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  1. #1

    Default 35 days roadtrip in west

    Hi there.

    Thanks for a great forum.
    I am currently planning a roadtrip for me and my girlfriend in the west, starting in SF 14. march 2015 and ending in SF at 17. april 2015.

    So far our plan is this:

    14.03.15 - Day 01: SF
    15.03.15 - Day 02: Silicon Valley to Pismo Beach (5 hour 15 min drive)
    16.03.15 - Day 03: Solvang, Santa Monica Pier, LA (4 hours drive)
    17.03.15 - Day 04: LA
    18.03.15 - Day 05: LA
    19.03.15 - Day 06: San Diego (2 hours drive)
    20.03.15 - Day 07: San Diego
    21.03.15 - Day 08: San Diego
    22.03.15 - Day 09: Palm Springs (2 hours drive)
    23.03.15 - Day 10: Palm Springs
    24.03.15 - Day 11: Palm Springs
    25.03.15 - Day 12: Palm Springs
    26.03.15 - Day 13: Palm Springs
    27.03.15 - Day 14: Palm Springs
    28.03.15 - Day 15: Palm Springs
    29.03.15 - Day 16: Lake Havasu City, Flagstaff/Williams/Sunset in Grand Canyon (6-7 hours drive)
    30.03.15 - Day 17: (Grand Canyon), Horseshoe Bend, Page (4 hours drive)
    31.03.15 - Day 18: Monument Valley, Moab (5 hours drive)
    01.04.15 - Day 19: Moab
    02.04.15 - Day 20: Kanab (5 hours drive)
    03.04.15 - Day 21: Zion National Park (1 hour drive), Las Vegas (3 hours drive)
    04.04.15 - Day 22: Las Vegas
    05.04.15 - Day 23: Las Vegas
    06.04.15 - Day 24: Las Vegas
    07.04.15 - Day 25: Las Vegas
    08.04.15 - Day 26: Las Vegas
    09.04.15 - Day 27: Las Vegas
    10.04.15 - Day 28: Las Vegas
    11.04.15 - Day 29: Visalia (5 hours drive)
    12.04.15 - Day 30: Sequoia National Park (General Sherman & General Gran tree), Fresno (4 hours drive)
    13.04.15 - Day 31:
    14.04.15 - Day 32:
    15.04.15 - Day 33: SF
    16.04.15 - Day 34: SF
    17.04.15 - Day 35: SF


    As you can see I still have some days to spare at day 31 and 32.
    From Palm springs we would do day trips to Joshua Tree NP, and ATV guided tour, and the cable car to the mountain, and lay at the pool.
    I know there is a lot of days in Vegas, but we also plan to lay at the pool, and a day trip to Death Valley, and see Little A'Le'Inn.

    1. Is this route doable ?
    2. In San Diego, we plan to see the Zoo and the Safari Park. do you spend a whole day in each ?
    3. Is Lake Havasu worth spending time in, besides seeing the London Bridge ?
    4. Is there any good stays closer to Grand Canyon than Williams or Flagstaff ?
    5. Should we use one more day in Moab ? We plan to do a ATV ride.
    6. We also thinking about staying a day more in Kanab and take a tour to "White Pocket", should we ?

    Any tips or comments are very welcome :o)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    First, I'd advise a full day in Zion National Park. You'll appreciate it. Also please realize - while "San Diego to LA" CAN be a 2-hour drive, it will depend on a few things: where in LA you're going, what day of the week and hour of the day you're driving, and at any given time, traffic can be at a standstill because of a vehicular accident. Same with San Diego to Palm Springs. The last time I went up there, it took me 2-1/2 hours, from the Escondido area (north of SD).

    Also, never believe the travel times given to you by an electronic mapping program or device. They don't get stuck in traffic, they have no idea what time of the day you'll be traveling in, and they don't have to stop for food-fuel-bathroom, but you do.

    1. Is this route doable ?
    Yes, but note above.

    2. In San Diego, we plan to see the Zoo and the Safari Park. do you spend a whole day in each ?
    Yes, they are each a full day park, and they are about 30 miles apart from each other. Here is a thread I wrote awhile back, since I've lived in San Diego for 25+ years.

    3. Is Lake Havasu worth spending time in, besides seeing the London Bridge ?
    Yes, it's a lovely place to relax. However, I wouldn't recommend doing this on a weekend, as it is where many families go from LA/SD/Phoenix.

    4. Is there any good stays closer to Grand Canyon than Williams or Flagstaff ?
    Yes, there is Tusayan and Cameron Trading Post. Both are more expensive than Williams and Flagstaff, but both are closer. If your budget can afford it, and you can get a reservation, you can stay in the Park itself.

    5. Should we use one more day in Moab ? We plan to do a ATV ride.
    Personal experience: we stayed one day in Moab, drove through Arches National Park and then went to Dead Horse Point State Park late in the afternoon. However, this was during the summertime when daylight hours were longer. We did not drive down to Canyonlands National Park, and in many ways, I wish we had. I can't comment on the ATV thing - while my husband would probably love that, I would be scared to death. (I am NOT that adventurous!)

    6. We also thinking about staying a day more in Kanab and take a tour to "White Pocket", should we ?
    I'll defer to others on this one, as I have never been.



    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

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    Personally I would spend a little less time in Vegas and rather than taking day trips drive through DV on route to Seqouia and overnight around Lake Isabella. I would also reconsider the AlienInn as there is little to see or do but is a worthwhile stop when driving through. I would also fill them days with a couple of night s in Yosemite NP. I would also spend less time in Palm Springs and enjoy more time from GC to Zion, but that's me. For example from Moab you could drive UT scenic 12 to Capital Reef and also visit Bryce canyon which are 2 lovely parks and a fantastic drive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Maybe a little more on the other side of the scales.

    What are you hoping to get out of this trip? To me it looks unbalanced with two thirds spent in cities (which after a while all start to look the same) and quick drives through some of the most spectacular country on this planet.

    I would allow an extra night at Springdale, between Kanab and LV, spending a full day in Zion. Zion is one of those parks where you do not need to be a 'hiker' to enjoy the many easy shorter walks. Allow time for the unexpected. When I was there I videod a rattle snake right by the footpath. You can't plan for these things, but if you are flexible with your time you can enjoy them.

    A night spent in Death Valley is another would be so worthwhile. You won't see the night sky as it really is in LV. Away from artificial light in DV you get to see the night sky like no other place.

    Have a good look at a good paper map and note all the NPs and scenic routes through, and by, which you will be passing.

    Lifey

  5. #5

    Default

    Hi Lifey.

    Let me try to answer your questions :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    What are you hoping to get out of this trip?
    Hopefully a very nice vacation with some action (ATV in Palm springs and Moab, speedway track in Vegas, helicopter trip over vegas and gc) and days where we just relax at the pool.

    Im trying not to drive to much each day. Some days we just have to, to get from A to B, but trying to keep it at 5 hour drives a day.

    The days we have in Palm Spring and Vegas, would be used for day trips and pool fun.
    E.g a day trip to Joshua Tree NP from Palm Springs, and a ATV drive another day.
    From Vegas we would use one day to see Death Valley, Valley of fire another day, helicopter trip another and so on.

    I know my girlfriend also want to do some shopping, and just lay at the pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    I would allow an extra night at Springdale, between Kanab and LV, spending a full day in Zion.
    The plan would be leaving Kanab early and drive 1 hour to Zion and be there all day, and then drive 3 hours to Vegas at evening.
    Wouldn't that be okay ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Have a good look at a good paper map and note all the NPs and scenic routes through, and by, which you will be passing.
    Im using a google map where I plot in places to go to. Places I read about in travel books or the internet, and the trying to plan a good route around.

    I'll try to plot in the UT-12 sceninc drive, mentioned by Dave.
    I'll still have days to use, and we book hotels/motels as we go, so everything can change as we progress.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

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    If you want to drive hw1 between Monterey and Cambria and take in the views it will take at least a full day from SF to Pismo Beach and it's even recommended to take 2 overnight stays o the way. 101 is faster but nt along the coast on that stretch.

    In rushhour LA to SD can take 4 hours. From SD to PS with the time you have you can take a much nicer route via Julian (Apple pies!) Anza Borrego and Palms to Pines hw to Palm Desert. Not sure when the Coachella Valley festival in Coachella takes place but you can google it. Thursday has the farmer market in PS. Fun thing to do. Also have a dateshake at Shield's Date Farm in Indio.

    Lake Havau has London Bridge but nowadays it's built in so it's even hard to take pictures of it but you can walk across the bridge of course.

    The driect drive between PS and GC Village takes 7 hours, we have done it many times. It takes much longer if you add stretches for R66 like between Topock and Kingman and between Kingman and seligman but esp the part via Oatman is one of the best stretches left for R66.

    There's way more to see in Page. Antelope Canyons, Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, Navajo Village, Horseshoe bend and for sunset Wah Weap overlook west of Page. You're rushing through it.

    We spent weeks in Moab because there's so much to see.

    From Moab you can drive to Green River (John Wesley Powell museum) to Torrey (Litle Wild Horse Canyon, Goblin Valley, Capitol reef on the way and www.scenicbyway12.com to Bryce and via red Canyon to Zion. Needles to say this is not a one day trip. Many people take 3-4 days. Same for Zion. So much to see and do and you're rushing through it. On the way to Las vegas you also will find Valley of Fire SP and the drive on Northshore rd along Lake Mead is much nicer than the interstate.

    And of course there's Yosemite NP after Seki if you want to go there. As the other posters already said, Stay Death Valley NP on the way to Seki/Yosemite.

    Yeehaw
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-12-2015 at 09:18 AM. Reason: added some white space

  7. #7

    Default

    I have added UT-12 to my route, and are looking and the description here:
    http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum...m-Palm-Springs
    to get from Palm Springs to Grand Canyon.

    Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, Mexican Hat, Needles Overlook is also on the list.
    Same is Arces National Park and maybe Canyonlands too.

    I try to take a day less in Palm Springs and add a day in Moab. I see they also have a lot of tours there.
    I also need a day less in Vegas so I do not have 2 weekends there. The prices rise a lot fri, sat and sunday, so I can add that in UT-12 maybe.

    We also have 4 days in San Francisco. Is that a bit too much ?
    I could take a day there also.


    Coachella Valley festival is from April 10 to 19, so that is a little bit late.


    I really appreciate all your advises.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
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    San Fran is a lovley city but quite compact so you may find 3 days is enough to see the highlights. Four days isn't necessarily "too much" time, but if you are looking to 'gain' time elsewhere in your trip it'll work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
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    Fastest way to get from Palm Springs to GC is to take I10 east to Desert center and 177 and 62 to Vidal Junction. Then head north to I40 via us95 and east to Williams before taking az64 to GC Village. Now 177 and 62 is a quiet desert drive but as for many places in the USA there are some hidden gems. There's a shoe fence near the "totem" pole at Rice and on the traintracks along 62 you'll see a lot of "graffiti" Very funny. With a bit of a detour you can visit Lake Havasu. Drive from Vidal Junction to Parker but before you cross the river turn north and drive via Parker Dam to az95 and to LHC.
    I also think 3 full days SF will do the job.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks Yeehaw, the tip with Parker Dam Road is written down :)

    Another question, it seems US-89 is closed on the way to Page.
    I have just read that they have paved US-89T as detour, so no problem there.

    But looking at the map here the road also seems to be closed down to Horseshoe Bend.

    Does anyone know if that is the case or is Horseshoe Bend still accessible ?
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 01-17-2015 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Link format.

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