Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default 2-3 week roadtrip southern california, nevada and utah

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post, so be gentle.

    My girlfriend and I have more or less planned to do the following (both will and accept that they need to split driving on the longer runs):

    Total time available: 21 days maximum
    Start: Monday, last week of february, Pasadena, California
    Brief background info: Both are late 20, both are used to drive and don't really mind it. From Norway, so rather experienced in bad roads and icy/snowy conditions.
    Car: Since we will bring a lot of gear we opted for a larger SUV with 4x4 (Dodge Durango or similar). Not the optimum for icy conditions, but it seems difficult to rent a smaller more manoeuvrable 4x4 drive. But we don't really mind. Could be nice to have some good legroom.

    1: Pasadena to Las Vegas through Death Valley. Very long drive (Google says 9h, but I guess we easily should think of it as 12-14h, since there are lots of things to see), but I think it is doable if we get going at around 5:00 am. What do you think of traffic on this run? I'm guessing, unless there is an accident it won't be much
    2: Stay in Las Vegas, maybe short drive close to town during the day (Hoover dam maybe?)
    3: Las Vegas to Salt Lake city. Should be doable in one day without to much trouble if both are driving. Originally I wanted to stop at Zion (couple of days) and do some hiking (both like it), but reading around it seems that most of the popular trails are probably muddy, slightly covered with snow etc. I guess, when we are cramped on time we should seek things that are more or less optimal this time of year (like skiing). Hence, we are thinking about dropping it. Please comment.
    4: Skiing Alta/Snowbird/Solitude
    5: Same as above
    6: Same as above
    7: Same as above
    8: Same as above
    9: Salt Lake City to Reno
    10: Reno to San Francisco
    11: San Francisco
    12: San Francisco
    13: San Francisco to Los Angeles
    14: Same as above
    15-21: Los Angeles / San Diego area

    Some of the legs are rather tight, especially the first one, but we are both very keen on doing as much skiing as possible (bot at the same time see some stuff along the road). Thus, there is no way around SLC and going back the same way to LA is not an option (since we would like to see SF as well, I guess there is not much to change about the major route). So, we would really like some comments on the following:

    - Comments on the general route choice and driving distances would be greatly appreciated.
    - Between LV and SLC, anything we should see?
    - Anything around SLC that we should see if we chose to have a more quite day and skip skiing?
    - Same as above for SLC-Reno?
    - I've read a bit on this forum and most seem to suggest to skip Sacramento and go straight for SF. Do you agree? Anything else around SF that we should see (except for the closer things as Alcatraz etc)?
    - I guess a week in the southern part of California is okey, or is it a bit much? It's also nice to have a buffer at the end if we chose to extend something in the middle (i.e. at Las Vegas) or middle.

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default More Manageable Than You Think

    Velkommen! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    All of your drives are doable in a day, especially with two drivers to help keep yourselves fresh. We generally recommend around 550 mile days to leave a little time to get out of the car and stretch, and I think your longest is the 520 miles from Salt Lake City to Reno. There are plenty of hiking day trips out of Las Vegas that will let you experience some of the Red Rock country of the American southwest. Other hiking opportunities exist in National Wildlife Refuge units such as Stillwater between Salt Lake City and Reno. While in Reno, you should see if you have time to explore Virginia City (1, 2, 3, 4). I'm also glad to see you've scheduled 2 full days for the drive from San Francisco down to Los Angeles. That will let you take your time and use the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) with stops in Monterey for Cannery Row and the excellent aquarium, Carmel for the still functioning Spanish mission, and San Simeon for Hearst Castle.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Enter from the west!

    Quote Originally Posted by jalladriver View Post
    1: Pasadena to Las Vegas through Death Valley. Very long drive (Google says 9h, but I guess we easily should think of it as 12-14h, since there are lots of things to see), but I think it is doable if we get going at around 5:00 am. What do you think of traffic on this run? I'm guessing, unless there is an accident it won't be much
    Departing Pasadena in the wee hours is a good idea as traffic on the I-210 will be very heavy -- although less going east than west.

    But, the route you should seriously consider would be I-210 > I-15 (but only to Apple Valley) and then take US-395 north all the way to Olanche where you will pick up CA-190 into Death Valley Park. I make this drive or some variation of it (Pasadena to Las Vegas) 12+ times per year.

    Entering from the west you will drive through the Darwin Hills -- as pretty an approach to Death Valley as there is.

    I would stop for a snack at Panamint Springs -- Ice tea, sandwich, etc. look at the photos and marvel at the redwood burl bar.

    And then spend 4-6 hours in Death Valley. There are hundreds of posts on this forum about our favorite places in DV. And here are some of the articles we've written.

    From Furnace Creek is is only three hours to the strip -- using the local's route.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-08-2009 at 06:25 PM. Reason: corrected the map link

  4. Default

    Thanks for the tip!

    Will try to make both Virgina and Carson when in Reno.

    About the drive from Pasadena to Vegas, I was thinking to go like this:

    210 onto 15 and continue to Baker, then turn north to and enter the park from the south via. 178 through Badwater and do a hard right turn at Furnace Creek and go straight back to Vegas (if time allows, drive up Dante's view and check the sights). Do you think this is a less exciting option than entering from west?

    I think the local route link is wrong. They show some routes on the east coast.

    Again...thanks for all the comments. Really appreciate it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Far better option from the west!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jalladriver View Post
    About the drive from Pasadena to Vegas, I was thinking to go like this: 210 onto 15 and continue to Baker, then turn north to and enter the park from the south via. 178 through Badwater and do a hard right turn at Furnace Creek and go straight back to Vegas (if time allows, drive up Dante's view and check the sights). Do you think this is a less exciting option than entering from west?
    Death Valley is my backyard -- No question in my mind that you should follow the route I suggested. Baker is fine, but you are shortchanging your trip into DV that way. If you drove more-or-less non stop from Pasadena along the route I suggested, you could do the entire trip in six hours. If you have a little more time to spend in the park -- that would be ideal.
    I think the local route link is wrong. They show some routes on the east coast.
    Oops, you are correct, I hit the wrong link -- here is the right one (look at the orange route) this was on the link that AZBuck listed above as well.

  6. Default

    Thanks. Consider my route changed as per your specifications. Sounds reasonable to have more time in the park.

Similar Threads

  1. Road Trip - CALIFORNIA, Nevada, Utah, Arizona
    By GreatDonKing in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 08-16-2007, 01:07 AM
  2. Nevada / Utah / Arizona / California help ??
    By tingtong in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-11-2007, 06:25 AM
  3. Summer in California, Nevada and Utah
    By parkender in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-04-2006, 08:39 PM
  4. 21 Day Road Trip
    By ZiggyTaxi in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 07-09-2006, 06:06 PM
  5. Yosemite to Southern Utah
    By Judyr in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-03-2006, 08:23 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES