I'm just starting to plan a road trip and came across this site and have seen tons of good advice so I decided to register and throw my questions out there and take advantage of this great community (in a good way).
First of all, a little bit about me so its easier to give me advice on things I might enjoy. I am 25 and will be travelling with a friend(s) the same age. We are your typical 25 year old's I guess, we are open to anything and enjoy a good laugh and a few adult beverages.
We're planning on flying into L.A., renting a car, and spending 4 nites in L.A. doing the things to do around there (Universal or Six Flags and Hollywood and all that touristy stuff) We have also talked about taking a day trip in the L.A. area to check out some beaches or some of the drives along the coast. From there we plan to drive to the Grand Canyon in 3-nights/4-days...and then from the Grand Canyon into Vegas for 3-nights in Vegas. (car will be returned upon arriving in Vegas because we dont plan on driving much once there)
The part I need help with is the drive from L.A. to the Grand Canyon, I'm having trouble finding shorter roadtrips that arent designed to loop back to L.A.
Now...doing this in November we are kinda having trouble deciding if camping along the way would be a good idea, its what we want to do, but are not sure of the temperatures. I know it gets cold at night in the desert, I have spent some time in LA and Palm Springs, so I've felt the dessert chill in the "winter", so some advice would be appreciated so we can book hotels if needed. I've camped in Montana and Banff in the fall where there was snow on the ground in the morning and it wasnt bad, just need a warm sleeping bag with a hood. But if camping is out of the picture...then we are not against staying in a hotel, but we are on a tight budget so the cheaper the better (we dont care about niceness or cleanlines....to a degree of course, we arent pigs). And I am sure there are some charming joints along the way.
I would like to spend a full day at least at the grand canyon (waking up there and then going to bed there). So, with 4-Day's/3-Night's to get from L.A to Vegas via the Grand Canyon., by my calculations...
- Day-1: Leave L.A. early and drive/site-see to a destination (??) and stop for the night someplace between L.A. and the Grand Canyon (<--- main thing I need help with)
- Day-2: Leave the Night-1 destination early, then drive/site-see to the Grand Canyon, arriving in the evening and staying Night-2,
- Day-3: spent at the Grand Canyon site-seeing. Stay Night-3.
- Day-4: Leave the Grand Canyon early and drive/site-see into Vegas so we can get there with time to see the Hoover Dam in the daylight...(wanna take Route 66 for a bit if there is time) Confused yet? hope not
So...does this sound like a viable plan? I know there isnt much detail as far as cities and routes go. But we just want a good time and to see a few things.
A few things I've come across in my research that I dont wanna miss if possible are:
-Old Route 66. Which i figure we could do on the way to Vegas from the Canyon between Seligman and Kingman. (I just hope its not tooo out of the way that it makes us get into Vegas after dark...I've read The Canyon to Vegas is approx 5 and a 1/2 hours and Route 66 is 1 and a 1/2 hours outta the way...so 7 hours, probly 8 with stops...i dunno how much daylight there is that time of year but if we left at like 9am and arrived at 5pm there should still be light)
- The Hoover Dam. As far as I know we drive over it on Route 93 on the way into Vegas, and I'd like to see it in the daylight.
- Corny Touristy Sites and photo opportunities. Nothing specific...just stuff like "The worlds biggest..." or "World Famous [insert food]" (Example: The worlds biggest thermometer between LA and Vegas or the ZZyzxx sign on that same drive) Basically places we can get out and take a few pics and stretch our legs and then head-on our way.
- Nature/Scenic landscapes. I know its almost redundant saying "I'm going to the grand canyon and wanna see scenic landscapes" but along the way there is always things you miss if you arent looking for them and I am sure there are some cool things in the dessert for a guy from the Canadian Praries to see. (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada is where i live)
My head is spinning with all the different things people say to check out and different places to stay and this and that haha. As I am sure yours is now after reading this jumble of information I just laid down.
I guess what i really need is a plan for the drive between L.A. and the Canyon. from the Canyon to Vegas there seems to be alot of information that I have found useful...its just that I am having trouble finding a short 2-day, 1-night road trip from L.A. to the Canyon. An idea I have is driving east on I-10 through Palm Springs and up through Joshua tree park, it seemed like a good drive, the wind generators are cool and I liked Palm Springs when I was there, but is there enough time for that? Is that even a good midde point to stop between L.A. and the Canyon? we want to take our time on the way to the Canyon and prefer to split the drive over 2 days...but thats not needed haha. we are very flexible as nothing has been booked yet and if we get some amazing suggestions we could completely restructure the trip. But a few nites in LA and Vegas are a MUST though.
As you can tell...I am excited and confused. So I will stop here, before I ramble on much more, and see what you all have to say. I am sure you have questions about what I just said...and I would be glad to provide you with any info needed to get help planing the perfect trip.
Thanks alot!! any advice or information or resource to research would be greatly appreciated.
...now back to searching for more info.
Rob from Manitoba