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...