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  1. Default Help planning our first visit to the West Coast

    Hello everyone,

    I apology in advace for my english, we are travelling from Uruguay (South America) for our first visit to the West Coast. Our flight will arrive and will leave from Los Angeles. We will be renting a car.
    We only have 15 nights, and it has been really difficult to make an itinerary. This is our draft itinerary:

    June 19 Stay in LA
    June 20 Drive to Santa Barbara
    June 21 Drive to Carmel
    June 22 Drive from Carmel to SF
    June 23 SF
    June 24 SF
    June 25 SF
    June 26 Leave SF early in the morning drive to Yosemite, sleep where? Mammoth Lakes? Bishop?
    June 27 From Mammoth Lakes or Bishop drive to Las Vegas
    June 28 Las vegas
    June 29 Las vegas
    June 30 Drive from Las vegas to Tusayan sleep in Tuyasan (visit GC)
    July 1 Helicopter in GC, drive to Monument Valley sleep, where? Kayenta?
    July 2 Drive to Antelope Canyon (tour del mediodía), then from Antelope Canyon to L V
    July 3 Drive from Las Vegas to Santa Mónica
    July 4 our flight leaves at 15:10

    What do yo think?? It is possible or it is too much?
    Other option is from Carmel to drive to Yosemite, from there to SF, and from SF take a flight to Las Vegas??

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    It's a good itinerary, doesn't look like too much on any one given day. However, if it were me, I would reverse it, going to Grand Canyon from LA, Las Vegas, all the way around to San Francisco and then go down the coast last. That way, the pullouts for scenic views will be on the driver's side of the road and you won't have to cross the traffic to get in or out of the pullouts.

    Also, you'll have to judge for yourself how much you want to see in Yosemite. Personally I think it's more than just a "drive through", but you may feel differently.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Sometimes less is more.

    Hello and welcome !

    You will not see Yosemite other than driving over Tioga Pass if you were to stay at Mammoth Lakes or Bishop, you would not have time for the valley, Glacier point or Mariposa Grove. Personally I would consider removing Antelope canyon and driving from the Grand canyon directly towards LA and not go back to Vegas. If you did this you could stay a night on the west side of Yosemite to see the attractions mentioned and then stop in Bishop the following night and perhaps have a little more time to spend at the Grand canyon. Of course it is up to you, but Yosemite is an amazing place and at present you really are just driving through a small part of it. Reversing the trip is also worthy of consideration.

  4. Default

    Thanks Donna and Dave for your responses, yes I will consider to spend another night at Yosemite, at the west side, where do you suggest if wea re coming from San Francisco? Mariposa? El Portal? Groveland?
    Another question we should spend the second night on the east side, where do you suggest? Bishop?
    From Bishop to Las Vegas how many hours should I calculate?

    We were trying to stay in Las Vegas at the end of the trip, to have time to rest and enjoy the hotel, but will have into consideration to do it first, and then go from there to Yosemite and SF.

    Thanks againa for your help!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Death valley.

    Any of the locations you mention are suitable for Yosemite NP but if your budget could manage it you can't beat staying in the park. You can find info on lodgings on the Yosemite NP webpage. You can get budget friendly cabins, high class accomodation at the Awhanee hotel [expensive] or somewhere in between such as Yosemite Lodge at the Falls.

    Bishop to Vegas could be done in around 5 hours but I would allow more time and drive through Death Valley NP and stop to take in some of this incredible landscape. Take CA190 across the park and when you get to the junction with CA127 turn right and immediate left onto State Line Rd/ Bell Vista Ave into Pahrump and then to Vegas on NV160. You can stop for refreshments at Stovepipe Wells or Furnace creek and along the way enjoy the Sand dunes and Zabriske Point etc. From Furnace Creek you could detour down to Badwater Basin which is the lowest point in the US at almost 290ft below sea level. On the way back you could take a scenic detour on Artists Drive. It's gonna be hot so carry water and use sun protection but you can enjoy this place without being too far from the car.

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