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  1. Default Road trip comments/thougts SF- LA - Las vegas - grand canyon - phoenix

    Hi all,

    I am a newbie to this site and have spent a lot of time getting lots of tips from all of the other threads! My husband and I are planning 23 days in the USA in March 2013 and I have thought about a preliminary itinerary and would welcome your thoughts?

    1) - London to NY - arriving lunch time - potter about NY
    2) NY
    3) NY
    4) SF- NY flight arriving evening
    5) SF
    7) SF-LA drive begins departing afternoon
    8) LA
    9) LA
    10) LA
    11) LA
    12) LA drive to Sequoia park - grand sherman (i know this is far is it worth it?) - Las Vegas (is this doable?)
    13) LV
    14) LV
    15) LV
    16) LV- Grand Canyon drive via hoover dam
    17) In the GC area either stay here this night or set off to Phoenix tonight
    18) Phoenix - Austin flight departs 10:30am
    19-23) in Austin for a wedding.

    I know the post has probably been done lots of time but just wanted some realistic comments on whether my trip is doable? Would appreciate any advice given as we are booking hopefully tonight ! THANKS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you are pretty significantly underestimating the distances involved in travel throughout the American west.

    San Francisco to Los Angeles is typically a 6-7 hour drive, depending upon traffic and where in LA you are heading. That's if you take I-5, but its certainly more than an afternoon drive. However, if you wanted to follow the scenic coast highway, it would really become a 2 day drive.

    LA to Vegas via Sequoia is simply not possible in one day. Its about 700 miles of driving, including many miles of narrow, slow-going, 2 lane mountain roads. I'd expect that to take 15-16 hours, without stopping to actually see the park.

    Not to mention, if you're not going to follow the coast, it would make much more sense to see Sequoia while driving from SF to LA. However, again there, it would not be a single day drive.

    Finally, If you've got a 10:30 am flight I wouldn't want to be spending the previous night anywhere near the Grand Canyon. It's about a 4 hour drive from GC to Phoenix, plus you'd have to be driving through morning rush traffic. Throw in car rental return, and you'd need to be on the road well before 5am.

    You certainly have enough time to make everything work, and frankly, there are a lot of other scenic places you could include if you want to see something other than cities. But you do need to factor more time for driving, even if you stick to your current plan.

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