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  1. Default summer road trip on the west Coast

    Hi everyone,
    I am a french girl working in Philadelphia for a year. With my friends we would like to make the most of our time in the US and visit a lot during our stay. We planned to save the west coast for our last month in the US before our visa expires.
    After reading a lot a threads on this forum and also some travel books, we came to an itinerary for our big west coast road trip. I know that a lot of people here are is more experienced than we are in road trip planning so I would like to know if we are missing something or if it's really to tight..

    We will be arriving in LA on july the 30th (flight is not booked yet so I don't know what time of the day).
    july 31st: LA
    august 1st: Universal Studios
    August 2nd to august 4th: road toward San francisco 5 we don't know exactly where to make our stops, bu we would like to enjoy the beach..)
    august 4th: first night in SF
    august 5th and 6th : SF
    august 7th: Napa valley maybe overnight in sacramento ( is it a good idea?)
    august 8th: road to yosemite, spending the rest of the day and the night at Yosemite.
    august 9th: first half of the day still at yosemite and then road to Bishop, mono lake , night in bishop
    august 10th: road to death valley, night there
    august 11th: death valley ant road to las vegas night in las vegas
    august 12th: road to Bryce canyon, day and overnight near Bryce canyon ( or maybe page directly?)
    august 13th: antelope canyon, lake powell overnight in Page
    august 14th: monument valley night over there or back to page
    august 15th : road to flagstaff from page or monument valley
    august 16th: grand canyon and night back in flagstaff
    august 17th: back to las vegas
    august 18th: flight back to philly

    the last part ( the loop from vegas to vegas) is not fixed yet because we don't know how long it will take to do all what we want..
    If you have any recommandations on where to stop froms LA to SF or any changes because we are really missing something please tell us!

    maybe I should precise that we will be 4 person of 22 years old, who wants to see as much as possible but are not that keen into really long hikes ( 2-3 hours is a maximum..)

    thank you very much for your answers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Well done!

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

    Congratulations! You really have done your homework very well. The only obvious omission is Zion NP, between LV and Bryce Canyon. see if you can work it in along the way.

    As for stops between SF and LA, you have Santa Barbara, Morro Bay and Cambria area, and Monterey and Carmel.

    My only other suggestion would be to look into reversing your trip. It could work out more economical with your time. You would be looking at LA, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches, etc., Bryce, Zion, LV, Death Valley, Yosemite, Napa Valley, SF and down the coast back to LA. You might also find that flights and car hire could be cheaper that way.

    But on the whole - well done!


  3. Default

    Thank you!!

    Doing a loop from LA to LA, was our first choice, but we thought it was a waste of time as the road is really long from LA to the grand canyon, that's whay we decided to finish in Vegqs. But as i said we are not fixed yet, and until our flight is not booked, it can still be changed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default You are right....

    But don't overlook the attractions along the way. You could make it to around Kingman, and check out some of the remains of historic route 66, to name just one. And then continue onto the GC the following day. Have a look around your maps, and see what other attractions there are along that route, which would make for an interesting overnight stop. If you check out the map centre, on the green bar above, you may even find something there to take your fancy.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Looks good.

    Yep, good jod indeed.

    I personally would definitely try and max my time in Yosemite and miss staying in Sacramento for the night. That would give you a day and a half in this amazing National park. Glacier point, Mariposa grove and the Valley area take time to explore and on route to Bishop you will want to keep enough spare to stop and take in the views over Tioga pass.

    On the 12th I would plan on staying at Bryce [Rubys Inn or town of Tropic] and as Lifey suggested, with an early start stop at Zion on the way.

    14th] I wouldn't double back to Page. You could stay in MV or Kayenta or an option near to the east entrance of the GC south rim is the Cameron Trading post. Nice food and cool place to shop as well. [Could also be an option instead of your first night in Flagstaff.]

    You are probably aware that as 22 year olds you will have to pay an extra young driver fee for each named driver that could add up to quite a lot. You might want to designate 1 or 2 drivers only.

  6. Default

    Thank you for your advices!
    Would you recommend some nice places to stay during our trip? Our budget is 30$/night/pers but we know that we will have to be flexible in some places.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    As long as you are all sharing the same room, you should have no problem finding a room within your $120 a night budget. Most places, you can find a budget to mid-level room for $50-70, so that would even allow you to occationally get a break by having two rooms.

    If you are staying right within, or just outside, major national parks like the Grand Canyon then you'll likely need to spend more than $100, but even there, there are typically more budget friendly places if you are willing to drive. For example, for the Grand Canyon, you'll find cheap lodging available in places like Williams or Flagstaff an hour away.

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