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  1. #1

    Default 1st Road Trip - SF to LV via Yosemite Very Early planning

    Hi All

    Was recommended this site as a place to start our planning for our 1st ever US road trip. We plan to go late May/Early June next year - I know accomodation gets booked up early!!

    The general outline plan is:

    Arrive SF (x number of days here - TBC following recommendations)
    Rental Car
    En route to Yosemit - Any places worth staying on way?
    Yosemite (x number of days here - TBC following recommendations)
    En route to LV - Any places worth staying on way?
    Drive to LV (probably only 3 days here due to temptations of gambling)
    Fly home from LV

    We plan to spend 10 - 14 days for the entire trip, we would like to stay in lodgings only - not brave enough for camping yet.

    Basically I would just like to get a feel for people's recommendations, any areas we should add onto this to visit, any must stop and see places along the way.

    One major question is whether it is actually cheaper to fly in and out of the same airport, and would internal flights offset the extra cost for open-jaw flights?

    I would appreciate any suggestions as this is very early days, and just wanted to get a feel from the people who have done it!

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default timing

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Its very hard for anyone else to say how much time anyone should spend at a location on a roadtrip. That's the sort of question that is going to depend upon your interests and how you like to do things. The freedom to make that decision for yourself is also what separates a roadtrip from the scheduled nature of a guided tour.

    As far as where to go, there are tons of options that you could include. Napa, Tahoe, Sequoia, Death Valley, the Coast are all among the very popular options. Because of all those choices, this general outline is the most discussed trip idea on the forum, with thousands of posts on the subject. I'd start by looking around the forum, including these threads which are some of our favorites.

    As far as which flight options would be cheapest, there are just way too many variables for a generic answer. Sometimes an internal flight might be cheaper, sometimes not, it just depends on the details of your flights. You'll have to shop around to see what works best. I would caution, however, if you do take an internal flight back to SFO, you'll probably want to get there a day early just in case there are any delays or problems. Your international carrier isn't going to be required to do anything for you if you miss their flight because of a problem with a internal flight on another airline.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Other factors.


    Michael has given you some threads that will give you some good ideas about the area that will help you decide what's best for you.

    As well as the costing [which you will need to research and fit within your budget] how much time you actually have is an issue as those possible extra 4 days could play a big part.

    For instance, if you found a good value return flight in and out of SF orVegas you could create a nice loop trip with 14 days, visiting Yosemite, Death valley and some of the coast, starting at either city.
    But this is where another factor comes into play. A very scenic route between them is going across the sierra's on the Tioga pass [HWY 120] from Yosemite and heading south on the 395 and then across DV to Vegas [recommended] but the pass might still be closed at the time of your travel, although the odds are in your favor, so you will have to keep an eye on that one. Here are some previous opening dates.
    You could do a one way trip and consider the Grand canyon as an option as well as the possibility of visiting Zion NP and Bryce canyon.

    When you have had a look around and decided how much time you have and how you would like to spend it we can help you put it together into a manageable plan

  4. #4

    Default San Francisco to Las Vegas - September Trip

    Hi All

    We are planning our honeymoon trip for September 2011, doing a road trip between SF & LV.

    Here is my outline Itinery, but I am concerned about the Bryce & Page sections of the trip and what we will get from stopping at these locations.

    We are both early 30s, very active and love hiking. We plan to hire a car and drive the route, stopping at hotels, b&bs etc.

    Any advise on our proposed itinery would be really appreciated, we are totally flexible at this stage, but conscious that we need to get the parks booked ASAP, as already getting availability issues at GC & Bryce for dates listed do far.

    Fri 2nd Sept - Fly out to SFO
    4 nights
    Tues 6th - Go to Yosemite
    3 nights
    Fri 9th - Go to Death valley
    3 nights (do we need this long here?)
    Mon 12th - Go to Zion
    2 nights
    Weds 14th - go to Bryce
    1 night (most central places full!)
    Thurs 15th - Go to Page
    2 nights (is this a good base for lake powell? Antelope canyon?)
    Sat 17th - Go to Grand Canyon
    3 Nights
    Tues 20th - Go to Las Vegas
    3/4 nights

    Any opinions would be greatly received, and if you need any more info let me know.

    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 02-22-2011 at 11:21 AM. Reason: Merged with 2009 thread about this plan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default excellent

    Welcome back to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've got an excellent, very relaxed trip. In fact, you could probably trim down your time at a few places and see a few more places if you'd like.

    You might look at staying somewhere along US-395, like Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, Lee Vining, etc to give yourself a little more time to explore Tioga and spend a little time in those towns. You could still spend 2 days in Death Valley and have a good amount of time to look around.

    You might also look at adding in Monument Valley into the mix, or you could visit both the north and south rims of the Grand Canyon.

    Those are just some options, but I think you'd be fine if you stick with your current plan too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Your best bets around Bryce are Ruby's Best Western right outside the entrance (expensive and almost sold out on that date), the Bryce Canyon Resort (also expensive), the America's Best Value in Tropic, and the New Western in Panguitch.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default And Yes........

    Page is a good location for Antelope canyon and Lake Powell.

    I agree, you have a nice relaxed itinerary and would echo Michael's comments. You could stop on route to Death valley and spend more time over Tioga pass and perhaps Mammoth lakes, and/or from Page you could head to Monument valley as little detour on route to the Grand canyon South rim. You could spend the night close to Monument valley [Gouldings lodge?] or make your way to the Cameron trading post which is only a short distance from the GC East entrance kiosk.

    Springdale has lodging options for Zion NP and is close to the entrance, there is also a free shuttle bus service that runs from town into the canyon.

  8. #8

    Default Thanks

    Hi Guys

    Thanks for the replies. Glad to see we're not cramming too much in, and that there is room to do more.
    I am not sure about the Page section, but could I use this as a base for monument Valley or is it too far?

    Thanks again

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Page is probably a bit farther than you'd want to be for a pure daytrip from Page. You could probably do it, but it might make more sense to start there, see MV, and find a place to stay as you head back towards the Grand Canyon. Kayenta would be a close place, but you might make it all the way back to Cameron as Dave suggested.

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