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  1. Default SF to Big Sur to Yosemite to Sequoia to Death valley to Vegas to Grand Canyon

    Hi All,

    I am planning to go in few days for 10-12 days west coast road trip (last minute plan;). I am very flexible on the path.
    The goal is to take in the best scenery and show to my parents the main interest points and enjoy the most amazing roads in the world.

    I can skip a park to better take advantage of another one.
    It will be great if you can also help me with the activities/interest points in the parks and how to manage accommodation there.

    Thanks a lot for your help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,747

    Default One way. [?]

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Is this a loop trip back to SF, or are you planning on a one way trip ending in Vegas [perhaps] ?

    If it's a one way trip then you could drive around Big Sur to the Cambria/San Simeon area and then head inland to Sequoia before going to Yosemite and across the Sierra Nevada via the Tioga Pass [CA120]. You could then head south on 395 to Lone Pine and head across Death valley on 136/190 to Death Valley junction and then take Ash Meadows/Bell Vista Road to Pahrump and 160 to Vegas. If you are finishing your trip in Vegas [?] you could continue through and maybe stop in a route 66 town such as Kingman or Williams on the way to GC.

    You could check the National Park website for lodgings [nps.gov] but I think you will struggle to get lodgings within the parks at such short notice and I would start looking at nearby towns and check out the situation. Three Rivers is close to the Sequioa NP entrance or Fresno near to the Kings canyon entrance. I'd probably opt for entering from the south and head north on the lovely 'Generals Highway' in the park so you exit towards Yosemite. Oakhurst has various lodgings on the way to Yosemite, with other towns like Mariposa, El Portal and Groveland nearby. After exploring Yosemite you could stay east of the mountains in Lee Vining, Mammoth Lakes or Bishop for example. Around Grand canyon there are Willams, Flagstaff, Tusayan [the nearest ] to the south and just out of the east entrance is the Cameron Trading post, which is quite interesting as well. "Near" can sometimes mean an hour or more away and if the NP's have availability and it's within your budget, that's where I would try to stay.

  3. Default

    Thanks a lot... That is really great.
    Ii s not a loop. I am planning to go to the grand Canyon, Zion Park Bryce park... after Vegas to finish either in Phoenix or somewhere in Utah to fly back to NY.
    I will follow your suggestions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Zion and Bryce.

    In that case you could consider heading to Zion and Bryce canyon after Death Valley and Vegas on I15 and then head to the Grand canyon south rim via Page AZ [Antelope canyon/Lake Powell] and then the east entrance along Desert view drive to the village. Then back to Phoenix, or back to Vegas. Monument Valley would be another worthy detour, but you are already getting to the point of being a little rushed through the parks when you consider drive times.

    Springdale UT is a lovely little town and right on the doorstep of Zion NP and for Bryce canyon check out 'Rubys Inn'.

    When visiting the parks you will pick up leaflets and the Rangers are always pleased to help and share their favourite spots. Be sure to drive up to Glacier Point in Yosemite and take the short walk to the viewpoint !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    If budget is at all a concern, I'd bet that ending in Las Vegas ends up being much cheaper than ending your trip in Phoenix or Salt Lake City. Most rental car companies have a relatively low one way drop fee on trips between SF/LA and Vegas, and sometimes the fee is even waived. SF to Phoenix or SLC will likely mean a couple hundred dollars for a drop fee, plus airfare out of Vegas is often, but not always, cheaper.

  6. Default

    Thanks all for your help. This is by far the most awesome road trip forum.

    I am planning to do SF to three rivers through Cambria in one day. Do you have any suggestion for a nice lunch stop with a nice view on the 1 to Big Sur? Any other interest point/Activity in addition to the view points on the road?

    Once in Three rivers, should I plan to reach Lee Vining or Mammoth Lakes in one day? Is it ambitous or am I missing the whole parks by doing that?

    The other alternative is to enter to sequioa Park through three rivers and spend the night somewhere like Groveland and then spend an extra day in Yosemite and finish in Mammoth Lakes and then Head to Vegas the next day through Death Valley (or continue to Zion and Bryce Parks and Springdale as Southwest Dave suggested)?
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-24-2012 at 09:46 AM. Reason: added some white space

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Long Distances!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marouen View Post
    Thanks all for your help. This is by far the most awesome road trip forum.
    Thanks for the kudos.
    I am planning to do SF to three rivers through Cambria in one day. Do you have any suggestion for a nice lunch stop with a nice view on the 1 to Big Sur? Any other interest point/Activity in addition to the view points on the road?
    For a first-time Big Sur visitor it's hard to beat a sandwich at Nepenthe....
    Once in Three rivers, should I plan to reach Lee Vining or Mammoth Lakes in one day? Is it ambitious or am I missing the whole parks by doing that?
    Short of using a helicopter -- how were you planning to do this? By the shortest possible route, it would still be about 10 hours of driving and you would miss Yosemite.
    The other alternative is to enter to sequioa Park through three rivers and spend the night somewhere like Groveland and then spend an extra day in Yosemite and finish in Mammoth Lakes and then Head to Vegas the next day through Death Valley (or continue to Zion and Bryce Parks and Springdale as Southwest Dave suggested)?
    Yes, that's a much more realistic route, but the farthest you can reach would be Las Vegas, if you leave sufficient time to enjoy Yosemite and the drive along the Sierras. Actually, I'd recommend you drive only as far as Bishop and then go on the next day. (instead of staying overnight in Mammoth). There's an amazing B&B in Bishop and it's an easy walk to restaurants and etc. Joseph House Inn.

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default Indeed.

    I have to agree with Mark. As I mentioned previously you are close to the limit of what you can manage with 10-12 days and still have time to explore. You could spend 2 days in Yosemite and barely scratch the surface. Also your plan to get to Three Rivers is not that realistic either, if you want to enjoy the coast and what it has to offer that is. To do it in the time you have allowed would be a full day of driving and little time from the car. The distances are not huge, but many of the roads [PCH, NP'S] are slow going and there is a lot to see.

    Much will depend on how much time you wish to spend where, compared to dsya on the road. Are the 10-12 days to include time in San Fran, or is that purely for the road trip ?

    I would be looking at Cambria, Sequoia, [area] Yosemite [at least 1 night] and then Bishop to start your journey off. From Bishop to LV to Zion to Bryce to GC to Vegas all as overnights which is 9 days in total and then decide where you want to spend a little extra time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I am planning to do SF to three rivers through Cambria in one day.
    That is way too rushed, you need to spend a night around Cambria.

  10. Default

    I really appreciate your feedback and quick answers.

    I finally decided to come back to Vegas after Zion, Bryce and GC. Any suggestion for lodging between GC and Bryce Park?

    Thanks

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