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  1. #1

    Default From Grand canyon (south rim) to San francisco via Death valley and Yosemite

    Dear All....
    First of all let me introduce myself.. I am 30 y old bride to be in the summer, and I am preparing our honeymoon trip to the states during August this year....
    having read some of the threads in this forum i must say i am amazed with the amount of information gathered... wow!!! I really hope some of you could help me with arranging our honeymoon roadtrip....
    Please do have in mind that we have never been to the states before, that we have never made a road trip of such proportion before, and that me and my husband are fond of photography, so we are interested in visiting the most picturesque places...
    our itinenary is:
    Day 1: arrive at Las vegas late night and check in to a hotel (we haven't decided yet -- any suggestions for our first married couple of nights?) --- stay for 3 nights
    day 4: drive to grand canyon (i believe that we will use some part of the old route 66 on our way to flagstaff?) south rim and check in to the hotel (this one is already booked). stay for 2 nights
    day 6: start our drive towards san francisco. which is the best route? we were thinking of going via the death valley and yosemite part just to catch the views - what do u think? do you have any suggestions where to stay overnight? maybe we will need to have two overnight stops?
    day 8-9 (?) : arrive to SF and stay for 2 nights? do you have any suggestions?
    day 11: drive to LA from the ocean view road? maybe stay overnight in the most beautiful spot on the way -- any suggestions?
    day 13 : arrive to LA and spend two days before we catch our flight to NY...

    in NY we are going to stay for 1o days and plan on doing some excursions (maybe to Long island, and also Niagara Falls?)

    i would really so much appreciate your suggestions.... they will be invaluable to me.....
    Last edited by renagr8; 04-22-2009 at 04:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default timing

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think your outline is ok, but you'll probably want more time at a few places. The Grand Canyon to SF leg, I would certainly spend two nights on this leg, spending one night each in Death Valley and Yosemite. Even if you took the most direct route, you'd be looking at a solid day and a half drive, so two overnights should give you a chance to spend some time enjoying the parks.

    I'll also note that Route 66 was officially decommissioned 2 decades ago. While there are sections of the old road you can follow, I-40 is the primary highway heading to the Grand Canyon. You also can cut up to the canyon at Williams instead of going all the way to Flagstaff.

    I would also recommend planning to spend two full days between SF and LA, if you are going to follow the coast. It's a slow going route and there are a lot of things you're going to want to stop and see.

    With thousands of threads on this subject on this forum, I'm sure you've been able to find quite a bit of help here already, but if you've missed these threads, I'd recommend checking them out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default 2 nights.

    Congratulations on your up coming wedding !

    You will definitely want to take a minimum of 2 nights between GC and SF to go through Death valley and Yosemite, and as you like photography you won't find two such contrasting and amazing landscapes as these to capture on film. In Death valley the two main lodging options are Furnace creek [ranch only in Aug] or Stovepipe wells. To take full advantage of Yosemite you would be better off staying in the park as it will give you some time to explore in the morning before departing to SF, although the lodging is cheaper outside of it. Be warned that these will be long days with 2 stopovers, but will be worth every moment.

    Route '66 you can get on at Kingman through Seligman and back to I-40, I would do this on the way to GC and stick to I-40 for the longer return journey to DV.

    As Michael noted you can enter the GC from Williams through the southern entrance but if you are staying in Flagstaff I would head North up the 89 to the East entrance on the 64 which is Desert view drive. You will get a fantastic first view of the Colorado entering the canyon from the Old Watchtower and then progress towards the village and create a loop by leaving by the Southern kiosk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default Death Valley

    Congratulations on your wedding!

    If you are staying inside Grand Canyon Nat'l Park, it will be at least a good 8-hour drive to Death Valley (even without driving parts of old Route 66). Make sure you're prepared to deal with the heat of Death Valley in August. Even in the spring it can get uncomfortably hot, so you may not be able to walk around and see the sights there when it's 45 degrees celcius outside in the summer. You'd be arriving in the evening if you were to leave Grand Canyon around 9:00 AM, so at least you'd avoid the hottest time of the day.

    If you just want a taste of Route 66, you can stop for breakfast in Williams at The Pine Country Inn or Max & Thelma's. Williams is only about an hour drive south of Grand Canyon.

    The quickest route will take you from Williams along I-40 to US-93 north to I-95 north. I don't know of a good place to stop for lunch. Stopping in Las Vegas would probably be the best idea as there isn't much in Beatty (I think I stopped at a gas station with a Subway sandwich shop in it in Beatty). From Beatty you'll take Nevada State Route 374 (which turns into California State Route 178). If you are interested in ghost towns, I recommend taking a short side trip to Rhyolite (just outside Beatty on NV-374, and it's well marked). Follow NV-374/CA-178 into Death Valley, and you'll notice a big rise in temperature as you drive down into the valley.

    If you stay in Stovepipe Wells, continue on CA-178 to CA-190. CA-190 will take you west to CA-136 north, and that will take you to I-395. If you stop for lunch in Bishop, the drive on to Tuolumne Meadows inside Yosemite Nat'l Park is only another two hours or so. The wait to get into the park in the summer can take some time, so be prepared. It may be easier to find lodging in the eastern end of the park since most people focus on Yosemite Valley in the west.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    We recommend the locals' route from LV to DV. 160 out of LV to Pahrump, then Bell Vista Av/Ash Meadows Rd/Stateline Rd to Death Valley Junction, and in the east entrance of the park. This cuts quite a bit of time off going through Beatty. There are places to get lunch in Pahrump.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default Rhyolite

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    We recommend the locals' route from LV to DV. 160 out of LV to Pahrump, then Bell Vista Av/Ash Meadows Rd/Stateline Rd to Death Valley Junction, and in the east entrance of the park. This cuts quite a bit of time off going through Beatty. There are places to get lunch in Pahrump.
    I reckon I'm too interested in ghost towns. ^_^

  7. #7

    Default thank you very much

    thank you very much guys about your answers and suggestions...
    45 degrees C is not going to be so much of a problem as we are kind of used in this temperature during august in Greece as well, but i bet we have to be prepared to sweat a little bit... :)
    i was wondering if this park with the gigantic trees is going to be in my way, because we have heard that it is fantastic place to see and photograph.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Alternative.

    i was wondering if this park with the gigantic trees is going to be in my way, because we have heard that it is fantastic place to see and photograph.
    The Sequoia NP contains the largest of trees but it's not on your way and would take an extra night to enjoy them.
    However there is the Mariposa grove of giant Sequoia at Wawona by the Southern entrance to Yosemite [CA 41] that would be possible to visit. On the way down the 41 you could detour up to the jaw dropping view that is Glacier point. If you are taking the 2 nights for the journey from GC to SF this could be done in the morning of the day you continue to SF.

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