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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom

    Default CAlifornia, Nevada, Utah and Colorado - 3 weeks?

    Hi there, I'm new to this. This forum and the USA.*I do realise this is a popular area to travel so appreciate you reading and commenting.

    My husband and I decided to stop preparing to live and actually start living (Crazy I know). In doing this we decided that we wanted to do all those trips we said we'd do at some point in our lives. Starting with a road trip across the States. We had planned to do an RV trip on Route 66 - however after a lot of research and reading on here we've scrapped that idea (we've got to small kids tagging along). We're now looking in to the South Western states, still in the RV but more 'things' to se and do. I've not made a daily itinerary yet but I know where i'd like to go. What I need from you guys if you can help me is to suggest which of the places we should scrap to make it a doable holiday. We have 3 weeks.*

    San Francisco
    LA (only so we can do the coastal drive, otherwise could happily skip LA I think)
    Joshua Tree (might as well while we're down that way?)
    Las Vegas (not for long!)
    Grand Canyon
    Hoover Dam
    Bryce Canyon
    Lake Powell*

    To me, that sounds like a lot of places even if we do have 3 weeks. Which of them would spend the most time at and which would you suggest as day trips?*

    Also, where would you fly into and out from? Would be nice to skip the one way fee on the RV but is it possible?*

    Thanks in advance for all the help


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Some questions.

    Hi Andrea, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    You do not say when you are planning this trip nor how old the children are. These could have an impact on the advice we are able to give. Also, you mention Colorado in the title of the thread, but on your list of attractions, there is not one in Colorado. Have you left anything off?

    For starters, if you have not already done so, you might like to check out this thread for information.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would compare costs for airfares and RV rentals in SF, LA, and LV. You can do a "loop" trip from any one of those 3 cities. Plan on doing it in a counter-clockwise direction so the scenic pullouts on the PCH will be on your side of the road - traveling southbound.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom


    Thanks for the replies - much appreciated.

    I mentioned Colorado as I thought of maybe flying out of Denver instead of doing a loop back to SF. Sorry my mistake not mentioning that in the OP.

    We're planning the trip for May 2012 and our kids will be 4 and 1 (very nearly 2)

    Thanks for tip about the direction on the pcd and thanks for the link too


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A loop trip would make sense

    Even with the young children, and the slower pace you will no doubt be taking, you can do this in the time you have. I would seriously consider doing this in a loop. As glc suggested, check out the prices for the main hubs in that area.

    If you do not already have one, get a good sized map of southwest US. It will help greatly in your planning over the next six months or so. And you certainly do not need to go near LA, if you don't want to. You will see the best of the Pacific Coast Highway between SF and Cambria or Morro Bay.

    You could go direct to the GC from the coast, or via Joshua Tree, if that is a high priority. Then Lake Powell, Bryce and Zion and loop back to LV/Hoover Dam. Your return journey can then take you through Death Valley and Yosemite NP to SF. As you do your research you will learn of other places along the route which might interest you. A similar loop trip could be done if you were to fly into LV.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 07-13-2011 at 06:27 PM.

  6. Default

    Lifey: Your return journey can then take you through Death Valley and Yosemite NP to SF
    Lifey has given you great advise, I just wanted to mention that depending on when in May and depending on the snow levels next year, Tioga Pass to enter Yosemite from Hwy 395 may not be open yet so you would have to take the longer southern route around to Yosemite. Tioga Pass Opening dates

    May is a busy time for campgrounds in Yosemite and Zion so if you want to stay in the parks you will want to make your reservations early. Keep in mind that the three day Memorial Day Weekend (May 26 - May 28) will be very crowded at Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce and Lake Powell! Please try to avoid those dates if possible.

    What kind of campgrounds are you looking for? Do you need full hook ups or would you rather stay in the national parks?


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

    Default Wonderful;

    Your trip is perfectly doable in 3 weeks and would make a great loop trip to hit those spots. As mentioned above, the Tioga pass into Yosemite might not be open when you travel but that would just mean having to head around the Southern end of the Sierra's [Lake Isabella] and up the western side of the mountains. By doing this you could even add Sequoia NP to your list. I would highly recommend staying in the NP campgrounds and would also recommend booking them as early as possible when the booking window opens. They don't have hook ups but many have stations for emptying your waste water and topping up with fresh and some have shower/loo blocks to help save your on board supplies. Most RV rentals have an on board generator that can be used when using power but there are 'silent hour' rules that have to be adhered too. I wouldn't plan on 'out and back day trips' other than looking around the places you are staying at and then continue on to your next port of call.

    If you don't fancy LA [and I don't blame you with an RV] you can still enjoy the spectacular coastal scenery around Big Sur etc and then head inland from the Morro bay area.

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