I apologize if some of these questions have been answered to already, but I am new to RTA. My boyfriend and I are planning on going on a trip to see some National Parks in the Southwest, the Grand Canyon, Salvation Mountain, and the California Coast. We plan to leave on April 25th, 2012, and return somewhere around the 10th of May (we're planning for about two weeks, though we have about 4 extra days to work with, if need be). I'm just looking for suggestions in general...weather, packing, good hiking trails, recommendations of parks, thoughts on distance, suggestions for accommodations, routes, and time gone. Any overall comments are appreciated, as this will be my first serious roadtrip! Here is our tentative itinerary as of now:
Calgary, AB, Canada to Calgary, AB, Canada - Google Maps-1.jpgCalgary, AB, Canada to Calgary, AB, Canada - Google Maps.jpg
-April 25th (Day 1)
Leave from Calgary, AB and drive until Idaho Falls, ID or Pocatello, ID. Accommodations are still unknown.
-April 26th (Day 2)
Leave from ID and take I-15 south to highway 17 to Zion National Park. Hopefully arrive at sunset, enjoy the park, do a quick hike, stay overnight--we're looking to stay in Hurricane potentially.
-April 27th (Day 3)
The next morning, do a quick hike or two in Zion, and hit the road for Page, AZ. We will likely stay the night in Page.
-April 28th (Day 4)
Get up early, and hit the road for the Grand Canyon Village! We plan on camping--we're looking at the Mather Campground--and doing a bit of shopping at Cameron Trading Post. We will probably explore the South Rim, doing a rim hike, and then camp.
-April 29th (Day 5)
Get up early, finish hiking the rim, and hit the road for Sedona, AZ. We plan to camp two nights in Sedona.
-April 30th (Day 6)
Explore Sedona and stay the night (camp).
-May 1st (Day 7)
Finish exploring Sedona and leave early for Yuma (where we will stay the night in a hotel)
-May 2nd (Day 8)
Leave relatively early for Niland, CA. Explore Salvation Mountain for a few hours, and then head to San Diego (or Palm Springs--we may have relatives in Palm Springs willing to let us stay there, if so, we will skip San Diego and stay in Palm Springs)
-May 3rd (Day 9)
Wake up and leave for Newport Beach, CA. Explore the shopping scene, and hit the beach. Go to the Wax Museum and Hollywood Walk of Fame in LA. Stay on Northern part of LA.
-May 4th (Day 10)
Wake up and hit the road. Take the 101 to Santa Cruz (stopping along the way in Santa Barbara for 2-3hrs). Stay overnight in Santa Cruz.
-May 5th (Day 11)
Once in Santa Cruz, we plan to check out the "Mystery Spot" that morning. In the afternoon, we plan to head to San Fransisco, check out the pier, ride Cable cars, and see the bridge. We potentially plan on staying in a hostel in San Fran, because it's something I'd like to say that I've tried! One name we found was the "Adelaide Hostel"
-May 6th and 7th (Day 12/13)
Once we get up, we will begin our journey home. We will stay in a couple hotels somewhere along the way as we'll be homebound through Redding, Kennewick and Spokane.
-May 8th (Day 14)
Finish the drive home, and hopefully arrive back in Calgary.
So that's it! As mentioned, we have a couple more days that we would add to particular points of the trip; if you have any suggestions how to make better use of these days, please let me know! We still have a lot of details to sort out, so any help is appreciated. Thanks!