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  1. #1

    Default 22 day tour, California, Arizona, Nevada.

    Hi all and what a great place this is!

    We have flown from the UK and stayed for a few weeks in California over the last couple of years, since we exported our daughter to you in Redondo Beach! But now we want to go exploring this October.

    I have been reading loads of threads, but I am in need of your comments and advice please.

    This is my proposed itinerary:

    • Day 1 - Los Angeles Arrival October 4th
    • Day 2 - Los Angeles
    • Day 3 – Los Angeles
    • Day 4 - Los Angeles - Palm Springs
    • Day 5 - Palm Springs - Laughlin
    • Day 6 - Laughlin - Grand Canyon
    • Day 7 - Grand Canyon National park
    • Day 8 - Grand Canyon - Lake Powell
    • Day 9 - Lake Powell - Bryce Canyon National Park
    • Day 10 - Bryce Canyon National Park - Zion National Park - Las Vegas
    • Day 11 - Las Vegas
    • Day 12 - Las Vegas- Death Valley
    • Day 13 - Death Valley
    • Day 14 - Death Valley - Yosemite
    • Day 15 - Yosemite
    • Day 16 - Yosemite
    • Day 17 - Yosemite - San Francisco
    • Day 18 - San Francisco
    • Day 19 - San Francisco - Monterey/Carmel - San Luis Obispo
    • Day 20 - San Luis Obispo - Solvang - Santa Barbara - Los Angeles
    • Day 21 - Los Angeles
    • Day 22 - Los Angeles Depart October 24th

    We have booked the flights and car hire. We will be staying in Los Angeles with my daughter and son in law.

    So far we have booked accommodation in both Death Valley at Stove Pipe Wells and Cedar Lodge for Yosemite. I am about to book accommodation for Grand Canyon too.

    Am we going to be OK to do this in October (weather)? and are we taking on too much in the above itinerary?

    Any advice would be gratefully received, as this is harder to plan being in a different country to mine.

    Thanks :)

    EDIT: oops! - sorry if this in in the wrong section of the forum........
    Last edited by BubbleGTT; 08-05-2010 at 05:30 AM. Reason: Wrong section

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Rest Assured

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with your itinerary. You'll be hitting some of the most scenic and enjoyable places America has to offer. Here are some other discussions of that general area that might prove of use in your planning. As far as traveling in October, you should be fine. It's one of the two best times to see Death Valley, the other being May. The one adverse possibility is for snow in Yosemite, especially in the higher elevations, and Tioga Pass over the Sierra Nevada may possibly be closed, But you have time to take the long way around if need be.


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

    Default Good job.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your trip would suggest you have done your research and basically you have done a great job !

    October is one of my favorite times for travel as the crowds have gone and the day time temps are generally good and there is still some Fall colour about. The daylight hours are getting shorter and the nights chilly, and in some places at high elevation such as Bryce it can get quite cold at night, below freezing is possible so take layered clothing as you will see big changes in the temperature range.

    The one thing I would alter, would be to stop a night at Zion NP, this is a wonderful National park with lots of easy walks through the canyon. You could "pinch" a night from various parts of your trip, one being to take just the one stop on route to GC.

    The one thing you will have to watch for is the status of Tioga pass [CA120]. This famous pass takes you across the Sierra Nevada into Yosemite but will close for the winter season sometime in Oct or November/December, it will depend on when the heavy snows arrive at this elevation. If it does close when you travel it is not a problem as you have time to go around the Southern end of the mountains via Bakersfield or North towards Tahoe.

    Follow the links in this thread to find previous closing dates for Tioga.

  4. #4


    Thanks guys for the quick and informative replies (and for moving the thread to the correct section)!!

    I will have a further look at the threads in the links you both gave me and do some more research. I may be able to steal a day from the start of the tour, but his would mean possibly missing a day at Disney and that wouldn't go down to well.....

    I was a bit concerned that I might have left it a bit late for the Tioga pass, but I wanted the temperatures to drop a bit lower for Death Valley. I was also looking at the average temperatures for the south rim of GC, so I guess we will have to bring some warmer clothes with us.

    I will be bringing my GPS satnav, but I want to be fully equipped with detailed road maps too. I got caught out while driving through Italy last year, when the satnav died in the heat and we only had a basic road atlas.

    Any other advice gratefully received.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are a British AA member, you have reciprocal privileges with the American AAA. You can get free maps from them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default ..and if not

    You could look in the maps section in the tool bar near to the top of the page, or your local book store /W.H. Smith could have maps in stock or will be able to order them for you. This includes finer detailed State by State maps.

  7. Default Bryce to Las Vegas too rushed.

    The drive from Bryce to Zion to Las Vegas is about 7 hours. These two parks deserve a lot more of your time.

    Bryce is a magical place. You can easily spend hours walking one of the popular trails, although the park is easily worth a day of your time. To simply view the park from the overlooks without ever venturing down into it would be a missed golden memory.

    Zion is my favorite park in the country, even over Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Walking in the waters of the virgin river, THE NARROWS is spectacular with 1000 foot canyon walls climbing a stone's throw on each side of you! Even walking a mile or two is a lifelong experience you'll always cherish, although the experience is worth an entire day. Some even hike the entire 12 miles overnight.

    I think you'll regret that you spent too much time in the city.

  8. #8


    I take on board what you are saying about Bryce and Zion and thanks for the advice. I think we will stick to our itinerary this time though, but maybe in a couple of years time come back and spend more time in the parks. We would probably be more than happy to spend at least a week in just one park, but with this tour we want to get a taste of as much as we can.

    I much prefer seeing the wonders of the world rather than cities, but I do have to spend a few days with my daughter in Redondo Beach and her husbands family in Manhattan beach, otherwise I would be shot!!

    Can't wait for all this to happen !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Some thoughts.

    It's an area where you are so spoilt for choice there is never enough time !

    If you are still working through some lodging options then Rubys Inn, right at the entrance of Bryce is a good option. At the top of the canyon around Bryce amphitheater there is a nice rim trail between Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration and Bryce point. If you are driving to the far end of the canyon to Rainbow point leave all the other viewpoints for when you drive back, that way they will all be on your side of the road and you won't have to cut across traffic every few minutes.

    I would try to get an early start to Zion and have a stroll up the 'Riverside walk' and a very short trail to Weeping rock. On route you will go through Red rock canyon and across Checkerboard Mesa to the Mount Carmel tunnel, a great drive.

    Death valley is pretty awesome with viewpoints such as Dante's view, Zabriske point, there is Badwater, the lowest point in the US and just a short drive from Furnace creek which is worth a stop. From Vegas the "Locals route" is 160 to Pahrump and then take Ash meadows/State line Rd to Death valley junction and 190.

    From Death valley to Yosemite give yourself plenty of time to explore the Tioga pass [hopefully open] as the views are great ! There is a gas station on the junction of 395 and Tioga [120] which is a good place to top up your tank. A 2min drive up the side of the station is a parking lot with good views of Mono lake, and inside the station is a cool little diner called "Woah Nellies Deli, great grub ! You have a nice amount of time in Yosemite so make sure you drive up to Glacier point, it's jaw dropping ! You can also visit the giant Sequoia tree's in Mariposa grove.

    San Fran is a great City with plenty to do like China town, Union square, Coit tower, Pier 39 [Enjoyed "Bubba gumps" for food and beer !] and Alcatraz is highly recommended. It's really popular and you can book tours in advance to save queueing at the ticket office and to guarantee a spot. This is where you buy official tickets from.

    With the number of parks you are visiting it will be cheaper to purchase an annual pass to all parks for $80, this is available at the kiosk of the first park you visit. From Palm Springs you could make Joshua tree NP the first on the way to Laughlin.

    PS [I recognise your Skyline GTT, 600+ BHP and 12 sec qtr miles I do believe, very nice !]

  10. #10


    That is great information Dave, many thanks. I'm going to print that out for reference!

    PS - empty your pm box!

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