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  1. Default San Francisco Las Vegas Loop

    My wife and I are looking to visit USA for 2 weeks next August (2013) but need to start planning/booking this year.

    Rough idea is fly (we're from the UK) to San Francisco and hire a car.

    Spend a couple of days staying in SF.

    Take 4 days driving to Vegas.
    Possible overnight stops are Monterey, Santa Maria, and Santa Monica, all down the coast road, then head on I-15 straight to Vegas.

    Spend a couple of days in Vegas.
    Have a possible trip out to Grand Canyon.

    Then spend 4 days driving back to SF.
    Possible stops are Death Valley (Stovepipe Wells), Bishop, and Lake Tahoe, finally head on I-50 back to SF.
    Is it possible to do LV>Bishop in one day or is it worthwhile having an overnight at Stovepipe Wells?

    Have a final days rest in SF before flying home.

    This looks to be about 200-250 miles (3-5 hours) of driving each day.
    Is this about right?

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

    Default Nice !!

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    You seem to have a good handle on things and you are in for a wonderful trip. A couple of things I would point out is that the Grand canyon is more than a day trip from Vegas and any tours from Vegas usually go to the West Rim which is not part of the National park system. I would consider driving to [or nearby] the Grand canyon from the coast and then head back to Vegas.

    It's possible to get from LV to Bishop same day and have some time in Death Valley. Stovepipe Wells is near the sand dunes in DV and would also make a good overnight choice. Personally, I would then take the incredibly scenic Tioga Pass [CA120] into Yosemite National park and have a couple of nights there, rather than heading up to Tahoe. That's something for you too decide upon though, but I would check it out !

    You will find Lot's of info searching the forums and by simply scrollong down this page where you will 'Similar threads'.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the info.
    I'll have a look at the Tioga Pass.

    Regarding the Grand Canyon, my wife and I fancy one of those helicoptor trips, rather than driving to the rim.

    As regards driving... my wife fancies hiring a convertable something-or-other (She drives a coupe at home everyday in the UK anyway).
    The main hire companies seem to suggest a Ford Mustang or equivalent. Are these any good?
    By "any good" I mean boot/trunk space. We tend to travel light. So for the two week trip it will be a 22 inch Carry-On case each and a smallish (40 litre) sports bag each. Will these fit in the boot with the top down?

    I also assume in August California/Nevada has hardly any rain and is pretty warm.
    Last edited by PH68; 04-14-2012 at 04:28 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Watch out for sunburn !

    A helicopter tour is OK as long as you know what you are paying for. As I mentioned previously, many don't go to the National Park, but to the West Rim. The National Park is where you see the photos the world over that has made it so familiar and considerd a world wonder. You won't find the West rim to offer quite the same.

    With rental companies you will always see the words "Or similar". They will not guarantee a particular model of car, just a car in that 'class'. When you look at rental options and select a model it will generally show you what that class of vehicle will hold in passengers and luggage. With the two of you, you should be fine and there is always the back seat for extra bits. [Although best not to leave bits on display when parked up]

    You can expect the weather to be extremely hot in the desert areas and hot enough to need the roof up and aircon on. Be careful not to get 'frazzled' driving with the hood down, as it can be deceptive when travelling. The coast will be cooler especially when the fog is around.

  5. Default

    Cheers for the info.
    More planning to do...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Flights.

    If you are really set on a flight over the canyon, I suggest you take one of the flights out of Tusayan. They go over the National Park, where it is not permissable to fly below the rim, or land. A spectacular experience!


  7. Default

    My wife happened to come across some info on Grand Canyon helicoptor flights and quite fancies going on one.
    I've not looked into it too much yet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    I agree with Lifey that the flights over the canyon from the GC airport in Tusayan are a great experience, but you would be only a short distance from completing the journey to the rim and there is nothing like standing there and witnessing a sunset !.

  9. Default Vegas to LA via Grand Canyon

    My wife and I are from the UK & staying in Vegas & LA for a couple of week next summer (Vegas 1st, LA 2nd).
    When driving from Vegas to LA we want to take a detour via Grand Canyon.

    Our plan is to drive to Grand Canyon Village and stay overnight.
    Next couple of days drive on to LA with an overnight stop somewhere.
    We're flexible in that we could do two overnight stop between Grand Canyon & LA.

    Simple question... where are some good places to see & stay overnight.

    Any suggestions are welcome.

    Mod note] Please keep all questions regarding this trip in this thread. Thank-you
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 09-01-2012 at 12:45 AM. Reason: Merged threads as per 1 trip -1 Thread policy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default '66 and Joshua Tree perhaps.

    You could take the time to detour through Joshua Tree NP on route to LA, or you could spend a portion of 'day ' continuing to explore the GC and then stop over in Kingman or Lake Havasu. From Las Vegas you could stop at Hoover Dam, and either on the way to or from the canyon, you could travel part of route 66 through Seligman to get off Interstate and check out some of the 'quirky' memorabilia stores. You could also take a 66 detour through Oatman between Kingman and Lake Havasu and see the wild Burros in town.

    If you can squeeze an extra day you could fit it all in without being rushed at the GC. As well as the village area there are numerous viewpoints on the way up to Hermits Rest and along Desert view drive that goes to the east kiosk linking AZ64 to US89. I actually prefer entering the canyon from this end where you get expansive views of the Colorado river from the Old Watchtower and you travel east to west into the main canyon area [as does the river] rather than arriving through the south entrance near Tusayan in the 'middle' of it all.

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