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  1. #1

    Default Los Angeles to Grand Canyon South RIM

    Need advice please for someone who is clueless! Would like to drive from LA to GCNP and include Las Vegas, Hoover dam, Joshua Tree NP and Palm Springs. Would like to spend 2 nights at GCNP and overnight at LV. Any ideas which way we should drive etc?? Thank you and any other suggestions would be gratefully received.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Palm Springs and Joshua Tree are a relatively short drive out I-10 from LA. I would go to Palm Springs, then get back on I-10, the south entrance to Joshua Tree is 25 miles east of Indio.

    You can leave the park at either the west or north entrances, they both take you to CA-62 near 29 Palms. From there, this is uncharted territory for me, so other members may have a better suggestion - it looks to me like you could either take 62 east to US-95 and go north to LV, or take Amboy Rd to old 66, then east to I-40 to US-95.

    Whatever you do, this is going to be a pretty full day - you may want to consider spending the night somewhere enroute. See how it goes.

    From LV, you can go across the dam to Kingman, then either get on I-40 - or take old 66 to Seligman and pick up I-40 there, and take it to Williams.

    I'd suggest you buy your park pass in Williams. There is a tourist information center in the old railroad depot that has a vending machine, it takes plastic. Last time I was there, it was $25 per car, good for a week. This can help you avoid lines at the gate, there are dedicated lanes for people who already have tickets.

    If you do not stay in the park, lodging is very expensive in Tusayan (the little town at the south gate) - with one exception, the cheapest rooms you are going to find will be in the $125 and up range. There is one little mom and pop motel (I forget the name) that is under $100, but not by much. They do not take reservations, and seldom answer their phone. Rooms are show up, first come first served. The rooms are clean and comfortable - TV but no phone and wifi that's usually down.

  3. #3

    Default Thank you

    That is a good start! On the way back from GCNP where would you suggest we stop enroute for a night as I believe it is a 7.5 hour journey.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Vegas

    Based on your outline, I would hit Vegas last, and use that as a detour/stopover on your way from GC to LA. I would go directly from the Joshua Tree area towards the Grand Canyon. There would be a number of places you could potentially overnight on that leg, like Lake Havasu or Kingman.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Excellent idea. It's a 5 hour drive from the South Rim to Las Vegas, not counting stops and possible delays at the dam. That is easily doable in a day.

    If you spend the first night in Lake Havasu, it's a 4 hour drive to the GC. However, that's close to a 3 hour drive from Joshua Tree. If you go back out the south entrance, it's only about an hour to Blythe on I-10. From there, it's about 5.5 hours to the GC, 6 hours if you go via Phoenix and Flagstaff.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you. So how about drive form LA to somewhere near the Needles on the first day and take in Joshua Tree NP. 2nd day drive to GCNP and stay 2 nights. Then leave park on 64 and then 40 to Kingman (the same way we would have driven to the GCNP?) and then north to LV via Hoover dam, overnight in LV and then onto LA next day. What do you think??

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Sounds like a plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by sutton View Post
    Thank you. So how about drive form LA to somewhere near the Needles on the first day and take in Joshua Tree NP. 2nd day drive to GCNP and stay 2 nights. Then leave park on 64 and then 40 to Kingman (the same way we would have driven to the GCNP?) and then north to LV via Hoover dam, overnight in LV and then onto LA next day. What do you think??
    I would say that is the best way to go and just see how far you can get for your first night, comfortably. On the way to L/V you could hop of I-40 at Crookton onto an original part of route'66 through Seligman to Kingman.
    It takes longer but there are some quirky little towns and souvenir shops along the way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    If you want to explore Joshua Tree NP a bit, maybe better stay overnight in Twentynine Palms because Joshua Tree is very worth to visit. Leave I10 at Palm Springs and drive 62 to Joshua Tree and enter the NP by its west entrance. Also maybe see some murals in 29Palms. Keep in mind no accomodation between 29Palms and Needles. You can take 62 east of 29Palms which is a scenic desert drive, partly along the traintracks and lots of "dips". From Vidal Junction to I40 on 95 is of lesser interest. The other way (and shortest drive) is to take Amboy road from 29Palms to Amboy and National Trails Highway (old R66) to Goffs and Needles. A must stop on this route is Roy's Cafe in Amboy. It's at least a 2-2.5 hours drive between 29Palms and Needles. The drive from 29Palms to GC Village app. takes 6 hours.
    Fill your tank in Arizona. Needles has high gas prices.
    Yeehaw
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 11-15-2008 at 06:46 AM. Reason: Fixed Typo

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