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  1. Default Road Trip 2012 from mid september

    Me and my girlfriend, we're norwegians by the way, are planning a 3-week long road trip in 2012, (we need to save some money before we go), and have planned the following route:

    Day 1: Arrive in San Francisco and drive down to Monterey.
    Day 2: Drive Highway 1 from Monterey down to Cambria, stopping at Hearst Castle.
    Day 3: Cambria --> Los Angeles, checking out Santa Monica beach and Venice beach.
    Day 4-5: Sightseeing in Los Angeles
    Day 6: Los Angeles --> Barstow, with a little driving in Joshua Tree National Park.
    Day 7: Barstow --> Las Vegas
    Day 8-9: Doing Las Vegas
    Day 10: Las Vegas --> Williams, stopping at Hoover Dam
    Day 11: Williams --> Page, stopping at the Grand Canyon and perhaps take a little walk.
    Day 12: Page --> Moab, stopping at Antalope Canyon, and maby check out Monument Valley if we have time.
    Day 13: Moab, renting ATV's or something and sightseeing in the Canyonlands
    Day 14: Moab --> Ely, stopping at either Arches National Park or Great Basin National Park.
    Day 15: Ely --> Death Valley
    Day 16: Death Valley --> Mammoth Lakes
    Day 17: Mammoth Lakes --> Santa Rosa, driving through Yosemite National Park, and stopping at some viewpoints and maby taking a short guided tour.
    Day 18: Santa Rosa --> San Francisco, stopping at a vineyard in Napa Valley.
    Day 19-20: San Francisco

    Is this doable in the given amount of time?
    Are we missing anything spectacular, should we spend more time in a place to really get the most out of it?

    Hope you can give me feedback on this route.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Nothing in your trip stands out as being impossible, but it is a very busy trip and you might consider slowing down your pace just a little bit.

    There's really only one thing that I think you have to change. Going from Mammoth to Santa Rosa in one day is going to make it impossible to spend any time in Yosemite. Tioga Pass is a slow going mountain road that will take several hours to drive, and if you continue several more hours to Santa Rosa, you'll just have no time to explore the Yosemite Valley. I'd consider spending a whole extra day in Yosemite, but at the very least, plan to spend a night in the park or right outside in a town like Mariposa

    A few things I'd certainly look at changing.
    I'd plan to spend your first day right in San Francisco. Monterey isn't a long way away, but after a flight from Europe, just having one day to recover, rest, and readjust to the time difference will be very helpful.

    After Joshua Tree, I wouldn't go to Barstow - I'd either plan to stay right in that area or head towards Lake Havasu. You could continue to Vegas from there, but I'd actually go to the Grand Canyon, and then head to Vegas between Moab and Death Valley - skipping ely.

    Between Moab and Vegas I'd strongly consider stopping at Bryce Canyon and Zion.

    I'd also remember that the Grand Canyon is also a very big place. You can certainly do Williams to Page in a day, but I'd plan to spend more time than taking "just a little walk" along the rim.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Ditto.

    I agree, it's a trip that is possible but you will have to move along quickly in area's that you might want more time. I also agree that staying in SF will help you recover from your flights and time zone changes quicker, and you could still get to Cambria following day. If you arrive late at SFO you could find an airport hotel that offers a free shuttle bus service.

    Same goes for Michael's suggestion of re-routing and head from LA to GC, through Monument valley to Moab and rather than heading towards Ely, head back towards Page [Zion and Bryce?] to Vegas and then Death valley into Yosemite, where you really should try and spend a full day in this natural wonder.

  4. Default

    Thank you both for helpfull answers! :)
    It's a good thing we have quite some time to plan this, and I will certainly take your answers with me for further planing.

    And now I know where to ask if I have any questions.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Nothing in your trip stands out as being impossible, but it is a very busy trip and you might consider slowing down your pace just a little bit.

    There's really only one thing that I think you have to change. Going from Mammoth to Santa Rosa in one day is going to make it impossible to spend any time in Yosemite. Tioga Pass is a slow going mountain road that will take several hours to drive, and if you continue several more hours to Santa Rosa, you'll just have no time to explore the Yosemite Valley. I'd consider spending a whole extra day in Yosemite, but at the very least, plan to spend a night in the park or right outside in a town like Mariposa

    A few things I'd certainly look at changing.
    I'd plan to spend your first day right in San Francisco. Monterey isn't a long way away, but after a flight from Europe, just having one day to recover, rest, and readjust to the time difference will be very helpful.

    After Joshua Tree, I wouldn't go to Barstow - I'd either plan to stay right in that area or head towards Lake Havasu. You could continue to Vegas from there, but I'd actually go to the Grand Canyon, and then head to Vegas between Moab and Death Valley - skipping ely.

    Between Moab and Vegas I'd strongly consider stopping at Bryce Canyon and Zion.

    I'd also remember that the Grand Canyon is also a very big place. You can certainly do Williams to Page in a day, but I'd plan to spend more time than taking "just a little walk" along the rim.
    Ok, so now I have made some changes to the trip, and they are as follows:

    Day 1: Arrive and stay in San Francisco
    Day 2: San Fran --> Monterey
    Day 3: Monterey --> Cambria
    This way we get a nice start to the trip with two shorter drives. I figure this will help us get used to the time zone, and I want to be fresh when driving Highway 1.

    Day 4: Cambria --> LA
    Day 5-6: LA
    Day 7: LA --> Lake Havsu City, through Joshua Tree
    Day 8: Lake Havasu --> Grand Canyon
    Day 9: Grand Canyon --> Page
    If we leave early from Lake Havasu we can manage to do some sightseeing in GC on day 8 and catch the sunset, and if we stay in GC Village we can drive along the rim and stop at some view points on day 9. Right?

    Day 10: Page --> Moab
    Day 11: Moab
    Day 12: Moab --> Beaver
    This will probably just be a transportation day so we can get in range of Las Vegas, and this could give us time to se at least Zion the next day?

    Day 13: Beaver --> Las Vegas
    Day 14-15: Las Vegas
    Day 16: Las Vegas --> Death Valley
    Day 17: Death Valley --> Mammoth Lakes
    Day 18: Mammoth Lakes --> Mariposa
    If we leave early from Mammoth, we could spend a whole day in Yosemite before driving to Mariposa?

    Day 19: Mariposa --> Santa Rosa
    Day 20: Santa Rosa --> San Fran
    Day 21: San Fran
    Day 22: San Fran

    I've added a extra day to give us some more time on the trip.
    How does this look?

  6. Default

    You are still pressed given the schedule but you know what is important to you and what you want to see. I still think you are cheating yourself on day 18 & day 19. Death Valley as the name implies it HOT so you'll want to leave early so maybe consider bypassing Mammoth Lake and staying in Lee Vining (at the East entrance to Yosemite). Expect traffic to be <25 mph and you'll stop a lot and that's if you don't get out to Hike Vernal Falls which I recommend). Half dome takes all day but it is amazing. You will be coming out Highway 120 so in my opinion Mariposa is going backwards (some will disagree), I would head out 120 and stay in Murphy's or Jamestown. Take highway 49 (gold rush) to highway 50 (Sacramento) to 80 to highway 12 which is the backside of the Napa Valley. Spend some time, you will not find a better place for wine tasting and then off to San Francisco. Unless you have a purpose for Santa Rosa you could make up a little time by staying in the wine country and leaving directly to San Francisco (take Highway 1 over the Golden Gate...everyone should at least once). Just my two cents.

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

    Default Good job.

    I think generally speaking you have done a great job and will get an overview of the places you visit, as long as you know it's going to be quite busy to keep on track.

    If you leave Lake Havasu early[ish] you could get to the rim by lunch-time. This will give you time to take the free shuttle buses to and from Hermits rest while hopping on and off at the various viewpoints and then witness a sunset somewhere along the rim close to the village, which is spectacular ! Next day exit along Desert view Drive, again stopping at various viewpoints along the way, the last being the old Watchtower.

    If you plan on visiting Zion [recommended] I would try and make it to the lovely little town of Springdale which is situated right on the doorstep of Zion and would maximise your time there before heading to Vegas. From Springdale you can get the shuttle bus into the canyon area direct.

    With your time restrictions I would also reconsider the part of your journey from Vegas to Yosemite. As great as DV is, you could leave Vegas quite early and spend a lot of the day in DV, but then continue your journey towards Mammoth lakes, perhaps stopping in Bishop for the night to shorten the day. This would then set you up for a nice relaxed drive over Tioga pass and give you another full day in Yosemite. This will give you time to drive around [and take short walks] the valley floor and drive up to Glacier point, which in my opinion is 'right up there' with the best of the views I have ever seen, wonderful !

  8. Default

    thanks again for helpfull tips! :)

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