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  1. Default Road trip from LA to Las Vegas (hopefully hitting up the Grand Canyon)

    I'm going to be visiting Las Vegas on business from England, and have a few days of holidays before I have to get to Vegas (I'm not much of a gambling man myself). So I'm flying into LA on July 3 and was contemplating a trip through one or both of Death Valley and Yosemite, and then through to the Grand Canyon. I need to be in Las Vegas on July 9, so I have 5 full days (I'd like to spend a full day in Yosemite if I go there, though).

    I'm planning on renting an American muscle car for the trip, as I've wanted to do that since I was 18.

    I had a few questions:

    (1) Is it a bad idea to try and go to Yosemite coz it's so far up north? Google Maps seems to tell me that I'd need to go back south down the same route I came up on in order to get to Arizona from California. But that just seems rather dull. Is there a better route I could take to get to Nevada? If I skip the Grand Canyon, is there something else [like beautiful nature spots/lovely windy roads] I could see that's more convenient?

    (2) Death Valley seems less in the wrong direction. But would it be a terrible idea to go there in July? I'm not a particularly dab hand when it comes to fixing up overheated cars.

    (3) From what I can see, the direct route to the Grand Canyon would take me through the Mojave reserve. Is that a pretty part of America?

    Sorry for all of the questions, and thanks in advance for your thoughts.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It can be done.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Yosemite is an amazing National park and no you don't have to come back via the same route. In fact you would have the chance to drive over the spectacular Tioga Pass [CA120] to US395 where you can head south and across Death valley on 190. Yes DV will be hot, but you can enjoy the incredible landscape from the car with short walks at viewpoints. With a modern rental you should have no mechanical issues. If you go to Yosemite you will need at least a full day there so you really need to spend a couple of nights in the park, or nearby. One night in the valley itself and one on the other side of the mountains, perhaps Mammoth Lakes would work. The next day you could then drive through Death valley and stop around Henderson or Boulder City. The following day drive to the Grand canyon for a night before heading back to Vegas with the option of driving through Seligman on original route 66 to Kingman and visit the Hoover dam.

    It'll keep you on the move, but it's an incredible drive with amazing and diverse landscapes !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Death Valley

    What Dave has laid out for you, is what I would do as well. When in Death Valley, be sure to stay on the paved roads and you won't have any worries. Make sure you have a hat, (and wear it) sunscreen and lots of drinking water. Even for short times out of the car, you will need all that, it can be incredibly hot. It is on 190, at Stovepipe Wells I think, that you will see the thermometre on the outside of the building. Note the time and temp. In May, some years ago it was over 100F at 10am.

    Even a couple of minutes out of the car will leave it like an oven to get back into. I left the engine and airconditioner running while out at an attraction. You son't want to go for any of the walks. But it is a place like no other on earth, and not to be missed.

    You will see many advertisements for flights over the GC. Be aware that these do not go to the National Park, but over the west rim, which is nowhere near as spectacular as the NP.


  4. Default

    Dave, Lifey, thanks for the detailed answers! I'm gonna put together an itinerary on that basis! :)

    Another qq: I'd like to rent a proper pony car, are there any rental agencies you might recommend to ensure I get a Mustang or Camaro? Thanks again; I visit the US once every six weeks or so but this is the first time I'm going to finally see something outside of a hotel room and office!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The only way you can be guaranteed to get a specific model of car, is if you reserve that specific model - and most companies charge a pretty significant fee to do that, because they are considered specialty cars. If you rent a convertible, you're most likely to get one of those models, as they are the most common convertibles in the rental industry, but the words "or similar" are standard in the industry, which means isn't not a guarantee no matter who you rent with.

  6. Default

    Thanks, Michael. I've gone ahead and reserved a convertible with Dollar in LAX. Here's hoping they don't stiff me and leave me riding a Mini Cooper or Ford Ka convertible. ;-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The last time I rented from Dollar, it was "take any car in the aisle". That was 3 years ago at Ft. Lauderdale.

    If it's not a Camaro or Mustang, it will probably be a Chrysler 200. We have Minis here, but no Ka.

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