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  1. #1

    Default Know where to go but what route???

    Hi all!

    Can I just say that this site is awesome and I have been trawling through threads for much needed info! However the sheer volume of info is confusing me so I thought I'd post for a little personal advice from you guys!

    I'm planning a road trip with 2 friends in March/April next year for approx 2 weeks. We have an idea of where we want to go and see but can't decide on a route to take and if it's possible in the timescale we are looking at. Coming from the UK the sheer size of the states to our little country is quite daunting!

    So the plan is to either start off in San Fran or LA for 3 nights then other places to visit are Yosemite, Death Valley, Vegas, PCH and finishing off in San Fran or LA for 3 nights. We'd like to stay in Vegas for 3 nights, every other place is flexible.

    Any ideas people?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default About 2000 threads on this "route"

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo74 View Post
    Can I just say that this site is awesome
    Well, thanks! and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    However the sheer volume of info is confusing me
    We get that lot -- don't worry about it. Here is a good place to start for reviewing your options -- there are about 2000 threads that address your basis route -- but here are some good ones.

    One of the Moderators, Southwest Dave, posted a great field report about his trip from San Francisco to Yosemite, Las Vegas and back here.

    Mark

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

    Default One way trip?

    Hello there.
    Mark has given you a some great links to get your teeth into but, a couple of questions.

    So the plan is to either start off in San Fran or LA for 3 nights then other places to visit are Yosemite, Death Valley, Vegas, PCH and finishing off in San Fran or LA for 3 nights. We'd like to stay in Vegas for 3 nights, every other place is flexible.
    The first question do you mean either S/f or L/A returning to the same city or a one way trip spending 3 nights in each?

    And secondly, does your 2 weeks in the States include your travel time from the U.K.?

    If you want to visit all three cities and spend 9 of your 12-14 nights in them the rest of your time will be spent traveling, between San Fran to Vegas via the PCH and a detour to D/V would be best to take at least 3 nights to get an overview of the places you are going through and another night between L/V and L/A. [Or you are looking at a 10 hour drive].

    Remember when you are mapping, the Tioga pass that crosses the sierras from Yosemite [the 120] and is a popular route to Death valley will be closed when you visit because of snow.

    Have a good look at the links and let us know the answers to my questions and then we can help piece it together for you.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 08-31-2008 at 05:05 AM. Reason: typo

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the replies -amazing pics Dave!

    Sorry for the delay in replying, we've been trawling the posts and trying to work out flights, how much time we can have off work etc! We have kind of reached the following conclusion.

    Day 1 23/03 Arrive LA (either approx 4pm or 9pm LA time)
    Day 2-5 LV
    Day 6-7 Travelling from LV to Yosemite
    Day 8-9 Yosemite
    Day 10-12 SF
    Day 13-14 Travelling along PCH
    Day 15-17 LA
    Day 18 - 09/04 Approx 9pm flight from LA back to UK :(

    Our flights will be sorted within the next few days and so depending on when we arrive in LA (and how tired we'll be!) we may be able to make up a little of the distance to LV on the first day. However we are all sharing the driving so a long stint on the 2nd day shouldn't be too much of a problem.

    Our main query is to work out a route between LV and Yosemite as we're aware the Tioga pass will be closed at this time of year. So we'd like some suggestions as to places to stay and visit along the way, we're open to any suggestions from the awe inspiring to the tacky!!!!

    We plan to do a Grand Canyon trip by helicopter from Vegas, as I'll be there for my birthday and want to splash out on a little treat!

    Also in LA we plan to stay in Hollywood but take trips to Disney and Universal studios - are we best staying 2 nights in separate hotels in these areas?

    So how does the above sound? Is there anything we have missed that we must see?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    South of England.
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    Default

    Hi again,
    Our flights will be sorted within the next few days and so depending on when we arrive in LA (and how tired we'll be!) we may be able to make up a little of the distance to LV on the first day.
    I think you will be better off finding a hotel near to the airport,it is tiring and your body clock will be out of zinc. Our flight to San fran was about 13 hours with 1 stop, with the 3 hour check in, and only a 1 hour journey from home to airport and a 2 hour change over it means the time you get your bags and go straight to a nearby hotel it adds up to around 20 hours on the go. You will also feel a bit out of wack the following day, but the excitement tends to compensate, lol.

    Our main query is to work out a route between LV and Yosemite as we're aware the Tioga pass will be closed at this time of year. So we'd like some suggestions as to places to stay and visit along the way
    It's a popular choice but for good reason. Take a trip across Death valley by heading to Pahrump from Vegas on the 160 and to Death valley junction to connect with the 190.
    It's a fascinating landscape and not one we see the likes of in the U.K.

    You will then need to head south on the 395 and then towards Bakersfield on the 58 or you could go via Lake Isabella and through Kern canyon. From Bakersfield head north on the 99 to Fresno and then the 41 to Wawona and the southern entrance of Yosemite.
    You will be looking to stop around Bakersfield and Fresno to set you up nicely the following day.
    You could possibly do one of these two options as a detour, but may squeeze you for time a bit.

    Option 1] From Lake Isabella head north through the kern valley to Johnsondale [very quiet grove of giant Sequoias nearby] and Quaking Aspen and camp nelson to Portersville, this being a less visited area and a wonderfull mountain drive.

    or 2] Between Bakersfield and Fresno turn off to Visalia and take the 198 [Generals highway] and visit the Giants forest, home to the General sherman tree the largest living thing on earth. Another lovely scenic drive, but both will be slow going and ad hours to your trip.

  6. #6
    Steve_USA Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Take a trip across Death valley by heading to Pahrump from Vegas on the 160 and to Death valley junction to connect with the 190.
    It's a fascinating landscape and not one we see the likes of in the U.K.
    Hey Dave.
    You know something, we had the choice last year of head west and seeing various wonders, like Death Valley. Or continue on through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah (a nice loop!).

    We don't regret our choice of course, but upon hearing you guys talking about Death Valley makes me a little sad. We must get there someday in the future, it does indeed look incredible. I would love to research into exploring this region rather than simply driving through it..

    Anyhow, we're off this weekend to the Yorkshire Dales. Hardly Death Valley, but we'll cope! ;-)

    Steve

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Another day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_USA View Post
    Hey Dave.
    You know something, we had the choice last year of head west and seeing various wonders, like Death Valley. Or continue on through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah (a nice loop!).

    We don't regret our choice of course, but upon hearing you guys talking about Death Valley makes me a little sad. We must get there someday in the future, it does indeed look incredible. I would love to research into exploring this region rather than simply driving through
    Steve
    Hey Steve,

    It looks like you didn't do so bad, Arizona and Utah are amazing, and Colorado's on my list [possibly including part of New Mexico] for my next trip, but the whole area leaves me amazed. For selfish reasons I'm hoping that the dollar will stop gaining against the pound though.

    Have you thought about starting a trip report thread to tell us how it all went? You are able to get some pics up and it's also informative for others to look at and get ideas.

    Anyhow, we're off this weekend to the Yorkshire Dales. Hardly Death Valley, but we'll cope! ;-)
    Probably not as hot but a lot soggier ;-) lovely area though.

    Dave

  8. #8
    Steve_USA Guest

    Default

    Hi Dave,
    sorry about the lack of reply to this thread! :} Unless I replied in private and forgotten about it? Oops all the same!

    Just so you know, I *finally* got around to uploading some of the pics from our road trips in 06/07 to this site. Hardly a trip report I suppose but better than nothing?

    We had no digital camera back in 2006, as we're basically the Clampett's here ;-) So forgive the image quality of those scans I made. Thankfully we had our first digital for the road trip the follow year!

    If the dollar ever improves and we head out to Texas as planned in 2009 then we've an even better camera and a camcorder at the ready! I wish we'd have been bothered about this back in 2006... sigh...

    FWIW, I'm starting my own travel blog website. Hardly anything serious but something i've wanted to attempt for a while. I've got the travel blogs more or less done now from 2007 onwards (except the american road trip from 2007 - incomplete atm).

    Hope you and all here are having a wonderful Christmas? Boxing Day and I'm still stuff. Strange though, I've still got the desire to go downstairs and eat more turkey... Mmmm

    Merry Christmas everyone :-)
    Last edited by AZBuck; 12-26-2008 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Commercial link removed

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Mmm, Turkey.

    Hi Steve,
    I hope you enjoyed the festivities !

    I enjoyed having a look at your photo's, thanks for sharing. It makes me wanna go back right now!

    If the dollar ever improves and we head out to Texas as planned in 2009
    The Dollar rate is a bit of a bummer, but hopefully the gas prices in the States will remain low and there will be some cheap seats in an attempt to keep the planes full. [A few about, but I am hanging on to see what happens at the moment].
    I have convinced the wife that they will make up for any misgivings in the exchange rate ;-) [just kidding she wants to go as much as me]

    Dave.

  10. #10
    Steve_USA Guest

    Default

    Fingers crossed you're right mate, we'll be doing some googling after new year. The missus is thinking of booking direct with BA..
    Glad you liked the pics, it's funny to look back on them now. Some good times. I remember that pic from Texas, we'd been traveling for what seemed like days. Had to collapse in the road ;-)

    Not long until we're back -> 82 days remaining !

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