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  1. Default SFO - Las Vegas - SFO roundtrip plan - any comments?

    Hello,

    we are from Germany and we plan for a roundtrip by car from/to San Francisco in 18 days in September. However, we do not want to spend too much time in the car seat. Therefore, I planned not to stop by at some sights that otherwise I would have visited, e.g. we probably will not bother to see any of the greater area of L.A. The problem is: which sights and which route to take or to leave out!?

    My current plan is as follows:
    06.09.2008 Arrival
    07.09.2008 Mietwagen/Motel
    08.09.2008 Yosemite
    09.09.2008 Sequoia
    10.09.2008 Death Valley/LAS
    11.09.2008 LAS
    12.09.2008 Bryce Cy./Zion NP
    13.09.2008 Lake Powell/Antelope Canyon
    14.09.2008 Grand Canyon
    15.09.2008 Grand Canyon
    16.09.2008 Mojave
    17.09.2008 Lake Isabella
    18.09.2008 Monterey Aquarium
    19.09.2008 Hgw.1/Big Sur
    20.09.2008 Gilroy Outlets
    21.09.2008 SFO
    22.09.2008 SFO
    23.09.2008 SFO
    24.09.2008 SFO
    25.09.2008 Flight back

    Regarding the way to Las Vegas I am not sure if should drive via Fresno or rather via the Tiago pass. What would be better to drive and which one is more scenic? Would the shorter route worth missing the Sequoias?

    Many thanks in advance for any comments. We are open for any suggestions and also other routes because I have booked only for San Francisco and Las Vegas hotels and even these could still be cancelled.

    Cheers,
    Jogi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default odd routing

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    A couple things really stand out with your proposed route. Driving from Sequoia, through Death Valley, and onto Vegas in one day would be a very long day in the car. You really need to rethink this, which may include skipping Sequoia and just going across Tioga through Yosemite.

    Other other aspect is at the end of your trip. You are going from Lake Isabella up to Monterey, down to Big Sur, and then back north to Gilroy/SFO. I think it would make a whole lot more sense just to go straight to the coast around Morrow Bay and then go north up the PCH. I might even skip Lake Is to spend more time on the coast, unless you've got a real specific reason to go there.

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

    Default Rushed at the beginning.

    Hello there.
    I have to agree that trying to visit Yosemite in a day and then heading to the sequoias for another before heading to Death valley and Vegas is a lot of rushing through a truly outstanding area.

    As suggested,i think you would get more from this part if you skipped sequoia
    and had more time in yosemite and left over the tioga pass,(HWY 120) a wonderfull scenic drive and stopped on the other side of the sierras for the night before heading through Death valley,say either Lee vining or Lone pine.

    There is a grove of giant sequoias nestled near the south entrance of Yosemite that would give you a taste of these giant trees and i would seriously recommend a detour up to glacier point,the views are amazing.

    Another thing that stands out to me is just one day to try and see Zion and bryce canyon both of which are awesome places,not to mention the scenic drive between the two, and places like the checkaboard messa and red rock canyon that are worth short stops to explore. I would consider an extra day in this area even if it meant losing one of your nights in San Fran at the end of your trip. It is hard to describe just how big all these "parks" are.

    Have a think about your options and if you would like further help let us know.

  4. Default some more suggestions?

    Thank you for the quick reply, Michael and Dave, you guys are great!

    My changes so far:
    Sequoia:
    I am now thinking of skipping Sequoia NP and instead entering yosemite south making a loop through Mariposa grove to see at least some of the giant trees.

    Lake Isabella:
    I heard it would be a nice scenic drive, but as long as not someone else convinces me I will skip this as well and take the fastest route to the coast. Any further suggestions there? Maybe we will drive by Ontaria Mills Outlets because there is one of the rare Abercrombie Outlets and my girlfriend goes nuts for this (otherwise too expensive) stuff.
    Does anyone recommend the Abercrombie Milpitas Outlet instead?

    Thanks and greetings from Germany,Jogi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Your welcome.

    Hello jogi.

    Sequoia:
    I am now thinking of skipping Sequoia NP and instead entering yosemite south making a loop through Mariposa grove to see at least some of the giant trees.
    I still think this will be your best course of action. As i mentioned before,between Mariposa grove and the valley floor/Tioga pass a detour to glacier point is well worth the effort. If you are not convinced then just take a look here.

    Lake Isabella:
    I heard it would be a nice scenic drive, but as long as not someone else convinces me I will skip this as well and take the fastest route to the coast. Any further suggestions there?
    For me the most scenic part of the Lake Isabella area is heading north through the Kern valley,which will be taking you further away from the coast and onto time consuming yet lovely mountain roads so personally i would skip it and do as Michael suggested earlier,head for the coast and head north towards S/F.
    If this helps you find a little extra time i would use that in Zion and Bryce as you are very tight for time here.
    If you do choose to go direct then calico ghost town near barstow may make an interesting stop for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default considering

    There are certainly some very scenic areas around Lake Isabella, the Sequoia National Monument is just to the north, as Dave mentioned. Also to the Southwest, CA-178 between the Lake and Bakersfield goes through the very scenic Kern River Canyon.

    Both of those things are worth seeing, but with anything, you have to balance what you see with the time you have. Personally, I think I would be looking at taking a day off your SFO plans, but you could still easily burn through that time elsewhere on your trip (like Bryce and Zion).

    As far as outlets go, if shopping is a priority, then it makes sense to add them into your plans. Personally, I'm not a big fan of them, because it seems the stores often charge full price, but since the store says "outlet" people think they are getting a good deal. But shoppings not really my idea of a good time anyway, so take that for what its worth.

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