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  1. Default Planning Roadtrip LA to LA via Las Vegas, Santa Fe and San Diego(Realistic?)

    Starting mid March 2011 we are planning a road trip of 15 days from LA and would appreciate any advice.
    We are planning to drive from LA , then 2 nights in Palm Springs, 4 nights Vegas, 1 night Sedona, 1 night ?Gallup(en-route), 2 nights Santa Fe. Then return with 1 night ?Holbrook(en-route), 1 night Scottsdale, 1 night ?Yuma(en-route), then 2 nights San Diego before heading back to LA. Some questions:
    1.It looks do-able from Maps and driving timeframes but wondering if it's just a bit too optimistic(especially with the Santa Fe option).
    2. We love the deserts; are the stops representative?. We are from Australia and used to longer drives but still would like to do it with a degree of comfort.
    3.Bit unsure about the en-route stopovers and would appreciate suggestions regarding options.
    Appreciate all comments and suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Comfortable.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your itinerary is quite comfortable to do in the time you have but I am wondering if you have chosen your destinations for a particular reason, and what you are hoping to see along the way, as that is where the time can soon fly by. Your route tends to follow a lot of Interstate, with no mention of places like Death valley, Monument valley, Grand canyon, Canyon De Chelley, Petrified forest, Joshua tree NP and many more. These places might not appeal to you which is fine, you might be planning to visit them "in between" and then your schedule starts to become "busy", you might not have got this far with your planning yet ? Take a look around the RTA pages with a good map to hand and have a look at your options by doing a little more research [if you haven't already] and let us know more about your trip and your goals, then we can help you piece it together.

  3. Default

    Thanks for your welcome and reply Dave. Will see the Grand Canyon on a daytrip while staying in Las Vegas, also Joshua Tree(from Palm springs). We particularly want to see Santa Fe. In other words just doing the things we can en-route,or daytrips during our extended stays. I wondered whether the 3 en-route stops would be interesting or fit the intinary OK or whether there are other places or route that would be better.
    I'll continue to research. We also have an additional 4 nights in LA at the end with friends before flying home.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not a day trip.

    I would continue to research, as only you can decide what works best for you, one of the great things about the road trip is to be able to go where you want, when you want. There are some great day trips from Vegas here, but Grand canyon is not one of them, it's too much to do in a day. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to attempt a 10 to 12 hour drive there and back, especially as you are so close to it when heading East.

    It's possible for instance, to drive through Monument valley as part of an onward journey to Santa Fe, which to me is far more rewarding than Interstate, but of course more time consuming, and these will be the choices you can make as you continue to research.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 09-21-2010 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Clean up

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would recommend you spend at least 1 less day in LV or LA - and go from LV to Santa Fe via Sedona, GC, and Monument Valley. There is no need to go to Gallup unless there's something you specifically want to see there.

  6. Default

    Thanks for your comments, perhaps this time we unfortunately will have to miss Santa Fe.

    So now we thought from Las vegas to Zion/Bryce (2nights), Grand Canyon/Page(2nights), then Sedona (2nights). We thought we would break the trip to San Diego with a stopover in Yuma(will consider other suggestions), then 2 nights in San Diego before heading up to LA. Trip seems better balanced logistically now and probably a bit more relaxing. Any suggestions of accommodation options in Zion/Bryce area and Grand Canyon/Page area (prefer 2 nights in each of the main areas and just do day trips.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Thoughts.

    With the time you have there isn't a particular reason why you shouldn't be able to visit Santa Fe, however I agree that your new itinerary is better balanced and for me, more rewarding. Both Zion and Bryce canyon are wonderful, and I mean wonderful places to visit !

    For Zion, the lovely little town of Springdale has a good range of lodgings, restaurants and small stores and is the closest and most convenient for the National park. Check out Ruby's Inn for Bryce here, close to the main entrance and a nice place to stop, although you will find cheaper lodgings in Tropic. I would spend the first night and the morning of day 2 [of this part of your trip] in Zion before moving on to Bryce to catch a sunset and next morning explore Bryce more before heading off to Page[?].

    Take some layered and warm clothing, during March at high elevation [such as Bryce] you can see night time temps well below freezing, cool/cold daytime temps and the possibility of snowfall. Worth it ? Oh Yes !!

    With a night in Page you could drive to the GC and stay inside the park with these choices or find cheaper options outside the park. These can be found at Cameron trading post, Tusayan, or a little further away at Flagstaff or Williams for cheaper options. If your budget can withstand it, I would recommend a night in the park, it will save on the mileage and it's a great place to be. The Cameron trading post here would be a good option if you head direct to there from Bryce rather than staying in Page, as it is on the "doorstep" of the East entrance to GC and would maximise your time there. It just depends on how you want to juggle your trip along the way.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    With the time you have there isn't a particular reason why you shouldn't be able to visit Santa Fe
    Thanks that's been helpful advice Zion and Bryce do sound beautiful.
    Well part of us would certainly like to go to Santa Fe. I would be interested in how
    we could still consider including it in our itinerary. We will have 9 nights starting from the 21st (leaving Las Vegas on that day)before we have to be back in LA on the 30th March.

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

    Default Nine day's ?

    It would be about compromise and at what pace you want to travel, but as an example you could go from Bryce canyon to Monument valley [Kayenta[?]] intead of staying in Page. From Monument valley [area] to Santa Fe for a stay, and then back towards Flagstaff/Grand canyon on I 40, which is comfortable to do same day.

    How you find the extra time is for you to decide, based upon your interests, but you have enough time. 1 night in Palm Springs and/or Sedona instead of 2 would be possible, or take a night less in Vegas and another are all way's in which you can "juggle" your plan, if that's what you want to do.

    If you are tied in to 9 days from Vegas to LA, it would get a little too rushed [although possible] to do both Santa Fe and San Diego, and in that case I would choose between the two.

    San Diego would be as mentioned earlier in your thread, or to Santa Fe limited to 9 day's would be something like this 1] Vegas to Zion > 2] Zion to Bryce > 3]To Monument valley > 4] Santa Fe > 5] Santa Fe > 6] To Grand canyon > 7] Grand canyon [Sedona ?]> 8] Sedona towards LA > 9] To LA.

    It really is a case of where and how you want to prioritise your time to suit your interests.

  10. Default Hope this works!!

    Adjusted final (hopefully) itinerary to:

    Day 1 Vegas to Zion (overnight)

    Day 2 Zion to Monument Valley(overnight)

    Day 3 MV to Santa Fe (3 nights)

    Day 6 Santa Fe to Sedona (3 nights)

    Day 9 Sedona to Scottsdale(2 nights)

    Day 11 Scottsdale to Palm Springs (overnight)

    Day 12 Palm Springs to LA

    We decided to bypass Bryce this time and drive from Zion to MV.

    Trying to get that balance of manageable drives and sufficient time in each place to see the sights is a challenge over these distances.

    We like the deserts and canyons but also the towns so I hope this will alow us to fit all those things in. Does this seem doable?

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