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  1. Default LA to Palm Springs via San Francisco, Yosemite and Grand Canyon in November

    Hi there. I'm planning a trip from the UK at the beginning of November for four adults (2 couples). The finishing point will be Palm Springs as friends have booked time share there. My planned itinerary is below. I can't change the overall number of days as flights are booked, but I'd appreciate any thoughts about it, especially any particular recommendations for places to stay / tips about where we're going. At that time of year would we be better booking accommodation in advance or waiting until we're there? If in advance, as early as possible or aim for a last minute deal? I'd also appreciate if my projected driving times look way off!

    Day 1 arrive LA, spend night in LA

    Day 2 drive (approx 5 hours) north on coastal route, stop overnight on route

    Day 3 continue on to San Francisco (approx 5 hours), 2 nights stay

    Day 4 San Francisco

    Day 5 drive (approx 3 and 1/2 hours) to Yosemite, stopover in that area

    Day 6 drive via Death Valley (approx approx 6-7 hours) to Las Vegas, 2 nights stay

    Day 7 Las Vegas

    Day 8 drive to Flagstaff via Hoover Dam (approx 4 hours), 2 nights stay

    Day 9 Grand Canyon

    Day 10 drive to Palm Springs, possibly via Phoenix (approx 6-7 hours)

    Thanks in anticipation. I'm getting excited already!

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

    Default Tioga Pass status [?]

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your drive times are over optimistic, but perfectly doable. Adding an hour to each would be more realistic in real world driving, but just getting out of the City can make quite a difference depending on departure time and traffic congestion.

    The Cambria area generally makes a good stop over point between LA and SF when taking the coast highway. It sounds as though you are finishing back in LA, if so you could consider reversing your trip direction so that heading south the Ocean will be on your side of the road, but it's not a big deal.

    To get from Yosemite to Vegas and spend a little time in Death valley on the same day will largely depend on tioga Pass [CA120] being open, of which there are no guarantees. It's around this time of year it can close for the season at any point after significant snowfall on the high ground. It also has the risk of closing temporarily at any point from October. If so you would have to go south via Bakersfield and around the south of the Sierra Nevada. There is absolutely no way of knowing when this will happen until it happens or at least a couple of days before when a forecast may predict snow or ice.

    You should be OK 'winging it' without booking lodgings but it's what you are comfortable with. If you wish to stay in the National parks it might be advisable to book in advance to secure your lodgings, the bookings are done through agents for the NPS and don't usually do deals anyway.

  3. Default

    Thanks, Southwest Dave. We'll make sure we have a Plan B!

    We're managing to squeeze an extra couple of days into this part of our US stay. With that in mind, any suggestions as to how best to use them would be very welcome. We'd prefer not to do any more driving than already planned!

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


    Well one of my favourite places on earth is Yosemite NP and you barely have any time there when considering your drive times. I would strongly recommend you spend at least an extra day here as there is so much to see. Between the GC and Palm Springs you could spend time in the Sedona area or other options with relatively small detours would include Sequoia NP and Monument Valley.

  5. Default

    Thanks. We might well spend an extra day at Yosemite. We've been camping there (many years ago) and love it too. We'll see what the weather is like - won't be camping this time!

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