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  1. Default Road trip from San Francisco to Phoenix

    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to this forum but I have been reading the posts related to my upcoming trip for a month now. We are planning a road trip from San Francisco to Phoenix from Sept 5 to Sept 14th. Using the wonderful information you provided in these forums I have planned to take the following routes as my main objective is to go though the most scenic roads:

    Day 1 and 2: San Francisco.

    Day 3: Leave early in the morning and take route 1 along the coast to Big Sur. Then
    SR- 156 to SR-152 to SR-99 to SR-145 to SR-41, through Coarsegold and Oakhurst to the park.
    Stay overnight in a hotel somewhere in Fish Camp.

    Day 4: SR-41 to SR-120 over Tioga Pass, explore Yosemite, stay overnight in a hotel in June Lake area

    Day 5: Down US-395 to SR-136 to SR-190 into Death Valley. Spend the night at the Furnace Creek

    Day 6: Take CA-190 past Furnace Creek out to the Death Valley Junction, turn left (east) on State Line Road -- this turns into Ash Meadows Road, Bell Vista Avenue at NV-160, turn right (south) and follow it all the way through town and all the way over to I-15 and then north into downtown Las Vegas.

    Day7: Las Vegas to Grand Canyon (south Rim) via 93/40/ 64 or are there alternative more scenic routes?

    Day 8: down 89 to 17 to Phoenix

    Day 9: Phoenix
    Day 10: Phoenix

    I need help with the last few days of the trip. Please help me plan the trip to the Grand Canyon, I cannot decide if it is better to stay overnight in Las Vegas (we have been there numerous times) or try to continue towards the Grand Canyon and spend the night somewhere on the way. Do you have any suggesting for a nice scenic route on the way to the GC with a ‘hidden gem’ type of place for an overnight stay?
    Is route 66 from Kingman to Seligman worth going through? Even going further on 18 and spending the night in that area?

    Please also let me know if my driving plan seems reasonable, is there something I should change?

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you do not need to go through Las Vegas, I'd suggest this as an alternate from Death Valley to the Grand Canyon:

    Instead of going to Pahrump, take 127 down to Baker, then go through the Mojave National Preserve. The south exit will put you on I-40 which you can take to Needles. You can spend a night there or head down to Lake Havasu City.

    Next day, head up old 66 to Oatman. From there, go over Sitgreaves Pass to Kingman, and take old 66 to Seligman. From there, I-40 to AZ-64 will get you to the GC. You should be able to do this in one full day as long as you don't spend too much time off the road sightseeing.

    Depending what time you get to Needles (how much time you spend in the preserve), you may be able to go through Oatman and on to Kingman before stopping for the night. I don't think I'd do that if you get to Needles after about 2pm. The direct way to Oatman is through Topock.

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

    Default a reworking

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The one spot you really need to rework is your day 3. Trying to do SF through Big Sur, and then back to Yosemite in one day just is trying to do too much. I'd really recommend just spending that day enjoying the coast and stop around Cambria/Morro Bay.

    You actually could make that time up pretty easily around day 5/6/7. If you spend the night in Furnace Creek, you could drive to the Grand Canyon in one day if you didn't need to stop in Vegas. Or, if you stay near June Lake, you could drive through Death Valley and still make it to Vegas on the same day.

  4. Default


    Thank you for the quick reply. This is a good idea. I will try to find a place to stay in the Cambria area. If I do that do you recommended going back to SR- 156 to SR-152 on the way to the Yosemite park or should I take a different route? Or alternatively I may try to find a hotel in the Santa Nella or Los Banos area which will shorten the drive to Yosemite the following day.

    I also have one more question. Is route 1 north of San Francisco a scenic drive that you would recommend for a day trip?

    Thank you,

  5. Default

    Thank you for the detailed suggestion. I think I read somewhere in the posts that route 127 is very scenic. This sounds like a good away around LV. Do you think the Cameron area is good for staying overnight as all lodges in the GC are already book and I am looking for an alternative?

    Thank you,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Cameron only has one place to stay - the trading post. It's not cheap.

    Your other options are hotels in Tusayan - also not cheap - or Williams or Flagstaff.

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