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  1. Default SFO-Yosemite-LA-Vegas-Death Valley-Vegas-Grand Canyon: November

    Hey,
    I've read through lots of posts, and this site is clearly... Magnificent!!!
    My girlfriend and I plan to visit the US in the fall, probably November time.

    We plan a 2 week trip; to touchdown in San Francisco and settle for 2 nights, then stay in LA for 4 nights, then go onto Vegas for 3 nights. With trips east to Death Valley: 1night, and west to Grand Canyon: 1 night.

    Reading other peoples posts I'm thinking of taking in Yosemite National Park on route from San Francisco- LA... how long should we allow to take in the sites here?? And what route would be best to get down to LA from Yosemite??

    I've also seen people talk about seeing Bryce Canyon and Zion at the grand canyon... Would you recommend this and how many extra days should we allow for this??

    We have concerns regarding timings, will we manage all of this in the time we have??
    Will the roads be open or closed due to snow??
    What other sites could we see??
    Should we take a longer trip... yes!!

    Thank you in advance for your time and help.
    Kind Regards

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

    Default Complete loop ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have 11 of your 14 nights accounted for already and if your International flights are to be included in a 2 week break then you will need a longer trip or spend less time in LA and Vegas. Yosemite is an outstanding place of natural beauty and is certainly worth a visit. The very least you would need to travel from SF to LA via Yosemite and enjoy a little time there is 2.5 days. If you wanted to head back to the coast and drive Highway 1 from Monterey around Big Sur a couple more would be needed.

    Zion and Bryce are another 2 wonderful parks, but it's a case of how and where you want to spend your time. On a personal note, I would swap time for these National parks with time in LA in a heart beat, but that's me !

    The most likely place you will face a road closure is across the Sierra Nevada, but if you are heading towards LA from Yosemite it won't be an issue, November can be nice, but October would be my choice if it were possible.

    I would actually travel from LA direct to the Grand canyon South rim and then back to Vegas as it will save a few miles and save you going over so much of the same ground. If you can fit in Bryce and Zion you could actually head North through Page from the South rim to Bryce and Zion and come back down I 15 to Vegas. If you were to do this and IF the Tioga pass was open you could consider doing a complete loop back to SF, visiting Yosemite at the end of your trip after Death valley. That would look like this; SF > LA > GC > Bryce > Zion > Vegas > Death valley > Yosemite > SF.

  3. Default

    Thank you very much for your help and quick response, it is immensely appreciated!!

    We are going to move the trip to October now if you think it would be better, thank you!!

    I would like to trade time with LA for the National Parks too! But my girlfriend has pointed out we could just as easily spend less time in Vegas... So, we've decided to stop arguing and look at ways to extend the break... that way everyone's a winner!

    If we can extend, we could do 17nights, and possibly 3 weeks. But for now I think it is best to consider a route for 14nights. We can agree to lose a night or two in LA and Vegas.

    With this in mind do you think a compete loop is the most time efficient approach? A loop wasn't something we had considered, but after looking at your suggested route it looks great! The part we like most about the loop is that we can now drive SF>LA along I 5 and go to Yosemite on the return. What would be your top 3 things to do/see along I 5?

    Also, I like the fact that the the loop will allow us to see Bryce and Zion before heading to Vegas. Is the route North through Page from the South rim to Bryce and Zion quite straightforward?
    To travel LA> GC along the south rim... is this I 40 to Flagstaff?
    That looks like a long drive, what would you recommend seeing and doing along this route?
    How many days/nights would you suggest taking for this section?
    And where would you recommend staying overnight(s)?

    I have reas the traffic is a nightmare around Vegas at the weekend. Is Vegas best to do at the weekend, or can you get the same experience during the week?
    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and your help. As I said before it is immensely appreciated!!
    Kind Regards

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

    Default Highway 1.

    So, we've decided to stop arguing and look at ways to extend the break... that way everyone's a winner!
    I like your style !

    With this in mind do you think a compete loop is the most time efficient approach?
    I think so, particularly when taking in the Coast and Yosemite.

    The part we like most about the loop is that we can now drive SF>LA along I 5 and go to Yosemite on the return. What would be your top 3 things to do/see along I 5?
    It gets better ! Don't take I5, take an overnight stop and take one of the worlds top Ocean drives around Big Sur on Highway 1.

    Also, I like the fact that the the loop will allow us to see Bryce and Zion before heading to Vegas. Is the route North through Page from the South rim to Bryce and Zion quite straightforward?
    Straightforward enough, it'll take a little extra time. A couple of nights would be sufficient.

    To travel LA> GC along the south rim... is this I 40 to Flagstaff?
    That looks like a long drive, what would you recommend seeing and doing along this route?
    Yes. Unless you are lodging at Flagstaff head North on 64 from Williams. It could be done in a long day on the road or you could stop on route and finish the journey next day. You could turn it into 2 full days and detour through Joshua tree NP or the Mojave preserve.

    I have reas the traffic is a nightmare around Vegas at the weekend. Is Vegas best to do at the weekend, or can you get the same experience during the week?
    Vegas is 'alive' all the time, although I am sure visitor numbers can swell at the weekend. If you get a Hotel on, or close too the Strip you won't have to worry about driving while staying there much.

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

    Default

    I would not take I-5 from SF to LA, I'd drive down the coast, there's very little of interest on I-5. This can be done in 2 days. If you only have one day, US-101 is the best compromise.

    LA to GC is I-15 to I-40 to Williams, then AZ-64 to the park. If you want to do this in 1 day, you don't really have time for any diversions, this is about an 8 to 9 hour drive. You could take old 66 from Kingman to Seligman, this adds less than an hour. GC to Bryce is out the east entrance to US-89 through Page and Kanab, this is about 7 hours. Bryce back to Zion is 2 hours or so, Zion to LV is about 3 hours.

    LV to DV is about 3 hours, DV to Yosemite Village via Tioga Pass is 6 to 7 hours. Yosemite back to SF is 4 hours or so.

    LV is "alive" 24/7/365. There's plenty to see and do anytime. When I go I stay at a "Strip" hotel and walk the strip. If I want to go to places that are not in reasonable walking distance, I take a taxi. I only get the car out of the garage to go places that aren't really "in town".

    If cost is not an issue, I'd try to book a lodge in the park at the GC, or stay in Tusayan. The closest "budget" accommodations are in Williams and Flagstaff.

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