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  1. #1

    Default Travel times, Route 66 and Hotel questions SAN FRAN-LA roadtrip......please! :)

    Hi there!

    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)
    Fri 25...Yosemite
    Sat 26...Yosemite
    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
    Sat 02...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!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've got things planned out pretty well. Your estimated travel times are a little low (for example, Vegas to Grand Canyon is closer to 5 hours), but nothing that you've got planned is unreasonable.

    One thing on your routing, however, it would make much more sense to do Hoover Dam between Vegas and GC, rather than before Vegas. The dam is right on the direct route to the Canyon, and doing it before Vegas would require a fair amount of backtracking.

    If you can get reservations, and they are within your budget, staying within the National Parks is always a good idea.

    Probably the best preserved section of Route 66 is in Northern Arizona and it would make perfect sense to include that as part of your drive back to LA. Going all the way back to Vegas on your way to LA would be a pretty significant detour that would add quite a few miles to your trip.

    Yosemite is at an elevation where it rarely gets very hot. Yosemite does have Black Bears, but it does not have Grizzlys, and other than using common sense, you shouldn't need to take any special care.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi!

    Thanks so much for your reply. I realised after I had posted that I'd got the Hoover Dam bit wrong but thanks for pointing it out.

    I think we will def go via ROute 66 now instead of going back to LV. Just need to decide where to stay.....

    Will pull those maps up again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you come out of the GC via the south entrance, drive to Williams, then take I-40 to Seligman, then old 66 to Kingman, you could stay in Kingman. Without stops, this is about 4 hours. If you take I-40/I-15 from there to LA, it's another hour or so to Needles, and then a bit over 2 hours from there to Barstow. Another stretch of Old 66 you can take is between Needles and Barstow, it's called National Trails Highway, and it goes through Amboy. This adds very little time.

    It's hard to estimate time from Barstow into LA, because of traffic variables and where in LA you would be going. It's 130 miles from Barstow to LAX.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for that GLC.

    We have decided to stay in Lake Havasu City now and am excited about visiting all the old towns along the way!

    We have also booked a lodge two miles outside Yosemite but having had the confirmation, what I didn't realise was-it's a 30 mile drive into the "Valley"!! I'm sure it will be a beautiful drive though-are the roads bumpy or well maintained can anyone tell me?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Very good roads, unless....

    Unless there has been a recent 'event' when you visit, you will find that all the roads throughout Yosemite are good paved roads.

    Last time I was there a rock slide had closed the road - I think, from memory, it was 140. That had a temporary detour for a few years, before the road was restored.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    All of the roads into Yosemite are heavily used and well maintained.

    Keep in mind, however, that a 30 mile drive will likely take you at least 45-60 minutes because of lower speed limits and traffic.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Don't rush it.

    And through some spectacular country with scenic stops along the way. It is all part of this magnificent National Park.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you will be going from Kingman to Lake Havasu City, you could go via Oatman if you have time. This is on another portion of old 66.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks for the replies-much appreciated!

    Now have a few months to plan all the sites in the different cities etc.

    What a great forum this is-very useful for planning-thanks again!!

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