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  1. Default Uk Couple on First American Road Trip need advice

    Hi There

    I have been browsing on this site for some time now and got some really good info but I just need a few more fine details to finish off my Road Trip plans. Firstly let me give you a run down of our trip - We would welcome any comments as to how it could be improved, places to stay, eat etc or if it is achievable or not

    May 7th arrive in Las Vegas
    May 12th Leave Las Vegas and drive to Santa Barbara
    May 13th Leave Santa Barbara drive to San Luis Obispo
    May 14th Leave SLO drive to Carmel but spend day touring Big Sur
    May 15th Spend Day in Carmel / Monterey then drive to Santa Cruz
    May 16th Full day in Santa Cruz
    May 17th Leave Santa Cruz drive to Yosemite - Camping on Indian Flat Rv park
    May 18th - White water rafting down Merced River
    May 19th Another day exploring Yosemite
    May 20th Leave Yosemite and drive to San Francisco for 4 nights
    May 24th Fly home to uk (Boo!!!)

    Does this seem like a good plan or do you folks have any suggestions.

    Also what are the best routes from Vegas to Santa Barbara. We know this is a long days driving but we would like to take in a few things along the way if possible, and what is the most scenic route from Yosemite to San Fran. I have heard the Tiogo pass (?) is a good route to drive but not sure if it can be done (time/distance)from our camp site which is on Highway 140 about 10 miles west of El Capitan

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated

    Many Thanks

    Martin farrimond

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Grand canyon?

    A nice relaxed trip !

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A. forums.

    Does this seem like a good plan or do you folks have any suggestions.
    Your plan is well laid out and you have given yourself plenty of time to enjoy it.
    If you have a car while in Vegas then these Day trips are very popular. Death valley is awesome with a desert landscape you won't see the like of here in the U.K. and Zion canyon is very scenic with great walks.
    One notable thing missing is the Grand canyon and unless you have been there before might be worth considering. It's roughly a 5 hour drive from Vegas and from G/C you could head for Santa Barbara, but you would need to pinch a couple of nights from elsewhere to enjoy the experience, but boy is it worth it !

    what is the most scenic route from Yosemite to San Fran. I have heard the Tiogo pass (?) is a good route to drive
    The Tioga pass actually heads in the opposite direction across the Sierra's. It is an extremely scenic drive to take as an outing but the chances are high that it will still be closed due to snow during your visit. The valley floor will be great and the waterfalls should be really flowing now. Here are the Opening and closing dates for Tioga pass and Glacier point [a must see if open] in recent years. You could leave on HWY 120 [Big Oak flat road] through Groveland and on the twisty Priest grade section which is scenic. From there its fairly direct to S/F.

  3. Default

    Thanks Southwest dave

    I have read through your own road trip which looked amazing and hopefully we will get to see some of the things on your itinerary the next time we do a trip ( which I am sure we will be doing). As for the Grand canyon we would love to go but we are going to assess this as we get there. As we only had 17 days we juggled around with what we wanted to do and the grand Canyon was left as a maybe. Hopefully we could do the trip by helicopter (Cost permitting). Would it be feasible to drive in one day from GC through to SLO as we could lose the day in Santa Barbara

    If not Do you know if it is possible to go to Santa Barbara via Death Valley?

    Thanks Dave

    Martin

  4. #4

    Default

    Anything is possible if you sit at the wheel for long enough but it'd be an uncomfortable day I would gess. As a very rough indicator it took me almost 12 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Salinas earlier this year. I can't see you having any change from that in your proposed journey.

    You definately can drive from Vegas to Santa Barbara via Death Valley - it'll add time to your journey, of course, but I would definately try and squeeze it in. I have now been to Death Valley three times and it continues to amaze me. I love the place. But if you decide not to then Las Vegas has Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Parks within easy driving distance which could make worthy alternatives.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Choice's

    Hi Martin and thanks, we had an amazing time and it's a great area.

    Would it be feasible to drive in one day from GC through to SLO as we could lose the day in Santa Barbara
    It's possible but you would be looking at a long day. I havn't done this route but with short stops I would estimate 11-12 hours on the road.

    Hopefully we could do the trip by helicopter
    The Heli tours from Vegas only go to the West rim and land [near the skywalk] but nothing is allowed to land in the main part of the Canyon [i.e. Between or at the South and North rim].

    If not Do you know if it is possible to go to Santa Barbara via Death Valley?
    It's certainly possible by heading into Death valley on the 160 and 190 but it would a bit much in one day to try and take in the sights as well.

    To make the most of the Grand canyon and keep to your schedule I would look to sacrifice a night in L/V and one in S/F.
    Tough choices but only you can decide, all I can say is you will have a fantastic time whichever way you opt.

    Any more questions, just ask.

    Dave

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    GC to SLO point-to-point is over 600 miles - a very long day but doable without stops. I'd look at doing it in 2 days and go through Death Valley and possibly Santa Barbara. You could spend the night in or just outside Death Valley.

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