Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. Default West coast trip advice needed! 19 days SF to Yellowstone

    Hi everyone, me and my girlfriend are currently planning a road trip on the west coast.

    We will be flying into SFO on May 21st (Around mid day arrival) and have until June 10th or so before going back home to Boston so we have around 19 days for this trip.

    We want to go to Yosemite to Monterey to LA to Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and then Going to Salt Lake City and then to Yellowstone.

    We realize that the longer drives would be too long for one person to drive (She can't drive) and we need advice for mid way stops for the longer legs of the trip.

    Currently, a rough plan is:

    (--> includes drive time)

    SF - 3 days
    -->Yosemite - 2 days (~4 hour drive from SFO)
    -->Monterey - 1 day; spend night there and drive to LA in the morning(~4 hours drive from Yosemite)
    -->LA - 3 days (~5 hours drive from Monterey)
    -->Las Vegas - 2 days; sightseeing mainly, no care for gambling (~4 hour drive from LA)
    -->Grand Canyon - 2 days (~4.5 hour drive from LV)
    -->Salt lake City - 2 days drive and sight see; (LONG drive...need a midway place)
    -->Yellowstone Park - ? days (Long drive again; 6 hours)

    This adds up to around 15 days leaving 4 days for Yellowstone, would this be okay? I don't mind driving 4 hour stretches with a food break in between. I'm familiar with the drive to NYC from Boston so it's not too too bad, it's just the long stretch to Utah and Wyoming that would be tough.

    Any route suggestions would be awesome. I made a plan on google maps here:

    Thanks everyone!

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    While none of your drives themselves are a problem, you should know that the times you are getting from google are just not realistic in the real world, and you need to expect all of them to take roughly 20% more time than you are currently planning.

    The one issue I see with your current plan involves Monterey. As you have your trip set up right now, it would actually make more sense, and save you some time to drive from SF to Monterey first, and then head to Yosemite, and onto LA from there. The only reason it would make sense to go to Yosemite first is if you were going to follow the coast road from Mont. to LA. However, your current plan does not do that. The only way you can do that drive in anywhere close to 5 hours (real world 6-7 depending upon traffic and specific destination in LA) is to stick with the Freeway. If you followed the coast road it would be a very long day, a good 12+ hours, and really another stop perhaps around Santa Barbara would be advised.

    Right between Grand Canyon and Salt Lake City is Zion and Bryce Canyon NPs. Alternatively, you could go up eastern Utah, through Monument Valley and Moab, and perhaps Flaming Gorge if SLC is not a must stop.

    4 days is ok for Yellowstone, and I would recommend you come up through the Tetons on your way from Utah.

    Are you planning to fly home from SF, and have you factored in the 2 more days you'll need to drive from Yellowstone to SF? You aren't entirely clear on that portion of your trip.

  3. Default

    Thanks! We will switch the Monterey trip around. It's good to know that we can do it in 19 days.

    We plan on flying out of Yellowstone or nearby airports where ever is the cheapest and not drive back to LA.

    In terms of rental cars, would you suggest taking insurance? We are currently in Florida renting a car for relatively cheap ($234; Mazda3) for 9 days without insurance and we haven't had any problems without insurance but 19 days seem long to carry a rental car across states.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The question about insurance should have nothing to do with the length of the rental.

    The only thing that matters is what you have for coverage if you decline the rental car companies insurance. Your insurance for the car you own may cover your rental, your credit card may cover your rental, you might even be independently wealthy and be able to cover the costs of any damage yourself! But no matter how long you have the car, you need to have a plan for what happens if the worst happens.

    You should know that doing a one way trip will significantly increase your travel costs. That's always true, because of one way car rental fees and higher airfare costs, but that will be especially true for this trip simply because there are no major airports near Yellowstone. There are a couple small regional airport options in Wyoming and Montana, otherwise you have to head to Salt Lake City for any airport with any significant size.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Believe it or not, but airfares out of Jackson aren't that bad. Looks like they are only about 50 bucks higher than out of SLC to Boston. However, the rental car fees out of SFO to Jackson are insane, it looks like it will cost you close to an extra 2 grand to drop in Jackson instead of SLC.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 30
    Last Post: 12-09-2011, 06:09 AM
  2. East to West coast starting at the end of september...advice needed
    By amandaxo in forum RoadTrip Costs and Research
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-14-2010, 10:25 AM
  3. Help!!! Quick advice needed west coast road trip...
    By fishern in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-20-2010, 07:23 PM
  4. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-29-2010, 10:36 AM
  5. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 04-14-2008, 06:02 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name