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  1. #1

    Default August California advices

    Hallo All,
    A bunch of friends and I are planning a trip, here is a possible map:
    http://www.scribblemaps.com/#id=INNvbSaAyu

    Consider that for many of us it will be a one-in-a-life occasion for visiting
    California (we are 7 Italians, plus maybe some Americans).

    Two points are fixed:
    -Arrival date in Los Angeles on the 8th of August.
    -Departure from San Francisco on the 22nd of August.

    All the rest has not been strictly decided.
    Do you have any suggestion about what cannot be missed?
    In my opinion the actual map is too busy and maybe
    skipping Monument valley (too hot in summer) and Byrce Canyon
    could result in the possibility of visiting Sequoia and Yosemite parks,
    any ideas?

    Do you think it would be better to get a single van for 8 people
    or a couple of cars?
    thank you very much for all the suggestions,
    ciao
    Paolo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,010

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The first thing I'd point out is that your map has you going to the Skywalk/West Rim, not Grand Canyon National Park. The two really are very different places, and given the option, I'd be going to the National Park every time. The skywalk is located on Native American lands, reached via very rough roads, and is very expensive (about $80 per person). The National Park is where you'll find the scenic views that you are probably most familiar with via photographs, the canyon is about twice as deep within the park (Rim elevation 7-8000 ft at the national park vs about 4000 ft at skywalk), and everyone in your car gets into the park for $25 total.

    Its actually a shame that you aren't flying home out of LAX, as you'd really be better off doing a full loop for this trip, where you'd go from Vegas to SF via Death Valley and Yosemite, and then head back to LA via the coast. If changing it isn't possible, then I certainly wouldn't double back all the way to LA after Vegas. I'd still go to Death Valley and then Yosemite, and then head back to the coast around the Cambria area, going up to Big Sur from there.

    I'd look at 2 cars, which is likely going to have more room and would give you a chance to split up and sit with different people throughout your trip. To fit 8 people and luggage, you'd likely have go get a very large conversion van, which is going to be expensive and fairly clumsy to drive.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you Michael,

    I had no idea about the big differences of the scenic spots of the Grand Canyon.

    We will absolutely think about going up to Yosemite instead doing all the coast up to SF.
    I am a bit concerned about the amount of miles per day of this
    trip ( I am a kind of a person who needs to take his time to enjoy a place).
    If it was you what would you skip of the present map (considering
    that on the way to SF we could visit Yosemite instead of the present
    schedule)?
    ciao
    thanks
    Paolo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,010

    Default

    There are a couple things you can do to save yourself some miles.

    The biggest is not going to Vegas twice.

    From LA or San Diego (San Diego is a place I'd think about skipping if you want to save some time) head directly to the Grand Canyon. It would be a full day drive to get there, but it saves you some miles compared to going all the way to Las Vegas, first. From there, you could go to Monument Valley and Bryce, and Vegas in the reverse order of what you've got planned now.

    A couple other things here. Monument Valley is a ways removed from your other stops, so if you skipped that, it would save you quite a few miles, but it might be a must see for you.

    I'd also think about doing Zion NP. If you are really tight for time, you could do it instead of Bryce Canyon, since that would save you some driving too, or just think about doing both.

    Going to Yosemite and then the coast actually shouldn't be too much extra driving compared your original plan, since you'd no longer be backtracking to LA, and you'd probably want to skip Santa Barbara.

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