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  1. #1

    Default Las vegas - san fran - los angeles 18 day circular drive in july

    I'm planning to take the wife and two girls (15 & 9) in a big cadillac for an 18 day summer tour, flying in/out of Vegas and taking in San Francisco and LA. We all have different angles on what we want out of this though !! This will be a once in a life time trip, so I want to see John Wayne's Wild West (I'm 53), the girls want to see Hollywood, Disney and the girlie stuff.................and the wife wants some time round a pool ! But we all want to see the great American scenery, and visit the obvious places like Alcatraz. Here's my itinerary :

    Days 1-2 : Arrive mid-afternoon Las Vegas - stay 2 nights.
    Day 3 : Via Death Valley, 1 night stay in perhaps Mammoth Lake Area (any ideas?)
    Days 4 -5 : Yosemite via Tioga Pass. Stay 2 nights at Yosemite.
    Days 6-9 : San Francisco. Stay 3 nights.
    Day 10 : South on Highway One : Stay roughly half way for 1 night. (any ideas)?
    Days 11-14. Los Angeles : Stay 4 nights.
    Day 15 : Drive direct to Vegas, perhaps via Calico ghost town
    Days 16 to 18 : Las Vegas (possible option of a night at Grand Canyon). Fly out late afternoon.

    I've spent a lot of time on this fantastic site, but the amount of information is truly staggering. I would appreciate an informed view on this itinerary. There must be either room for improvement, or maybe some places which are just unmissable which need pointing out to me. Also, I'm aware that it is easy to over-estimate travel times. Any advice truly appreciated. Thankyou.

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

    Default 'Waynes world'.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Generally speaking you have done a great job with your research and planning.

    If you plan on taking the coast highway around Big Sur then I would recommend the San Simeon/Cambria area as a stop over.

    The major change I would make is at the end of your trip. I would perhaps have one less day in LA and one less in Vegas [either end of the trip] and on day 15 drive direct to the Grand canyon and spend a full day and 2 nights there. If you want to see "John Waynes Wild West" then you have to do a side trip to Monument valley where he starred in many a John Ford film that was made there.

  3. #3


    Yes I had an eye on Monument Valley. Will check up on Cambria area too.
    And I take on board your comments about LA and LV.... that will be the subject of an in-house ..........errrr.............discussion !
    Many Thanks Dave, advice gratefully received.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Ten Pounds of Potatoes Conundrum

    As I'm sure you're aware from the obvious homework you've done, there are many more things to do in this area (the ten pounds of potatoes) than you could possibly have time for (the five pound sack). So clearly something's got to give. I think that you have done a stellar job in making sure that the ladies' wishes have been seen to, but I agree with Dave that you can (and should) take an extra day (or two) to yourself at the end of the trip. If your budget five full days after Los Angeles (about a quarter of your trip - see how that works?), then you can do the following. Take a day to drive over to Scottsdale, the upscale resort part of the Phoenix metro area. On the way take in a bit of Joshua Tree National Park then put your wife and daughters poolside at a resort or let them explore the tony shops in Scottsdale. On the next day head northwest up AZ-87/AZ-260/AZ-377/AZ-277 to Holbrook and the Petrified Forest National Park. Continue north on US-191 with stops at the Hubble Trading Post and/or Canyon de Chelley and put up for the evening around Mexican Hat. You will be on the Navajo Reservation, so lodging options will be limited. The objective is to be in Monument Valley at sunrise and/or sunset for some truly spectacular scenery. On the third day of this leg of your journey head down to the Grand Canyon. Plan on a leisurely day exploring the Canyon and not getting much farther than Williams by evening, then on the last day, take a drive on the longest remaining portion of old Route 66 from Seligman through Peach Springs to Kingman, and then over the Hoover Dam to Las Vegas. Spend your last full day getting to see anything you missed on your initial stay in Las Vegas and getting ready for the flight home.


  5. #5


    Top tips there AZ, and many thanks, you know exactly how our house works.

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