My husband, myself and son (who will be turning 10 when are away) are very excitedly planning a trip from San Fran-LA with a few days in New York beforehand. I would appreciate some advice as I have a few questions.
I have looked at a lot of the threads on here and picked up some good tips but am interested to hear the opinions of those of you who are experienced with this part of the country. Many thanks!
Itiniery as follows:
Sat 19-22 NEW YORK
Tues July 22...ARR SAN FRAN
Wed 23...Full day SF
Thu 24...Leave San Fran-drive to Yosemite (4hrs)
Sun 27...Leave Yosemite-drive to Death Valley (5.40hrs) arrive evening for overnight stay
Mon 28...Leave Death Valley early morning-drive to Las Vegas with a stop at Hoover Dam. Arrive LV early afternoon
Tues 29...Leave LV-drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (4hrs) for overnight stay
Wed 30...Leave Grand Canyon-drive to.......???? for overnight stay
Thu 31...Arrive Los Angeles
Fri Aug 01...LA
Sun 03...Evening flight from LAX
Me and my husband have been to San Fran and the Grand Canyon before and were it not for having a reluctant long-distance traveller joining us, we would just go for it and do long distances but sadly, it wouldn't work this time-hence having to stop at Death Valley and somewhere on way back from Grand Canyon.
Now for the questions!! :)
1) Have I got the drive timings about right?
2) Yosemite-we are considering staying at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls but a lot of the reviews have been about the paper thin walls-I'm all for getting to know your neighbours-but there are limits! Does anyone have experience of this Hotel? Found The Evergreen Lodge last night at 2am when I couldn't sleep(!!) and it looked great-again, can anyone recommend? I did find a lovely Guest House called Tin Lizzys but it was outside the Park and correct me if I'm wrong but will there be queues getting into the Park in the mornings?
3) Grand Canyon-would really like to stay on the Rim and considering Bright Angel/Thunderbird Lodge-any thoughts on these or any other recommendations of gems that you have found would be very gratefully received!
4) We would really like to take in some of Route 66 and were considering staying at Kingman or Lake Havasu City overnight on the way from the Grand Canyon to LA. However, am just wondering whether it would be better to just go back to Vegas, have another night and then drive to LA first thing. Is there any of the Route 66 on this trip? I can't seem to find a really good map with detail. I know that there are some fantastic sights and am very keen but was hoping to get some opinions on here.
5) Temperature-coming from a small grey island with lots of rain, we are a little worried about the heat. I know Death Valley will be hot as hell so we will get there late and escape early! Yosemite-will it be TOO hot for hiking? Are there mosquitoes? Bears? :0 I remember being eaten alive by something called "no-see-ums" one year on holiday in Florida-do you get those there? <please God, no!! she wails>. Any other hints in terms of food, insect/bear repellant etc would be great thank you!
If you have managed to read to the end, many thanks indeed and I will be eternally grateful for any replies!