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  1. #1

    Default SF to Vegas Thelma and Louise Style

    We're two Aussie girls planning a trip from SF to Vegas via Yosemite in April 2011. Any must-sees, must visits and should avoids (roads, places etc) and advice would be much appreciated. We have about 10 days (after doing the wineries of course) so plenty of time to see lots of great places. Is there a better road to take through Yosemite than others? How do we get to the falls also? (do these questions sound dumb??) Thanks!

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

    Default One way trip ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    A common theme here is that we don't do "must see's," as the road trip is an individual thing that you can base around your own interests. You can go on the Yosemite website for all the info you will need, but once in Yosemite you can pick up leaflets from the entry kiosks and visitor centres as well as talking to the park Rangers, who are only to pleased to offer help and advice. In April, parts of the park will be 'of limits' as the high ground will still be snowbound. The good news is that the snow will be thawing and the waterfalls gushing, making an easy to find and spectacular sight.

    You don't say if your trip ends in Vegas or if you are returning to SF, but other places to consider [amongst many] other than those mentioned are; The coastal drive on route 1, Seqouia NP, Death valley and the Grand canyon.

  3. #3


    Thanks Southwest Dave! We end our drive in Las Vegas for a 4 day Rockabilly weekend! Fly back to SF. Is the coastal drive on rout 1 down to Carmel? I think I need to buy a map!

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

    Default Need a map.

    A map is one of the essential tools for making a Roadtrip and you can purchase on line [[see the maps section at the top of the page] or purchase one local to you. To get started you can use a mapping program like Google maps and play around with different ideas.

    Although CA 1 [the coast road] heads from San Fran through Half Moon bay and Santa Cruz to Carmel, it is the next section of CA 1 from Carmel to Cambria that is the real highlight of the coastal drive around Big Sur. Check out the 'Pacific coast highway' [PCH] on your search engine.

    With 10 day's to spare [after the wineries of course ;-) ] you would have time to drive the PCH as far as Cambria/Morro bay before heading inland and back up to Yosemite. Heading South around the Sierra mountains you could visit the giant trees in Sequoia NP and head around Lake Isabella into Death valley to Vegas.

    Another option would be too head to Yosemite first, back to the coast and Carmel and drive down the coast, and then head to the Grand canyon South rim before heading back to Vegas via Hoover dam. There are many options and combo's but you need to look at the map and decide at what type of pace you want to visit places, and go from there.

    If your start and end dates are not yet fixed, I would consider splitting your time more evenly either side of the "Rockabilly weekend," and drive a complete loop back to SF. You could then head down the coast, across to Grand canyon and to Vegas. On the way back, across Death valley, through Sequoia to Yosemite and back to SF, job done !

    Once you have sorted out the basics we can then help to "fine tune" your trip, enjoy !

  5. #5


    Thanks SW Dave
    We will not be driving back from LV to SF hence why the rockabilly weekend is at the end. I am hoping to do a helicopter flight from LV to Grand Canyon on the day after we arrive in LV. Have you heard of Papillion - Grand Canyon Helicopters? Any others to consider?
    I am getting a map soon and we'll definitely do the coast drive and many people have recommended it, considering the amount of time we have.
    Thanks so much for your advice, it's really pointing us in the right direction.

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

    Default Good for us.

    We used Papillon from Tusayan for a flight over the South rim, they were very good and professional in our experience and are a well known operator. From Vegas, there are many other operators that do tours, [different tour operators selling the same tour in some cases] so it's a case of looking for the best deal that appeals to you.

    FYI. The tours from Vegas don't go to the National park area, they land at the West rim on Indian lands. While a great experience I'm sure, it might not have a familiar feel you may have seen from the more popular GC photo's.

  7. #7


    Thanks Dave
    My friend was a little concerned if they were a reputable company. It's hard to know being down under! I will look up some others also.
    Much appreciated.

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