This weekend I'm booking a fly drive for our dream US road trip from the UK. I've so far been writing a list of routes and places we want to experience and the list is long! Our main interest is scenery and history. Not city people at all, but are doing Vegas out of curiosity with friends and San Fran for, mainly, Alcatraz.
I guess my biggest question is, is this list too much for a 21-28 day trip?
Can it be done flying into Vegas and out of San Fran (seems to me there'd be quite some driving up and down Ca! We'd want to nip into Arizona to do Route 66 in the NW corner, possibly Grand Canyon then head off up the east side of the redwoods and Yosemite, down the west side to experience the redwoods and over to the coast to stop of in San Fran for a few nights) or would it be better to arrange a loop from Vegas to Lake Tahoe to San Fran, back down via the redwoods, along Route 66 territory to the NW tip of Arizona and fly back out of Vegas. Pricewise for a flydrive, the quote I've had from Virgin, there's only a couple of hundred quid difference.
So, see what you think, I'd be grateful for any and every tip:
Starting in Vegas we're looking to, after 4 nights there with friends who only have the 4 nights in the US, head off on our own (2 adults) to experience/pass through (in whatever order seems to make the most sense depending on whether we do a round trip or into and out of different airports):
Lake Mead/ Valley of Fire
Route 66 in NW Arizona and Grand Canyon
Death Valley, Red Rock Canyon maybe
120 to Yosemite
Donner State Park (I have a huge interest in pioneer history)
San Fran for 3 or 4 nights
Monterey route or Fresno route
Randsburg and/or Rhyolite
Barstow, Baker, Mojave - Kelso onto Route 66 to Needles to Kingman then into Arizona or straight off back to Vegas.
I have the massive Benchmark map of California but really haven't looked into mileage or the typical speeds on the roads through scenic areas and have no idea of good places to stop overnight as my planning is very much in the early stages and is, at present, just a wish list of places to visit, so any help gratefully accepted.
The trip is likely to start mid September 2015, that way I hope not to have to think about the Tioga Pass closing due to adverse weather!
For now the only urgency is to decide which airport to fly home from, then I have plenty of time to get into the nittygritty of what to see and routes. That decision is probably the hardest one to make!