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  1. #1

    Default Roadtrip starting in LA

    I would like to ask you for tips and advices for our roadtrip which we are going to make in April/May ( 17.4. - 10.5. )
    We are 4 people ( maybe 5 ) and for the 1st time in USA, so we would like to see a lot..

    We will land at LAX, here we will hire the car and want to go this way:
    LAX - Palm Springs
    Joshua Tree - Flagstaff
    Gran Canyon, Horseshoe bend - Page
    Mon.Valley, Goosenecks, Arches - Moab
    Canyonlands- Rock Springs
    Gran Teton - Jackson
    Yellowstone - Livingston
    Yellowstone - Ashton
    Aston- Bryce
    Zion - St George
    Death Valley - Bakersfield
    Sequoia - Fresno
    Yosemite - Manteca
    SF - LA ( coast )

    Could you pls tell me if this is even possible to go in 24 days? ( 22 whole days without arrival and departure ).

    Thank you very much for answers!

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

    Default Yellowstone ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    It looks as though you have been doing a lot of your own research, well done. Your trip is doable with the time you have, but with the number of places you want to visit you might feel a bit rushed for time to enjoy any of them fully.

    The big consideration here is Yellowstone NP. Not only is it a long way north of most other attractions, but in April- May it is still in 'winter mode' with much of the park closed down and unacessable. This would reduce your mileage by almost 1000 miles and give you more time to explore the other natural wonders. Therefor I would recommend that for this trip the Tetons Yellowstone gets put on hold for another day.

  3. #3


    thank you for advice

    You are probably right with the Yellowstone and Im still thinking of it round and round.
    The biggest thing was that we would like to see anything else like the other parks ( GC, DV, Mon.Valley, Joshua, Bryce, Zion, etc ), as it seems to me it is a lot of desert, hot and dry nature, rocks..Maybe Im wrong - I have never been there, so hopefully we will enjoy also another side of the nature ( plants, rivers, animals, trees..I hope you undestand what I mean ).
    We have to sit and decide if to go there or not.

    In case we will decide not to go - are there any places youd recommend us to stay longer? Or any places not mentioned in my list above?

    once again thanks for help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Lots of diversity.

    I understand what you mean but even without Yellowstone, you will see a lot of diversity in the rest of your travels. Yosemite valley is lush and green and the magnificent waterfalls will be flowing well in the Spring, Sequoia with it's giant trees and mountain views, Zion NP with it's deep red canyon walls and an abundance of plants and wildlife with the Virgin river running through the canyon, the spectacular Pacific coast highway and then the contrasts between SF and Las Vegas. Even the red rocks of Monument valley, Arches, Canyonlands and Bryce canyon are all unique in there own special and most spectacular way.

    I think you have plenty to occupy yourself with, without adding to your lis,t but there are options like Sedona just south of GC that you could visit between Joshua Tree and GC, or to the north of SF you will find Napa Valley and coastal Redwoods such as at Muir woods and other attractions that you could head to after Yosemite. You will also find a lot of smaller attractions as you go, perhaps Sunset Crater, Cameron Trading post, Red rock Canyon, Valley of Fire etc, but we can work on those when you decide on your final route. For exmple if you were to go from Moab to Bryce canyon you could drive scenic Utah 12 highway and visit Capitol Reef NP on route.

    The parks are also big and places like Yosemite, Zion, Grand canyon, Arches and Canyonlands could easily take up a couple of days at each location and Yellowstone, IF it were fully open, really requires a minimum of 3 to 4 days to get around and fully appreciate.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 01-04-2014 at 07:34 AM.

  5. #5


    So I think its almost decided not to go do Yellowstone and spend the saved time in the parks and monuments we already have in our itinerary. Maybe we will add a day for Yosemitte as this park seems to me close to Yellowstone ( just my opinion ).

    Do you suggest to do the roadtrip from LA up to SF, to Yosemitte, etc..or start in LA and go downway to GC, DV, etc and coast SF - LA at the end - as I have planned?
    Actually, most of the roadtrips I have read started in SF ..Or it is not important ( from the road point of view )?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Where you start from is not so important when starting and ending in the same place. So I would suggest you see where you can get the best flight and car rental deal that will offer the cheapest option when combined and then start from whichever City that is, SF, LA or LV. The way you have planned your trip is the most popular way around as it gives you the advantage of having the Ocean on your side of the road heading south down the coast from SF to LA, and of course you won't have to cross traffic to pull up into any of the Oceanside viewpoints.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Each is unique.

    Yosemite and Yellowstone are each unique, each in their own way. There is not a great deal similar. That said, you could easily spend a couple of days in Yosemite, to see all you will have access to. Especially the waterfalls, in Spring. You are in for a wonderful trip..... even without Yellowstone.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    The thing about the US National Parks: each of them is unique in its own way. There's no such thing as "you've seen one, you've seen them all".

    Yosemite - gorgeous mountain and valley vistas, long tall waterfalls in spring and early summer, beautiful river, granite-faced mountains, redwood tree groves (southern end)

    Yellowstone - geysers, hot pools, mud pots, gorgeous canyon completely different from any other, hot springs, rivers and lakes.

    Grand Teton - interesting, beautiful jagged peaks.

    Grand Canyon - one of the largest and deepest canyons in the US, red rock, the southernmost section of the "grand staircase" for geology and geography. Colorado River at the very bottom of it.

    Zion - red rock canyons and valleys, close together, gorgeous. Viewed by most folks from the bottom.

    Bryce Canyon - red rock canyons and valleys, gorgeous, but many spires are reminiscent of the stalagmites that grow in caves. This is viewed by most people from the top. In a phrase, "one hellavu place to lose a cow".

    Canyonlands - another huge canyon, not nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and more north than the GC. Colorado River also flows through there. People can view this one from above, or can descend with 4WD vehicles into it (short base vehicles only).

    Arches - sandstone arches formed by nature over millions of years, some really small, some very long. New ones are forming as we speak. Viewed by most by car or by short hikes.

    Dead Horse Point State Park - a place to view the big U that the Colorado River takes within Canyonlands NP. My hubby wasn't sure that this extra 30+ mile one-way trip was worth the time (one way) and the $10 it took to get into the park -- until he took a look at Canyonlands from the points. He was convinced!


  9. #9


    thanks for the tips!

    Im thinking now how to do the itinerary with start/end in LA to be in Las Vegas in weekdays, because of the prices on Fr-Sun..and still can not find a way how to plan this

    we will arrive on Thursday afternoon 17.4. to LAX
    Here is what I have planned, unfortunately LV fits directly to weekend :(

    17.4.2014 LAX - PS
    18.4.2014 Twentynine Palms - Joshua Tree - Kingman ( R66 ) - Williams
    19.4.2014 Williams - Crand Canyon South Rim
    Grand Canyon - Horseshoe bend - Page
    20.4.2014 Page - Antelope - Monument Valley
    Mon.Valley - Goosenecks
    Goosenecks - Moab
    21.4.2014 Moab - Arches - Canyonlands ( Island in the sky )
    Canyonlands - Moab
    22.4.2014 Moab - Goblin Valley
    Goblin Valley - Capitol Reef
    Capitol Reef - Escalante petrified forrest
    Escalante - Cannonville
    23.4.2014 Cannonville - Kodachrome basin
    Kodachrome basin - Bryce canyon
    24.4.2014 Bryce - Zion
    Zion - LV
    25.4.2014 LV
    26.4.2014 LV
    27.4.2014 LV - Death Valley
    the plan then continues to Sequoia, Yosemite, SF and back to LA via PCH

    Please, do you have any idea how to do it to be in LV in weekdays?
    Im afraid there is no other option which will be better for us :(

    thank you very much for help, I really appreciate it

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    What is your reasoning for wanting to be in Vegas on a weekday? It really is a city that is active every day of the week - with convention visitors during the week, and then getaway visitors on the weekends - so there isn't huge difference regarding when you visit.

    Looking at your plan, personally, I'd try to give a full day to the Canyon all by itself, but the following day of trying to do Antelope, Monument Valley, Goosenecks, and get to Moab in one day seems very rushed. I might try to work in another night there.

    I also would consider making a stop at Natural Bridges are part of that leg.

    Perhaps on the 20th stay at the Cameron Trading Post. Spend the 21st doing Page, Antelope, and Monument Valley, staying near Monument Valley, and finish the drive to Moab on the 22nd.

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