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  1. Default LA-LV-SF-LA 12 months to plan!

    Hi Guys,

    My wife and I have recently decided that next year we are going to do the roadtrip we have talked about for ages - Around California and Las Vegas.

    I'm 26 and she's 24 (both from the UK) and we got married a few months ago. Nows this ideal time to do this before we start a family, and I want to get it completely right so I'm giving myself 12 months to plan. At the minute we are looking at 17 nights in September, flying to LAX, hiring a convertible, and doing the anticlockwise loop around CA.

    I've read a lot of the fantastic threads on this site already, but I want to start pulling together a rough itinerary for myself now. This is what I have already. Theres probably a lot of flaws in this already (How to get from Sequoia - Yosemite? How long to stay in LA or LV? ) but I'll post what I've put together for your comments:

    Day Area
    1 LAX - Los Angeles
    2 Los Angeles
    3 Los Angeles
    4 Los Angeles - Las Vegas
    5 Las Vegas
    6 Las Vegas - Grand Canyon - Las Vegas
    7 Las Vegas - Death Valley
    8 Death Valley - Sequoia
    9 Sequoia - Yosemite
    10 Yosemite - Wine Country
    11 Wine Country
    12 Wine Country - San Francisco
    13 San Francisco
    14 San Francisco
    15 San Francisco - Montrery/Carmel
    16 Montrery/Carmel - Los Angeles
    17 Los Angeles - LAX

    I can extend this to a maximum of 21 days, but only if I have to. I was also wondering whether Lake Tahoe is too far out the way to get to as well?
    Last edited by robsmith82; 09-10-2009 at 06:01 AM. Reason: extra info added

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default a couple issues

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    A couple things I would change.

    First, The Grand Canyon is not a daytrip from Las Vegas. It is just too far away to fit in the driving and see any of the Canyon. I'd recommend an overnight stay. If you want to cut down some driving, you could drive directly from LA to the Grand Canyon and then back to Vegas. You'd want at least one, but I'd recommend 2, overnights near the Canyon if you go this route.

    The DV-Sequoia-Yosemite is always a bit tricky, as there is no direct access to Sequoia National Park from the East side of the Sierras. To visit all 3, you either have to go around the Sierras through the Lake Isabella/Bakersfield areas, then up to Sequoia and Yosemite (skipping Tioga Pass) or you can cross Tioga Pass through Yosemite, and then double back south to Sequoia. You should expect DV to Sequoia to take basically a full day on the road if you go that route.

    3 days in Napa seems a bit much for my taste, but what I might do instead just to break things up a bit is add another day between Monterey and LA (I'd probably do that anyway) and then explore some of the wineries along the Central Coast area.

  3. Default

    Some excellent tips, thanks!

    The idea of going to the Grand Canyon first with a couple of overnights actually appeals more to me than my original plan. I didnt like the idea of going from one main city to another straight away, I'd like to even it out a bit.
    Is there a good scenic but fairly direct route to the Grand Canyon from LA that doesnt go through Vegas?

    I might actually miss Sequoia out yet, as its such a pain to get to from my route. Is there anywhere else that has similar trees that I could visit more easily?

    Another day on the coast also doesnt sounds like a bad idea. I dont yet fully understand the layout of the wine country, does it follow the coast all the way down to LA?

    thanks for the help

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Mariposa grove.

    Is there a good scenic but fairly direct route to the Grand Canyon from LA that doesnt go through Vegas?
    If you are headed to the South rim of the canyon then you don't go anywhere near Vegas, that's why Michael recommended the canyon first, to save a detour. Heading to Barstow via I15 and then I40 to Williams and 64 to the canyon is the most direct route. With an overnight stop on route you could go through Joshua tree NP.

    I might actually miss Sequoia out yet, as its such a pain to get to from my route. Is there anywhere else that has similar trees that I could visit more easily?
    Near the Southern entrance to Yosemite is the Mariposa grove of giant Sequoias, not quite as large as in the NP but large enough. I would definitely recommend 2 nights min in Yosemite where you can also take a drive up to Glacier point for spectacular views.

  5. Default

    That route to the Grand Canyon looks great! I'll have to look into whether the Joshua Tree NP is worth using up a night for.

    It would be good to spend 2 nights in Yosemite yes. I'm starting to think this is going to end up at 21 nights... Theres too much to see!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by robsmith82 View Post
    Hi Guys,
    ......and I want to get it completely right so I'm giving myself 12 months to plan.
    Rob, if that is your aim, you are going to be disappointed. There is no such thing.

    The part of the country which you are looking at visiting is just so spectacular, that you are going to make adjustments to your 'plan' even as you are implementing it. Make sure you leave yourself a little flexibility. Unless there are specific things you have to fill more than two full days in LA, I would definitelty cut down there, and devote the time to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley or Yosemite.

    You'll come away from your trip with a long list of where to go and what to see in more detail next time.

    Lifey who has not spent enough time there

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

    Default

    I would go through Joshua Tree from south to north, and take Amboy Rd out of 29 Palms to old 66, take that and I-40 to Needles and Topock or Laughlin, then back on old 66 to Oatman, Kingman, and Seligman. Spend a night in the Needles area - possibly Laughlin - or in Kingman, depending on how far you get along the first day.

    Planning this far ahead, make reservations to stay in the park at the GC as soon as they start taking them. Otherwise, you will be spending over $100 a night in Tusayan or Cameron, or be staying an hour away in Williams or Flagstaff.

  8. Default

    Thanks for the route tip glc, I've altered my plan to tailor it to your recommendation. Had originally planned to go North -South through Joshua Tree then go through Lake Havasu city, but route 66 sounds better!

    Can anyone recommend a really good GC hotel with views over the Canyon?

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

    Default

    Best I can do is refer you to this website. Doesn't look cheap.

  10. Default

    Hmmm yeah it certainly doesnt. I'd be after location more than class of hotel. I was thinking a log cabin style hotel with a homely feel where you open the curtains in the morning to look out over the canyon. Too Much to ask? :-)

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