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  1. Default Please help us plan a busy 10 days in California!!!!

    Hey all,

    I have been reading the threads and the advice people have got has been awesome!!!

    Me and my partner are trekking down from Seattle to LA for three weeks this summer, which is pre-planned, but we have 10 days when that trek has finished to carry on! We are definatley hiring a car and are trying to plan a fun and action packed 10 days.

    At the moment we are thinking (but this is where we need advice!!) about starting in LA and then:

    1) Driving up to San Francisco via the coastal road.
    2) Driving from SF to Lake Tahoe.
    3) From LT to Yosemite.
    3) From Y to Kings Canyon and Death Valley.
    4) From Kings\ Death Valley to Mojave.
    5) From Mojave to Joshua Tree.
    6) From Joshua Tree to San Diego.
    7) From SD back to LA.

    Now is probably far too much, but the position everything is, it seems like a very exciting route to take. There is the possibility of us sacrificing a trip to Hawaii, which would mean we would have 16 days instead of ten.

    I am in desperate need of some adive as to what to do. We are very adventurous and active, and would welcome any advice you can give!!!!


    Dan and Sarah!!!
    Last edited by d.williams; 07-05-2009 at 07:51 AM. Reason: Title change!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default mountains in the way

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The biggest issue with the sketch you've laid out is that you've kind of forgotten about the Sierra Nevada mountains.

    Most importantly, that means that Sequoia/Kings Canyon can't but lumped together with Death Valley. While they are only a little over a hundred miles apart as the crow flies, the fastest road between the 2 is a 400 mile trip that will take the better part of 8 hours.

    This basic outline is also far and away the most popular subject on this forum, so search for threads like these to get some more information.

    What you are talking about doing otherwise, is mostly doable, but you're looking at a pretty rushed trip. If you like to look at places in depth, you probably won't enjoy this, but if you just like to take a look at things for a bit and continue on, you'll probably do ok.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Decisions, decisions !

    There is certainly plenty to do and see in the Southwest and your big decision is whether to spend more time here or in Hawaii, only you can decide.
    As Michael said. it's doable but a bit rushed for a ten day trip taking the routing into consideration. You could drop Lake Tahoe or San Diego from your plans to make it a more relaxed trip. Choosing between Death valley and Kings canyon would also free up a lot of quality time elsewhere as opposed to trying to see both.
    With 10 days another option would be to consider swapping Kings canyon for the Grand canyon, San Diego for Vegas and leave out Tahoe. That would take shape something like LA > [maybe Mojave/ Joshua tree] Grand canyon > Vegas > Death valley > Yosemite > San Francisco > LA via PCH.
    With 16 days it opens the door to more possibility's. Have a look at the links Michael gave you have a think and when you get an idea of what your options are and how long you have let us know and we can help piece your trip together with you.

  4. #4


    I don't know what your priorities are for the trip - walking/partying? - but personally I would lose Lake Tahoe and go LA - PCH - San Fran - Yosemite - DV - Mojave - Joshua Tree - Kings Canyon/Sequoia - San Diego - LA. I wouldn't book any accomodation and just see where I ended up. That way I might end up ditching San Diego if I were running out of time. In fact I might consider saving Hawaii for another trip (you should do at least three of the islands and you really need 10-14 days for this) and use the extra time to do something like the LA - PCH - SF - Yosemite - DV - Las Vegas - Zion - Monument Valley - Arches/Canyonlands - Grand Canyon - Route 66 - San Diego - LA trip I did a few years ago. Was an unforgettable trip.

  5. Default Thank you for quick response guys!

    As part of our 'prearranged trek,' we do visit Las Vegas, Grand canyon, Zion, Lake Powell and monument Valley.

    With regards to the type of trip, we like to really get stuck into activities, not massive 'partiers,' but want to experience nature at its best! We are very active, and go in for anything outdoor pursuit related. We are alss keen surfers, and enjoy the water, so some time to experience the Californian waters would be lovely.

    I can see how the mountains between kings and death valley would be a problem!!! So we need to choose between the two.... Is there any advice you could offer on this Michael?

    Sarah would love to go to Mexico, and this is where San Diego came from as they do an excursion. We just want to experience everything but you make a really good point about not wanting to rush things, and its hard to know exactly how much time to devote to each place. This is where we are struggling I think is getting the balance right.

    If I said that we were going to plan for 16 days, could somebody propose some form of itinary to help get us started.

    Really appreciate the help here guys!!! Thanks a lot,

    Dan and Sarah

  6. #6


    Maybe you could let us see the itinerary of the tour you are planning and see if we can suggest something to complement it? Is it a Trek America type deal?

    Where do you call home? You mention Seattle but I am thinking maybe that is where your trip starts rather than where you live??

  7. Default

    We are completing a trek america tour. Home is Lancashire for us so the trek starts in seattle. We travel to montana, glacier national park, western ranch, yellowstone, Grand teton, jackson, wyoming, rocky mountain, arkansas, colarado, monument, grand canyon, lake powell, zion, las vegas and ending in LA.

    The really tough decision is whether to sacrifice Hawaii or not!! ahhhhhh

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a few ideas

    Well, there is no right or wrong answer here, but a few things I would probably do. I think I would skip Death Valley and San Diego and just focus your 10 days on the Coast, Yosemite, and Sequoia/Kings Canyon. Taking your time there will give you time to have fun, and actually explore these places, more than just driving through. I also think you'll probably like a bit slower pace after what looks like a pretty busy trip before hand.

    Between the short time you have available right now and the serious crime problem on the Mexican border, I think I would skip that for now. If you really wanted to do Mexico, I would do that instead of Hawaii, and take a flight to one of the several resort towns. (Crime is still an issue throughout the country right now, but the border areas are the biggest problems).

    If it were me, and money isn't a factor here, I would go to Hawaii. I think after spending all that time in the American West, the contrast of being out on the islands will be quite fun.

    BTW, is your trip really taking you to Arkansas? That's a really really long way away from all of the other places you've listed.

  9. #9


    Good point about slowing down after the Trek America trip but, unless you've seen it before, I think Death Valley is well worth the diversion for any Brit. It is so different to anything in Europe that every Brit I ever met adores it.

  10. #10


    I presume this is the tour in question. Looks like a good one. Be sure not to rush off right at the end and stay the night in the Trek America hotel at the end. The farewell dinners can be legendary!

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