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  1. Default Road trip in Utah to california in San Francisco

    Hello all,

    i've planned the following trip starting from mai 30th to june 15th!
    i hope your advices will help me to make good choices for my road trip before i leave US!

    i wish to visit in Utah and arizona Arches, Bryce canyon - maybe a navarro reserve - grand canyon and las vegas.

    then i intend to continue my trip to LA then hitting the highway 1 up to san francisco and visiting nappa valley.

    this trip is pretty ambitious what do you think in term of length?

    well my first problem is car rental : i wish to rent a car next to Arches so i can continue to go West without loosing time starting my trip in vegas visiting the national parks and going back to Vegas!
    I've found Moab airport but car rental CAR are really expensive there.
    the closiest big airport is salt lake city but still 4 hours drive from Arches.
    What other Big city or airport would you recommand to me the closiest possible from Arches so i can get a cheaper car rental from there?

    as i will hit the road alone any recommandations would be welcome!
    if you have advices about cheap car rental, combo with plane ticket, cheaper national park entrance would be great.

    im trying to save time in my trip which is why i wanted to start my trip in moab but the price is not possible. that would be a one way rental (return to a different destination. will start rental in moab/salt lake city/las vegas and would like to drop the car in san francisco)

    so to sum up:
    - from which closiest airport/town to Arches should i get to have good car rental price? (las vegas is futher but as it is more popular we can find better deals there)
    - how long would you spend in each national parks? are 2 days for each enough?
    -for arches, bryce canyon, grand canyon what would be the cheap hostel you would recommand? not too far from the parks (maybe inside) but no dormatory if possible
    -is the highway 1 the best option to get good landscape and nice ride from LA to san francisco?

    THank you all in advance!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Overall cost.

    Hello and welcome to R.TA. !

    this trip is pretty ambitious what do you think in term of length?
    You have enough time to visit the places you mention but the overall distance is covering a large area so as long as you want to keep on the go you will be fine.

    i wish to rent a car next to Arches so i can continue to go West without loosing time starting my trip in vegas visiting the national parks and going back to Vegas!
    If you fly into Vegas you would not need to return there unless you wished to. From Vegas head North on I-15 to Zion and Bryce and then to Arches. You could then head South on 191 and through Monument valley on 163 and to the GC South rim on 160/89/64 through the East entrance before heading toward LA. You might want to visit the quiter North rim while in the Zion and Bryce area as well [or instead of].

    Of course you will need to search the Internet and compare the cost of flights and car hire combined to give you the best overall deal. To fly into a city to save a few dollars on a car rental wouldn't make sense if the flights were a lot dearer. I think only you can decide which is best for your budget by researching. I am not sure where you are flying in from but I would expect that you would have to fly into a major airport and then have the expense of a flight to Moab which will be dearer still.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default other options

    I agree with Dave that doing a loop from Vegas could be your best, and almost certainly your cheapest bet. In addition to having far more rental and flight options, since many people travel between Vegas and SFO, the standard one way drop off fee should be pretty small or maybe even non-existant.

    In addition to Vegas and Salt Lake City, you might also take a look at Denver. Its about 350 miles and will take you around 6 hours to get to Arches, but it is a remarkably scenic trip across the Rockies, and should also have a very large selection of flights and rental options.

    If you value time over money, then Grand Junction Colorado would be closest airport to Arches with scheduled air service. There are a couple of airlines there, I believe connecting through Phoenix or Denver. I suspect this would cost a fair bit more than your other options, but it wouldn't hurt to check and see how it compares. You never know, it might end up being competative.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    South Central Orange County

    Default Scenic Utah drive

    The quickest way to get from Zion to Arches is to take I-15 North to I-70 East, but there is a far more scenic route I took back in May 2003.

    If you start in Vegas, take I-15 North to Utah State Highway 9 East into Zion. From Zion continue Highway 9 East to US-89 North through Hillsdale, and then take UT-12 to Bryce and on to Grand Staircase Escalante State Park and to UT-24 East. That will take you through Capitol Reef National Park and all the way up to I-70 East. From I-70 take UT-191 South to Arches.

    This drive takes you through beautiful canyon country, up and over a mountain covered in aspens, and then back down to red rock country with scrub pines and junipers. It is one of the most beautiful drives I've ever taken.

    Following UT-191 South will take you through Monument Valley to US-163 and on to US-160 South. US-160 takes you to AZ-64 West, and AZ-64 takes you into Grand Canyon National Park.

  5. Default

    thank you so much for your willing to help and good advices.
    i will not get to moab since it is more expensive and drive directly to los angeles after the grand canyon.
    i think the itinary recommanded by shirohniichan is great starting from Las vegas! thanks a bunch for these advices.

    i still how many days ive planned for these places, but i will try to lock my itinary from LA up to san francisco: which cities to you recommand me to stop at on the way? from La to SF how long should that ride take through highway 1?
    2 days maybe?

    once i will lock this itinary that would be pretty much predictable in term of time spend on the road, i can dispatche the remaining days to spend in Zion, bryce, arches, monument valley and GC!

    thanks Bunch! i will have more questions to come :)

  6. Default

    ..and by the way do you know where can i get groceries and a lot of water before i leave Las vegas?
    there are probably expensive places there? maybe on the road there are some good place where to shop around vegas.
    any recommandation about where is best to get food and water in Vegas or near Vegas?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default everywhere

    It will not be hard to find a major grocery store in any US city, including Las Vegas. If you can't find one, just ask someone to point you in the right direction. Albertsons and Vons are probably the two most common major chains in the Vegas area.

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