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  1. Default Best of the West - routes and advice please!

    Hi everyone! I've been trying to figure out the best route/sights to see in the West since friends of mine moved out to San Fran and LA last year! The internet, although a great resource, has too much information, and I'm hoping someone will have some real practical advice to help me out!!

    So, as I said, friends in SF and LA, which I'll generally need to see at weekends, so they don't have to take too much time off. I've got three weeks (23 days) So, fly into SF second weekend in September, then really want to see the following:

    San Fran (for the first and last weekends)
    Two weeks to do:
    Zion/Bryce Canyon NP
    Arches NP
    Monument Valley
    Grand Canyon NP
    Vegas (2 days max I think)

    Then get to LA (for a long weekend)
    Spend a week travelling back along the coast (incl Big Sur) to SF for a last couple of days.

    Really would like to stay on a ranch somewhere for a couple of days riding too
    and a day or two in San Diego if there's time

    And can't decide between a route through Sierra Nevadas or Death Valley - not sure how I could fit both in?

    How many days would I need in each place do you think? Any ideas?!!

    Sorry - so many questions! Thanks in advance!


    Ooh, am hiring a car obviously and happy to camp anywhere too! (in fact, will probably need to if I'm going to afford this trip!).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default One Big Figure 8

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Actually, the most efficient routing that includes all of your destinations, is just to make a giant figure-8. From San Francisco to Yosemite and then across the Sierra through Tioga Pass (CA-120), down the east side of the mountains on US-395 to Lone Pine. Use CA-136/CA-190 through Death Valley, and CA-127/NV-373 north to join US-95 south into Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, head up I-15 through Zion and Bryce, across I-70 to Arches, and continue south on US-191 to US-163 through Monument Valley. US-160 and AZ-64 will take you to and through the Grand Canyon while I-40 and US-93 will return you to Las Vegas. Finish off by taking a nearly straight shot on I-15 to Los Angeles and use US-101 and CA-1 up the Big Sur coast with stops in Carmel and Monterey as well. You can leave the decision on whether to go to San Diego until after you've hot most of your other major destinations. If you're back in Las Vegas for the second time and still have a few days before you want to be in Los Angeles, then sure - go on down. I'd say give a day to each of the major National Parks on your way That's a week, but still leaves a week to see Las Vegas and to do the driving, and that's plenty. You really do have plenty of time to take a relaxed tour of the best of the southwest, so sit back and enjoy it.


  3. Default

    Wow! That sounds fantastic!! Thanks so much for your help. Notice you're in Tucson - is it worth a detour down to there through Sonora desert?! Aren't there ranches around there I may be able to spend a couple of days?

    Thanks again!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default fantastic trip

    have you visited these places before? if not your in for a real treat,the whole area is wonderfull! we visited a lot of these places in october and as said above,give yourself some time at the parks,yosemite,zion and g/canyon i would recommend a couple of days if time permits. the tioga pass in yosemite is a lovely drive,but if you have the chance take a drive up to glacier point before you leave,it's an unbelievable view.
    if you want a glance at some of these places hears a linkto our trip with some pictures

    have a great trip !

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