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  1. Default Sorry all, another West coast trip thread

    Hi everyone.

    This is my first post having just joined, so please bear with me.

    I'm sure West Coast questions have been, and, are asked to death here, so apologies for adding more. Although I have read some past threads, I have some questions of my own with the hope of getting some specific current advice on what may be, or maybe not a good idea.

    Ok, so this is what I am working with so far.....

    We are coming to the US next year, starting out on the 21st of August, and spending approx three weeks there, probably leaving on the 12th of September. The outline plan so far goes something like this....

    Day 1 - Land L.A on 21st, spending overnight not too far from airport after collecting car.
    Day 2 - Possibly spend early part of day in and around L.A. city tour.?) Then drive up to S.L Obispo / Cambria to overnight.?
    Day 3 - Drive to Monterey and overnight here.
    Day 4 - Drive onto San Fransisco mid/late afternoon and overnight there.
    Day 5 - San Fransisco
    Day 6 - San Fransisco
    Day 7 - San Fransisco
    Day 8 - Leave San Fransisco fairly early and drive via 140 route, Mariposa to Yosemite N.P. Overnight Yosemite
    Day 9 - Yosemite N.P
    Day 10 - Yosemite N.P
    Day 11 - Leave Yosemite early...ish via Tioga Pass, then 395 down to D.V to overnight at Furnace Creek. (doable.?..looks a long way)
    Day 12 - Spend early part of day visiting few places in D.V (advice.?) Drive onto Vegas before dark and overnight rest in Vegas.
    Day 13 - Leave Vegas and drive onto C.G.N.P. Overnight at location either within or close to Park.
    Day 14 - Grand Canyon day, leaving later heading to Page for overnight.
    Day 15 - Page day to visit Antelope Canyon / Horseshoe bend / possible river float trip.?...overnight at Page.
    Day 16 - Leave Page to head back to Vegas, via Hoover dam route.?
    Day 17 - Vegas
    Day 18 - Vegas
    Day 19 - Vegas.

    I am aware the above does not include the full amount of days we have available, but, during this trip I am not sure whether to add a day at L.A to visit some sights there, or, at Yosemite to take more of that in. We are considering doing some white water rafting there, but don't know much about it, so any views of that are welcome. I am also considering staying at or around Lee Vining after leaving Yosemite also, to reduce the distance we travel from Yosemite to Furnace Creek in Death Valley. Alternatively, we could add a day at Furnace Creek for more rest time and visits. I am also considering skipping Page altogether, so as to avoid the extra 130 miles of driving North of the Grand Canyon South Rim, but am not sure what else to incorporate into the schedule. I have had it suggested to drive around the north of the CGNP, visiting Zion / Bryce, and then into Page and down to GCNP South. Again, opinions on this are welcome.

    What I do not want to do is to spend all the time driving. From what I have read from various threads / websites, it does appear that people tend to want to cram in so much that they have no time to actually enjoy the places they whizz through. This is something I want to avoid. We will have a good stay in S.F, and also in Vegas to end the trip, but what comes in between is changable depending on what appears a good choice and what's logistically feasible within reason.

    Travelling will be my wife and I. We are both late 40's.

    All advice or views are welcome and will be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance everyone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Nice Trip

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    The first thing which jumps out at me is why are you finishing the trip in LV and not LA, since no doubt you will be flying out of LA and it would avoid any possible fee for dropping the car in a spot other than yhe pickup location.. You have the time to drive back to LA.

    The other tweak which is worth making is... visit the Hoover Dam on your way to GCNP. That would give you the opportunity to visit Monument Valley and Zion on your way back to LV.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 10-20-2014 at 12:21 PM. Reason: correction.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you do make it a loop trip, reverse the direction of travel so you will be driving south along the coast - the scenic pullouts will be on your side of the road.

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

    Default Looks good.

    Hello and welcome to RTA, you are in for a wonderful time and have done your homework. I would agree with what has already been said, including reversing the order of your trip and making a complete loop. That would mean going from LA to Grand canyon to Page to Vegas and so on. I would plan to spend a night [or 2] between Page and Vegas to visit Zion NP, another natural wonder. After LV you could then stop in Lone Pine or Bishop on route to Yosemite, Death valley will be extremely hot, which will limit you to how much time you can spend out of the comfort of your air conditioned vehicle, I'm not sure I would want to stay the night in August, never mind 2 nights. Still carry plenty of water and snacks and sun hats and cream.

    Booking lodgings for August in and around the NP's will have to be done well in advance.

  5. Default

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the replies.

    @ Lifemagician..... Usually, if booking car rental from here in the UK, there is no drop off fee levied. Whether this is correct or not I still have to see. to me anyhow, there is little benefit in driving back to L.A when we could easily fly home from Vegas. It saves on fuel and more importantly, saves time. Of course, if driving bac to L.A makes it far cheaper, then we would be willing to do that.

    Interesting points on Hoover Dam and Zion, but as I said in my post above, I do't want to be doing so much driving that we cannot fully enjoy places we see. Whether Zion proves a bit far or not I'm not sure.

    @ GLC...... Thanks for the reply.

    I have heard it said that North to South is the better route, but I'm not sure that will matter too much to us. However, we are definitely open to all suggestions, so may well end up going in this direction.

    @ SouthWest Dave.

    Thanks for the reply. As mentioned above, reversing the route is a possibility, but we ideally wanted to end up in Vegas and travel home from there. I'm not really sure why to be truthful, it's just a feeling we have. A bit stupid maybe I know.

    Again, I am not sure on Zion, or whether to travel north of the GCNP. We could consider it though. I am also aware that Death Valley will be scorchio at the time of year, and don't actually intend to go hiking or attempting anything moronic. It will be a few brief visits and nothing more. These would be done early in the day and the rest of the day would simply be relaxing.

    Any other tips or opinions more than welcome all, so please feel free to chime on in.


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