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  1. Default Perth - Las Vegas

    Hi all and Merry Christmas.

    Our family is heading to the US from Western Australia in May 2011 and we can't wait. It has always been my dream to do a US road trip and now I'll be spending my 40th birthday doing just that!

    Here is our itinerary that I have spent the last couple of months planning. I thought I had it all perfectly set out and then I come across this site (thankfully) and realise I may have bitten off a bit more than I can chew on a few legs! Some advice/ suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Original itinerary
    1. Perth to LAX (via Auckland, New Zealand). Hire car picked up once recovered from jet lag.
    2. Five days in Anaheim and LA - hit disneyland first.
    3. Drive to San Diego and spend three nights there.
    4. San Diego to San Luis Obispo - 2 nights
    5. SLO to San Fransisco - 5 nights
    6. SF to Yosemite- 2 nights
    7. Yosemite to Lone Pine via Tioga Pass- 1 night
    8. Lone pine to Beatty via Death Valley- 1 night
    9. Beatty to Las Vegas - 2 nights
    10. Las Vegas to Grand Canyon - 2 nights
    11. GC to LV again - 4 nights
    12. LV to LA - 1 night and fly home the next day.

    OK...I think I have underestimated the Yosemite to LV legs (legs 7-9) and may need one more night in there and perhaps take a night from the first LV stop. Our flights are booked so I can't extend the overall trip. I assumed the Tioga pass would be open in June, but from reading this site it appears it may not be, so we will now have to go south, which will make that leg a lot longer.
    However, this now means we may possibly get to see the Sequioas. I need a suggestion for another place to make an overnight stop on this leg.

    I know Death Valley is going to be stinking hot in June so unfortunately it is just going to be a drive through for us.

    Hope this is not too confusing and someone can help.

    cheers

    Big-L
    Last edited by big-lebowski; 12-26-2010 at 08:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'd make one significant tweek to your route:

    I wouldn't do San Diego until the end of your trip, rather than going south from LA, to SD, then right back through LA to head up the coast. I'd also eliminate the Grand Canyon - Vegas backtracking.

    What I'd do instead is go up the coast, through Yosemite/Death Valley, Vegas to Grand Canyon, the GC to San Diego, and back to La.

    You are right that Tioga might not yet be open, and if that is the case, it is a full day drive to Death Valley via the south. Lake Isabella is one area that could be a good stopover. You should note, however, that Sequoia NP really is a daylong trip all by itself, as it takes a couple hours to get into and then out of the mountains in which the park resides. There is a grove of Sequoia Trees inside Yosemite if Tioga is open and/or you want to see them and choose not to visit Sequoia NP.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Lake Isabella is one area that could be a good stopover. You should note, however, that Sequoia NP really is a daylong trip all by itself, as it takes a couple hours to get into and then out of the mountains in which the park resides. There is a grove of Sequoia Trees inside Yosemite if Tioga is open and/or you want to see them and choose not to visit Sequoia NP.
    Now that is great info! Thanks Mike.

    With regards to the San Diego leg...unfortunately it has to be that way because of plans to meet up with other people. I know what you mean about the drive back through LA...and am not looking forward to it. However, a couple of days to sit back in SLO afterwards should help calm the nerves.

    Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Well, if you do have to be in SD near the start of your trip, why not simply reverse the whole thing, and go from SD to the Grand Canyon, etc?

    That would also give you the advantage of heading south down the coast highway, where the ocean and pull-out viewpoints would be on your side of the road.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    That would also help with your chances for Tioga being open.

    You also don't have to go through Beatty - there's a "locals route" from Pahrump directly into Death Valley. You can very easily do LV to Lone Pine in one day.

  6. Default

    Hi GLC, is that Pahrump road you mention a sealed road? Don't want to take a rental vehicle off road.

    Cheers

    Now you have got me thinking there Mike. That is not a bad idea.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Yes, it's a fully paved road. Going north through downtown Pahrump on Highway 160, turn left on Bell Vista Avenue, it's about 3 miles north of Highway 372. It will take you into California to Highway 127 and Death Valley Junction. You can get from downtown Las Vegas to the east entrance of DV in about 2.5 hours this way.

  8. Default

    Cheers GLC.

    Is Rhyolite worth seeing? If not then we'll give Beatty a miss.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Is it ?

    If a ghost town visit appeals to you then I have heard it is a good one. It's always tough making choices of what to choose to see and what has to be left out but, all you can do is go with your own instincts. There are many Death valley attractions, 'Scottys castle' being one of the most popular, Furnace creek and Badwater [the lowest point in the US] Zabriske point and the Sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells are a few that are easy to get to.

    With a couple of days between Lone Pine and Vegas you certainly have time to explore a good part of the valley. You could head up Scottys castle road after Stovepipe Wells and down to Rhyolite/Beatty and then head back to Furnace creek/Badwater next day and then through Pahrump to Vegas as described above. [Reverse if you have decided to go the other way around.]

    Of course you could always visit other parts of Death valley as one of many day trips available from Vegas. Personally I would take an extra couple of days away from the City's and spend a night in Zion NP and then go through Page to the Grand canyon and back to Vegas over the Hoover dam, this would create a nice loop from Vegas to Vegas without going over the same ground twice, and you would get to see another natural wonder in the deal. Is it worth it ? I think so but again it's for you to decide.

  10. Default

    Thanks Dave. We are planning to use LV as a base to do a few trips out of the city, so the GC and Hoover are on our list as well. I so want to throw Monument Valley in as well...

    We are travelling with young children and even though we get daily summer temps in Perth over 90 F, I believe Death Valley in June will be a whole new 'heat' experience for us. On that basis I think we will need to go through early morning and see some sights within reach of Furnace creek.

    On a different subject, part of our trip entails a drive from San Diego to San Luis Obispo (through LA). What route would people suggest to take on a Sunday morning and what time would be best to leave San Diego?

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