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  1. Default Salt Lake City to Kings Canyon

    We are starting in Salt Lake city in mid-May 2016 and want to visit Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon. We have a place to stay in St. George Utah, and from St. George will go to Lake Mead/Hoover Dam area. From there we had hoped to drive through Death Valley on our way up to Kings Canyon National Park in CA to see the sequoia. From maps it looks as if we have to drive around Death Valley - I do not see a straight way through it -- is that correct or am I missing something.

    From there, we had hoped to visit family in Crestline CA (near San Bernadino) and then to Santa Barbara and up the coast to San Francisco. We have about 18 days to do this, so I am not so worried about time, but I am worried that we will have to do a lot of back tracking - especially if we have to drive around Death Valley

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm not sure I completely understand your question. I don't really know what you mean about driving around Death Valley. There are a couple roads through Death Valley, the most obvious one being CA-190.

    Now, when going from Death Valley to Sequoia/Kings Canyon you do have to go around the Sierra Nevada mountains, as there is no access to Sequoia National Park from the east side of the Mountains. Perhaps that's what you are talking about? The direct route from DV to Sequoia basically takes you through the Bakersfield area. However, if you want to visit friends near San Bernardino, it would probably make sense to go from DV to SB and then back up to Sequoia.

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


    What are your plans for visiting Bryce canyon and Grand canyon ? Neither St George or Hoover dam area make very good bases for visiting either. The access road to the North rim does not open until mid May [depending on weather] and if you plan to visit the south rim you could go from Bryce through Page AZ and south on US89 before going to Lake Mead/ Hoover dam area.

  4. Default

    Hi Midwest Michael,
    Thanks, yes, because there is no eastern access to Kings Canyon, we would have to drive around. Your knowing the access roads is a big help.

    Can you help me figure out the best order of these places - while also avoiding too much backtracking: Salt Lake City, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Sequoia/Kings Canyon, Crestline (near San Bernadino), Santa Barbara, Big Sur, and San Francisco. (We have family in Salt Lake City and Crestline, friends in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, and a house to stay in in St. George). (Death Valley was never really a destination but since we will be driving it seemed logical to go through it - plus we have been told it's very pretty in the spring). THanks, Liz

  5. Default

    Hi Dave,
    We don't have any very specific plans for visiting Bryce or the Grand Canyon. We have a friend's house to use in St. George (which is why I included it in our itinerary, but it may not be worth saving on a night's hotel if it means lots of extra driving. We have included Hoover Dam for our civil engineer son (he will have to meet us at some point on the trip because he doesn't have 32 weeks of vacation).

    The other glitch is how best to drive from Grand Canyon - Sequoia/kings canyon - Crestline (near San Bernadino) - then to the coast of California (Santa Barbara, Big Sur and north) without too much extra driving. If fact, we are flying to Salt Lake and renting a car there -- maybe it doesn't make sense to rent a car and drive for part of the trip -- what do you think?
    Thanks, Liz

  6. Default Riding a Bus from Las Vegas to Los Angeles

    Any thoughts on taking a bus from Las Vegas to Los Angeles?

    We are traveling from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on Sunday May 22 . We planned to fly - but the tickets are a little pricey right now - bus options include Greyhound and Amtrak Thruway (both around 5 hours).

    We don't mind public transportation but if it's nothing but desert, we might just bite the bullet and fly.

    We are not big fans of driving long distances. Once we get to Los Angeles, we plan on taking the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner to Santa Barbara where we will stay 2 nights and then rent a car to continue our road trip up the coastal highway to San Francisco. (We do not want to drive in Los Angeles if we can avoid it).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I'd see three problems with your plan.

    First, one way car rentals can be expensive, so picking up and dropping off cars will likely increase your costs.

    Second, LA really is a city where a car is needed. It is just too spread out to easily see the city via public transit.

    Third, if you're still planning to visit San Bernardino, it probably makes the most sense to go there between Vegas and LA.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    If you think you'll hate driving in Los Angeles, you will hate their idea of public transportation even more. A friend of mine, who has since moved back east, had to rely on public transportation to get him anywhere in LA because he did not own a car. It would often take him 2 hours to make it to a new work site, which would take about 20 minutes in a car, because you have to change buses here, then to the Metro system, etc. This was typical. One time, I looked into taking the train from Oceanside up to LA Union Station, then a trolley out to a site in North Hollywood. That drive would take me about 2-1/2 hours on a Saturday morning. It would take me 3-1/2 hours by train/trolley, and that was only if my train got me into Union Station on time to catch the trolley line that I'd need.

    San Francisco has a MUCH better system, from what my cousins up there have said.

    Another issue with a bus, to think about. If you are on a public bus, and it gets stuck in a major traffic issue, you are stuck with it. If you're in a car, you have a great chance of getting off at the next exit and either sitting it out at a truck stop or fast food joint, or taking an alternative route.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Desert can be beautiful.

    Quote Originally Posted by rangel View Post
    We don't mind public transportation but if it's nothing but desert, we might just bite the bullet and fly.
    From my experience, travelling on Greyhound does not exactly make for a pleasant journey. Stopping constantly to pick up and put down passengers, and fast food places to get something to eat. Amtrak is a little better.

    But why would you not want to drive through the desert country. It can be so beautiful, especially in spring and especially if you venture off the interstates. Have another good look at your (paper) maps, and see what you will be passing by. All those things are not always visible on little screens.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You can spend a full day driving from LV to LA and see the Mojave Preserve, part of old Route 66, and Joshua Tree NP. No reason you have to take I-15 all the way. Rent the car in SLC and keep it for the duration of the trip till you get to SF, you will need it.

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