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  1. Default San Diego - San Fran - Black Rock Nevada - Vegas - Phoenix??

    Hello everyone,

    My boyfriend and I are planning a 2 week US roadtripfor late August/Early September this year.

    Neither of us have travelled in the US before (he's from Wales and I'm from Aus) and are trying to work out a feasible driving route and determine where we should fly in and out of.

    Our current idea is to fly into San Diego and drive up the coast to San Fran (allowing 5 days to do this).
    Then drive accross to Burning Man at Black Rock Nevada for a couple of days.
    Then take our final 5-6 days doing the grand canyon and Vegas before finally arriving in Phoenix where we would fly out.

    Is this a logical or even feasible route?
    Is San Diego - San Fran too far for 5-6 days or should we fly into LA?
    Can anyone estimate the time each journey leg will take and tell me the road routes?
    Any suggestions or reccomendations of must-see sites would be much appreciated - I'm sitting here quite baffled by at the moment!

    Many thanks for your time.
    Anne

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Burning Man? Very cool...

    That event fascinates me. Maybe someday I'll drag this old body down there. I hope you're aware that there are no services and that you'll need to take all your food and water with you. Especially the water.

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forum!

    Your route is about 1800 miles so it's very feasible in the amount of time you have. Check this map out for routes and to get a visual of what you're planning.

    San Diego to San Francisco is about 600 miles. You could do it in two days, actually. But five days leaves you far more time to explore and enjoy the wonderful things along this beautiful coastal drive. You could spend a couple days in LA if you wanted as well and still have more than enough time to get to San Francisco. Take CA-1 which hugs the coast. Awesome drive.

    San Francisco to Black Rock is about 450 miles. You could do this in one day but the quickest route also takes you through one of America's premier national parks, Yosemite, you might want to take two days for this segment so you can enjoy Yosemite on your way over there.

    Tonopah, AZ, is the last town of any size, and it really isn't all that big of a town, before Black Rock. This would be your last chance to really stock up on that food and water.

    Black Rock to Vegas and Vegas to Grand Canyon are both about 250 miles. Figure about 5 hours for each of these drives. You will want to spend one night in or near Grand Canyon. Lodging in Grand Canyon Village area usually fills up quickly so you will want to get reservations soon. However, you could easily stay in Williams, AZ, which has enough lodging that reservations shouldn't be needed.

    Grand Canyon to Phoenix is just over 200 miles so it's a nice, easy drive.

    Be aware that all rental car agencies charge a one-way drop-off fee if you're not returning the car to the same location. You will also want to be sure they know that you are doing this when you reserve your car. Prices for car rentals and drop-off fees vary a lot so you'll want to check out more than one car rental company to get the best deal.

    I'm not sure that any car rental agency is going to want you to take their car into Burning Man due to the type of roads out to it. Car rentals usually aren't allowed to be taken off paved roads. Some agencies now use GPS on their vehicles so they would know if you did this. I'm not sure how to advise you on this, and it's possible my concerns are unfounded, but it's a potential problem you might want be aware of. Sorry I have no answers for you. Maybe someone will pop in here that does.

    I would also check out the price of flights into LA and San Diego and compare them. I believe you might find better prices into LA. If you really want to visit San Diego, it's only 120 miles (about 2 hours) south of LA so you could easily zip down there to start your trip if what you save on flying into LA is enough to make that slight bit of extra driving worth it.

    Please let us know if we can help you out further. And we would sure love you to return after your trip to give us a roadtrip report...especially the Burning Man part! Enjoy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Guru Drive

    Guru Drive sits on a side road on the approach to the Black Rock Desert area and is very memorable. Here are some photos.

    Mark

  4. Default Check on Burning Man tickets too..

    Check on ticket availability for Burning man ASAP.... they usually sell out, and this year they're not selling them at the gate.

    They're not cheap either... they've gotten more and more expensive each year.

  5. Default thank you

    thank you all SO much - Your kowledge and advice will really help a lot with our planning!

    Anne

  6. Default where to rent a fun car... that's not too expensive?

    Hello,

    My boyfriend and I are planning a roadtrip around south west USA in August and are thinking that it might be fun to rent a mustang or something a bit more fun than your average small hire car.

    Can anyone tell me the best place to rent this type of vehicle?
    We want t pick up the car in San Diego and drop it off in Phoenix so i assume we need a national company.

    Thanks in advance,
    Anne

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default The one way problem

    A few of the national chains, including Avis and Hertz, have created a line of specialty cars like Mustangs, Hummers, Hybrids, etc, where you can reserve exactly what you are looking for. The downside is that you tend to pay alot for those cars and many times you aren't allowed to rent them one way.

    A slightly less expensive option would be just to rent a convertable, you wouldn't know exactly what kind of car you'll end up with, but it should be something pretty nice. However, again this is considered a specialty car and you might not find anyone who will allow you to rent one on a one way rental.

    Unfortantly, one way rentals are generally limited to the basic classes of cars (sedans), so it could be very challenging to find what you are looking for.

  8. Default ..potential change of plans..is this feasible???

    Hello!

    Thankyou so much for your help so far on this forum - it's been really brilliant.

    We're looking to book flights this week and are finding that they flying times and costs for the route of flying into Sandiego and out of Phoenix are not great.

    We're considering an alternative drive route nad wanted to see what you guys think.

    We'd fly into and out of LA, and spend a total of 15 days in the US.

    From LA (on 22nd August) we'd drive up the west coast to San Francisco - taking 3-4 days then spend a couple of days in San Fran.
    From there we'd take 2 days to drive through the desert to Black Rock for a couple of days at the burning man festival.

    From Burning man, we want to drive to Vegas and then from there do the Grand Canyon and surrounding attractions. (is 3-4 days enought for this?)
    We'd then drive back to the coast to San diego and drive up the coast to LA where we would drop off the car and fly out. (allow 2 days for this leg?)

    Can you please tell me if this route is feasible and what the approximate journey times for each leg are?
    Any reccomendations on a better alternative route would also be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Anne

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Same location for flight and car is almost always cheaper

    So it doesn't surprise me that you've had to make this change in your plans. Yes, I think it's very feasible.

    Isn't this part, below, the only real change in plans?

    From Burning man, we want to drive to Vegas and then from there do the Grand Canyon and surrounding attractions. (is 3-4 days enought for this?)
    We'd then drive back to the coast to San diego and drive up the coast to LA where we would drop off the car and fly out. (allow 2 days for this leg?)
    From my previous post: "Black Rock to Vegas and Vegas to Grand Canyon are both about 250 miles. Figure about 5 hours for each of these drives. You will want to spend one night in or near Grand Canyon. Lodging in Grand Canyon Village area usually fills up quickly so you will want to get reservations soon. However, you could easily stay in Williams, AZ, which has enough lodging that reservations shouldn't be needed. "

    How much time do you want to spend in Las Vegas? You could do this:
    Day 1: Drive the 250 miles from Black Rock to Vegas and enjoy the evening in Las Vegas
    Day 2: Explore Vegas for a few more hours in the morning, leaving about noon for Grand Canyon getting there in time to enjoy the shadows as the sun is setting
    Day 3: Get up at the crack of dawn, or even before, to enjoy the sunrise and early morning sun at the Grand Canyon before starting toward San Diego

    Of course, this is just an example. You could spend your time a bit differently and still be able to see both places in the time you have.

    Depending on how much time you spend in Grand Canyon, you could conceivably drive the entire 500 miles to San Diego but there is a lot to stop and see along the way so you might want to stop for the night somewhere along the way and get into San Diego the next day.

    It's only about 120 miles from San Diego to Los Angeles so you could easily explore San Diego for a two or two and then enjoy a leisurely drive up to LA in just a few hours. Of course, you will want to time your drive into LA to avoid work commuter traffic, if possible.

  10. Default

    fantastic. thankyou (yes, it is only the end bit of the trip that would change).

    I think we'd probably stop somewhere for a night between the grand canyon and san diego (having lived in the UK for a while, driving 11 hours in a day seems like a lot - even though it would have seemed normal growing up in the australian outback!).

    Does anyone have any reccomendations on a good, interesting place to stop en route to san diego??

    Thanks,
    Anne

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