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  1. Default San Fran to New Orleans Jan/Feb 2012

    Hi!
    We are two Australians in our mid 20s planning a road trip for Jan/Feb 2012, 5 weeks.
    While the itinerary is fairly rough at the moment we have established the following:

    Flying into San francisco (4 nights), LA, Vegas (2 nights)
    While in the west we will incorporate Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam

    Colorado - Sam has adopted the Denver Bronco's so insists on visiting Denver. I would like to do some skiing too.
    We then plan on heading to Houston where I have friends, but are unsure which way would be most interesting for us.. at the moment we are considering going via Kansas and Oklahoma.
    From then on it is Houston to New Orleans where we will drop of the car and fly to NYC.

    Any suggestions would be great! We both enjoy scenery, history, and love trying new foods.
    While we enjoy partying we are happy to leave this for while we are in the bigger cities. Being Australian we don't mind doing cliché tourist activities.

    Neither of us have experience driving in winter conditions as we don't get snow here. But have been told the major roads through Colorado are well maintained so we shouldn't have problems? Is it necessary to get chains or snow tires? I have driven through Europe before so don't feel like I am completely incapable in a foreign country.

    Thankyou!!!!

  2. Default Senora Pass 108

    Can I also add...
    Is Sonora Pass open in January? I gather Tioga Pass (120?) will be closed but I would really like to see Yosemite and Death Valley without taking the coast roads on the way to Vegas.
    Last edited by Loz&Sam; 01-13-2011 at 01:26 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Bit's and Bob's.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You won't be able to get across the Sierras during January so I would recommend heading from SF to Yosemite and then back to Monterey and take a couple of days minimum to drive down the coastal highway to LA, or if you really want to avoid the coast Rd go from Yosemite direct to LA, perhaps via Sequoia NP. It would then be LA to Death valley and Vegas and over the Hoover dam to Grand canyon village on the South rim. [Note the North rim will be closed].

    You will need to carry chains to visit Yosemite and Sequoia [and may be put to use later in your trip] and can expect to see snow, so I would check on conditions prior to leaving SF.

    From the Grand canyon you could head through Monument valley and through the middle of Colorado or head to Moab in Utah which has Arches and Canyonlands NP's nearby on your way to Denver. Next up you need to decide what is the most interesting to you because that is all that matters. Other then the City's you have mentioned you could head South past Colorado springs and Amarillo or further into New Mexico, possibly Santa Fe and through Roswell.

    As mentioned earlier you will need chains and probably wise to carry them, your car rental should have all weather tyres on. Interstates are a priority to keep clear and the country on the move but you should build in a little time so that in the event of a severe storm you can just pull of the road and let it pass while road crews do their job of clearing it, snow chains are not a magic cure and should be thought of as a 'Get out of jail' card if you get caught out in a storm. I would also suggest you practice putting them on before leaving SF so that you have some experience before they are needed. It's totally different doing it for the first time by the side of the road in a blizzard with sub zero temps !

    Have a search of the forums and other RTA pages, the Map centre is really useful for trying out routes and finding attractions along them. As and when you have other questions just ask away !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    There are no passes open across the Sierras between 88 and 178 in the winter. Also note that if you take 88, 89 is closed between 4 and 395 in the winter. 88 and 178 are subject to temporary closures and chain requirements, so the only guaranteed ways across are 50 and 58. Even 50 and I-80 are subject to occasional chain laws. Yosemite and Sequoia require chain possession all winter, whether you need to put them on or not.

    For up to the minute closure and chain law status, use the Caltrans website. Note that "all season" tires are not legal snow tires if it says chains or snow tires required.

    To get from Yosemite to Death Valley, plan on going to Bakersfield and taking 58.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default LA alert.

    To get from Yosemite to Death Valley, plan on going to Bakersfield and taking 58.
    The OP is flying into SF and also has 2 nights in LA and I would [and have] recommend visiting LA before Death valley and then to Vegas.

    Flying into San Francisco (4 nights), LA, Vegas (2 nights)
    While in the west we will incorporate Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam
    So SF > Yosemite > LA > DV > Hoover dam and then Grand canyon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    I was going by this, Dave -

    Is Sonora Pass open in January? I gather Tioga Pass (120?) will be closed but I would really like to see Yosemite and Death Valley without taking the coast roads on the way to Vegas.

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