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  1. Default SF-LA-San Diego-LV-Grand Canyon-LV-Death Valley-Yosemite-SF in January 2011

    So we are 2 French people who are planning a roadtrip from the 25th of December until the 13th of January.
    We live in Chicago so we are taking the California Zephyr train from Chicago to San Francisco (we will arrive the 27th)
    Then the 28th we are renting a car and heading to LA (we are planning a day and half to go to different cities in between)
    29th – 31st = LA
    31st -4th January = San diego
    4th – 5th = Las Vegas
    6th = LV-Grand Canyon-LV
    7th- 8th = Death Valley-Yosemite
    9th-13th = San Francisco
    So what do you think, is it too ambitious, are we planning enough time for everything?
    I really have no idea how hard the road can be during the winter, according to Google map the different trips we are planning are not long distance but it doesn’t really say if there are many people, if there are too much snow and etc..
    So if you have some experience I’d be glad to get one tips or 2 !

    Thank you very much !

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

    Default Shortchanged in spots

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think I'd make a few tweaks to your plan.

    First, I'd plan for at least 2 if not 3 full days if you want to make the drive down the coast from SF to LA. You can cover the distance in 1.5 days, but it won't leave much time to do much other than driving.

    I'll also let you know that the Grand Canyon is 5-6 hours each way from Las Vegas, so its really too far to do as a daytrip. What you'll be better off doing is driving straight from SD to GC (a full day on the road), spend a day at the canyon, and then head back to Vegas.

    Being January will also mean that giving just 2 days to Death Valley and Yosemite will be tough. You'll have to go around the Sierras via the Bakersfield area, which means its a full day drive just to go between the two parks. You can certainly see DV and then make some progress towards somewhere like Lake Isabella, but I'd try to give yourself an extra day here.

    Finally, because trains are certainly subject to their own weather delays, I might plan to give yourself another day or two of pad in SF before you hit the road, especially if you are planning to pre-book your nights.

  3. Default

    Thank you it helps a lot and gives me some ideas on how to remodel our road trip ! so that's how I see it after your recommendations, hopefully we are going to be able to make it ! what do you think ? (unfortunately i can't really add any days as we have planes tickets already booked)
    12/25/10 Departure Chicago
    12/26/10 Train Trip
    12/27/10 Arrival San Francisco
    12/28/10 West Coast
    12/29/10 West Coast
    12/30/10 LA
    12/31/10 San Diego
    01/01/11 San Diego
    01/02/11 San Diego
    01/03/11 Grand Canyon
    01/04/11 Las Vegas
    01/05/11 Las Vegas
    01/06/11 Death Valley
    01/07/11 Death Valley /Yosemite
    01/08/11 Yosemite
    01/09/11 SF
    01/10/11 SF
    01/11/11 SF
    01/12/11 SF
    01/13/11 Back to Portland/Chicago

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I don't think you need to add more time, but I would still look at readjusting your time so you are doing some of your San Francisco exploring before you start the roadtrip. Its just a matter of moving a few of those days at the end up to the top, giving you some flexability during the very real possibility that your train trip takes longer than scheduled.

    The only other thing I'd suggest is giving yourself a full day at the Grand Canyon. Either 1/2 or 1/3 will have to be a travel day at this point, and while you could make it back to Vegas after a half day at the Canyon, I'd recommend a full day there if you can.

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