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  1. Default 2014 Vegas to SF

    I am in the early stages of planning the dream roadtrip to the states. Saved up for over 2 years and now am ready to make the first bookings. Plan to travel for 18 days in early sept 2014.

    day 1. arrive Las vegas stay till day 3
    day 3. collect a hire car, maybe a small suv, (there are only the 2 of us) drive to Bryce stay overnight
    day 4. explore Bryce, stay overnight
    day 5. leave early, drive to zion, explore zion, stay overnight, (springdale?)
    day 6. drive to death valley junction, stay overnight
    day 7. drive through dv, exploring all, stopping in either dv, or going on to lone pine. which is best?
    day 7. onto lee vining, overnight
    day 8 lee vining to Yosemite valley, don't know where to stop, any suggestions?
    day 9 in Yosemite, stay overnight again
    day10. now here the tricky bit, we want to travel along the big sur in a convertible mustang, thought about going via fresno airport and swapping suv for mustang (possible?) then continuing down to cambria, stopping overnight
    day 11. cambria to carmel, overnight
    day 12. carmel to sf, hand in car
    day 13-17 sf.

    don't need to go to grand canyon or hoover dam, already done that.

    hows this all sound?
    too much?
    any tips on places to stay, don't want to spend a fortune, I know Yosemite can be pricy.
    is the car hire swap possible, and can anyone recommend a good car hire company, being a brit we don't like to take risks so would want all insurances with car.

    any tips from you experts out there will me much apprediated.

    thanks all

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Initial thoughts.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your trip looks well thought out and you are in for a wonderful time !

    A couple of 'tweaks' I would consider is firstly to spend one night at Bryce and leave sometime during the afternoon and spend 2 nights in Zion, giving you a full day. Both parks are amazing but you can 'do' Bryce quicker as the highlights are more about the views down into the canyon, where as in Zion there are many more hikingTrails and easy walks to choose from in the canyon.

    When heading to DV, Furnace Creek is a popular resort and would make a good place to stay on day 6, unless when you say Death valley junction you are referring to the Armogosa Opera house. This should give you a nice amount of time to see areas of the park and stop in Lone Pine, or you could get as far as Bishop or Mammoth Lakes. You would not really have a need to stop over at Lee Vining from any of these points, but it's certainly an option if you wanted to spend time at Mono Lake or drive the June Lake loop.

    From Lee Vining you have plenty of time to explore Tioga Pass and lodge in the Valley, or in a town to the west of the park. If you took the option to save a couple of nights on this leg of your trip, ie, Zion to DV to Bishop to Yosemite] you could then go from Yosemite to Sequoia NP and then across to Cambria.

    You really don't need an SUV for any of your trip and a family car would be better value, but if you want an SUV then that's fine also. You should search for the best deals for what you want and compare prices while checking for possible 'one way' drop off fees and any other extras. Recently while searching I have found to offer good rates, if I remember correctly they are the same as Carhire3000 who have for a long time been a popular choice.

  3. Default Big sur

    Is that spelt correctly? Well Im a Brit & you know we all speak funny.


    Where exactly is this most famous of roads? I plan to drive from Fresno, stop overnight in Cambria, along highway 1 to Carmel, another overnight stop. Next day onto San Francisco. Doing all in an open top Mustang, mid September. (Don't care if its Windy, Raining, or even Snowing, this is my trip of a lifetime, never driven a convertable before, and the top is down!!!)

    Sound good?

    Any advice on what to see, diversions on route etc.

    Thanks all

    Moderator Note: Please keep all questions about the same trip in the same thread.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-10-2014 at 09:33 AM. Reason: Merged Threads

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

    Default right there

    Big Sur is a town right on CA-1, right between Cambria and Carmel. You'll go right through it on your current plan.

    The highway itself if probably the biggest attraction, but Hearst Castle and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park are two of the biggest highlights.

  5. #5


    Hi, we did SF to Vegas then on through Zion, GC and down to Pheonix to fly back to UK. As a Brit, a couple of things we did that you may enjoy (depends what you've already seen) - Bodie (deserted old mining town close to Lee Vining), speed boat hire on Lake Powell and the tour boat through the canyons was fantastic, you can mountain bike at Mammoth Lakes. We booked a cabin inside Yosemite "Christmas Cabin" and stayed three days so we could take in Wawona and the giant trees, go rafting etc. Our car hire has always been with Car Hire 3000 and had no problems.

  6. #6


    We did a similar route back in 2007. Here is a trip report from that route that may give you some ideas

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