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  1. Default Feasible itinerary? SF-LV-GC-LA-SF

    Hi all
    We're a family from Denmark planning a trip to USA next summer. We are renting an RV and driving out of San Francisco. I know there are threads upon threads about this subject, and I've spent hours scouring them with great luck. Since we have never been in the US before it is hard for me to get my head around how much time is necessary to get from A to B to C. . So far our itinerary looks somewhat like this:

    Day 01: Fly in to SF
    Day 02: Pick up RV and head towards Yosemite (Campsites?)
    Day 03: Arrive at Yosemite
    Day 04: Yosemity
    Day 05: Yosemity
    Day 06: Drive to Tehachapi
    Day 07: Drive to Las Vegas
    Day 08: Las Vegas
    Day 09: Las Vegas
    Day 10: Drive to Zion
    Day 11: Drive to Lake Powell
    Day 12: Drive to Grand Canyon (South Rim)
    Day 13: Grand Canyon
    Day 14: Drive to Joshua Tree (perhaps a stop in between but where)
    Day 15: Drive to LA
    Day 16: LA
    Day 17: LA
    Day 18: Drive to Santa Barbara
    Day 19: Drive to Monterey
    Day 20: Drive to San Francisco
    Day 21: SF
    Day 22: Return RV and see SF

    Is this realistic at all or are we better off doing a one way trip skipping highway 1?

    Note: We are still in the early stages of planning, and therefore there are probably a lot of pretty obvious things I have overlooked. Route change suggestions are welcomed as well as tips on where to stay and which campsites to book in advance.

    Thank you for an awesome site. It has helped me immensely in starting of the planning of this trip.

    Best regards

    Mikkel B

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You've got an excellent start to your planning.

    I have a few thoughts. First, it should be pointed out that you might consider reversing your trip, and heading down the coast first. That would have you driving on the ocean side of the coastal highway, making it a bit easier to enjoy the views, especially in an RV.

    The only other thing that strikes me as an odd choice is going to Tehachapi. When exactly is this trip taking place? As long as Tioga Pass is open, then you'd be backtracking to get there. I'd think you'd also want to go through Death Valley, although your RV company may have restrictions, again, depending upon exactly when you're going to be on the road.

    Otherwise, I think you're in very good shape as you're starting out here.

  3. Default

    Thanks for quick response!

    Reversing the trip is unfortunately not an option as we are meeting up with family to travel together up the coast to SF, but thank you for the heads up:)

    Funny you pick out Tehachapi, because that is the only place I know absolutely nothing about, I picked it because people said it would be a better place to overnight than Bakersfield en-route to LV. Could Sequoia be done instead for a quick visit to some big ol' trees? This would make us independable on the Tioga pass?
    We are traveling from the 13'th of June so Death valley is at our own risk as far the terms from the rental company.
    Once again thank you for the swift reply, I'm quite impressed with this site!

  4. Default

    You are a family? I would spend less time in Vegas or eliminate it altogether in favor of a full day in Zion. If the weather allows you could spend an entire day doing the NARROWS WALK up the Virgin river. Also, BRYCE is only a couple hours away and worth a day.

    Driving south on the PCW is a smart idea but it is also smart to reserve your campsites WELL in advance. The State parks sell out months ahead of time, especially weekends. Many have 32 foot limits on motorbikes as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Assuming Tioga Pass is open (likely, but not a 100% guarantee in mid-june), I wouldn't go via Bakersfield at all. Tioga Pass is a big part of Yosemite and you shouldn't miss it if you don't have too. There are any number of towns to spend the night then along US-395. If you don't want to risk driving through Death Valley (honestly, I would probably make the drive if I was in your shoes, but that's your call), you can still get to Vegas on a few other route that take you over to US-95 in Nevada.

    There really is no quick way to visit Sequoia National Park. You have to drive up into the mountains, which takes some time, meaning you really need a full day just to explore it. Typically, I'd suggest you could visit the Mariposa Grove of Sequoia trees inside Yosemite National Park, but that's not possible right now. The area is undergoing restoration work, and it won't reopen until 2017. If you want to visit Sequoia, I would actually do that before Yosemite, again, allowing you to cross the Sierras via Tioga Pass.

  6. Default

    (You are a family? I would spend less time in Vegas or eliminate it altogether in favor of a full day in Zion. If the weather allows you could spend an entire day doing the NARROWS WALK up the Virgin river. Also, BRYCE is only a couple hours away and worth a day.)

    We are a family yes, but keeping in mind this quite possibly could be our only visit to the US west coast, wouldn't we be missing out not experiencing Las Vegas?
    We could cut a day in favor of having one more at Zion or for a stop at Bryce. Which is more recommendable?


    (Driving south on the PCW is a smart idea but it is also smart to reserve your campsites WELL in advance. The State parks sell out months ahead of time, especially weekends. Many have 32 foot limits on motorbikes as well.)

    If PCW equals Pacific coast highway, I'm inclined to agree with you on the benefits of travelling south, but again If we are to hook up with another RV in LA 15 days into our trip then reversing it gives us 2 weeks on the pacific coast highway and only 1 week to do all the rest. So I guess we're going to have to pull over at strategically placed stops to take in the views:).
    Is it only the state parks campsites that sell out are would we be better off booking it all in advance? If at all possible I would like to book as little as possible in advance in order to keep our timetable flexible.

    Thank you for your advice, I really appreciate it.

  7. Default

    Hi MikkelB,

    Im from Sweden and have done a very similar route before but never in an RV. I think you planning is very good so far and your time in Vegas seems about right, only one day you will feel rushed and there is to much to see and do while in Vegas. I do agree however about spending at least a full day in Zion. Bryce could be an option as well and i think you will take in plenty of the sights in a half a day.

    If possible i would find that extra time in driving directly from Grand Canyon to LA. If you get up early you will still have some time to visit Joshua Tree as well.

  8. #8

    Default

    Allow plenty of time driving up to Monterey from Santa Barbara during the summer. The Big Sur section can be slow going but is certainly worth the while. I would recommend staying further north, e.g., in San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay or Cambria. San Luis Obispo is a nice funky college town with an old mission and cool, small movie theater, plus plenty of restaurants and brew pubs. Morro Bay and Cambria are also good, smaller towns.

  9. Default

    Vegas is definitely an interesting place for adults, but children aren't allowed on the casino gaming floors. There ARE interesting things to see and do; you have to decide what is best for you. Look up videos on Hiking Bryce and also ZIONS NARROWS walk and see what really interests you.

    We rented an RV in September and had a difficult time booking the State Parks one month ahead of time! Better to book and cancel than have nowhere to stay. The private RV parks might cost you $80 or more per night, another reason to book the beautiful State parks along the PCH.

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