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  1. Default need advice on road trip LA to Yellowstone

    Hi everyone!

    My friends and I are planning a road trip on the west coast next end of July/beginning of August. I’ve been doing some research and here’s the plan I somehow figured out:

    -Los Angeles/Hollywood: 1 day and 1 night
    -Las Vegas: 2 nights, 1 day
    -Grand Canyon: 4 nights and 4 days (we want to go hiking and stuff)
    -Some kind of stop for the night, in a camping maybe
    -Salt Lake City: 2 nights, 1,5 days
    -Yellowstone: 3 nights and 2 days

    What do you think about it? Are we missing something, spending too much/not enough time in some places, do you have any kind of advice?

    Here’s some important info: we are 6 young people (around 23) willing to drive a lot but not too much either. We’re planning to stay 15 days or so because we are somehow on a budget. Also we’re French so any typical American scenery will be amazing for us. :) Everyone here is new to the road trip experience.

    Right now, we’re wondering if Hollywood is really worth it and if we should push it to Mt Rushmore even though it’s quite far from Yellowstone. What do you think?

    Thank you soooo much for your help! I will continue to read all previous posts so that I’m not missing out. :)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Good Choices So Far

    Bienvenue sur les forums de RoadTrip Amérique. Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your basic plan so far looks quite good, with a good mix of urban and country settings and, most important, enough time to experience and enjoy the places you'll be driving to without feeling rushed or having to be on the road for long stretches. You seem to know what you want, so I'll just give you a few hints and suggestions. Personally, I wouldn't waste what little time you have in the Los Angeles area on trying to see 'Hollywood'. Basically it's just a one industry town, and the stars' homes are all behind locked gates and the TV and movie studios that do offer tours won't (except in very rare cases) actually afford you the opportunity to see anything being filmed. Since the bulk of your trip is going to be inland, I'd use this chance to dip your toes in the Pacific. Good spots worth checking out include the Santa Monica Pier area, Venice Beach, and Newport Beach.

    For the Grand Canyon, you are probably planning on going to the South Rim which is where most of the tourist services are, but I would urge you to check out the North Rim as a solid alternative. It is more rustic and receives far fewer visitors, and the trails from there into the Canyon will be less crowded. Since you are going to be headed north after your Canyon experience, using the North Rim would also save you about 200 miles of driving and put you in good shape to visit Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks on the way to Salt Lake City.

    Between Salt Lake City and Yellowstone, consider using US-89 for some great scenery and quick stops. I agree with your hesitation to go to Mount Rushmore. It would add around 40% more miles to your drive, and could easily turn a relaxed and enjoyable trip into a slog just to get places.

    Finally a word on the cost of the car rental. You've got two things built into your trip that are going to cause the cost of this to be pretty large. First of all, it looks like you are planning on picking up the car in Los Angeles and leaving it at Yellowstone. If this is correct, you will be hit with a sizeable one-way drop off fee since 'someone' will have to return the car to Los Angeles. Not many people hire cars at Yellowstone. Second, you state that you are all under 25 years of age. That means that each and every one of the people who plan to drive the car for any portion of the trip will have to pay $25/day for the entire rental period in 'underage' driver fees. That's around $400/person for each driver. I would encourage you to start shopping around for the car now. Check with European-based consolidators such as carhire3000 (and others) to see if you can get either or both of those fees waived, or else consider a loop trip where you return to Los Angeles with the car for the flight home and work out which (very) few of you are actually going to drive.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    AZBuck is pretty right on when it comes to Hollywood. Here's what you can see:

    Hollywood Walk of Fame - the stars embedded in the pavement. Unless you just happen to hit it right and see a star dedication, the stars are only names and a few symbols in the sidewalk.

    Graumann's Chinese Theater - not usually open to the public for viewing.

    Along the Walk of Fame are a lot of rundown and seedy shops, plus a wax museum and the Kodak Theater. It's not a great area. To walk the Walk of Fame takes a couple of hours going up one way and down the other -- more time if you are looking for someone's name in particular.

    Universal Studios is a theme park, with a backstage tour.

    Warner Bros. Studios has a 3-hour tour available. We enjoyed it, but it may or may not be worth your time, depending on what you want to see. CBS and NBC both have tours, maybe not quite worth the time.

    Some folks like to drive up to Malibu and take a look at Zuma Beach. "Spaceballs" and a couple of other movies have had a scene or two filmed there. My own favorite classic TV show, "I Dream of Jeannie", had the pilot filmed there.

    With the time you have, though, only you can decide if this is worth it to you.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Another point of view.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Along the Walk of Fame are a lot of rundown and seedy shops, plus a wax museum and the Kodak Theater. It's not a great area. To walk the Walk of Fame takes a couple of hours going up one way and down the other -- more time if you are looking for someone's name in particular.
    When I stay in LA, this is the area in which I usually stay. I love this area, and have always felt safe and secure there, even as a lone female walking at night. The walk of fame is much more than just Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, it also goes down Vine and several other streets. If you are looking for a specific name, it pays to make enquiries as to where to find it... or search it on the web. It can take days to find a name! I have never been to any of the so-called theme parks, including Universal. Nor have I been to any of the other tourist traps there. I have better things to do with my money.

    That said, if I had limited time, I would choose the great national parks, before I would spend time in Hollywood.


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