I will be making my way from Las Vegas to San Diego and would appreciate some critique of my proposed route. I'm actually doing it in summer an very much looking forward to going back as I love the USA, especially the desert scenery.
After flying in from London I'll be staying a few days in Las Vegas at the start of my trip and San Diego at the end, leaving 9 nights to get between the two cities. I've already seen nearly all of the national parks in CA, AZ and UT but my fiancÚ hasn't, so I'm looking for something that's more off the beaten path so I can explore the area in more detail, but also throwing in a couple of the big hitters (e.g. Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, some others) so she can see the highlights of the south west. I've been struggling to settle on something, as there's so much to see!
My current plan looks like this:
Day 1: Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon
Day 2: Bryce Canyon to Moab
Day 3: See Canyonlands, stay in Moab again
Day 4: See Arches, drive to Cortez
Day 5: Cortez to Monument Valley
Day 6: Monument Valley to Grand Canyon
Day 7: Grand Canyon to Sedona
Day 8: Sedona to Wickenburg, see Prescott on way
Day 9: Wickenburg to Yuma
Next day: Drive to San Diego
How would you change my route if you were doing it? Anything you'd add/ditch? Would you ditch it entirely and start again? Is there anything you think I'm missing out on the way? (I know I'm skipping Zion but it feels like it's hard to fit much more in). Does it seem like too much driving? I'm keen to see death valley again but I've been struggling to come up with a route that incorporates it as everything else we're seeing is in the opposite direction. One other thing, I've not been to southern Arizona before, Tucson etc, would it be worth trying to adapt my route to incorporate it? The only certain bits of the 9 days are seeing the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley so my fiancÚ can see them, otherwise there are no other constraints... which is probably making it so hard to decide where to go! Also, is Phoenix worth making a stop at?
A slight variation on my route would be to swap Yuma with Palm Springs - I don't really know what's in either place, and reading guidebooks doesn't give me an immediate preference either, so it's a bit arbitrary which one I pick - does anyone have any thoughts on that?
Also, it'll be my first time with me doing the actual driving in the USA so if anyone has any tips on that it would be appreciated!
Would love to hear what everyone thinks of my route, especially the experienced road trippers among you!