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  1. Default San Diego to Phoenix to Grand Cannon to Las Vegas to La

    We are planning a trip from San Diego to Phoenix to Grand Cannon to Las Vegas to LA leaving San Diego on the 7th of November and arriving in Los Angeles on the 14th November for our flight home to Australia. Do you have suggestions for an older couple on this route?
    We plan on staying 2 nights in each of Phoenix,Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. We would like to visit places between our overnight stops as well as when we are in the cities but have no idea of where to start.

    Thank you,

    Terri

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

    Default Here's how to get started.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Do you have some good detailed maps of the US or of the South West? That would be the best way to start. If these are not available locally, you can order a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store via the link at the bottom of this page. Order it now and you will have it in a couple of weeks.

    When you have some maps, you may find the following paragraph helpful:-

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    There is so much to see along the way between the points you already have, and so many scenic routes to choose from. It is such a spectacular corner of the world.

    Is there any special reason why you are starting in SD and ending in LA? Both car rental and flights are often cheaper when you start and end in the same city.

    You don't say in which State you live, but if you are a member of RACV / NRMA or similar be sure to bring your membership with you. It will give you access to tourism information from the AAA wherever you are. Furthermore, some places which offer AAA discounts will honour a reciprical card as well.

    Lifey

  3. Default

    Thanks for your suggestions, It makes sense to have paper maps. I live in Queensland and belong to RACQ so will bring my membership card.
    We are disembarking from a cruise ship in San Diego and flying back to Australia from Los Angeles.

    Terri.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default A few more thoughts

    Make sure you take the atlas with you. What I do on each trip is at the end of each day highl8ight all the roads on which I drove. For one thing, I do spend longer in the US and would never remember all the 20000 odd miles I usually cover, but they are also great to look back on or when telling friends about the trip to have to show it.

    When you see on the maps just how much there is besides the three cities, you may decide to spend a little more time in the great attractions of the south west, and less in cities. It is possible to drive from SD direct to the GC, or go via one of the NPs or Rte 66. Oh! there are so many options, you'll have to choose carefully. Having covered almost 200000 miles, I still have not seen it all.

    Unfortunately the Australian Automobile clubs do not make it known that there is a reciprocal arrangement between our clubs and the AAA. From what I have learned there are very few Aussies who know. It was a lady in the library in Venice Beach CA who told me about it in 2001. She had spent three weeks in Oz and had received a lot of help from our clubs.

    Another thing which I like to do, and I have seen others do as well is put a small flag in the rear window of your car. Not only will it let other drivers know that you are not a local, but I have often had ex pats or Viet Vets come up to me, wanting to have a chat to an Aussie.

    As you go about your planning and more questions arise feel free to post here. There will always be someone who can give advice.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Reality here:

    San Diego to Phoenix area is about a 6-7 hour drive, taking I-8 east. How you get into Phoenix depends on where your destination there is, as there are several routes I can suggest. (I live in San Diego and my parents live in Phoenix's East Valley, so I am very familiar with the route.)

    From Phoenix, the Grand Canyon is another 4-5 hour drive, once again depending on where you start in the Valley of the Sun.

    From the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas is about a 4-5 hour drive. Las Vegas to LAX is about a 5-6 hour drive, especially if you come south on I-15 on the day before your flight, because that's a Sunday. (Traffic on the I-15 corridor between LA and LV is heaviest on Fridays and Sundays, as LA residents head for the glitz-n-glamour of the LV Strip, and the LV residents try to head for the beaches of SoCal!)

    Bear this in mind as you are making out your day-to-day plan.


    Donna

  6. Default

    Thanks for your tips. I am looking at not driving direct to Phoenix and maybe staying overnight at Parker Dam. I will have to get a map and check it out. As you are local to the area any information you could give me would be appreciated.

    Terri

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    OK, you're saying that you'd like to go to the Grand Canyon via Lake Havasu/Parker Dam. If this is an overnight at Lake Havasu, you could take one of several really pretty drives from San Diego.

    First thought: Head up I-15 north to Temecula (wine country) and turn east on CA-79 to Aguanga. There, take CA-371 east to CA-74 to CA-137 into Indian Wells. Catch I-10 east just long enough to get you to the entrance of Joshua Tree National Park at exit 168. Take the park road north to 29 Palms. There, catch CA-62 east all the way to the townsite of Parker, AZ, then north on AZ-95.

    From there, you could continue north on AZ-95 till you get to I-40. Turn east to Williams, AZ, where you catch the road north into the Grand Canyon, AZ-64.

    The advantage to this route is that you can see the unique features that make up Joshua Tree National Park, namely, those funny looking "trees".

    Donna

  8. Default

    We are still going to Phoenix as we may be able to catch up with friends there but at this tine they are not sure if they are going to be there. So we would like to go to Phoenix via Parker Dam and then Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, Thanks for your directions as we would like to see Joshua Tree National Park on the way also.

    Terri.

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