I'm from Australia, planning a trip with three friends next year April. We have been to the US before but only LA, San Diego and West coast cites and are really keen to drive from Phoenix to San Fran via Vegas for the last 2 weeks of our trip.
April 1st: Fly into Phoenix 8am, drive straight to the Grand Canyon via Sedona/Flagstaff. Stay overnight in GC village?
April 2nd: Wake Early Spend whole day in Canyon, leave for Vegas in evening. Stay Night in Vegas
April 3rd - 5th: Vegas
April 6th: Leave Vegas early morning drive towards Sequoia, stay the night somewhere close to the park (what would be the best route for this?)
April 7th: Wake early Spend whole day in Sequoia, leave in the evening, drive towards Yosemite, stay somewhere close to Yosemite
April 8th: Wake early Spend whole day in Yosemite, leave late evening, drive to San Fran, stay in San Fran
April 9th - 11th: San Fran
So the questions i have been researching: Where would be a good location to stay on the night of the 1st?; What route to take from GC to Vegas (would via Hoover Dam be ideal?);What would be the best route to take from Vegas to Sequoia, and would it be 'better' to replace Sequoia with Mammoth Lakes instead as it is closer to Yosemite? (we want to visit either one); Finally, is the proposed Vegas - San Fran leg even possible time-wise given the time of year and road closures?
I know unfortunately there is not much time allocated to the Parks, we're trying to work with the time we have. I also can't cut time for the major cities (holidays with friends, have to make compromises!). Apologies for the long post, but thank you in advanced for any advice!