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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bolton, United Kingdom
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    3

    Default Road trip from Vegas to Monument Valley via San Diego and Pacific Highway

    There are 4 of us planning to do a road trip end July/beginning August 2012 for 15 days starting and ending in Las Vegas. We want to visit San Diego, Santa Barbara, Carmel, San Francisco and possibly other worthwhile places along the way and also take in the sights of Monument Valley (which I know is in the opposite direction), which would be the best route ie. start Vegas then do monument valley 1st and then on to San Fran and down to San Diego or do we start Vegas and go to San Diego 1st, obviously we would also like to know which places to see and possibly stay in en route and places we should avoid. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,845

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If I was doing the loop you've listed, I'd go from Vegas to SF via Death Valley and Yosemite, down the coast to SD, and then out to Monument Valley via the Grand Canyon, and probably back to Vegas via Zion NP.

    However, I will also say that you're looking at a very big loop for just 15 days. You can do it, but you're not going to have much time at all in any one place.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bolton, United Kingdom
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks, we had a feeling we may be taking on too much but your suggestions have given us new ideas, maybe this trip we will miss out on the Monument Valley part as Yosemite sounds more appealing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,331

    Default Love Yosemite !

    Hi Sue.

    Yes it's doable but as Michael said, you will be on the move a lot of the time. Heading South down the coast put's the Ocean and Oceanside pull outs on your side of the road so going that way around has that advantage.

    Much depends on your interests and priorities for the trip and how much time you might want to stay in each place as to what you can do. Me, I'm all for the natural wonders and a little time in the City but it's where your attention is drawn to that matters. Time could soon dissapear if you want 2 or 3 days in each of LV,SF and SD for example.

    Once you've figured these details out, we can help fill in the blanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bolton, United Kingdom
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Hi Dave

    Thanks for your suggestions. Basically this is what's planned - we fly from the UK to Vegas on Thursday 26th July and will spend our first night here (been to Vegas 11 times the last trip there was 2 wks ago, so know our way around). Will leave Vegas on 27th and head towards SF but not sure of the best route to Yosemite, last time we drove up we ended up in Squaw Valley!! After Yosemite we will head towards SF where we want to visit Alcatraz and China Town so will need a couple of days here, we only saw the seals last time we went. Then onto Monterey - staying 1 night and then Carmel 1 night, then as you suggest head South down the PCH as we have already seen Santa Cruz (Mystery Spot) and Santa Barbara (but not seen too much of here so will go back) we would like to see some more sights along the way like Hearst Castle, McWay Falls and any other places you think would be worth seeing on our way down to San Diego but don't know where they are just been told they are down this coast. Which area of San Diego do you suggest we should see/stay in we are not into Museums, Art Galleries or Theatres but any other sights we would welcome. Then I suppose we will head back to Vegas for the last night - 11th August as we fly home to the UK on the 12th August, so a stop on the way back to Vegas from San Diego would be helpful any suggestions as to where would be good either in a town or a scenic place.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,845

    Default

    Since it sounds like you've done the coast a before and you've never been to Yosemite, I think I would try to spend 3 days driving to SF. The first day you could explore death valley and make your way up US-395, spending the night in Bishop or any one of the towns along the way. The next day drive over the very scenic Tioga Pass (CA-120) into Yosemite. The 3rd day, explore the Yosemite Valley before finishing the trip to SF.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,331

    Default Across the mountains.

    From Vegas you could head through Death Valley via Pahrump and DV junction to 190. DV will be HOT, but the landscape is fascinating even from the comfort of your air conditioned car ! There are viewpoints along the route just short walks from the car. When you get to 395 head North towards Mono Lake where you will find the spectacular Tioga Pass [CA120] that crosses the Sierra's into Yosemite. I would plan an overnight stop somewhere between Bishop and Lee Vining and another in, or just to the west of Yosemite NP. That would get you into SF on the 29th, or you could easily spend another day around Yosemite [out of this world !]

    Down the coast you could stay your second night around Cambria or San Simeon, the nearest town to Hearst Castle.

    I don't know about SD, [see above lol] but I'm sure someone will give you some pointers. If SD is a 'must do' for you that's fine, but what with my love of natural wonders and the thought of going through LA to get to SD, plus the fact you have been to Santa Barbara etc, would it be worth considering heading inland from Morro Bay and heading to the GC and possibly Monument valley instead ?

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