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  1. Default California & Nevada July '14 Trip advises?


    My girlfriend and I are planing a trip in the south west at july 14.

    Plans are roughly like this- 21 days:

    Land in LA, stay for a few days, on to San Diego, primarily for SeaWorld (GF loves what I have shown her from SW in Orlando), staying there for 2 days i think, a day in SW and another in the Zoo, and for looking around.

    Next up to Las Vegas and staying for maybe 4 days - a day for Grand Canyon South Rim (Perhaps a night over there for being able to see it properly) - A day to Hover Dam, a day to Red Rock Country and a day full day for Vegas.

    This i the part I am most unsure on how many days will need:

    Going thru Death valley National Park, Sequioa NP, Kings Canyon NP (a few days for this perhaps?), on to Yosemite NP (A day for this maybe?)

    Next up, San Fransisco, going the see the aquarium and naturally Alcatraz. Perhaps 4 days here?

    Going down the coast for 2 days perhaps, and return to LA for the last few days.

    What i would like, was a few advises on how long to stay where, spots i've missed that's worth seeing that i have gone almost right by, and of course Sights to see in the different locations :-) We like the mix of the big city, the beach, shopping and the quiet nature with hikes and walking - And me, I am into shooting some great photos!

    Thanks all - Good day from Denmark :-)

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

    Default Getting started.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have a great trip to look forward to ! First off, you can't really visit the Grand canyon NP from Vegas without an overnight stop and why would you wanna miss a sunset ? What I would do to save a few miles is make your way to the Grand canyon from San Diego and then visit the Hoover dam between GC and Vegas. SD to GC would be a full day on the road so you might want to break the journey up with an overnight stop on route and spend another at, or near to the GC to ensure you get at least a full day there.

    From Vegas you could drive through Death valley to Lone Pine or Bishop on CA395 and then enter Yosemite NP over Tioga Pass [CA120] the following day. A day is just not enough to fully appreciate Yosemite and I would plan on spending at least 2 nights and a day and a half there, it's one of my favourites. You could then head south to Kings canyon and Sequoia for a couple of nights before heading to San Fran. Although it is slightly longer going to Yosemite first you will be rewarded with the drive over Tioga Pass which is part of the National park. There is no way direct from Death valley to Kings canyon as there is a mountain range in between, you would have to go south via Lake Isabella or take a slow going mountain pass through Sequoia NM. If you can fit it into your timescale I would allow at least 4 nights between Vegas and SF, 1 in Bishop area after Death valley, 2 in Yosemite [perhaps 2nd night on route to Sequoia in Oakhurst] and 1 in Sequoia, if you have 5 nights even better.

    Four nights in SF could be cut back as it's quite a compact city but a great place nontheless and 2 days down the coast is the minimum you wpuld need, perhaps you could spend 1 of the SF nights in Monterey and another night in the cambria area giving you 3 days to explore.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Adjustments to Consider

    The main thing to remember here is that you are designing a RoadTrip for you and your girlfriend, not for anyone else. So any suggestions we might have for you are just that, suggestions. In that spirit, then, here are a few changes that I would make. Your current itinerary is pretty heavily slanted towards urban settings including San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas for a total of sixteen days in cities and only eight for the drives between them and the natural wonders of the area. Leaving aside that you've ticked off 24 total days of activities for your 21 day trip, this is an area that calls for more time in the countryside and not just 'drive thrus'. Aside from Death Valley, which can be excruciatingly hot in the summer, I would plan quite a bit more time in the 'countryside'. Try to plan at least a day at the Grand Canyon and another couple of day to explore surrounding parks and monuments including Wupatki, Sunset Crater, Walnut Canyon and Tuzigoot National Monuments, Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock State Park, and the towns of Sedona and Jerome. Then a fourth day in this area would include the drive back to Las Vegas with stops in Oatman and at Hoover Dam.

    A day would probably suffice for each of Sequoia and Kings Canyon, but two would definitely be needed to see Yosemite at a pace and in the depth that it deserves. And don't forget that you will need to add a day to your itinerary for the driving from Las Vegas to San Francisco in addition to the time you spend in the parks, so that's at least four days for this portion of the trip. Similarly, you can do the drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in two days via the Pacific Coast Highway, but that would just be the driving and a few roadside stops. You should add at least a day (two would be better) to see the sights of Monterey (especially its world-class aquarium), Carmel, San Simeon, and the various state parks along the way.

    In addition to those highlighted areas, there are other great natural venues that you'll be driving by and have so far allotted no time to, including Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Joshua Tree National Park, the Mojave National Preserve, Pinnacles National Monument, and various national forests and wildlife refuges.

    Again, these are just suggestions. But you have a minimum of four days worth of just driving. I've suggested another twelve or thirteen days of natural attractions. That would leave a full five or six, but only five or six, days to be apportioned amongst San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas. Adjust the distribution of days as you will, but right now (as I said) I think you've got too many assigned to cities and too many assigned overall.


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