Thanks everyone for all the advice on the thread started by DramaQueen, as it has helped with planning my own trip.
I hope you have wonderful vacation Dramaqueen and maybe our paths will cross on the road...
This is my trip itinerary and I am hoping to gain some insight on must sees and also some recommendations on what hotels to stay at along the way:
Trip planned for first week in April 2012
Day 1 SLC to Reno 7 hour drive
Day 2 Reno to Monterey 5.5 hour drive
Day 3 Monterey we plan on taking the Pebble beach drive, aquarium, cannery row etc.
Day 4 Monterey along HWY 1 to Hearst Castle area 2 hour drive
Day 5 Hearst Castle to Yosemite 5 hour drive
Day 6 Yosemite to Sequoia 3 hour drive
Day 7 Sequoia to Death Valley 7 hours
Day 8 Death Valley to SLC 8 hours...
if feeling worn out we may extend vacation another day for the ride back....although there is not much to see or stay at...we have been to Vegas many times already and are instead coming back through Tonopah as my husband grew up in the area and I thought it would be a fun side trip to take back.
I know many will say that Yosemite would require a longer stay, but since it is winter conditions still, I am thinking a day trip will suffice?
We have done some ambitious trips in the past...last year we stayed in hotels and managed to see Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Goblin Valley on a 3 night trip and then again went to Arches, Mesa Verde, Four Corners, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon and Lake Powell while pulling a trailer on a 7 night trip.
Again any advice is appreciated as I have never traveled this part of the country.