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  1. Default West Coast road trip advice

    Hi there,

    I'm in the preliminary stages of planning a road trip in June 2014 and I wanted to run the possible route by you to see how long you think I realistically need to achieve it, and whether it may need trimming down. My first idea is this:

    San Fran
    Yosemite
    Death Valley
    Las Vegas
    Grand Canyon
    Tuscon (have to visit a friend there)
    San Diego
    Los Angeles/Hollywood
    The best route 1 stops
    San Fran

    Having read through a few threads, it seems like this could be over-ambitious, though I could very likely have 3 to 4 weeks available for this.

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

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    3-4 weeks seems like a pretty ideal amount of time for a trip like this.

    One suggestion right away would be to reverse your order, doing a counter-clockwise loop. That will give you the advantage of driving down the coast, with the ocean on your side of the road. It will also put your trip into Yosemite a little later which will increase your odds of Tioga Pass being open (It opens between mid-May and late June, depending upon the weather).

    Otherwise, a loop like this is a very popular topic on this forum. Here are some of our favorite threads on the subject for you to look through. As you have more specific questions, feel free to ask.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Quite relaxed.

    I would say that with 3-4 weeks it would be quite a relaxed trip, you could consider spending a little more time in the Grand canyon area and perhaps visit Monument Valley and/or Sedona. From Vegas you could even head into Utah for Zion and Bryce canyon NP's and then down through Page to GC. Of course it depends on how much time you plan to spend with friends and in each of the other places you want to visit.

  4. Default

    Thanks for all your help and advice. If I needed to reduce the trip slightly once I've worked out the $$, which of the legs do you think is the most droppable? Maybe SF around to LV and fly out from there? Hopefully I won't need to, but worth thinking of a plan b just in case.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default False Economy?

    The biggest driver of additional costs on a trip such as this is simply the expense associated with being on the road. Trying to save money by shortening a loop trip, especially by dropping the 'closing' leg, is often counter productive. For example, if you start in San Francisco but end in Las Vegas you've got two potentially large added costs: the one-way drop-off fee on the rental car and an 'open jaw' plane ticket instead of a simple round trip. Those are almost certainly going to be more than the amount you'd save in gas by not driving back to San Francisco.

    As has been noted, you have more than enough time to complete this trip. Many people do it enjoyably in two weeks, while you're currently allotting three to four. Your best bet for saving money (about $100/day when you factor in both food and lodging) is to simply do the entire loop in less time.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-06-2013 at 04:49 PM.

  6. Default West coast winter road trip?

    Hi there,

    Coming over from the UK and we're hoping to drive the west coast, with a rough itinerary something like:

    SF
    LA
    San Diego
    Tuscon
    Vegas
    Grand Canyon
    Yosemite
    SF

    We have 3 weeks for the trip. My main concern is that work constraints have meant that the trip has been pushed back, and now we're looking at mid-October to Mid-November. Is a trip like this still possible and worthwhile at this time of year?

    Would greatly appreciate your help!

    Moderator Note: Please keep all questions about the same trip in the same thread.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 02-06-2014 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Merged Threads

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default timing

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I would certainly say that a trip in October-November is still worthwhile, and in fact for many this is a near ideal time to travel as it is not yet winter, yet it is past the peak summer tourist season. Of course, the longer into November you go, the closer to winter you are getting.

    The biggest factor with the weather I would keep in mind is that I would recommend you try to do Yosemite near the start of your Trip. Tioga Pass, the direct and scenic route between Vegas/Death Valley and Yosemite typically closes for the season sometime between mid-October and the end of November. The earlier you go, the more likely it is to be open.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    From Tuscon you would save time and gas by going to the Grand canyon and then to Vegas. October can be a great month for travelling in this area, but winter can come early, particularly in the mountains as suggested by the closure of Tioga Pass.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Reverse it.

    Originally, the trip you had planned for June had you heading to Yosemite first, doing the trip clockwise. Now that you are going later in the year, it would be prudent to do a clockwise trip, lest winter comes early to the Sierras. Not only will it affect Tioga Pass, but it could mean snow in the valley (chains) and the closing of the road to Glacier Point - a view not to be missed.

    Lifey

  10. Default

    So we're looking at something like this:

    SF 2 nights
    Yosemite 3 nights
    Lone Pine 1 night
    Las Vegas 2 nights
    Grand Canyon 2 nights
    Tuscon @ friend's 3 nights
    San Diego 2 nights
    LA 3 nights
    Pismo Beach 1 night
    Monteray 1 night
    SF 1 night

    We've still got one day up our sleeve to add somewhere in there. Also not sure about the last couple of days.

    Would love your views please guys, does it seem the right amount of time in the key places? And where to put the spare day?

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