new mexico, texas and stopping in New Orleans, then getting a one way flight to New York, spend time there before getting another one way flight back to LA. On our road trip we would like to experience the different cultures of America aswell as see lots of different countryside and landscapes. If anyone could offer some advice as to which trip they think would be best for us to do and the different things we may see and or experience on each trip that would be great, and we are also open to suggestions if theres other places we should go to that havent thought of yet. We dont want to be rushed on the trip so is 2 weeks enough to see most things along the way and have enough time to soak up the culture??

    Anyones help would be greatly appriciated.

    Thank You

    Anna

  2. #2

    Default

    Trust me, 2 years isn't enough time to see most things and soak up the cluture but, if that's what you have, then we'll happily help you to ensure you see the biggest cross-section that you can in that time. Welcome to RoadTrip America!

    The first trip that you suggested is right up there as one of the most discussed on this forum. I've done it myself and I can assure you that there is a reason that it is so popular. You really need at least two weeks to do a reasonable loop through the west - ideally three - and you really won't have any time for New York on the same trip, I'd suggest. If NYC is vital to you then I'd suggest a much less ambitious tour of the west.

    Where do you live? Are you coming in from outside the US for this trip?

    One other thing to be aware of is the cost of one-way car rentals. Most - if not all - companies will charge a hefty surcharge unless you are returning the car to the location from which you collected it. These are sometimes waived if you hire and return the car within the states of California, Nevada and Arizona but would certainly not be if picking up in California and dropping off in New Orleans. I haven't done any specific research but I'm thinking somewhere between $300 and $600 in that instance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default +/-

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Craig is quite right that its pretty tough to soak up any culture in 2 weeks, especially if you are going to be trying to see a lot of different things. Of course, you can still have a great trip, just expect it to be more of an overview than a soak.

    There are some big pluses and minuses to both ideas.

    Your first plan, a loop through the SW would be a pretty great trip where you would see some amazing natural wonders. It would also probably be quite a bit less expensive that the other option since you would not be dealing with the extra charges that go with a one way trip. However, there is so much to see in this part of the country that I think even with a full 2 weeks, you could pretty easily feel rushed, adding a trip to NY in that period would almost assure that you'll have to push yourself quite a bit.

    Your second plan would be good too, although, if you are going to drive all the way to New Orleans, I'd just continue on all the way to NY. That would only be an extra couple of days and would probably cost quite a bit less than flying from NOLA. You wouldn't be able to see as much stuff in depth, and 2 weeks for a cross country trip doesn't leave a ton of time to explore, but you would see a wider range of things than with a Southwest only trip. The downside, as I mentioned, is that even without the airline ticket, the cost of a one way car rental and one way flight back to LA could make this more expensive than option 1.

  4. Default

    hey....thanks for your help....have done a bit more looking into it, and am pretty sure we have decided on the south west road trip. Are thinking of starting IN LA, driving up to San Francisco, then to Las Vegus, via Yosemite. From Vegus will drive into Utah to see Zion and Byrce Canyon Nat Park, continue on into Colarado, then back down to San Diego via monument valley and the grand canyon. then from San diego back up to LA to finish.

    Which routes do you think is the best to take?? and wots the highlights in Colarado, we not sure if its worth goin all the way to Denver......I have heard that Vail is a much nicer place to see that Denver??

    and wot sort of accomodation would we expect to find along the way??

    oh i forgot to ask, ive heard some of the highways are closed at certain times of yr, we will be taking this trip in mid May...will they still be closed then? and Craig in answer to your earlier question we are coming from outside the country. We're from Australia.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-16-2008 at 07:57 AM. Reason: continuation of thought

  5. #5

    Default A couple of thoughts

    It is touch and go whether the Tioga Pass - the road that leads from Las Vegas via Death Valley NP to Yosemite NP - will be open in mid-may. For a record of the historic opening dates, see this thread.

    Have a look at this thread for details of Horseshoe Bend, the Navajo Bridge and Glen Canyon Dam in Page AZ. If you can work this in somewhere I think that it'll be a great stop however you're probably pushing the limits of what's attainable in two weeks in any case.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default That's a very popular trip!

    Quote Originally Posted by annamc_83 View Post
    hey....thanks for your help....have done a bit more looking into it, and am pretty sure we have decided on the south west road trip. Are thinking of starting IN LA, driving up to San Francisco, then to Las Vegus, via Yosemite. From Vegus will drive into Utah to see Zion and Byrce Canyon Nat Park, continue on into Colarado, then back down to San Diego via monument valley and the grand canyon. then from San diego back up to LA to finish.
    You will get a wealth of information by reading through the discussions referenced in this post by AZBuck.

    and wot sort of accomodation would we expect to find along the way??
    May is a good time to travel as it is before the heaviest crowds so finding lodging should be much easier. In most places, you can just show up and get a room just fine. You might still want to make advance reservations at the Grand Canyon though.

  7. Default

    Thanks for your help guys, have looked more closely at just how far where we wanna travel is and have cut the places we are goin to a fair bit so we get to spend more time in each place.
    So the plan at this stage is to drive from LA, to grand canyon, 2 days in grand canyon, then we are going to stay on a cowboy ranch near Yucca, AZ for 2 days, from there are travelling up to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, got a day there whiter water rafting and planning on spending a couple of nights in the small towns close by, probly somewhere on route 66, like oatman, kingman, chloride etc. Will then be driving up to Las Vagus and thinking a day and a night in LAs Vagus, then drive to Yosemite, probly through death valley and spend a night somewhere half way between death valley and yosemite. Will have 2 full days and 2 nights in Yosemite, then off to San Francisco for 2 days and 2 nights and then will drive from San Fran to LA, taking 2 days and will spend a night somewhere in between. Now we have an extra day to play with, am not sure if we should spend the extra day in San Francisco, or Las Vagus, Death Valley or Yosemite (or perhaps just somewhere near Yosemite, like Lee Vining and Mammoth Lakes) Or maybe there is somewhere else better along the way to spend a day that we havent thought about yet. Can anyone offerr suggestions as to which place you think we may need an extra day or if there is anything else around that area thats worth seeing. We dont want to spend the extra day travelling really far off the route we are already taking tho just somewhere along the way.

    Thanks for ya help guys.

    Anna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    hi there, it sounds like a great trip,we toured the southwest last year,it's a fantastic area! you may well be better off keeping that day in hand and see how things turn out with the tioga pass being open or closed.if it is closed you will be adding a few more miles going up and across to enter yosemite from the otherside.if this was the case you could stay in one of the old gold rush towns such as jamestown or the town of groveland.
    hopefully tioga will be open for you it's a great drive,and will also mean glacier point should be open,a must do if possible,theres an unbelievable view from there.but if not the waterfalls that drop to the valley floor will more than make up for it!
    have a great trip.

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