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  1. Default West Coast Road Trip

    Hi Guys, Here is a rough idea of what i have in my head. We are thinking of doing a Road Trip for our Honeymoon next January. We are European (Irish) and probably going to fly into Boston as we have family there. I was thinking of Flying from Boston to San Fran, checking out San Fran for a couple of days. Then Hire a car and head down to Los angeles stay a few days, then drive to Las Vegas, stay for a few days. Head out to the Canyon and possibly stay there, we are very flexible. I was then thinking of headin to Death Valley from here, And then possibly get a flight from somewhere back to Boston or maybe see florida depending on time. We have a 3 week time frame. 1 week in Boston and the rest in the West Coast. I am totally clueless about distances and traffic etc... i usually go guided by a Sat Nav as my map reading skills are crap :) My Concerns are as follows, I want to see as much as possible, im not bothered about driving long distances either. Driving in January is this going to be a problem, Snow Ice etc, or is the West Coast Immune from this. Sorry about being so vague but any links or any help would be great, Thanks.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default First Links

    Céad Míle Fáilte! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Sure. For starters have a read through the threads linked to here. About the only thing you won't be able to do in January is cross the Sierra Nevada via the Tioga Pass (CA-120) as that will be snow bound. Otherwise, January is a great time to visit Death Valley and the desert southwest. Boston and surroundings will be a different matter, but your relatives should be used to navigating the city in the snow and will know better than us the best sites and restaurants. I'd say a week in Boston and two weeks in the west would serve you better than trying to fit in an additional stop in Florida.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Thanks AZ, plenty bedtime reading for me:) I want to avoid driving on snow and ice if at all possible especially, less stress!! In winter, january to be precise i presume it is very unlikey to get snow on Route 1 from San Fran to Los Angeles? I plan to do a round trip of San Fran - Los Angeles - Las Vegas -Grand Canyon - Death Valley. Not in that particular order. What would be the best Route you would take in Winter, i would like to See Yosemite as well but if the roads are icy and snowy it would put me off. I come from Ireland as you know and we got snow recently and we dont deal well with driving in it as we are very poor to treat roads etc...we dont get that much of it :). Thanks again for your help and your Links were great i have them printed and am reading as we speak. Maurice

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default routing / winter

    First of all, The Yosemite Valley is at a mountain elevation and there will be snow on the ground, and you will be required to carry chains. It doesn't mean you'd have a travel problem, and this is a beautiful time of year to visit Yosemite, but if you refuse to drive in an area where there is a chance of snow, you're going to have a problem.

    Having said that, the Grand Canyon is also up at 7000 feet and can and does see wintertime snow.

    As far as your current route goes, your plan right now requires a lot of backtracking. If you are going to do a loop back to San Francisco, you'll save yourself a few hours of driving by going from LA to the Grand Canyon then back to to Vegas and onto Death Valley. If you decide to skip Yosemite, then a better option would be to visit Death Valley on your way between LA and LV, then go to the Grand Canyon, and possibly fly back from Phoenix.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Probably

    There is no way to know the weather you'll actually encounter this far in advance, so you are quite right to say only that "it is very unlikely" that you will see snow or ice along most of your route. The one exception is Tioga Pass, the shortest route over the Sierra Nevada between Death Valley and Yosemite. That will be closed and your only alternative is to go around the mountains to the south on US-395/CA-14 to Mojave, west on CA-58 to Bakersfield, and then north on CA-99 to Fresno to use CA-41 to enter the park from the west. Barring a recent or current snowstorm, this entrance should be open and the road clear and dry, but Yosemite Valley will probably be snow covered, and beautiful.

    AZBuck

  6. Default San Fran -> LA -> Vegas -> Grand Canyon -> Death Valley

    Hi Guys, I posted earlier in the year and this time i have a more solid plan with plenty research on this site. I would be grateful if you could pick holes in it and any advice would be appreciated (Travel distances etc.)

    Day 1: Arrive into San Fran from Ireland
    Day 2: Stay in San Fran
    Day 3: Stay in San Fran
    Day 4: Leave for LA on Pacific coast Highway (Stay overnight somewhere 3/4's of the way with the view of being in LA early the next day)
    Day 5: Stay in Santa Monica (Overnight) and see Venice Beach
    Day 6: Leave for Hollywood (Stay Overnight) and do the touristy thing
    Day 7: Leave for Vegas (Stay Overnight)
    Day 8: Leave for Grand Canyon (Stay Overnight)
    Day 9: See the Canyon (Stay Overnight)
    Day 10: Back to Vegas (Stay Overnight)
    Day 11: Leave for Death Valley (Sat Overnight)
    Day 12: See the Valley (Stay Overnight)
    Day 13: Back to Vegas
    Day 14: Fly from Vegas to Boston - Road trip over

    I am thinking of staying more in Vegas as Hotels seem very cheap to me. The one think i do find confusing as we dont have very many motorways in ireland (because were small!) is the names of the Highways etc. I presume there will be Sat NAV coverage everywhere, Even at the canyon?

    Let me know if you think i am doing too much in a short space of time and any help again is greatly appreciated. Thanks In Advance Maurice
    Go raibh maith agat
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-05-2010 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Merged - Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Looks good.

    Your trip looks fine but you could save a little time and the need to go in and out of Vegas quite so much by heading straight to the Grand canyon from LA and then back to Vegas. You could do it in a long day on the road or choose to sight see a little on the way, and stop a little way short for the night.

    You won't have any problems using a Sat Nav, but I would encourage you to carry paper maps so that you can see [and choose] places that you are driving through and possibly make small detours, rather than just following a computer generated path.

  8. Default

    Cheers dave, On our drive down from San Fran to LA. We want to take in the drive and not be in a rush, so plenty of stops with it being winter and less light we could stay halfway or 3/4's even, What town would you recommend? I would like it to be closish to LA because i want to get to LA early the following day. Also could you recommend places to stay in or near the Grand Canyon and Death Valley? Thanks for all the help

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice View Post
    Cheers dave, On our drive down from San Fran to LA. We want to take in the drive and not be in a rush, so plenty of stops with it being winter and less light we could stay halfway or 3/4's even, What town would you recommend? I would like it to be closish to LA because i want to get to LA early the following day. Also could you recommend places to stay in or near the Grand Canyon and Death Valley? Thanks for all the help
    Around the Cambria, Morro bay area would be a popular choice and give you time to enjoy the ride around Big Sur but will leave you 4 to 5 hours from LA depending on traffic. If you wanted to push on to the Santa Barbara area it will leave you a shorter run in [2 to 3 hours at a guess] but will give you a long day getting there.

    You can get lodging options in the Grand canyon here, or outside you have the towns of Tusayan [nearest and dearest] Williams or Flagstaff that will offer the widest range of lodgings. For Death valley, Furnace creek, Stovepipe Wells and Panamint springs are all options that you can search for.

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi folks,

    The only thing I'd add Maurice is the traffic around LA is completely hectic! This can take a few hours of your time easy - depending on what time of the day you hit it. This is the voice of experience talking. Not something I ever want to repeat - but if you're staying on the Santa Monica/Venice side it's not as bad as you're coming from the north - but even so - I'd plan around rush hourS.

    Happy travels!

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