I have found this forum via google while I was planning my trip to the SW of the USA. This forum seems to be full of USA experts, so I would be honoured if someone could check the feasability of my program.
At this moment I only have the main ideas, the big places where one should certainly go to I guess. I am curious if there is enough time considering that I want to see all the spectacular sights. I am also thinking about spending some days in Hawaii at the end.
I mainly focus my tour on a route described by a travel agency (but from SF to LA instead of LA to SF) and on the "Grand Tour" described in Lonely Planet "Southwest USA" page 29 of the 2008 edition.
The travel period would be: August 31 - 2X September
I will be hiring a car!
So here it comes:
Aug 31: San Francisco go from airport to hotel
Day 1 (Sep 1): San Francisco
Some ideas: Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Car, Chinatown, fisherman's wharf, Alcatraz, boat tour
Day 2 (Sep 2): San Francisco - Yosemite
Spend last hours in SF and go to Yosemite.
Day 3 (Sep 3): Yosemity
Ideas: Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road
Interesting to do: http://www.yosemitefun.com/images/yosemite_park.htm
Day 4 (Sep 4): Yosemity - Sequoia
Spend almost entire day in Yosemity and at the end go to Sequoia
Day 5 (Sep 5): Sequoia + Kings Canyon
Day 6 (Sep 6): Sequoia - Death Valley
In the morning drive to DV (could this be done already on Day 5?)
Keywords for DV: Mosaic Point, Badwater Point, Dante’s View, Artist’s Drive, Zabriskie Point, Stovepipe Wells, Furnace Creek, Scotty’s Castle, Skidoo, Ballarat and Rhyolite, Keane Wonder Mine
Day 7 (Sep 7): Death Valley
Stuff that has not been done on Day 6 can be done today
Day 8 (Sep 8): Death Valley - Las Vegas
I guess with 2 days in DV, I can leave for LV in the early morning.
Hoover Dam and go around in LV
Day 9 (Sep 9): Las Vegas
full day in LV or not?
Day 10 (Sep 10): Las Vegas - Zion
I am not so sure what to do best in Zion
Day 11 (Sep 11): Zion - Bryce Canyon
Between Zion and Bryce: Red Rock Canyon and Checkerboard Mesa
Go to Bryce
Day 12 (Sep 12): Bryce Canyon
I've read that all view points are easily accessible by car, so one day through Bryce should be enough I think.
Day 13 (Sep 13): Bryce Canyon - Capitol Reef - Moab
Leave early, do scenic drive of Capitol Reef (http://www.nps.gov/care/planyourvisit/scenicdrive.htm) and go to Moab and see Arches.
Day 14 (Sep 14): Moab
Canyonlands: I have read about rafting, jetski and 4x4, this could be interesting!
Day 15 (Sep 15): Moab - Mesa Verde - Monument Valley
Leave in the morning for Mesa Verde and go on through Monument Valley
Day 16 (Sep 16): Monument Valley - Lake Powell - Grand Canyon
Spend a day at Lake Powell (can you actually swim there? :) )
Day 17 + 18 (Sep 17 + 18): Grand Canyon
IMAX show (I've read several times that this is MUST DO!!)
Do as much as I can in the canyon.
Including helicopter ride!! (but this is very expensive right?)
Day 19 (Sep 19): Grand Canyon - Sedona
visit Sedona, Flagstaff, Jerome, Williams
Day 20 (Sep 20): Sedona - Kingman - LA
long drive to LA
Day 20 - 25 or 27
Go to Honolulu = beach holliday for some days
But also: go from Honolulu to Kona Hawaii to visit the volcanoes (I really want to see lava!!).
We want a warm place to stay our last days and we want to be close to the sea! But I don't think LA beaches are warm, so combination to Hawaii would be great!
I know this is still a very draft! I will make constantly changes, so that finally other people who finds this trip interesting could use it!
It will become an expensive trip... I realize, so any tips on cheaper, but good places to stay are very welcome!
Please comment on where I should spend more or less time.