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  1. Default Need advices on my oncoming road trip...

    Hi everyone,

    First, thank you for taking the time to read my post!

    I'm planning a road trip late October/early November. My itinerary would be:

    -Arriving in SF
    -Going to LA trough the coast
    -LA to Phoenix
    -Phoenix to LV trough the Grand Canyon
    -LV to Salt Lake City (just for a drive on the salt flats...)
    -Salt Lake City to Seattle
    -Seattle to SF through the coast

    What is there to see and to do between my stops?
    I'm a bit concerned by the weather for the northern part of my trip. Does it worth it or should I postpone this part for summer time?
    How many days would you need to do it?

    It's actually the very beginning of my research and would really appreciate a few tips from you guys!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There are dozens of National Parks and other attractions in between. You are talking about a trip that covers the entire western 1/4 of the US. There's really too many to mention specifics at this point, until you are a bit farther along in your planing/research.

    I will warn you that if you are in a rental car driving on the Salt Flats will likely violate the terms of your rental agreement, potentially leading to some pretty major problems.

    The weather shouldn't be too much or an issue. At this point, you're not really planning to go anywhere that sees harsh conditions, even in the winter. That said, if you plan to visit some attractions in the mountains that would be nearby your planned path, then you could start seeing some restrictions.

    The better question than how many days would you need is how many weeks would you need. You're looking at a loop of about 3500 miles, which is a week of driving all by itself, on the freeways. When you also factor in the extra time you need to drive roads like the coast, plus time to actually stop in some of the cities and places you want to visit, you'd need at least 2, but more likely about 3 weeks.

  3. Default

    Thank you very much for your quick answer.

    I wasn't aware of rental cars and the Salt Flats. I thought that just a good wash after the drive would be fine. I'm not going to take the risk but I still want to see it even from the main road. Sure, it worths it.

    I've been working on the first part of my trip ( San Francisco to LA through PCH/ LA to LV trough death valley park/LV to Grand Canyon Park) and I start to have a pretty good idea where to stop but I'd still like some tips...

    The difficult part is between the Grand Canyon and Seattle. Utah, Idaho, Oregon and washington are states I've never been to so I don't have a clue where to stop. Regarding the fact I'll just have 2 weeks, I'll just have enough time for the "non missable places".

    The loop is 3300 miles (for now) but I'm ready to cut it off if you think that some legs are too much for the time I have.

    Thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    You can get off I-80 at Exit 4, go north about 1 mile, then bear right on the access road to the salt flats. The road ends at the edge of the salt flats, and proceeding any farther onto the salt is at your own risk. Other than during races, there are no facilities of any kind except at the truck stop at the I-80 exit.

    Official site - read the FAQ and travel advisory, and look at the map. You should not drive out onto the salt if there's standing water at the end of the access road, or after November 1, when the salt reclamation project starts pumping brine onto the flats.

  5. #5

    Default

    This might give you some ideas about what there is to see along the Pacific Coast:
    A Journey Down The Pacific Coast In Pictures. This is an indirect link to my personal photos at Photobucket.com.

    This is just a personal opinion but with the amount of time you have, I would skip the rather long drive you have planned just to see the salt flats.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Black Rock Desert Playa is closer to being on your route....

    Instead of the salt flats -- Black Rock Desert Playa is the location of most of the land-speed records that have been set in north America. It will still violate your rental agreement to drive off-highway -- but I can tell you it's pretty darn fun!

    Mark

  7. Default

    Hi
    We did 5868 miles in 28 days (210 a day) Denver-Memphis-California-Denver and your talking about doing 3300 miles in 14 days (236 a day) ... Our advice Have it less ... You won't regret it.
    Have a good one.
    IceJoki

    Quote Originally Posted by achach View Post
    Thank you very much for your quick answer.

    I wasn't aware of rental cars and the Salt Flats. I thought that just a good wash after the drive would be fine. I'm not going to take the risk but I still want to see it even from the main road. Sure, it worths it.

    I've been working on the first part of my trip ( San Francisco to LA through PCH/ LA to LV trough death valley park/LV to Grand Canyon Park) and I start to have a pretty good idea where to stop but I'd still like some tips...

    The difficult part is between the Grand Canyon and Seattle. Utah, Idaho, Oregon and washington are states I've never been to so I don't have a clue where to stop. Regarding the fact I'll just have 2 weeks, I'll just have enough time for the "non missable places".

    The loop is 3300 miles (for now) but I'm ready to cut it off if you think that some legs are too much for the time I have.

    Thank you!

  8. Default

    Hi
    Drive US 1 (US 101/Ventura Highway) from SF to LA .... You won´t regret it. We did this last month and it was some of the best landscape we saw. we used this book and it was worth the money.
    Have a good one.
    Icejoki
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-16-2012 at 10:08 AM. Reason: Linked to book via RTA's Store

  9. Default

    Hi guys,

    Thanks all for your answers, very helpful. I was definitely too optimistic, too much for so the time I'll have. So, I had to cut off the northern part of my loop...

    My new itinerary:
    SF to LA through the coast
    LA to Phoenix
    Phoenix to Grand Canyon
    Grand Canyon To LV
    LV to DV and Yosemite
    Yosemite to Black Rock Desert
    Black Rock Desert to SF through the coast

    It's now 2600miles, makes it 170miles/day much more doable.

    Still have one question, what about the speed limits in the desert? Should I be concerned about it? Or can I just drive without being afraid of speed tickets because there's no control . I'm not talking about driving 100+ but you know how it works, it's always a bit stupid to get caught at 70 instead of 65...

    Thanks again for your help. It was a pretty good idea to post on this forum!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    You certainly can't assume that there's "no control" in the desert. Highway Patrol and local police do patrol all the roads you'll be driving. As any officer will tell you, they can stop and ticket you for doing even 1 mph over, they just usually don't. Most of the time, you won't be bothered doing 5 over, but its always a bit of a gamble, with your odds of getting stopped going up every little bit you increase your speed.

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