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  1. Default Summer Road Trip LA > Vegas > San Fran

    Hi All

    This is my first post here of what seems an excellent website, I've looked at a few 'trip' sites and this seems by far the best!

    So, Myself and my other half booked the flights for our west coast trip of a lifetime last year, we've still not booked any hotels so internal dates are flexible.

    So I've come here for some advice on the best routes from a to b to c!

    We land in LA on 2nd of August and depart San Fran on the 18th.

    We plan to spend 3 or 4 full days in LA taking in Universal, A sightseeing tour, Six Flags, Dodgers Stadium, Venice Beach and whatever else we can fit in before moving on to Las Vegas.

    Is there anything to see on the LA to Vegas section of the trip? I know it's not far, but wouldn't want to miss out on some spectacular views! (We do like our scenery / unusual shots!)

    Whilst in Vegas we plan to do the usual of Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon (any other suggestions would be good)

    But this is the part that really confuses me! What route to take from Vegas to San Fran? We don't mind spending a couple of days doing this, say leaving on 13th early morning, driving, staying overnight somewher, more sight seeing and then arriving in San Fran either late on the 14th or even staying an extra night somewhere and making the last leg to San Fran in the morning of the 15th.

    Would really like to see Death Valley and also Yosemite National Park, Redwoods etc. (vinyards are not our thing)

    I would really appreciate your suggestions on routes and places of wonder!

    One last question, ok may be two, We will be hiring a car.

    1. Would it be worth spending a little more and getting a mid size SUV to be a little higher up (to see more) or would a normal car surfice.
    2. I've heard horror stories of driving in LA and wonder, do we really need a car in LA and also Vegas (you cant really go anywhere in vegas, can you?)

    Thanks in advance for your replies.

    Mark & Kirsty

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

    Default basics

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The one issue with your plans that will be a problem is your idea to do the Grand Canyon as part of your stay in Vegas. Its 5-6 hours of driving each way, making it a poor choice for a daytrip. You would be better off driving from LA straight to the Canyon, spend a night or two there, before heading back to Vegas. This will save you a few hours of driving (LA to GC is a full, but doable day on the road).

    LA is a sprawling city and the traffic is extremely bad, however, its still the best way to get around town as the mass transit options are poor. I really don't know what you mean by "you can't go anywhere in vegas" but on the surface that sounds like a pretty obsurd statement. Personally, I wouldn't waste the extra money on an SUV.

    The trip through Death Valley and Yosemite is a very popular trip, and if you search around you'll find thousands of posts discussing that trip in detail. I will also say that you should consider completing your loop, finishing in LA, so you can include the trip down the Pacific Coast Highway as part of your trip.

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

    Default A start

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    This area is very popular and as such is discussed a lot on the forums so have a look around to find lots of different ideas, to get you started here are some of our favorites.

    Many people tend to think that the Grand canyon is a day trip from Vegas but it is to far to enjoy in a day. What I would suggest is to travel from LA to Grand canyon south rim and enjoy a couple of nights [1 full day] and then head to Vegas via Hoover dam.

    There are many route options from Vegas to San Fran but the most popular [and most spectacular in my opinion] is 190 across DV to 395 and then head North to Mono lake and take 120 [the Tioga pass] into Yosemite. Now when you say "Redwoods" these are found on the coast but inland are the Sequoia's and these giants can be found in Sequoia NP or near to the South entrance of Yosemite at Mariposa grove.

    No, you really don't need an SUV to see more as the views are wide open, you are not allowed to take it off road and a "normal" car would suffice.

    LA is very congested but spread over a large area so having a car could be beneficial [but someone with more knowledge will advise better than I can] but in Vegas you are right in thinking that you don't necessarily need a car [along the strip]although I doubt it would be beneficial to drop one off for a couple of days[?] and then rent another as you could face a couple of one way drop off fees although these are sometimes waived due to popularity so you might want to check out cost and then decide if it's worth the extra time dropping off and collecting another.

  4. Default

    Hi Michael

    Thanks for your quick reply.

    GC, sorry should have been more clear here, we are going to do this as a helicopter trip so no need for the car.

    Unfortunately our flights are out of SFO as I collect BA Miles and there was availability on the SFO return. Not to say we couldn't get an internal flight from LAX to SFO, I really would like to do the coast drive but i'm woried that we wont be able to fit it all in?

    I will have a search for the Vegas to San Fran section.

    Once again thanks for your quick reply, it's given me something to start with!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Sunset over the canyon.

    GC, sorry should have been more clear here, we are going to do this as a helicopter trip so no need for the car.
    The helicopter flights from Vegas land at the West rim on Indian lands outside of the National park and although I am sure it will be memorable won't offer the same views as you have probably seen in many pictures. I have to say that spending a night at the South rim and finding a spot to watch the sunset is something also quite remarkable and something I would recommend doing.

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