Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    Default LA to PHX in March

    Hi all, it's great that so many continue to contribute to newcomers.

    I've spent a bit of time reading through some of the threads and note that what I am suggesting is very much in a similar vain to many others. There are a couple of days that I would like to bounce off those in the know. Firstly, we are a group of 3 experienced drivers (including long distance in Western Australia) and all will be driving at some point, if required.
    The first 2 to arrive, do so in LA on 20 March and the other one the next day. We will be staying somewhere in LA the first night (probably Venice Beach) then picking the next one up from the airport. We must leave PHX 2 April. The car is booked, I get reasonable rates through my work, which means the One way fee is not a concern (lucky me).

    The fun part is what happens in between.

    Some essentials to fit in:
    3 days in Vegas
    We wont be going into San Francisco as 2 of us have already been there.

    The current plan is leave LA then-
    Day 1 LA to Morro Bay (?)
    Day 2 to Santa Cruz (?)
    Day 3 to Yosemite (Mariposa?) for a couple of nights
    Day 5 to Lone Pine (around the bottom) - is this drivable in a day?
    Day 6 drive through DV (or stay another night then) to Las Vegas
    Day 9 to Grand Canyon stay overnight
    Day 10 to Flagstaff, primarily seeing GC (if 2 nights in DV then to straight to PHX).
    Day 11 to PHX

    Firstly, anything seem unreasonable in driving times. The biggest is ~500km (350mi) which we are comfortable with driving in Australia. Secondly, any suggestions on places to stay (particularly the smaller stops along the way, none of the towns mentioned are locked in as destinations, they just fit on a map). Which is better for the extra night DV or GC? Any particular dangers to watch out for?

    We would love to fit in Zion NP and the others in Utah but I don't think I can make them fit. Anyone else make it work?

    A rough mudmap of the route:!1b1!2b1!3e0

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Lots to look forward too !

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    Your trip looks well planned out and you are in for a real treat ! From Lone Pine I would explore DV and continue to Vegas for the night, giving you that extra night near GC. As you are not heading to SF, perhaps Monterey would be my preferred choice over SC. The Utah parks are great but will make your trip a little rushed as it is. For me the choice would be starting from LA as above, or starting in SF and dropping the coast for Zion and Bryce canyon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    Suggest to stay Santa Monica instead Venice. You can see Venice in the daytime if you wish but I much prefer Santa Monica for a stay. Morro Bay is good but the big factory (closed but too expensive to tear down) can spoil a bit of the views but Morro Bay is nice enough. Other places are Pismo beach, San Luis obislpo and Cambria Cambria most romantic and SLO is not on the coast.
    Monterey/Carmel/Pacific Grove are other places north but Santa Cruz is fun.
    Mariposa and also Oakhurst have cheaper lodging than inside Yosemite but also are away from the valley, at least 1-1.5 hours and you may need chains driving in Yosemite but they are not allowed on rental cars. You can take Yarts from Mariposa though.
    From Yosemite to Lone Pine will be a day of driving but it can be done. Lone Pine is cute at the foot of Mt Whitney with its Alabama Hills and movie museum. Another option coming from Yosemite is to stay at Panamint Springs resort already in DVNP. No luxury but a great bar and food and also great for stargazing.
    Instead Flagstaff you can stay lovely Sedona before Phx.
    Start making reservations for Yosemite and Grand Canyon right now. In march on a bad day there still can be a lot of snow at GC like last year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Maybe not southern Utah, but try Monument Valley.

    You may not have time for the southern Utah NPs, but if you leave the GC via Desert View Drive, it would allow you to do a detour and see some of the spectacular Monument Valley. No need to do the tour or anything, just driving 160 and 163 to Bluff and return via 191 and 160 back to Flagstaff.

    Just driving along those roads, you want to stop every few minutes to take yet another photo. That country is spectacular. (Nothing like driving across the Nullabor.)

    Those last three days would look something like...

    Leave LV early and drive to GC (a five hour drive, arriving soon after lunch.) Be sure to take in the sunset that night.
    Next day up early, take in the sunrise over the Canyon, leave early via Desert View Drive, route 64, it would allow you to do a detour and see some of the spectacular Monument Valley. No need to do the tour or anything, just driving 160 and 163 to Bluff and return via 191 and 160 back to Flagstaff.
    Last day, Flagstaff to Phoenix.

    You will have to book accommodation in the NP a.s.a.p. Especially Yosemite and Grand Canyon. Accommodation is limited, and much sought after.

    Be sure to take your RAC WA membership with you, as it will give you access to free maps and tourist information from the AAA. You could pick up the CA, NV, UT and AZ maps while in LA.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    Hopefully you will find the time but GC Village to Monument Valley is 3.5 hours drive without stops and you will want to stop along the rim. You also will lose one hour for timedifference. Monument Valley Tribal park has an entrance fee and to see the Mittens and Buttes in all their glory you'll have to drive into the park. Bluff is app one hour drive beyond MV and in the wrong direction if you want to head to Flagstaff from MV. Only 2 lodges in MV called The View and Goulding's Lodge. The road to the visitor center is paved but the road into the valley is very rough and not recommended with a rental car. Views from The View are to die for esp sunset and sunrise.

  6. #6


    Thanks for the feedback and we've taken most of it on board. Lucky you suggested booking GC accommodation because yesterday there were no rooms available for the night that we had planned. After refreshing the website today 1 room was available so I snaffled that up. The Monument Valley detour sounds great, but we'll play that by ear. It adds a lot of driving after what will already be a fair bit.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-01-2013, 12:15 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-17-2012, 07:26 PM
  3. SF to NYC in mid March
    By imanuel in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-05-2012, 07:00 AM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-20-2011, 07:26 PM
  5. March - from FL to MI via AL, MS, AR, MO
    By PortiaAllan in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-04-2008, 05:08 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name