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  1. #1

    Default usefull tips for a West Coast road trip.

    Hi all,

    a friend and I from Belgium are planning a road trip of the West Coast next year. We would start or the 24th of may or the 31st and the trip would take us about 20 days.

    THis is our planned itinerary:

    Day 1+2: San Fransisco
    Day 3: drive to Mariposa + visit Yosemite
    Day 4: visit Yosemite + drive to Three rivers
    day 5: visit kings canyon + seqoya national park
    day 6: three rivers to death valley
    day 7: death valley to las vegas
    day 8: las vegas
    day 9: las vegas to Tusayan
    day 10: visit grand canyon
    day 11: Tusayan to Monument valley
    day 12: monument valley to capitol reef
    day 13: capitol reef to Moab
    day 14: Moab mountainbiking + visit arches national parc
    day 15: Moab to brice canyon
    day 16: brice canyon to Holbrook
    day 17: Holbrook to Los Angeles
    day 18-20: Los Angeles

    questions:

    - We would like to reserve our accomodation in San Fran, Vegas, Moab and Los Angeles and all other days we would just reserve a place in a motel on arrival, is this doable?

    -We would also like to visit at least 1 national parc by bike ( a trip of +- 4 hours maximum), which National parc is best to visit by bike?

    -we would like to visit a Footbal, basketbal or soccer game while we are visiting, are there any sites where we can find tickets? (after some research I noticed that basketbal and footbal leagues are not playing in June is that possible?)

    - where in San Fransisco can we find an outdoors shop? internet link? ( we would buy our material in USA so we do not have to carry this on the plane)

    - I know we need more time to visit the National parcs in detail but we simply do not have the time.

    - If any police officers are on this messageboard I would like to patrol with an American colleague while staying in LA, I sent a request by mail to LAPD and via I.P.A.

    thanks a lot for your help and information.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default questions and some answers

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Your trip looks pretty well thought out, but there is just one area that doesn't make sense to me. Why are you going all the way from Bryce to Holbrook and then to LA. Holbrook is a long way out of the way and sets of a very long day of driving back to LA. If you've got some reason you really want to go there, I'd hit it while you are traveling near the Grand Canyon the first time, rather than this odd out of the way backtrack. From Bryce Canyon, I'd just be looking to follow I-15 back to LA. Stopping at Zion or someplace like Valley of Fire would make much more sense to break up that drive.

    I'll also note that you will need basically a full day drive to go from Sequoia to Death Valley. Its doable, but people often mistakenly see that these two points are quite close as the crow flies, but don't notice that the only available roads require a significant detour.
    - We would like to reserve our accomodation in San Fran, Vegas, Moab and Los Angeles and all other days we would just reserve a place in a motel on arrival, is this doable?
    Generally yes, although I'd probably also make reservations at Yosemite and Grand Canyon too.
    -We would also like to visit at least 1 national parc by bike ( a trip of +- 4 hours maximum), which National parc is best to visit by bike?
    You're already planning to do some biking in Moab, and I'd think Arches would again be your best bet here.
    -we would like to visit a Footbal, basketbal or soccer game while we are visiting, are there any sites where we can find tickets?
    Unfortuantly, June is not a great time to watch those sports. American Football doesn't start until september, and Basketball is in playoffs, so there may be a game available, but it could be pretty hard to find tickets or a game to fit into your schedule. Soccer would be an option. MLS is in season in june, although I suspect you may be disappointed in the quality compared to Europe. You didn't mention it, but baseball really is the American sport that is in prime season during your travels.
    where in San Fransisco can we find an outdoors shop? internet link?
    What sorts of outdoor gear will you be looking for? REI would be one of the best for high end equipment, however if you're just looking for stuff that you are going to use for for a couple of weeks, you could find that just going to a big box store like Walmart or Target will have things that are cheaper and will get the job done for the short time you'll need them.

  3. #3

    Default

    Like Midwest Michael, Holbrook is quite a bit out of the way, and does setup a very long, but doable one day drive to LA. The only reason to head to Holbrook is if you plan on booking a memorable and nostalgic night at the Wigwam Motel (and a short tour of the museum in the Navajo County Courthouse).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Time is valuable.

    Hi,

    - I know we need more time to visit the National parcs in detail but we simply do not have the time.
    There never seems to be enough time but I think you could make your plan work better and save yourself some valuable time travelling. Firstly I agree with the others that Holbrook is a large detour unless you have to go there for a reason.
    Another point is that you are heading to Three rivers from Yosemite and then heading back into Sequoia. I would go to Kings canyon and then through Sequoia NP to Three rivers at the Southern end, the far point from where you are starting. Kings canyon and Sequoia will be a long day.
    Another that stands out is going from MV to Capitol reef and then back East to Moab before turning on yourself once again to get to Bryce canyon. I would go MV to Moab and then to Capitol Reef via Hanksville and to Bryce on the wonderful scenic H'way 12.

    To turn things further on it's head you could consider heading North from Las Vegas through Zion NP to Bryce then to Capitol reef and Moab. This will then take you too Monument valley and the Grand canyon and leave a shorter drive back to LA and you will not have to go through Vegas twice. I also think this option will save you some of that valuable time in miles.

  5. #5

    Default

    thx all for the information.

    Another point is that you are heading to Three rivers from Yosemite and then heading back into Sequoia. I would go to Kings canyon and then through Sequoia NP to Three rivers at the Southern end, the far point from where you are starting. Kings canyon and Sequoia will be a long day.
    do you mean driving on the "395" or is there a road inside these national parcs that connects them? The roads I find on googlemaps are the "99" on the west of the parcs or the "395" on the East.

    I made our trip up from examples of Belgian travel agency's and made some adjustements to what we want to visit. Holbrook was chosen to visit petrified forest from there. Is this worth the detour?

    I will have another look at our itinerary and keep you guys updated on our chosen route.

    thx again for your help.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-19-2009 at 03:23 PM. Reason: fixed quote format

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default highways

    do you mean driving on the "395" or is there a road inside these national parcs that connects them? The roads I find on googlemaps are the "99" on the west of the parcs or the "395" on the East.
    There is no access to US-395 from Sequoia/Kings Canyon, or anywhere on the west side of the Sierras. CA-99 is the main north/south route on the West Side of the mountains, but I don't think that wasn't what Dave was talking about.

    I believe he means that 3 rivers is near the south enterance to Sequoia/KC, but if you're coming from Yosemite, it would make more sense to enter the park from the North (CA-180)

    There's nothing wrong with visiting the Petrified Forest, it just was a long way off your other plan. If you go with the route suggested by Dave (going from Vegas to Utah, then Arizona, and back to LA) its a more manageable detour.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default I think I see what the his Sequoia/Kings Canyon plan is...

    Looks like there are two nights in Three Rivers; allowing:

    First day: transit from Yosemite to Three Rivers, leaving much of the day to be spent in Yosemite.

    Second day: full day to do Kings Canyon/Sequoia from Three Rivers.

    Third day: bug out of Three Rivers early for the drive to Death Valley.

    This part looks reasonable to me.

    The only other concern would be "is this too much"? I like the multiple nights in Three Rivers, Moab, Grand Canyon... I'm wondering if more are needed and if so what would be MY choice to toss. In this case I'm thinking Capitol Reef and that Holbrook jog could go and maybe add Zion to the itinerary.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Valuable time.

    I believe he means that 3 rivers is near the south enterance to Sequoia/KC, but if you're coming from Yosemite, it would make more sense to enter the park from the North (CA-180)
    Michael is correct. Fresno [nearest to Yosemite] is linked to the 180 into Kings canyon and from there you take the wonderful 198 [The Generals highway] South through Sequoia NP where you exit the Southern end of the park to Three rivers. I understand you have 2 nights at Three rivers but the 198 is a slow going mountain road and heading so far South on 99 to head back North up 198 before heading South again takes time.
    Therefor my suggestion would be,

    Day one; Explore Yosemite and take short drive to Fresno. Stay the night somewhere close to 180 East. [Or if your budget will stand it look at Kings canyon lodging]

    Day two; Explore Kings canyon and head South through Sequoia NP and spend night in Three rivers.

    Day three Bug out of Three rivers to Death valley. ;-)

    It will save you time on an already long day in the parks and about 70 miles in distance.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Yep

    That would be a more efficient routing.

    In my case, I have a navigator who hates packing and unpacking (given her way, most of our vacations would be "sit-and-squat" by the beach); hence the (personal) preference for a two-night stay at Three Rivers.

    It IS a bit of a slog back into the parks, but either way will work (and Fresno should have a lot of reasonable motel options).

    Fresno probably could use a little love anyway, after this highly unscientific study rated them the dumbest city in America.

    Also: I was contemplating/suggesting an out-and-back through the parks, not a loop back up 99 to enter at the north end.
    Last edited by CalOldBlue; 10-20-2009 at 09:10 AM. Reason: final thought

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