Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Default San Francisco to Las Vegas - 1st week of January

    Greetings everyone,

    my brother and me, both students from germany, are going to visit our family in California for christmas. During our stay in the US we are planning a small roadtrip to the National Parks.
    We're going to rent a SUV on the 29th December in San Francisco and return it on the 6th January in Las Vegas. I'm still trying to figure out, which NP we manage to visit in the 8 days. At first we planned to drive to Yosemite, stay one night and then go on to Death Valley, but as Tioga pass is already closed, I'm not sure if we should skip it. Maybe we can drive some part of the coastal road instead of this?
    After Death Valley we're planning to visit Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon and perhaps Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley.

    As this is our first road trip in the US, I'm glad I found this forum and I hope someone more experienced can give us some tips. Is it a good idea to try to visit all those National Parks or should we focus on less? Both of us can drive the car, so even a longer drive shouldn't be a problem.
    I'm sure there are also several smaller, but maybe even more worthy locations we don't know. Any insider is tip is welcome :)
    We also haven't booked any place to sleep, so if someone has tips regarding this, we would be very thankful!

    If you need some more information, just ask, I'll answer as soon as possible!

    Best regards,

    Jonathan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Doable.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You are trying to pack quite a bit in for the amount of time you have and especially with the shorter days and higher risk of weather disruption in December/January. However, your trip isn't impossible, but it would be a little rushed. You can get from Yosemite to Death valley via Bakersfield by going around the southern end of the Sierra's, but the coast is an option to consider, driving around Big Sur to Cambria and then head inland. Yosemite could be amazing to visit at this time of year but you could also see poor weather and have to carry snow chains and be prepared to use them. There is just no way of knowing what the weather will do up until a few days before you head out.

    From Death valley you could head to Zion NP, Bryce Canyon and then down to the south rim of the Grand canyon and back to Vegas via an old section of route 66 through Seligman to Kingman and have the option to stop at Hoover Dam. Bryce canyon is also at high elevation and will be extremely cold with a higher chance of seeing ice and snow, so it would be worth checking conditions before travelling there. I would say you would need to choose between Bryce and having time to stop in Page and Monument valley. It really all comes down to the pace you want to travel at, but if you are happy to keep on the go your trip is doable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Loop trip??

    Why are you dropping the car in LV? It could pay you to do a loop trip, back to SF.

    Given your time and possible weather constraints, I would focus on PCH, Grand Canyon, back to LV, then head back to SF via Death Valley and Yosemite. It's about all you have time for, if you really want to enjoy any of these places.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default To Check First

    The usefulness of an RV for your travels is open to serious question. Before you preceded any further in your planning, you need to find out exactly what you can actually get and whether that will meet your needs. The main thing you need to check, with any potential RV rental firm, is whether the RV will need to be 'winterized'. This may in fact be the way the RV is delivered to you and if you alter that configuration and cause damage to the vehicle, you'll be responsible for that damage. 'Winterization' involves removing all water from the RV's tanks so that it won't freeze and burst the tanks and associated pipes. Since you will be traveling, and staying overnight, in some vary cold places including Yosemite and Death Valley (Yes, Death Valley has been known to get to -18ºC in January) My guess is that no RV firm is going to give you a vehicle with water in the tanks. And no water means nothing in the taps, no toilet, no shower, etc. Even sleeping in an RV in the winter can be extremely uncomfortable, requiring special sleeping bags or extra blankets (think €s, €s, €s). Factor in the extra cost of renting an RV, the extra cost of the fuel to move it, and the inconveniences mentioned above and it becomes a bit less enticing. But the first thing you need to do is to check with the company you expect to rent from, tell them your proposed itinerary, and see what their reaction is.

    AZBuck

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

    Default Oooooppps!

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    The usefulness of an RV for your travels is open to serious question.
    Buck, the OP is looking at renting an SUV.

    (I thought I was the only one getting old here. LOL)

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default My Bad

    Yeah, what's the expression? "Too soon old, too late smart" Experience can be a nasty teacher, taking the knowledge almost as soon as it gives it.

    AZBuck

  7. Default

    Thanks for the fast answer!

    @Southwest Dave
    I guess you are right, we should stay flexible until some days before we leave for the road trip. We are really interested in seeing Yosemite and I've already used snow chains in the alps, so this should not be a problem.

    Your recommendation sound really nice, I think we are going to take more time for Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyon and skip Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley.

    @Livemagician
    We thought it would be better, since LV is closer to the canyons. And the rental company (Sixt) does not charge any oneway fee for California - Nevada. Another point would be the flight back to germany, which is much cheaper if departing from LAS than SFO.
    As both of you disadvise to visit Antelope and Monument we're going to skip it.
    Do you think it would work out as well, if we return to LV after DV and Yosemite in the end? We would have to use the alternative route of Southern Dave twice instead of Tioga pass.

    @AZBuck
    We are going to stay in Motels, so those problems shouldn't affect us. But thanks for mentioning it, if we ever plan a trip with such a vehicle, I'm looking back to your concerns ;)

    I'm going to do some more research about the mentioned destinations. If there are more questions, I would be very happy if you can help me!

    Greetings

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You need to check with Sixt to see if the use of chains is allowed on their vehicles. Generally, it's not allowed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default In that case....

    Dropping the car in LV makes sense. I would head down the coast, as described by Dave, onto Yosemite (depending on the chain situation) round the Sierras to Death Valley, to the Grand Canyun and back to LV via Hoover Dam and a small section of old Route 66,

    If you'd like to stay within the NPs, get onto the booking page now.

    Lifey

  10. Default

    @glc

    Here in Germany and Austria they even have show chains in the stations and you can rent them with the car. I will contact them for the conditions in the US.

    @Lifemagician

    Another reason for dropping the car in LV are the rental conditions. You can only use the car in the neighbor states of your pickup state, unless you've got an oneway interstate rental contract.
    You are both right, a trip with more NP would be too much, but your suggestion sound really fine. I'm going to check out the hotels and motels now, let's see if there are still some rooms left.

    Thank you and best greetings

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-28-2014, 01:09 AM
  2. 1st time in America ! Las Vegas - San Francisco - One Way
    By Gorkenti in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-04-2013, 12:16 AM
  3. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-14-2010, 03:16 PM
  4. las vegas to san francisco january
    By andrea wells in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-27-2008, 04:33 AM
  5. Las Vegas to San Francisco (January 2004)
    By imported_Mark in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-18-2003, 01:26 PM

Bookmarks

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

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES