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  1. Default Trying to organise itinery for Las Vegas and San Francisco

    Hi all
    I have put together an itinery for a holiday for later in the year (late Sep) but I am afraid I am packing in too much into a short enough holiday considering flights etc. I have looked up previous posts but I would appreciate if anyone who has travelled a similar route could guide me on the following provisional itinery as I am going off the holiday by not knowing where to go or anything

    Friday - Fly to LV (arrive afternoon US time)
    Saturday - LV - Grand Canyon
    Sunday - LV (and allowing for any GAA matches)
    Monday - Fly to San Fran(afternoon flight)
    Tuesday - San Fran (Alcatraz etc.)
    Wednesday - San Fran (Golden Gate etc.)
    Thursday - Drive from SF to Napa / Sonoma (stay there)
    Friday - Drive from Napa to Yosemite (stay there)
    Saturday - Drive from Yosemite to Monterey (stay there)
    Sunday - Fly home Sunday evening

    It seems a bit packed - it is supposed to be a holiday and at the same time but I cannot extend beyond 11 days.

    I suppose I will start with a few questions:
    a. I think 2 full days in LV will be enough. I want to do the Grand Canyon Helicopter trip - He is into the casino
    d. We have 2 days then to mill around San Fran - is this enough?
    e. Then a trip to Napa area or Sonoma as we love wine tasting (North) Yosemite (East) and the coast (south). I fear that this seems a lot of packing and travelling.

    Would anyone recommend cutting out any of the above and do 1/2 things properly or extend SF. The problem is that i don't know how long it takes to get anywhere. Yosemite sounds lovely but if we go in September the waterfalls etc. may not be that spectacular or is it fab all year round?
    LV and SF are definite destinations but its a toss up between Napa / Yosemite or the coast?

    Perhaps we should travel around when we land in SF and then we have the final few days stationary in SF?

    Friday - Fly to LV (arrive afternoon US time)
    Saturday - LV - Grand Canyon
    Sunday - LV (and allowing for any GAA matches)
    Monday - Fly to San Fran(afternoon flight)
    Tuesday - San Fran (Alcatraz etc.)
    Wednesday - San Fran (Golden Gate etc.)
    Thursday - San Fran (Hire car) Drive from SF to Napa / Sonoma (stay there)
    Friday - Drive from Napa / Sonoma to Santa Cruz / Monteray
    Saturday - Santa Cruz / Monteray
    Sunday - Fly home Sunday evening

    Lot harder than I thought it would be!!!!! Any assistance would be very appreicated. I am really excited about this trip as we have been saving for it with ages and really don't want to regret not researching it enough and making major mistakes when our time is so short

    Thanks a million

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default working with what you've got

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Your limited amount of time is working against you, but I think you could do a lot more with what you've got.

    First, it does need to be noted that most helicopter tours do not go to Grand Canyon National Park, rather most go to the West Rim on Indian Lands which isn't quite the same. With the limited amount of time you have, it probably is your best option, but you will be missing out on the true experience of standing on the rim inside the national park.

    Personally, I would certainly do Yosemite, and I would eliminate your flight to SF, because you can do the trip by doing pretty much all driving and actually save time by eliminating the flight and backtracking time.

    What you could do is explore both Death Valley and Yosemite, crossing Tioga Pass through Yosemite. After Yosemite, you could head over to Monterey or Napa, and finish your trip in San Francisco.

    This is just one idea, and the trip you are talking about does fall within the most popular and most discussed trip on the forum, so there are plenty more options and ideas you can get by spending a little time looking around.

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

    Default Why fly ?

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    Are you flying home from San Fran ? If so I can't see the point in flying to SF and then taking a road trip out and back to Yosemite, simply drive through Yosemite on the way to SF from Vegas and forget the flight. That would take you across Death valley and into Yosemite on the very scenic Tioga pass [CA120]. Yes the waterfalls will be at a trickle, if not dry generally speaking, but that means the high ground is accessible, like Tioga pass and Glacier point. This place is absolutley amazing and well worth a vist. It will only take about 4 hours extra to drive the whole route and those 4 hours would be better spent driving through DV and over Tioga than at check in and out at the airport while missing the stunning views.

  4. Default

    This is brilliant and exactly the type of infromation that I needed to get - thanks
    Last edited by Choosey; 05-25-2011 at 02:41 AM.

  5. Default

    Thank you so much for your assistance - as a result of your help I have produced the following agenda

    Thur Arrive in Vegas - stay in The Palazzo
    Fri Grand Canyon
    Sat Vegas
    Sun Travel to Yosemite - stop overnight where? - please see query below
    Mon Stay in Yosemite Valley Hotel (on west side I believe)
    Tue Yosemite to Monteray - stay in Abrego Hotel
    Wed Travel leisrely up to SF - stay in Chancellor Hotel Union Sq
    Thur Alcatraz
    Fri Wine Tour
    Sat SF
    Sun Home

    Any changes / recommendations to the above is most appreciated on routes or hotels

    I realise the journey ffrom Las Vegas to Yosemite is approx 10 hours? Rather than stopping at Death Valley is there anywhere nearer to Yosemite we could stay with decent accomodation i.e. travel 7 / 8 hours fro vegas, stay over and then only have an hour or two to travel to Yosemite via Tioga pass in order to maximise our one day in Yosemite - would really appreciate your thoughts on this
    Last edited by Choosey; 05-25-2011 at 02:40 AM. Reason: did not mean to send it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    If you can, I would recommend that you do the night tour of Alcatraz. It is amazing seeing the island at dusk, and seeing the lights come on all over SF, as the sun sinks into the Pacific Ocean behind the Golden Gate bridge. But make sure you book, as it is always booked full.

    Between DV and Yosemite, a nice place to stay is Bishop. Good selection of accommodation.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    There are several places you could look to stay between DV and Tioga Pass. Basically look at any of the cities and towns along US-395. Bishop could be a good option, but I'd leave it open. Enjoy Death Valley at your pace, and then see where you end up. That could mean staying as close as Lone Pine, or if you fly through DV, you might make it all the way to Lee Vining. You really shouldn't need reservations, and since you have a full day dedicated to Yosemite after Tioga, you don't need to rush through DV either.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Well done !

    Having digested the advice, you have done a great job of revising your itinerary.

    Bishop, Mammoth lakes and Lee Vining would all set you up for a good day in Yosemite. I say "In Yosemite" as the Yosemite adventure begins on the Tioga pass and it's most likely you will want to stop and enjoy the views, so don't be in too much of a rush to drive it.

    From Vegas you can head to Pahrump on 160 and then take Bell Vista ave, Ash meadows, State line road to Death valley junction and onto 190. It's quite straight forward and is known as the 'Locals route'. That will take past 'Dantes view' and 'Zabriske Point' which offers great views of the valley. Next up is Furnace creek where you can enjoy a walk around the museum etc and have refreshments. A detour down to Badwater takes you to the lowest point in the US at around -280ft below sea level. You will love the views as you continue and you will soon be seeing the sand dune's near Stovepipe Wells.

    When in Yosemite, be sure to drive up to Glacier point and take the short walk to the viewpoint, you will be amazed !

    Alcatraz is very popular and can [and frequently does] sell out tours so I would recommend that you book tickets in advance. It will save the possibility of turning up and then having to wait in queues and possibly waiting for the next tour if one is sold out. This is the only official site [NPS] where you can buy tickets. You will find that elsewhere ticket agents will only sell with other tours which is how they make their money.

    If you have other question just ask, if not have a great trip and please drop by and share your experience with us.

  9. Default

    Thank you all so much for your prompt response - I have a lot to take in :-)

    It was said above thatmost helicopter tours do not go to Grand Canyon National Park, rather most go to the West Rim on Indian Lands which isn't quite the same.
    I have booked a day trip which includes the West rim , boat trip, helicopter and skywalk - can anyone recommend a better / alternative trip for me?

    Also we would be heading over the Tioga pass on 26th September - is there a chance it could be closed then? Should I push my holiday forward a week do you think? I relaise the weather can change each year.

    I feel like my holiday plans are coming together - great website - thanks to all

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Tioga Pass has never closed for the year in September. You have to go back more than 50 years to find the last time it even closed in Early October. You could find a temporary closure because of an early season storm, but even that would be rather unlikely.

    The Alternative to doing a West Rim tour would be to drive to Grand Canyon National Park on Friday, spend the night there, and return to Vegas on Saturday.

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