New member here. First of all this forum is a great resource and I've found some great information here over the last few days so thank you to everyone who's part of this! :)
My wife and I are planning a road trip in a couple of weeks and would love some advice and suggestions from fellow road trippers.
The high level plan is to go from Seattle to San Francisco via the Pacific Coast and the Redwoods, then head east towards the Grand Canyon and Zion national park (if the weather conditions permit) and come back.
We have two weeks to do this (with a buffer of an additional 3 days if needed). We don't intend to spend too much time in the bigger cities that we're visiting (like SF, Vegas and possibly Salt Lake City). All those destinations have friends that we'd like to get together with for an evening and then move on. Our main interests are around being able to witness natural beauty of the pacific coast and get a chance to see as many national parks as possible.
We are comfortable driving 7-8 hours on a day if needed but would like to pace it out as much as possible.
Onwards Journey (tentative)
Seattle -> Eugene, OR via the Columbia gorge
Eugene, OR -> Crescent City
Crescent City -> Ferndale, CA. This is a shorter drive, leaves the rest of the day open for some sightseeing like say doing the lost coast drive loop or a hike in the redwoods
Ferndale, CA -> San Francisco
Day 5, 6
Trip to Yosemite and back with a friend who'll join us in SF
SF -> Bakersfield, CA
Bakersfield -> Las Vegas
Las Vegas -> Grand Canyon
We have 5 more days, and would love some suggestions as to what we should do on our way back. Should we take the fastest route that google suggests via Salt Lake City UT, Boise ID, Kennewick WA back or go back the same way with fewer stops or add more days to our journey if this is totally unrealistic.
Would love to hear your thoughts! Also should we be worried about weather / road conditions for any part of the trip in early / mid October?
Thanks in advance!!!