Hi, my wife and I are flying into Seattle on September 4th. for an extended road trip finishing in San Francisco to fly back to the UK on October 14th. We have a plan but would feel much more confident with input from people who know these parts.
We would appreciate any suggestions for maximising our experience, improving our route, our timetabling and/or enriching our choice of accomodations en-route. We enjoy road touring in Europe but have limited experience in the US.
If it's economic to do so, and any time saved could be better used elsewhere, we would consider flying some sections.
First, we plan to spend a few days in and around Seattle before we hit the road via Mt Rainier (1night), Couer d'Alene (1 night) and Glacier NP (via the 'Road To The Sun') enroute to Yellowstone NP qith overnight stops as required/recommended. At Yellowstone we thought to stop 4 nights. before going down the road to Grand Teton NP for a further couple of nights. Would this give us time to visit properly?
Stage II, would take us from Grand Teton via Salt Lake City (2 nights possibly) and Lake Tahoe (1 night) then to Eureka CA. (1 night) arriving September 20. This section is a blank page for us so all comments/suggestions would be especially helpful. A detour to Crater Lake seems to be a step too far. Do you agree?
Stage III, from Eureka, we plan to follow the California coast to Los Angeles. For this section we have picked up lots of info from previous posts and we are thinking to allow 4/5 days, possibly with overnights at Monterey, St Simeon and Los Angeles before continuing via San Diego to Tucson (1 night), Phoenix then Flagstaff (2 nights with a trip to Peach Springs - Hulapai reservation - returning to Flagstaff for the second night). Then on to GC North Rim where we have a reservation at the GC Lodge on the 28 September. On the 29th we thought to head for Lake Powell; Arches NP (1 night); Bryce Canyon (1 night); Zion NP; Boulder Dam; and into Las Vegas on October 2 for 2 nights.
Stage IV, would take us from Las Vegas to Death Valley (1 night) and onto Yosemite (2 nights) before heading into San Francisco. By my reckoning we could have up to 7 days in SF before our flight home. We could reduce this to, say, 4 nights depending upon any alternatives suggested. If we can firm up on this in advance, I guess we could reduce our rental car period but would we benefit from use of a car in or around SF?
Hope this isn't to lengthy.
Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.