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  1. Default October two week roadtrip SFO - Vegas - Grand canyon - LA - SFO

    Hi folks,

    Finally I got the chance to leave chilly Norway for a couple of weeks and do a road trip on the west coast. I would love some input on my thoughts. We both love bathing and natural wonders. So any hot springs, chances to take a dip or sights in that category would be fantastic. Keep in mind anything above 60F is summer weather for us ;-)

    11/10 - Girlfriend arrives at SFO (I have already been in the city for one week working)
    12/10 - Carmel / Monterey / Gilroy
    13/10 - SFO city, cable cars / alcatraz / fishermans wharf?
    14/10 - Drive to Lee Vining and see Mono lake and Bodie
    15/10 - Continue to Las Vegas through Death Valley (395/190)
    16/10 - Spend the day in Vegas
    17/10 - Drive to Flagstaff via Hoover dam
    18/10 - See Grand canyon, Meteor crater, ?
    19/10 - Drive to Barstow, see Calico?
    20/10 - LA
    21/10 - LA
    22/10 - Drive up the coast to Cambria via Santa Monica
    23/10 - Drive to SFO
    24/10 - Spend the day in SFO
    25/10 - Return flight to chilly Norway :(

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    It looks like you could be a bit more efficient, and I'd reverse the direction of the trip so you travel south all the way down the coast.

    I'd spend a day with your GF in SF, then travel down the coast to LA. From there I'd go direct to the Grand Canyon, then work your way back through Las Vegas (possibly via Zion and Bryce Canyon), Death Valley, and Yosemite.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Agreed.

    Welcome to RTA.

    I agree with glc above comments. Yosemite is one of my favourite of all NP's and you should not just drive through it. There doesn't seem much point in driving to Monterey and then back to SF, just continue down the coast to LA, spending one or 2 nights on the way. Bryce canyon and Zion NP are quite spectacular, but it will depend on the pace you want to travel at. So you could spend a couple of days in SF, a couple down the coast and 2 more in LA. Then drive to the GC for 2 nights [one full day] before heading to Bryce canyon and Zion for a night each and then Vegas and then drive across DV on route to Yosemite, staying in Bishop or Lee Vining [Mono Lake] and then Yosemite and back to SF. You should be OK but check the status of Tioga Pass [CA120] that crosses the Sierras into [or out of] Yosemite as it can close with an early snow storm.

    Bodie has unpaved road which would almost certainly violate the terms of your rental car agreement.

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


    While the idea of doing the loop so you are traveling south down the coast usually is a good idea, because of the dates you'll be traveling, I think I would do Yosemite first, and then come up the coast to finish. Once you get into mid-October, the clock is ticking down to the point where the pass closes for good. You only have to go back a few years to find the last time Tioga closed in late October.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the suggestions! I think I will start off with Yosemite, considering the weather. However I will scratch Monterey/Carmel initially and see them on the return trip instead. I will also look into adding some time in Yosemite as suggested.

    Great info on Bodie, I managed to find another thread saying the unpaved part is just about 3 miles long so hopefully we could just walk the last miles.

    I just learned about Havasu falls, seems like a challenge but well worth it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You may or may not be allowed to take a rental to Bodie, although the last 3 miles are not paved, it's still a maintained state highway. This can be a gray area, ask the rental company specifically. There really isn't any place to park at the end of the pavement.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Be aware, Havasu Falls are not a part of Grand Canyon National Park. Its located on Indian Reservation and getting there is far removed from anything else. It is about a 4 hour drive from the South Rim, including a nearly 70 mile stretch of road with no services. That's just to the parking area to start the hike down.

    The fee just to enter the reservation is $35 per person, and since it is not part of the national park, it is a completely separate fee from the Grand Canyon admission and National Parks passes are not valid.

    Also be aware, the falls area suffered some major damage do to flooding a couple years back. I suspect that repairs have been made to allow viewing once again, but you'll want to do plenty of research if this is something you want to do.

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