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  1. #1

    Default south west US in 18 days (nothing booked yet so this is flexible)

    im planning a trip to the south west US (california / nevada / arizona / utah). my basic plan is this

    day1 - flight from london (england) to L.A. I will be staying in L.A for 3 nights and want to visit a couple of theme parks.
    day4 - hire a car and drive the coastal route to san francisco and stay there for 3 nights. visiting alcatraz island. any suggestions of other good places.
    day7 - drive to yosemite and stay in there for 2 nights. on the second day i wanted to drive south to see the redwoods and back to yosemite for the night (is this a feasible day trip)
    day9 - drive via lee vining to lone pine and stay there for the night.
    day10 - drive to las vegas across death valley via furnace creek. again is this a feasible trip in a day. than stay in las vegas for 2 nights.
    day12 - drive to zion then on to bryce canyon. is there anywhere good to stay in bryce canyon area
    day13 - drive down to page and monument valley and back to grand canyon. if this seams to much, im open to suggestions. I will stay in grand canyon for 2 nights.
    day15 - drive towards los angeles, at seligman i want to follow the old route 66 to kingman and then on to needles and stay for the night.
    day16 - drive on to los angeles and spend 2 more nights.
    day18 fly home


    if anyone has any suggestions. things i may be missing out on or things that arent really worth the effort. or places to stay. is 5 nights in L.A a waste of time i could spend seeing other things.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Good work.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your trip looks to be in pretty good shape but there are a couple of things. First off, to drive from LA to SF via route 1 [PCH] you will need to stop overnight on route. This could be rectified by taking a night from LA or SF.
    Secondly, the Redwoods are to be found nearer the coast, but I guess you are referring to the giant Sequoia trees in the NP. I think you would be pushing it to go to Sequoia NP and back in a day, not to mention taking quality time away from the magnificent Yosemite. However on the Southern edge of Yosemite is Mariposa grove of giant trees that might be enough to whet your appetite.

    Lone pine to Vegas via DV is easily done in a day but after Vegas you start to get a bit rushed, although what you have laid out is possible. Zion takes longer to appreciate than Bryce as there is more walking available in the canyon and I would consider staying the night in Springdale, right by Zion's entrance. If you decide to continue to Bryce check out Ruby's Inn for food and lodging. It's going to be rushed trying to get to Monument valley and back to the Grand canyon but for your first night you could stop at the Cameron trading post, Cameron on the 89 close to the East entrance [64] and Desert view drive which has many viewpoints, so you will want to take your time and enjoy the views. My personal opinion would be to either take a day from LA at the end of your trip and enjoy this very scenic part of your trip or skip '66 and do a long days drive from GC to LA, but of course it's up to you to decide what works best for you.

  3. #3

    Default revised ideas

    firstly thanks for info. at the moment i havent booked anything i want to get the best idea of whats possible first. im far more intrested in the more remote parts of the trip. I think yosemite is the most attactive part of the whole trip.

    Im a geology undergraduate and for me yosemite, grand canyon, zion, bryce and monument v are the most important part of the trip so i dont want to be rushed through it.

    the SEQUOIAS are what i meant. Mariposa grove looks just like the sort of thing i wanted. How long would it take to drive from yosemite to mariposa

    I may stay in L.a for 3 nights (i think its better to stay here for a few days after an 11 hour flight and 8 hr time difference)
    then stay halfway to san fran for 1 night (any suggestions for places to spend the night)
    in san fran for 2 nights
    yosemite for 2 nights
    lone pine for 1 night
    las vegas for 2 nights
    zion for 1 night (i will check out springdale)
    then drive to bryce canyon and then back to page for 1 night
    then on to monument valley and back to cameron for 1 night
    then on to grand canyon for 2 nights
    then to needles for 1 night
    then to L.A for 1 night

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    A very nice place to stay on the way to SF is Cambria. If you find things too expensive there, there's a Motel 6 in San Simeon that's about $70.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default National parks.

    It's taking shape nicely !
    The Mariposa grove is within the park boundary's so it won't take long to travel there, but it will depend on where you stay. It would fit in nicely with a trip up to Glacier point.
    Using the find a park feature on the NPS site is very handy for planning your visits. The lodgings and campgrounds] in and around these popular parks can get booked up early during peak season so that is something you might want to consider.
    I would check the admission charges out to each park [including Death valley] as I think the 5 of them will add up to more than the $80 annual pass that you can purchase to visit them all.

  6. #6

    Default

    thanks glc for the recommendation on where to stay.

    also thanks southwest dave, ive had a look at the glacier point. it looks spectacular and is a must on my to do list now. i also added the NPS site to my bookmarks it is very handy, im just looking into your suggestion of an annual pass.

    Im also trying to work out the best time to go between march and september. i dont really fancy the peak of summer, i feel the heat may be too phyisically draining. Dont know whether to go before that or after.

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

    Default

    If it makes any difference, I would say that 98% of the rental cars and hotel rooms here have air conditioning.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Part of route not possible in March

    Im also trying to work out the best time to go between march and september.
    Late Sept is my favourite time to travel as the temperatures suit us, the crowds have gone and the Fall colours are coming alive. One of the main considerations will be the fact that the Tioga pass will be closed due to snow in March so you will not be able to cross the Sierra's on the 120 to Lee vining, you would have to head South via Bakersfield.

  9. #9

    Default thanks for all help

    hi people, i have got some great ideas thanks, i am going to spend the next few months planning for this then book up around autumn (fall) time. thanks southwest dave and glc for your help. i will be on here to check other threads to see what ideas other people have.

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

    Default Your welcome !

    Be sure to ask if you have any further questions and I hope you will pop by when you have done your trip and share some of your experiences with us.

    Dave.

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