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  1. #1

    Default Aussie Family Road trip West Coast

    Hi we are an Australian family of 5 (2 adults and 3 teenage boys) travelling to US in Sept/Oct 15. We want some tips for our road trip. We will be driving from Las Vegas - Grand Canyon - San Diego - Los Angeles. We have approx 12 days to do this as we want to take our time and try and see as many places as possible. Any suggestions of where we can stay along the way would great. Ideally lots of stops so we are not in the car for long periods at a time. Looking forward to hearing all of your suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Road Trip Forum.

    Is LV the place you will be flying into? and LA the point of departure? From Sydney, I suspect you will most likely be flying into LA or SF. It is preferable to do a loop trip, which will avoid the extra cost of paying the one way drop fee on rental vehicles. Could also make your airfares cheaper.

    Lifey

  3. #3

    Default

    Im actually flying Sydney to New York with a girlfriend and then to Vegas where my family will meet up with me. We have already booked and paid for flights. We are heading to Los Angeles from Vegas and will need to to the one way drop off with car. Once we get to Anaheim we will not require car.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    With 12 days, you have plenty of time to see a multitude of parks. Out of LV, you could go to Zion, then Bryce Canyon, then take UT-12 and go to Arches and Canyonlands, through Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon, then head to San Diego via Sedona. This will involve a few days of relatively long drives, if this is an issue you could go directly to the Grand Canyon from Bryce.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Lots for you to choose from.

    It always makes a difference when we see the full picture. In that case, in twelve days you have the choice of many wonderful places.

    There is Zion and Bryce Canyon as well as the GC. You could head out of LV north to Zion NP. Definitely worth a full day. Springdale is a great place to stay. They have a shuttle from the town to the park. Bookings definitely required. If you are into hiking there is a good variety in Zion from easy strolls to the challenging. Further north there is Bryce Canyon. This canyon can be best seen by driving to the end, and then stopping at all the scenic pull outs on the way back. Here too there are many hikes and accommodation is available nearby at Rubys and others.

    Between Bryce and the GC, if you have time you could drive the spectacular UT-12 to Capital Reef, then there is Arches and Canyonlands. Enter the GC at the eastern entrance (off 89) via Desert View Drive (64) for the south rim. You could also choose to go to the north rim, which is much less popular, but just as spectacular and nowhere near as commercialised. If you want to stay within the national park, particularly at the GC to pick up a sunset and/or sunrise over the canyon, you need to book that well ahead. Accommodation is limited and much sought after.

    Head to the national parks website for details of all these national parks. You will not have time to see all the ones I have mentioned, but you should get to enjoy a few of them. From the GC head straight to San Diego maybe stopping at Havasu City (London Bridge).

    Do you have any really good maps of the area? to put all this in perspective. I suggest that you get a copy of the Rand McNally road atlas, which is invaluable with the planning and essential when on the road. Order it now and you'll have it in a couple of weeks.

    If you are a member of NRMA, be sure to take your membership with you. It will give you access to free maps and tourism information from the AAA. You could pick up individual maps of NV, AZ, UT and CA while in NYC. Don't be tempted to rely solely on technology. Many have done so at their peril.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Alternatives.

    Another option would be to drive through Death Valley after visiting the Grand canyon and head north on 395 through Bishop to Mono Lake and then drive across the Sierra Nevada into Yosemite on Tioga Pass [CA120] and then to San Francisco before heading south on the scenic coast highway around Big Sur.

    If you would prefer to stay 2 or 3 days at your destination points then after the GC you could head to 'Red rock country' around Sedona and Joshua Tree NP [Palm Springs] each for a night on route to SD. You could also drive out to Monument valley, east of the GC.

    Make sure you drive to the south rim of the GC, which is part of the National parks system. Many tours from Vegas go to the West rim and Skywalk, which is nowhere near as spectacular and a lot more expensive.

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