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  1. #1

    Default West Coast in 2 weeks Beginning November

    Hi Folks,

    I will be visiting the west coast for the very first time (Yes!) for 13-14 days.

    The places I want to visit are :

    San Francisco
    Los Angeles
    Las Vegas
    Death Valley National Park
    Yosemite National Park
    Grand Canyon National Park and
    the Antelope Canyon in Page, AZ

    is this too much for 2 weeks? If yes, I can skip Yosemite(due to wintry conditions and
    my nil driving experience in snow)

    I will be flying in and out of SFO and hence plan to rent a car there itself.

    Please suggest a good(efficient as well as scenic) route which can help me in getting to
    all of these places.

    Appreciate all the suggestions in advance !

    Thanks & Cheers !!

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

    Default choices

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You've probably got a bit too much for a 2 week trip. If it were me, I'd probably skip Antelope Canyon and LA, and do a loop from SF to Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas to Grand Canyon then straight across to San Luis Obispo and drive back up the coast.

    But this is your trip and you can skip anything you'd like.

    If you decide to visit Yosemite, there certainly is a chance you'll see snow, and Tioga Pass may or may not be open (the earlier in November you are traveling, the better your odds) - if not you'll have to go around the mountains via Bakersfield.

    Of course there are a lot of options, but only you can decide what will be best for you. This is also the most popular trip on the forum so you can learn a lot just be spending some time looking around here. These are a good place to start.

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

    Default Less is more.

    The order in which I would visit the places you mention, in either direction are: SF>Yosemite>Death valley>LV> Page [Antelope canyon]>Grand canyon>LA>SF.

    If you are travelling earlier in November you have more chance of Tioga pass being open, and could be worth heading to Yosemite first. By reversing the trip you could drive down the coast with the Ocean on your side of the road.

    It is doable, however I do agree with Michael about cutting back a little, sometimes less is more ;-)

  4. #4


    Thanks a lot guys !

    I'm looking at other threads also and will post my rough itinerary here once I'm done with it.
    Since I'm an amateur photographer, I would really love to photograph
    the antelope canyon and the horseshoe bend (hence Page,AZ) and other landscapes.

    I know I wish too much, but hopefully, I'll cut back on some places :)

    Also, is this route feasible -- (just in case Tioga pass is closed, I plan to go clock wise)
    SFO > Lake Tahoe(Carson City) > Tonopah (for star gazing/capturing the night sky) ?

    I mean, is this snow free in november or not?

    thanks so much !


  5. #5


    Okay. Here's a quick preview -- (for 13 days)

    SFO >> (Midway between SFO & LA ?) >> LA (1day) >> LV(2days) >> Page,AZ (2 days) >> Grand Canyon(Day Trip) >> LV(1 day) >> Death Valley(1 day) >> (Pass through Yosemite if Tioga Rd open else, head to Bakersfield (1 day) ) >> SFO

    I can adjust the remaining 5 days off after I'm done with the route.

    Does this look doable ? (I don't plan to stay more than 2 days in any place).
    I know there's so little time and so much to see... but... :-|

    Please let me know. Thanks.

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

    Default A tweak.

    It's doable but, I really don't see the point of adding the extra miles and going to Vegas twice, having said that, it's fine if it suits you. Instead, I would have gone from LA to Grand canyon to Page to Vegas and onward as you describe. You describe Grand canyon as a day trip but from where, are you planning to stop nearby for the night or drive through ?

  7. #7



    Won't LA to GC be a bit too far for a day's drive?
    That is why I included LV twice. While returning it's just an overnight stay.

    I included GC as a day trip because I won't be doing much there(Hiking/Rafting)
    and I guess a day trip would serve me well in that scenario. Isn't it?
    Also, I was thinking that if I stay in Page and leave for GC early morning, I could
    travel directly to LV for an overnight stay rather than returning back to Page.
    (GC to Page takes 3 hrs approx & GC to LV takes an additional 1.5 hrs approx)

    Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a long day

    LA to GC can be done in one fairly long day on the road (8-10 hours), and on your timeline would make much more sense than trying to add the extra miles of detouring to Vegas. For that matter, going back to the Grand Canyon would also involve doubling back from Page.

    What I would do is go from LA to Williams, spend the night there. Then you could continue to Page via the Grand Canyon the next evening. Although even Page is quite a distance from the Grand Canyon.

    I'd also keep in mind that the Grand Canyon is a very large area, and even without hiking or rafting, its very easy to spend far more than a day there.

    One other thing to note is that its 2 full days from SF to LA via the coast, and then since its a full day to the Grand Canyon, you really will have almost no time in LA itself if you only spend one night there.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZettaByte View Post
    (GC to Page takes 3 hrs approx & GC to LV takes an additional 1.5 hrs approx)
    I'm not sure where you're getting this from, but it could easily take closer to 4 hours from GC to Page, and GC to Las Vegas is a 5-6 hour drive.

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

    Default Putting it "out there".

    Yes, you have been misinformed with travel times from Page to Vegas, which led me to be confused. As you are an amateur photographer, I can understand you wanting to visit Antelope canyon, [and would recommend you book a photography tour] but the Grand canyon is a pretty amazing place to photograph as well, especially at sunset !

    Yes LA to GC is a long day's drive, but with your schedule and the urban sprawl of LA you will need to get out of town real early and whatever way you look at it, heading to GC will lessen your miles and give you more time with the camera, even if you stopped at Kingman rather than Vegas. If you can make it to Williams as Michael suggested, it will free up so much time for the GC compared to what you have, it would be worth it IMO.

    Another well made point by Michael is that you are heading into the time consuming, heavy traffic of LA, for what will be a few hours and a nights sleep. Easy for me to say as I am not a big fan of City's with so much natural wonder around to see, but have you considered [ as you really haven't the time to see LA ] that it might be worth cutting inland from the Morro bay area and not head into LA ? This would free up a lot of time, perhaps enough to get that camera clicking in Zion NP for a few hours between Page and Vegas !

    These are of course only suggestions, it is your trip, and for you to make the decisions. I am not trying to "sway you", just putting the options "out there".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    My suggestion is this:

    Go down the coast as far as Cambria, then take CA-46 inland to CA-99. Go south to Bakersfield and take CA-58 to I-40 to go to Williams and the GC. Then you can go to Page - and continue on US-89 to go through Zion on UT-9 on your way to LV. THEN you can see how much time you have left and where you can go from there on your way back to SF. If you then go to LA, you can blast back to SF up I-5 in about 6 hours or so, traffic permitting. If you have a couple days left, you could hit Yosemite on your way back.

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