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  1. #1

    Default West Coast Road trip Must sees. Is more less?

    Dear fellow travel friends!

    First of all I want to congatulate you to this great community! It is so cool how you help eachother. I truly want to express my respect for you taking the time to help other people's special hollidays come true! I have read a lot of intersting and helpful posts! Maybe someone would be so kind to help me with the planning of my roadtrip for this summer.

    I live in Switzerland, Zürich. My fiancee and I want to do a West coast trip.

    Here are the set parameters - everything else is open for discussion:

    - The trip is from June 22nd to July 9th -


    Day 1
    Arriving in LA on the 22nd of June

    Day 2
    LA Sightseeing

    Day 9-12
    Spending time with relatives in Carson-Tahoe area

    Day 16
    Return to LA

    Day 18
    Leaving to Zuerich from LA


    Here the trip in total for discussion:

    Day 1
    Arriving in LA on the 22nd of June

    Day 2
    LA Sightseeing


    Day 3
    LA-Sequoia-Furnace Creek
    Would leave early in the morning and wonder if it would make sense to stay in Sequoia for some hours and continue to Furnace Creek (got that place from this forum)?

    Day 4
    Furnace Creek-Zabriski Point-Badwater-Las Vegas
    Enjoy Death Valley, then go to Las Vegas and get one of the famous Boracay Massages and hopefully enjoy Cirque du Soleil or Blue Man Group in Las Vegas.

    Day 5
    Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-Las Vegas by plane
    Go by plane over the Hoover dam, Lake Mead to the Grand Canyon. There have a 3 hour bus tour and head back by plane - total trip length 8 hours. Then check out some Casinos, enjoy the Bellagio Fountains from the Eiffel tower and watch a show.

    Day 6
    Las Vegas-Yosemite
    Start early from Las Vegas to Yosemite through Death Valley, rather than over Bakersfield.
    Do you have some tips for where to stay and what to do in Yosemite?

    Day 7
    Yosemite
    We like to do trips by bike, not extreme hiking though. We would see the nice panorama.

    Day 8
    Yosemite

    Day 9-12
    Spending time with relatives in Carson-Tahoe area

    Day 13
    Tahoe-San Francisco

    Day 14
    San Francisco
    I would love to eat an In and Out Burger! ;-) And discover SF.

    Day 15
    San Francisco-San Simeon
    Got the idea here on the forum! ...since SF-LA in one day is too stressful and we want to enjoy the coastal ride.

    Day 16
    San Simeon-LA

    Day 17
    LA

    Day 18
    Leaving to Zuerich



    From your experience, would that be doable with not too much hastle? Or would you recommend less but more intense? and if yes, what alterations would you suggest?


    Thanks in advance for reading and all the best!

    Dan

    PS: I hope you find people to help you when you go somewhere new!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default the impossible and the illogical and some ideas

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    You've got a few problems in your plan that you'll need to fix.

    The first, and biggest problem is your first day on the road. It's simply not possible to do Sequoia and Death Valley in one day - much less add in the drive from LA. Sequoia and Death Valley are relatively close as the crow flies, but if you look at a map you'll see that they are separated by a mountain range and there are no roads between the two.

    Besides that, it is a good half day drive just to get from LA to Sequoia, so even if there was a way across, you still wouldn't have time. LA to Sequoia and then seeing some of the park is going to be a very full day all by itself.

    You're also going to have to take a look at your routing. Right now your plan to go Sequoia, DV, Vegas, by to Yosemite via Death Valley again, and then crossing the Sierras yet another time to get from Yosemite to Tahoe really doesn't make sense. There is going to be some zig zagging no matter what to get to all these places, but I think you could do a whole lot better.

    One option would be to do Sequoia and Yosemite, cross Tioga Pass, come back down the other side of the Sierras to DV and Vegas, then head back north to Tahoe. Other option would be to drive to the Grand Canyon, go to Vegas, Tahoe, then hit Yosemite on your way to San Francisco (possibly skipping Sequoia, or hit it between Yosemite and SF).

    I mention driving to GC because you do need to be careful with Vegas based flights/tours. Most flights do not go to Grand Canyon National Park and instead visit GC West which is on indian reservation land and doesn't provide quite the same views. And the 3 hour bus tour would also leave me questioning how much do you get to see, and are you just being herded around like cattle.

    The good news is that In and Out is quite popular throughout the area of your trip. There are many in LA, LV, and SF, plus more in the other larger towns in between.

  3. #3

    Default Hope the "In n Out" burgers won't be the highlights of the trip ;-)

    Hello Michael and thank you for the welcome and the constructive criticism!

    Me:
    Day 3
    LA-Sequoia-Furnace Creek
    Would leave early in the morning and wonder if it would make sense to stay in Sequoia for some hours and continue to Furnace Creek
    Michael:
    The first, and biggest problem is your first day on the road. It's simply not possible to do Sequoia and Death Valley in one day - much less add in the drive from LA. Sequoia and Death Valley are relatively close as the crow flies, but if you look at a map you'll see that they are separated by a mountain range and there are no roads between the two.
    I guess I really underestimated the distance and the topography of the first day. More is not always better, right? So I guess Sequoia - great as it undoubtedly may be - is out then I guess

    In short, that would mean:
    LA-Vegas-Death Valley-Yosemite-Tioga pass (should be open by then?)-Carson-Lake Tahoe-San Francisco-San Simeon-LA

    Me:
    Day 5
    Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-Las Vegas by plane
    Go by plane over the Hoover dam, Lake Mead to the Grand Canyon. There have a 3 hour bus tour and head back by plane - total trip length 8 hours.
    Michael:
    you do need to be careful with Vegas based flights/tours. Most flights do not go to Grand Canyon National Park and instead visit GC West which is on indian reservation land and doesn't provide quite the same views. And the 3 hour bus tour would also leave me questioning how much do you get to see, and are you just being herded around like cattle.
    I will have to double check on the flights to Grand Canyon. I saw this offer:
    http://www.scenic.com/scenic/show_pa...267&lang=en-US

    Does anyone know that company or could recommend one?


    Would you comply with this new itenerary ?
    And have some advice for along the way?

    Day 1
    Arriving in LA on the 22nd of June

    Day 2
    LA Sightseeing

    Day 3
    LA Sightseeing

    Day 4
    LA-Las Vegas


    Day 5
    Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-Las Vegas by plane (???)

    Day 6
    Las Vegas-Yosemite
    Start early from Las Vegas to Yosemite through Death Valley, rather than over Bakersfield.
    Do you have some tips for where to stay and what to do in Yosemite?

    Day 7
    Yosemite
    We like to do trips by bike, not extreme hiking though. We would see the nice panorama.

    Day 8
    Yosemite-Tioga pass open then?-Carson

    Day 9-12
    Spending time with relatives in Carson-Tahoe area

    Day 13
    Tahoe-San Francisco

    Day 14
    San Francisco
    I would love to eat an In and Out Burger! ;-) And discover SF.

    Day 15
    San Francisco-San Simeon
    Got the idea here on the forum! ...since SF-LA in one day is too stressful and we want to enjoy the coastal ride.

    Day 16
    San Simeon-LA

    Day 17
    LA

    Day 18
    Leaving to Zuerich

    Thanks

    Dan

    PS:

    Me:
    Day 14
    San Francisco
    I would love to eat an In and Out Burger! ;-) And discover SF.
    Michael:
    The good news is that In and Out is quite popular throughout the area of your trip. There are many in LA, LV, and SF, plus more in the other larger towns in between.
    at least something! I heard they have nice T-shirts for sale :-) Usually I'm not the burger guy, but when in Rome, do as romans do, right`;-)
    Last edited by Dan T. Miller; 02-16-2011 at 04:06 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Do more with less long-distance travel!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan T. Miller View Post
    I will have to double check on the flights to Grand Canyon. I saw this offer...
    There are no scenic flights, provided by anyone, over the Grand Canyon National Park. Michael is correct, those flights fly to the Western edge of the Grand Canyon (which is not where those amazing scenes are). Scenic is as good an operator as any -- and the flight is worthwhile -- but you need to understand that it will not look like the South Rim of Grand Canyon national park.

    There's plenty to see in LA for the first couple of days! Here's a post that provides an overview of how to sightsee in Los Angeles.
    Day 6
    I would certainly go west through Death Valley -- but since you want to go to Lake Tahoe, I'd stay on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Stay overnight in either Bishop or Mammoth Lakes, to Lake Tahoe, stay a couple of days. And then go to Yosemite and then swing out to the coast. Enjoy San Francisco, do the coast drive in a couple of days and then back to LA for the flight home.

    WRT In-n-Out, I'd go to the one in Las Vegas -- it's just off Tropicana and I-15 -- they have a gift store attached!

    Enjoy your planning!

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    If the timing of the Tahoe stay is in stone and can't be moved, making visiting Yosemite afterward impractical, I'd still start with the same basic plan.

    I'd spend a day exploring Death Valley, stay somewhere like Lone Pine or Bishop, spend the next day driving across Tioga Pass into Yosemite. Then when it is time to head back across the mountains, I'd take one of the other scenic passes to the north of Yosemite (CA-108, CA-4, or CA-88) to cross back to Tahoe.

    Unless it ends up being an unusually late spring, Tioga and the other Sierra passes should most likely be open by the time you travel.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    I would definitely try and work in time to drive to the Grand canyon and stay a night. The most effective way to do this would be to head there direct from LA and then to Vegas.

    If you can alter the dates you are with relatives and bring it forwards, then I agree that you would be better off visiting Yosemite afterwards and then on to SF. If you can't and you need to visit Yosemite first and the Tioga pass is open, you could always use one of the other passes back across the Sierra's to Carson. [CA 4 or 108]. Of course there is no way of knowing for sure if Tioga will be open or not, and if not you may have to go almost to Tahoe to get around the top to Yosemite or go South via Bakersfield anyway.

    [So pretty much what Michael was typing at exactly the same time ! :-)
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 02-16-2011 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Not quick enough.

  7. Default

    WOW! your trip sounds amazing.My partner and I just got back from our New England road trip and just booked our West Coast trip for next August. We are going for 1 month as there is so much to do and see.Also West Coast to so wide spread. We never make plans of road trip but this time we are planning it precise to fit everything we want to see and do.What better way to visit the coast than in a convertible mustang (a must have driving along the coast and stopping to watch the sunset or look up at the stars. Any suggestions would be a great help.

    Sam from England

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Welcome.

    Hi Sam, welcome to the RTA forums !

    The original poster has not posted on the forums for a while so you might not get a response from him personally.

    A month to explore the west coast is a wonderful amount of time for such a trip and it could easily extend to the Grand canyon and National parks of Southern Utah and of course those in California , Yosemite, Sequoia and Death valley for example.

    You will find a lot of info by searching the forums and checking out the planning tools above. I would suggest you look around and gather info and create your own thread when you have more specific questions.

    Enjoy the planning !

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