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  1. Default 4 weeks roadtrip tips


    I'm from the Netherlands and this summer we want to do a roadtrip in 4 weeks. (in july / august)
    I've viewed some routes from other people and i've made my own route.
    This is the Google maps link:

    We want to start and end in Los Angeles.
    Can you please comment on this route? Are the distances good?
    We have skipped San Diego, so we have more time in LA. Is this a good choise?
    I'm not sure if we can go from Las Vegas to Lake Isabella in one day and also checkout Death Valley.
    I've also put Kings Canyon on the map. Is this a great place? Or can we skip this because we also go to Yosemite?

    The last day drive from Monterey to LA may be too far. What is a great place for a hotel? Santa Barbera?

    Thank you very much for reading!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Good work !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have certainly done your research and have come up with a good basic plan, and your distances and overnights are well spaced out IMO, well done !

    Whether or not to visit SD really is a personal choice and will depend on what you want to see and do in LA. It s quite nice to have 2 or 3 days to unwind after an International flight and let your body clocks adjust, as long as you are somewhere that you are comfortable with and will enjoy.

    On route to Lake Havasu you could take a trip through Joshua tree NP and up to Amboy if you wanted to take in the scenery. On the way to Grand canyon you could venture onto a section of old route 66 from Kingman and stop in the quirkey 66 town of Seligman.

    It's possible to get to Lake Isabella from Vegas via Death valley in the same day. Leave quite early to give yourself time to sight see along the way. From Lake Isabella you could take the mountain route from Kernville up the Kern river Highway through Johnsondale and up the Great western divide highway through Camp Nelson. Slow going but wonderful scenery and the 'Trail of 100 giants' makes for a lovely break and a walk. This grove of Giant Sequoias is much less visited than in the NP or Mariposa grove in Yosemite.

    Kings canyon is a great place and if you have the time then it is well worth a visit. Even if you don't have time to go to Cedar grove the drive up the Generals Highway in Sequoia NP is well worth it. A stop at the Giants forest and a walk along the trail will take you to the largest living thing on earth, the General Sherman tree.

    Along the coast Highway I would consider stopping around San Simeon, Cambria or Cayucos and take plenty of time to enjoy the drive around Big Sur.

  3. Default Thanks for the tips

    Great tip for the route in the sequoia forest!
    Any other small adjustments i can make on the current route?
    I've adjusted the map with the new route (including the old route 66) See link in the first post.
    I will check Joshua Tree park out. It does not seem that great, or am i wrong?
    In LA we want to spent a few days with Universal Ciy, Holywood, Bel Air, Beverly hils, Griffith park

    I've still got tons of questions :)

    1. Is page a good place to stay the night? There are a lot of cool things arround (Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, 'The Wave')
    2. Is my route from Vegas through Death Valley the nicest one?
    3. What is a good place to stay between Sequoia forrest and Kings Canyon? Hotels/motels?
    4. What is a good place to stay near Yosemite?
    5. Shal we skip Sacremento, and stay somewhere else an extra day? (eg. Grand Canyon / Monument Valley..)
    6. We travel in the summer. So is it wise to make resarvations at all places?
    7. Edit: Grand Canyon National Park doesn't seem to have many hotels. Any tips on this one? I want to book the hotels on the busy places in the next month so there may still be room :)

    Thank you very much!!
    Last edited by mooya; 12-29-2011 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Extra question :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    1. Page has a good collection of hotels. From personal experience, I would NOT recommend the Super 8. It's badly maintained and customer service is poor.

    2. Any route through is "nice", but yours does take you through Badwater, which is a "must see".

    3. I would probably stay in Porterville or Visalia, possibly Three Rivers (limited selection).

    4. I would probably stay inside the park - but if you are looking for a place before entering the park, Oakhurst is good. After the park, there's Sonora (see below).

    5. No opinion. However, if you do want to go to Sacramento, I'd recommend you leave Yosemite via 120, take that to 49 and take that to 16. Much more scenic than just taking the freeway.

    6. I would make reservations if you want to stay inside any of the parks or want to stay in a specific hotel.

    7. Rooms in the park are limited and book up fast. However, there are several hotels right outside the south entrance in Tusayan - they are pricey, over $100 a night. If you are on a tight budget, you will have to go to Flagstaff or Williams.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the answers!!

    Anyone knows if Whale watching in Monterey is any good?
    Do you see the Whales most of the times, or only a few trips a week get to see them?

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Worth it to me, but what about you ?

    In some senses, having Joshua Tree listed as a National park makes it interesting in some way or another and worthy of conservation management, many would say it's great, but nothing is all things to all people so you will have to come to your own conclusion. This page might help you to do so, but if I had the time I would, but then again I make a point of avoiding Interstates as much as possible and put myself 'out there'.

    I generally agree with glc regarding your other questions and although limited in lodgings [and much else] I would continue to Three rivers for location, or better still if your budget could manage it, stay in Sequoia NP. If you decided to skip Sacramento an extra night between Vegas and Yosemite would help slow the pace a little, particularly if you want to visit the Cedar grove area in Kings canyon.

    If you are totally comfortable with your itinerary when finished planning, I would book lodgings in advance. This is a very popular trip with very popular attractions.

    On arrival at the GC glc has given you lodging options, but if you don't intend on staying in the park you could look at the Cameron trading post as an option for your last night, which is on route to Monument valley and located just outside of the east entrance of the south rim. This would be a good time to explore the viewpoints along Desert view drive as you exit the park.

    On a side note. When you arrive at you first National park entry kiosk it would be wise to purchase the NP service annual pass for $80. This will work out cheaper than paying individual entry fees to all the parks listed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    In addition to Cameron, there are a couple of hotels in Tuba City. The next chance is in Kayenta.

  8. Default

    Tnx for the tips!

    I've adjusted the route a little bit.

    I've left out Sacremento, and added an extra place to stay in Sanger.
    You were right, we had 4 days in a row with 4+ hours of driving.
    I thing its more relaxed this way.

    I've also put the Joshua Tree park on the map :) The selected route can be done with a normal car right?

    The Big Sur is 'Just' a road from Monterey to the south right?
    I've read is has a lot of great viewing places and thats it, of am i missing something?
    Are there things to do along the way?

    I've Googled a lot for the 'Trail of 100 giants' but i can't seem to find the location. Any idea where this is? :)

    And have you got anything to say about the Whale Watching in Monterey?

    Thank you again for all the help!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Your new map doesn't seem to have saved properly, I can't see a route.

    You can travel the route with any car as long as you don't plan going Off-roading. That would violate your rental agreement even if you had a 4 wheel drive SUV.

    The Big Sur is 'Just' a road from Monterey to the south right?
    I've read is has a lot of great viewing places and thats it, of am i missing something?
    Are there things to do along the way?
    This is regarded as one of the worlds finest Ocean drives. As well as the scenery there are state parks, seaside towns and you might want to check out Hearst castle.

    For the 'Trail of 100 Giants' [Long Meadow Grove] you can head North on the Kern river Highway out of Kernville. About 5 miles past Johnsondale turn right and head North on the Great Western divide Highway. It is signed about 2 miles along that mountain road, route 107 that becomes 190 near Camp Nelson.

    I have no idea about Whale watching I'm afraid.

    If you scroll down this page you will find a little taste of the Sequoia forest drive from Kernville.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 12-30-2011 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Added link.

  10. Default

    Tnx Dave,
    I'll read your comment more thorough tomorrow.

    I think i've placed the link with a space in it,
    this should be the right one

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