I have been reading a lot on this forum the last couple of these and it has already helped us a lot. My boyfriend an i are planning a road trip to California and the Southwest, probably the most discussed trip on this forum but some questions still pop up in my head.
We’ve have an itinerary in mind but we haven’t booked anything yet so we’re still very flexible and open to suggestions. The only real constraint is money, as the trip we are planning now is already a bit too much for our budget.
A general question: is June or September a better time to do this trip? Can we get away with not booking accommodation beforehand?
Any comments or advice on our itinerary would be most welcome. I’ve read about some of the scenic routes you’re advising. We’re trying to leave enough time to properly visit the parks. I’ve looked up the driving times on an online route planner, but not really sure if I trust them, so any comments from people who’ve done these routes would be great (are we leaving not enough time or maybe too much?).
This is what we have so far:
Day1: late arrival LA (any recommendations on motels in LA?)
Day2: visit LA (how is public transport here? We won’t have a car yet)
Day3: visit LA some more in the morning, then fly to SF early afternoon (we’re choosing to fly instead of drive because of budget reasons), maybe see something of SF already this evening
Day4: visit SF (how is public transport here?)
Day5: visit SF some more in the morning, pick up the rental car and drive to somewhere near Yosemite (what place has a decent cheap motel and is less then 2hr from Yosemite? Is there any sightseeing to be done on this route?)
Day6: visit Yosemite (valley, glacier point – hiking or maybe horseback ride), overnight in a cabin in the park
Day7: Yosemite (high sierras), leave via Tioga pass in time to find lodging on the 395 towards Death Valley (any suggestions for motels?)
Day8: drive to Death Valley (probably only driving through the park, we’re a bit afread of the heat) – stay somewhere on the route to Vegas this evening.
Day9: drive to Vegas (arrive around noon?) – spend the evening and stay in a casino on or near the strip
Day10: sleep late, then drive to Flagstaff
Day11: drive to Grand Canyon (2hr drive?) – spend the day here – then head towards Bryce Canyon (find motel somewhere on US-89?)
Day12: drive to Bryce Canyon (arrive late afternoon) – see something of the park and stay somewhere near the park
Day 13: visit Bryce Canyon
Day14: drive back to Vegas, drop off the car and fly out in the afternoon.
I would love to read everybody’s thoughts on it!