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  1. #1

    Default California/Las vegas/Grand Canyon road trip

    Hello guys!!

    I am planning to go on a road trip with my family from 15/08 to 30/08. I would like to do the following itinerary:
    1. 15.08.09 Arrive at 12pm in Las Vegas
    2. 16.08.09 Las Vegas – Grand Canyon (where??)
    3. 17.08.09 Grand Canyon – Las Vegas
    4. 18.08.09 Las Vegas – Death Valley
    5. 19.08.09 Death Valley – Yosemite
    6. 20.08.09 Yosemite Park
    7. 21.08.09 Yosemite Park – San Fancisco
    8. 22.08.09 San Francisco
    9. 22.08.09 San Francisco
    10. 24.08.09 San Francisco – Morro Bay
    11. 25.08.09 Morro Bay – Santa Barbara
    12. 26.08.09 Santa Barbara – Los Angeles
    13. 27.08.09 Los Angeles
    14. 28.08.09 Los Angeles – OC – San Diego
    15. 29.08.09 San Diego
    16. 30.08.09 San Diego – Los Angeles Airport (Flight at 5pm)

    Could you let me know if you think it is something doable in terms of distance/time and advise what routes I should take and where shall I stop to sleep. Mostly in the gran Canyon and in the Parks.

    Any help is more than welcome.... :)

    Thanks you very much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default

    If it were me, I would cut out one of the days in one of the cities, and spend another day in the GC.

    You drive from LV to GC, assuming there are no hold ups or things you want to see along the way (Hoover Dam), you are up for at least a five hour drive. Then by the time you find a park (it gets crowded in August), check out the visitor centre and wait for the shuttle bus, etc. most of your day is gone. And the next day you need to pack up (assuming you are staying in the park) have another quick look around and repeat the previous day back to LV.

    There is an IMAX theatre in Tusayan, which shows the GC movie almost continuously. Going to see this before you go into the GC helps you appreciate the magnitude of this great natural wonder. I would highly recommend it. Another great experience (if your budget will allow) is the flight over the canyon or the flight which actually lands in the canyon.

    Others will be along with advice on the rest of your itenary, but an extra day in GC would not go astray.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,408

    Default A start.

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

    sleep. Mostly in the gran Canyon and in the Parks.
    The lodgings in the park are dearer than those outside. For GC as Lifey stated, Tusayan is the closest to the South entrance but Williams or Flagstaff offer alternatives. Here is where you find the lodging inside the park. I agree with Lifey that more time here is worth it, but if it's not an option you could get an early start and explore some of the village area and viewpoints up to Hermits rest [by shuttle bus] in the afternoon/evening of arrival. With one night only it will be a big advantage to stay in the park to save on the travelling time back out and in the next morn. The following morning you should have time to see more of the rim close to the village and then take the drive along Desert view drive [64 East] which is a big part of the GC experience with some good view points and the old watchtower, and leave by the East entrance and head South down the 89 back through Flagstaff.

    Vegas > Death valley.

    Take the 160 to Pahrump and Ash Meadow/State line road to Death valley junction and then the 190 to Lone Pine. Furnace creek is your first lodging option but might be a bit soon to stop for the night, but you can enjoy something to eat and drink and have a look around the place. Nearby is Badwater, the lowest point in the States. Stovepipe wells is well placed and close by are the sand dunes, otherwise you will need to get lodging out the other side of the park.

    DV > Yosemite.

    Take the 395 North to the 120 [Tioga pass] in to Yosemite. Allow plenty of time for the drive across Tioga, it is spectacular and you will be wanting to stop, breath in that mountain air and take pics. On the junction at 120 is a gas station, [good place to top up]if you turn in there and drive to the top of the hill you get great views of Mono lake. In the gas station there is also a great little diner called "Woah Nellies Dellie". Here is a list of lodgings in and around the park. While in the park be sure to take the drive up to Glacier point, boy oh boy, what a view !

    San Fran.

    I would highly recommend the Alcatraz tour and this is the official booking site if you wanted to pre book a tour [recommended]. While you are at the piers check out the famous Pier '39, great atmosphere and lots of places to eat. Union square,the colourful China town and Coit tower are just a few more of many top attractions.

    The rest of your trip looks in great shape but I have no first hand experience along this part of your journey, have fun !

  4. #4

    Default

    Ehi, thanks a million! I guess we will def stay in the GC park (because of the little time we have) and perhaps sleep near the Yosemite and Sequoia Park to save some cash!

    Any suggestions on where to eat/stay there.....

    How about the rest of the itinerary??? I am coming with my parents and it's their first time in the US..I want to make sure they have an awesome experience!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    South of England.
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    Default

    and perhaps sleep near the Yosemite and Sequoia Park to save some cash!

    Any suggestions on where to eat/stay there...
    You could get lodgings in Lee vining before heading into the park, and out the other side there are towns such as Oakhurst, Mariposa and in Groveland.[the quaint little Hotel Charlotte. I have heard some good things about the Yosemite bug if you fancy something a little rustic.

  6. #6

    Default

    thanks..they both look very nice, the Charlotte one is very quaint!

    On ther route from the Death Valley to Yosemite will I be able to see the Big Sequoias? Do you think it's better to stop there one night and then head to Yosemite or stop somewhere in between and do both parks??

    I want to book accommodation at LV, CG and the parks from here...I will book the other locations when on the road...that's why I want to make sure that the itinerary is spot on!

    Ta

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonee View Post
    I want to make sure that the itinerary is spot on!

    Ta
    There is no such thing...

    you will be on the road and you will wish you had done that, or decided to go there, or whatever. Just enjoy where you are when you are there.

    Yosemite Bug is a neat place... stayed there in 2004.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default Mariposa.

    On ther route from the Death Valley to Yosemite will I be able to see the Big Sequoias?
    Sequoia NP is on the Western side of the Sierra's and South of Yosemite and would require a detour between Yosemite and SF, but if you didn't want to or just haven't got the time there is a grove of Sequoias at Mariposa grove, Wawona near the Southern entrance of Yosemite.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 03-12-2009 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Added link

  9. #9

    Default

    I guess you have a point....I just wanted to fit the biggest sequoia on earth in the trip!! I will have a think on the itinerary again..and knowing my parents we will do many many diversions!

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Anythings possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonee View Post
    I guess you have a point....I just wanted to fit the biggest sequoia on earth in the trip!! I will have a think on the itinerary again..and knowing my parents we will do many many diversions!
    It's certainly possible and it's a nice scenic drive but it is a slow mountainous drive in the park and you really need to find a day from elsewhere to take the time to enjoy it.

    [Easier said then done sometimes].

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