I'd like to drive from the SF Bay Area to Zion, and from there see the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert. Assuming a first stop in Tahoe, is it best to break the journey from there to Zion, and if so where? And which rim of the Grand Canyon is best? What about stops after the Grand Canyon, especially if we're thinking of passing through Los Angeles on the return trip?
Also, any suggestions for interesting and comfortable places to stay would be appreciated (they needn't be especially cheap).