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  1. #1

    Default California/Nevada roadtrip

    Hi All,

    At first i'd like to introduce myself. I am 31, first name Geoffrey and live in France very close to German border. I had the chance to spend some days in Iowa (i know not the best place :P) for work in 2005. I spent much time on the road, and had kind of roadtrip feeling ;). Now i am planning a roadtrip with my girlfriend and some friends in april.

    We are in the phase of estimating the costs and if we can afford it thus we are looking for advices for best plans to have a not that expensive, yet great roadtrip. We have chosen to travel in april because of lower flight rates and hotel rates. And we think that weather might be ok at that time of the year.

    We plan to take a flight from Frankfurt (Germany) to Los Angeles, since everything else are not direct flights and this would take ages (~18 hours) to travel.
    After a short stay in LA to see the Hollywood sign and drive accross beverly hills we would head up to death valley through Palm Springs and end up in vegas.
    Then we would like to go to hoverdam and grand canyon, in which order is to be determined. We'd love to make some hiking in Grand Canyon, so a stay from at least one full day there is mandatory.

    After then we would like to head up to monument Valley, how long should we stay there ?

    Now here comes the complex part : how to get back to San Francisco and what to see on the way ? I think going back to Vegas would be the best choice... And maybe we could visit death valley while driving to SF...

    We plan about 17 days for this trip.

    Talking about the car : we plan to rent a Ford Escape or similar. I have no clue how big is such car, would this be sufficient for 4 people and the luggage ?

    I would appreciate any advice or any feedback on this !

    PS : Please Excuse my bad english ;)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Comfortably.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your most efficient route would be to go from Palm Springs to the Grand canyon and Monument valley and then back to Vegas and through Death valley towards San Fran. You have time to do this with 17 days and have other options. You could visit Sequoia NP and Yosemite with a detour on the way to San Francisco, but would have to go around the Southern end of the Sierra Nevada via Bakersfield to do so as all the mountain passes will still be closed due to snow.

    You could also complete a loop and end your trip back in LA while travelling down the very scenic coastal highway between Monterey and Morro bay. That would take a couple of day's and it will of course depend on how much time you want to spend at each location as to how much you do.

    On most car rental sites they will show you more detail of each vehicle and what they can carry so you would be better off taking a look and comparing. The Escape should be plenty big enough but a good size sedan would most likely provide enough room and be more budget friendly.

    Take a look around the site and you will find Lot's of info to help with your planning and as you have new questions just ask.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your accurate reply ! :)
    Things have changed since i've started the thread, it seems like it's going to be from March 23th to April 13th... Yep, the boss has his word to say :P

    A friend of us living in LA could accommodate us in LA when we arrive. We would then visit the Hollywood studios and the Hollywood sign and head up to SF through the Highway. We plan to stay 2 days in SF, leave at the evening a drive to Monterey (not sure of the spelling) sleep there and then go on back to LA. And then drive to Vegas...

    Your idea to add yosemite and sequoi park is great, but if it's going to be closed due to snow i am not sure we want to take this chance....

    The Escape is mostly because we want to sit higher than the crash barriers so that passengers can take pictures while driving ;)

    I'll continue surfing around the site to gather information ! :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Open year round.

    Your idea to add yosemite and sequoi park is great, but if it's going to be closed due to snow i am not sure we want to take this chance....
    The parks are open year round it is just the accessibility to the higher ground in the mountains that is closed off. Yosemite valley is quite spectacular but it is possible to see some snow on the ground and chain restrictions put in place during March and into April. Info here.

    If you keep to your current plan I am not sure what Highway to San Fran you mean, but here's what I would do. Take I 5 direct to San Fran and then return to LA via the coastal highway from Monterey around Big Sur. It is very scenic but slow going and you could easily spend another day exploring. As well as the splendid views you could consider a 'Hearst castle' tour near to San Simeon.

  5. #5

    Default

    Yep, the highway that was meant was I5. I made a rough tour on Google Maps following your remarks : http://tinyurl.com/263oe4a

    The weird thing is that by air Sequoi National Park end Death Valley are close to each other but driving from one to the other might be long time driving.
    I put Silver City because Google Maps would not let met calculate a way when entering Sequoia National Park.... I do not know how accurate this is...

    Hearst Castle might be an option, maybe we'll add a list of "optional" sites to our touring list.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Mountains in the way.

    The weird thing is that by air Sequoi National Park end Death Valley are close to each other but driving from one to the other might be long time driving.
    That's because you would need a Helicopter to get over the Sierra Nevada and you need to drive around those mountains as the map shows.

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