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  1. Default 3 week March to April Trip

    Hi all,

    I was looking for some advice and tips from the people with the know-how :)

    My partner and I are looking to spend three weeks road-tripping around the California area (with some potential side trips to Nevada, Arizona and Utah to explore some National Parks) from mid march to early april.

    Ideally we're looking to travel a loop beginning and ending in L.A. and the places that we were thinking of stopping were L.A>San Diego> Gran Canyon> Zion NP > Las Vegas > Yosemite National Park > Napa Valley > San Francisco > LA.

    I'm very unsure about distances and was wondering how long we need to spend at each place and whether we need stops in between.

    The planning at this stage is in its infancy so we are easily persuaded. I was wondering if travelling at this time through Yosemite (or in fact any of the national parks) will be tricky due to the weather. Ideally we want to do everything at a reasonably leisurely pace.

    Thanks in advance!

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

    Default Great start !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have obviously been researching and have come up with a good itinerary. Where to concentrate your time will come down to your main interests, but you could easily spend a couple of days at each place listed just to get an overview of things. You could make an overnight stop on route to Grand canyon or have a long day on the road. With a stop you could drive through Joshua Tree NP and explore some of original route 66.

    From SF back to LA I would strongly recommend an overnight stop and take the scenic coast Highway around Big Sur.

    The high country in the Sierras will almost certainly be closed off due to snow accumulation but you will be able to visit Yosemite valley. This will mean going around the southern end of the mountains via Lake Isabella/Bakersfield as the popular route via Tioga pass [CA120] is likely not to be an option. This is another part of your trip where you could get to Yosemite same day with a full day of driving, but you should look at the options of Death Valley and Sequoia NP, of which you could do a 'drive thru' of both with an overnight stop or easily spend 2 nights to see a little more of both.

    Another couple of options [detours] to consider on the way to Zion would be Monument Valley and Bryce canyon amongst others.

    Your in good shape and the drives are doable so you now need to tailor it to your interests. Once you have done so we can offer suggestions and 'tweaks' to make it fit.

    The links in this thread are a great resource and you will find much more looking around the forums.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Good Place to Start your Inquiries

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The area you'll be traveling through is one of the 'interesting' (L.A.) and scenic (the Great Southwest) in the United States. You will have absolutely no troubles keeping yourselves in wonderment for three weeks, while on the other hand that time frame will let your see much (but not all, I'm afraid) of the many great sights available to you. Since your planning is in its infancy I won't get too explicit just yet, but rather I'll point you to this compilation of discussions others have had in preparation for their own journeys. Once you have a better handle on venues, distances, timeframes, etc., we can get down to brass tacks about what will work best for your interests and tastes.


  4. Default

    Thanks for your advice! Ha, you must get people asking the same question all the time :)

    I will definitely browse and learn some more and flesh out the trip. Another question my partner raised recently was would it be easier/better to do the route in reverse? i.e. Head to San Fran from LA?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Only Thing Is

    We drive on the 'right' side of the road here, which puts the ocean (and the attendant pull-offs/lay-bys) on your side of the two lane, twisting Pacific Coast Highway when you're heading south rather than north. Otherwise it makes no difference whatsoever which way you go.


  6. Default

    So the time for leaving is fast approaching and we would love some final input.

    At this stage we are leaving Phoenix on March 24 and need to get to Las Vegas by April 1 - along this way we were thinking of visiting the following:

    1. Grand Canyon
    2. Monument Valley
    3. Arches National Park
    4. Bryce Canyon
    5. Zion National Park

    We're on the fence about whether we should do a tour in Monument Valley or just drive through and admire from afar. What we were wondering was where should we stay for each national park (i.e. staying inside the national park or a nearby town?) and how many days we should devote to them.

    Also are there any places we should add and/or skip (i.e. Antelope canyon photos look amazing but would that be too out of the way of our loop?)

    We're probably not looking for crazy strenous adventures like rock climbing or camping (we can't be bothered carting the gear around) so we would be looking at doing more day tours/hikes/walks.

    Any tips and thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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

    Default It's gonna be great !!

    That is certainly doable at a reasonable pace and you will see some amazing sights !

    You can go into MV Tribal park [fee charged]without booking a tour and admire the views, and have the option of taking a Jeep ride on the ummade road through the rock formations.

    Where to stay will depend on budget. In most cases you can't beat staying in the National park, but it is generally more expensive. I would look to book a night at the Grand canyon if possible, if not Tusayan is the nearest town to the south entrance and if you are looking at staying at least a full day [2nights] around here, [recommended] the Cameron Trading post out of the east kiosk [via Desert view drive] is pretty cool.

    Moab is ideal for touring Arches and possibly Canyonlands, time permitting. From Moab I would recommend you head to Hanksville and Torrey [via Capitol Reef NP] and then drive Utah Scenic 12 to Bryce Canyon. For Bryce canyon check out 'Rubys Inn'.

    Springdale UT is a wonderful little town on the doorstep of Zion NP and I would stay here for visiting the park without doubt.

    Here's one way of going about it, and what I would most likely do, but ultimaely you should juggle it to your tastes.

    24th] You could go through Oak creek and Sedona on the way to GC. [Stay GC or Tusayan
    25th] GC stay [or Cameron]
    26th] Stop MV to Moab
    27th ]Arches/Moab
    28th] Canyonlands/Moab ? [Possibly to Torrey pm]
    29th]To Bryce
    30th]Bryce and then to Springdale
    31st]Zion NP/Springdale
    1st] Zion and to Vegas.

    Not long to go now !! If you have other questions just ask, if not have a great trip and be sure to drop by and let us know all about your trip !!

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