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  1. #1

    Default Help Needed - LV, LA, SF, DV etc

    Hi Guys,

    Just stumbled upon your website and looks as though it could be a great great help to me. I hope some of your experience can help us (me and girlfriend) see and enjoy the best of the west :)

    Myself and my girlfriend are just about to book a little road trip and its not as easy as we 1st thought - there are so many options. We will be flying in and out of Las Vegas and have 17 nights inbetween to plan our trip.

    We want to end with 4/5 nights in Vegas so we have 12/13 nights to cover some/all of the following:

    LA
    San Francisco
    Yosemite
    Death Valley
    Zion
    Bryce
    Monument Valley
    Grand Canyon

    I would love to see some ghost towns and some old traditional america.

    What do you suggest?
    Is our wish list to big?
    What route should we take?
    Anything we have missed out?
    How long should we stay at each place?

    Your help planning this trip of a lifetime would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Daniel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default common basics

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think if you could do a trip like this without too much problem over the course of 19 days, but if you spend 4/5 nights in Vegas, that's not going to leave much time for everything else. It would be possible, but I suspect you'd end up feeling fairly rushed.

    Beyond that, the basics of your trip are the subject of countless posts and threads. I think if you simple browse and search around a bit, you'll find quite a few things to help you make your decisions. These threads are a good starting point, but are just the tip of the iceburg for what you can find here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    2 factors - what are the proposed dates, and do you want to see the GC south or north rim?

  4. #4

    Default

    We are looking at a 14th/15th September arrival.

    I am not sure what rim of the canyon i would like to see. I went to Vegas last year and loved it and did a helicopter tour to the west rim of the GC and skywalk etc - i have now been told this is not as spectacular as the other rims. It will be my girlfriends 1st visit to the GC so what would be the best rim to visit?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    The South Rim is more set up for tourism. The North Rim is much less developed and is closed in the winter. I don't think you will have time to see both.

    I'd do LV/South Rim/MV/Bryce/Zion/back through LV/Death Valley/Yosemite via Tioga Pass/SF/LA/back to Vegas. Note that 13 days would be pushing it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel-s View Post
    We are looking at a 14th/15th September arrival.

    I am not sure what rim of the canyon i would like to see. I went to Vegas last year and loved it and did a helicopter tour to the west rim of the GC and skywalk etc - i have now been told this is not as spectacular as the other rims. It will be my girlfriends 1st visit to the GC so what would be the best rim to visit?
    Having visited both North and South, I say the North everytime, if you want to have a more relaxed, uncluttered and nature feeling of the Canyon. Easier to park, more easily accessible points by car, lots of long and short hikes and a great absence of crowds..

    If I were to do this trip, in this time, I would go LV, Zion, North Rim (stay in the park or in Kanab), Bryce, DV, Yosemite, SF, LA, LV.

    If you want to go to any of Monument Valley as well (stretching it a bit, I think) I would head east from Kanab via Paria Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs to Big Water. Great ranger station there... has to be seen to be appreciated.

    You can take the Cottonwood Road through Grand Staircase Escalante NM - 46 miles of dirt and sandy road with spectacular cliffs and canyons - to Bryce. (I did this in a Camry with 100000+ on the clock - no problems!)

    Enjoy your trip.
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 03-16-2009 at 07:50 AM. Reason: Thanks glc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I think you mean east from Kanab?

    That looks like a good routing for the North Rim. Agreed, MV is stretching it but well worth it time permitting.

  8. #8

    Default

    Many thanks for your advice, no guide book can ever come close to experience.

    Perhaps i have overstretched a little and need to miss a few places out. Its hard for us from the uk to appreciate just how big America is, so when we come over we try to cram as much in as possible.

    How long should we stay in each place?
    Would a night/2 days allow us to cover most of San Fran?
    How long would we need in Yosemite to cover the basics?
    I love the idea of staying in a log cabin - are these available anywhere on route?

    Thanks guys
    Daniel

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel-s View Post

    How long should we stay in each place?

    Daniel
    Daniel, how long is a piece of string??

    Some people are satisfied just driving through... others could spend days / weeks / months in one place, and not see enough.

    I never thought I would visit that area three times, and really, somehow, want to go and have another look.

    Make the most of the time you have, and enjoy where you are, when you are there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default I agree.

    I love the idea of staying in a log cabin - are these available anywhere on route?
    I have heard good reports regarding Yosemite bug for good value cabins.

    I fully agree with Lifey regarding time factors in places, but to get an overview of San Fran, Yosemite, Zion and Grand canyon you really need a couple of nights. When you consider travelling time as well it really comes down to arrive PM,explore a little, overnight, a full day, overnight, explore a little more a.m and then leave, so it's not a lot of time to look around. Death valley, Bryce and Monument valley can be done in one day, not because they are not as equally fantastic, just quicker to explore as an "overview".
    I think you will be rushed if you want to take the coast road between SF and LA as well and if you don't, or can't because of time I would suggest [but it depends on if it's a "must do" for you] skipping LA and enjoying more of the other things on your itinerary as that could eat up a few days to make it worth while. Although you could still drive part of the coast road.

    If you do visit all the National parks you have mentioned it will be cheaper to buy the annual pass for $80 from the gate of the first park you visit then paying individually.

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