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  1. Default SF/Yosemite/Death Valley/Vegas/Grand Canyon/LA/San Diego a few questions

    Hello everybody!

    We (me and my wife) are going to travel next July to US. Below is our trip plan:

    day 01 Jul/19 - San Francisco (city tour)
    day 02 Jul/20 - San Francisco (Golden Gate, bicycle tour)
    day 03 Jul/21 - San Francisco (Fishermans Wharf and Alcatraz)
    day 04 Jul/22 San Francisco to Yosemite National Park
    day 05 Jul/23 Yosemite National Park (bicycle or hiking, Mariposa Groove)
    day 06 Jul/24 Yosemite National Park to Death Valley (car tour)
    day 07 Jul/25 Death Valley to Las Vegas (city tour)
    day 08 Jul/26 Las Vegas (city tour, see some show at night)
    day 09 Jul/27 Las Vegas (city tour, cassino)
    day 10 Jul/28 Las Vegas to Grand Canyon (via route 66)
    day 11 Jul/29 Grand Canyon (south rim)
    day 12 Jul/30 Grand Canyon to Los Angeles (crossing Joshua Tree National Park)
    day 13 Jul/31 Los Angeles (city tour - Hollywood)
    day 14 Aug/01 - Los Angeles (city tour beaches Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu)
    day 15 Aug/02 - Los Angeles (Universal Studios or Six Flags)
    day 16 Aug/03 Los Angeles to San Diego (city tour)
    day 17 Aug/04 San Diego (work during the day, visit some place at night)
    day 18 Aug/05 San Diego (work during the day, visit some place at night)
    day 19 Aug/06 San Diego (work during the day, visit some place at night)

    Here is the itinerary from Google Maps: Map

    I know its not the best time to visit (more expensive and very crowded), but we have only this time. We are planning to make all the itinerary by car. I know that its a too short time to visit all these places, but I have done a similar trip on March,2006 and I think we can support it.

    So we have a few questions:

    1. San Francisco: is it necessary to rent a car, or can we visit the city by foot/bus/cable car and rent a car only before go to Yosemite? I have been to SF another time (March,2006) by car and it was very easy to drive through the city, but I dont know how it is on Summer.

    2. Death Valley: i know its VERY VERY hot, but Id like to visit. Is it necessary to make a reservation for a hotel or is it easy to find a good motel near the visitors center?

    3. Grand Canyon: Id like to visit Skywalk on West Rim, but I have read that its very far from way, expensive and a little unorganized. Is it worth or in South Rim I can see the same stuff?

    4. Grand Canyon: Is it necessary to make a hotel reservation or is it easy to find a good motel near South Rim?

    5. Grand Canyon: has anyone traveled by helicoper inside the canyon? Is it worth? How much is it?

    6. Joshua Tree national Park: is there enough time on day 12 to make a fast visit into the park (Key views) when going from Las Vegas to Los Angeles?

    7. Las Vegas: I have read that it is the best place to buy eletronics. Is it true?

    8. San Diego: what are the good places to visit at night?


    Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post. I have read a lot of threads in this forum to plan our trip.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by rtcastro View Post
    Hello everybody!
    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    2. Death Valley: i know its VERY VERY hot, but Id like to visit. Is it necessary to make a reservation for a hotel or is it easy to find a good motel near the visitors center?

    4. Grand Canyon: Is it necessary to make a hotel reservation or is it easy to find a good motel near South Rim?
    I would recommend making reservations for both of these places as they are both quite busy, though Death Valley probably isn't on the top of most tourist lists during the Summer.

    For Grand Canyon, you most likely will have better luck closer to Flagstaff.


    Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post. I have read a lot of threads in this forum to plan our trip.
    No need to apologize for long posts here (I never understood that, anyway) - the more information we have, the better we can help you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    Hello

    1. San Francisco: is it necessary to rent a car, or can we visit the city by foot/bus/cable car and rent a car only before go to Yosemite? I have been to SF another time (March,2006) by car and it was very easy to drive through the city, but I dont know how it is on Summer.
    hi there
    we found san fran to be a compact city and easy to get around,unless you wanted to venture further away from the city then theres no real need for a car in my opinion.

    2. Death Valley: i know its VERY VERY hot, but Id like to visit. Is it necessary to make a reservation for a hotel or is it easy to find a good motel near the visitors center?
    would also recommend booking this is a very popular resort.

    3. Grand Canyon: Id like to visit Skywalk on West Rim, but I have read that its very far from way, expensive and a little unorganized. Is it worth or in South Rim I can see the same stuff?
    theres a whole lot to see at the south rim and would think it would be your best option. skywalk is a long drive from here.

    4. Grand Canyon: Is it necessary to make a hotel reservation or is it easy to find a good motel near South Rim?
    again worth booking in advance wether you stay in the park or nearby. as mentioned,flagstaff is popular but tusayan is very close to the park entrance and where the grand canyon airport is.

    5. Grand Canyon: has anyone traveled by helicoper inside the canyon? Is it worth? How much is it?
    we hav'nt flown inside the canyon [i don't think it's allowed]although there are places they land either end of the canyon that you can combine with a boat trip etc, or this would be a possible means of getting to the skywalk.
    however we took the the imperial tour that goes from g/c airport across the top of the canyon with great views that you would not otherwise see,and personally thought it was worth every penny.

    i can't help with your other questions,but have a great trip!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Only in the Native American land airspace

    Quote Originally Posted by rtcastro View Post
    2. Death Valley: i know its VERY VERY hot, but Id like to visit. Is it necessary to make a reservation for a hotel or is it easy to find a good motel near the visitors center?
    Better make a reservation -- the Furnace Creek Inn is closed in August - the Ranch motel is open -- but there is ALWAYS high demand in August and you might not find an open room
    3. Grand Canyon: Id like to visit Skywalk on West Rim, but I have read that its very far from way, expensive and a little unorganized. Is it worth or in South Rim I can see the same stuff?
    The West Rim attraction is much different than either the south or north rims -- Of the three, I would recommend the south rim.
    4. Grand Canyon: Is it necessary to make a hotel reservation or is it easy to find a good motel near South Rim?
    Yes, in August all motels at the South rim will be full. But you can probably find lodging at Williams or Flagstaff!
    5. Grand Canyon: has anyone traveled by helicoper inside the canyon? Is it worth? How much is it?
    There are NO flights inside the national park -- there are some flights that skirt the west rim (fly through the private airspace) but none in the main part of the Grand Canyon -- that was outlawed about 30+ years ago.
    6. Joshua Tree national Park: is there enough time on day 12 to make a fast visit into the park (Key views) when going from Las Vegas to Los Angeles?
    If you left, very, very early in the morning.
    7. Las Vegas: I have read that it is the best place to buy eletronics. Is it true?
    I dunno, I would think LA would be a better place. We do have a larger Fry's here (and it is my favorite place to shop for electronics).

    Mark

  5. Default

    Guys, thank you very much for your valuable tips! I will probably follow all of it.

    I think Ill only pass through Death Valley, because its difficult to find lodging inside the park at this time, only in the cities outside the park.

    Lodging in Yosemite is also difficult, but in this case it worth stay not so closer from he park.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Re-load

    Quote Originally Posted by rtcastro View Post
    day 12 Jul/30 Grand Canyon to Los Angeles (crossing Joshua Tree National Park)
    I thought this day was starting from Las Vegas -- so disregard advice above -- this is NOT POSSIBLE -- this would easily require 12 hours in the saddle -- I wouldn't recommend the detour to Joshua Tree.

    Mark

  7. Default No lodging available in Death Valley

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Better make a reservation -- the Furnace Creek Inn is closed in August - the Ranch motel is open -- but there is ALWAYS high demand in August and you might not find an open room
    Guys, there is no lodging available on Death Valley. So, I have 3 options:

    1) Leave Yosemite and take more time to cross Tioga Road Pass and visit Mono Lake and Mammoth Lakes, probably staying the night near the Death Valley area (e.g: Lone Pine). Then, on the next day, we leave the hotel very early and visit Death Valley during the morning, going to Las Vegas at night.

    2) Going directly from Yosemite to Las Vegas, just crossing the places below, but I think there is a lot to see in a short time.

    3) Going directly from Yosemite to Las Vegas and dont cross Death valley, which will be visited in another time.

    What do you suggest?

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

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rtcastro View Post
    Guys, there is no lodging available on Death Valley. So, I have 3 options:

    1) Leave Yosemite and take more time to cross Tioga Road Pass and visit Mono Lake and Mammoth Lakes, probably staying the night near the Death Valley area (e.g: Lone Pine). Then, on the next day, we leave the hotel very early and visit Death Valley during the morning, going to Las Vegas at night.

    2) Going directly from Yosemite to Las Vegas, just crossing the places below, but I think there is a lot to see in a short time.

    3) Going directly from Yosemite to Las Vegas and dont cross Death valley, which will be visited in another time.

    What do you suggest?
    if you have the time available then i would definately choose option 1.
    the tioga pass is a very scenic journey and you will want to allow time for stops and taking it in. it is then a natural route across death valley to vegas which will give you a good overview of the place with the day you have.

    have a great trip! [and don't forget to let us know how it went;-)

    p.s. while in yosemite try to find time to drive up to glacier point,it is an unbelievable view from up there of the valley and surrounding mountains

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