Dear members, can you please help me decide on and refine the itinerary for our road trip? I’d really appreciate your help!
A bit of background: We will be traveling Oct 10 - 17. We plan to camp along the way (sleeping in the car at the side of the road is also fine, as our budget is quite limited). Main interests are nature and photography. Due to time constraints and luggage limitations, we’re not planning any serious hikes, but would love to do some few hours’ loops where it’s worth it.
Must do for us: see the redwoods (both coastal and sequoias would be great), drive a part of a scenic coastal highway. Death Valley would be amazing too.
San Fran -> Yosemite -> Death Valley -> up the coast back to San Fran
San Fran -> Redwood National Park -> Lassen Volcanic Park -> Yosemite -> San Fran
My attraction to the first route is Death Valley. The second route’s appeal is the giant redwoods.
Below is my idea of the itinerary:
N.B. We arrive in San Francisco on Oct 9
Oct 10 – San Fran to Yosemite (4 hours)
Oct 11 – Yosemite
Oct 12 – Yosemite
Oct 13-14 – Yosemite to Death Valley -> Any sightseeing along the way you would recommend? Where would be the space stop for the night?
Oct 15 – Death Valley
Oct 16-17 – Death Valley to San Francisco -> Would really love some advice with this portion of the trip. Is it worth it to go along the coast? (We’re not into big cities, but small quaint towns to stop in could be nice).
Our flight out of San Francisco is on Oct 19, so the last few days are left for exploring the city and/or any unforeseen circumstances.
Oct 10 – San Fran to Mendocino (Anderson Valley) to Humboldt Redwoods -> Are the wineries worth a look at this time of year?
Oct 11 – Humboldt Redwoods or Redwoods National Park -> What would you recommend?
Oct 12 – Humboldt to Lassen
Oct 13 – Lassen Volcanic Park
Oct 14-15 – Lassen to Yosemite -> Any nice stops along the way?
Oct 16 – Yosemite
Oct 17 – Yosemite to San Fran
Google maps show both of these itineraries to be the same length. Is that true in practice? Am I missing anything? Which one would you recommend? We’re not likely to come back this way for a long time, so we’d love to see as much as possible, even if it does involve quite a bit of driving.