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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Montreal to San Francisco

    Hi everyone,

    I am planning a 3 weeks road trip to San Francisco for mid-November. Since I'm not a winter person, I'd like to avoid colder areas if possible. I have an endless list of places I want to visit but I'm aware that I'll have to let go some of them :

    Colorado : Frisco, Mesa Verde NP, Durango
    New Mexico : Santa Fe, Silver City
    Arizona : Tuweep (GC), Havasupai, Bagdad, GC South Rim, Organ Pipe NM, Chiricahua Mountains
    Texas : Big Bend NP, El Paso
    California : Barstow, San Diego, West Hollywood, Long Beach, San Lui Obispo, San Francisco, Bakersfield, SF, Yosemite, Death Valley NP
    Nevada : Eureka, Virginia City, Hoover Dam
    Utah : Arches NP, Canyonlands, Glen Canyon
    Wyoming : Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Dubois
    Idaho : Boise
    Illinois : Starved Rock SP
    Kentucky : Mammoth Cave
    Tennesse : Smoky Mountains

    B.C. : Vancouver, Victoria
    Man : St Boniface, The Pas, Dauphin

    I'm meeting one of my friend in SF somewhere between the 23rd and the 29th, but beside that, I don't have anything settled yet. I'm open to any suggestion of routes and attractions. My interests are small towns, desert (heat+++), ghost towns, historic monument and places, hiking, nature, hot springs, wine, photography, beaches (lakes or ocean) visual arts (museums), architecture, nightlife and good food, off the beaten path destinations. One last thing : if anyone knows about a cheap place to stay near Belmont or SF, speak up.

    Thanks!
    Gen

  2. Default Heat in the California desert

    OK, maybe not so much heat in November/December, but knowing you, you'll really like the Anza Borrego Desert State Park outside of San Diego. And compared to what you're getting right now, it'll still seem warm! :)Also Julian, same area. Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Desert Southwest Portion

    Your itinerary presents an intriguing "travelling salesman" problem that will keep me up for a few nights to come, but in the meantime, here are some additional suggestions for the southern Arizona (heat+++) portion of your trip between say Silver City, NM and Organ Pipe National Monument. Fort Bowie is actually sort of on the way in to the Chiricahua Mountains. I say sort of, because one of Fort Bowie's unique aspects is that you can only get to it by hiking in a mile or so from a dirt road. By the way, one of my favorite hikes in the Chiricahuas is the loop through Echo and Rhyolite Canyons from Massai Point. It's about 6 km and gets you into the midst of some very fascinating hoodoos as well as letting you drive the entire park road. And don't forget Saguaro National Park outside Tucson if you're looking for some desert hiking. For some alternative night life in Tucson, try Ain'T Nobody's Bizness, Howl at the Moon, or Wingspan. And on your way to Organ Pipe consider a side trip to the top of Kitt Peak.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Thanks

    Thank you guys!

    Your itinerary presents an intriguing "travelling salesman" problem that will keep me up for a few nights to come
    It's not really an itinerary but a list of places I'd love to visit on my few future trips. I actually have been to some of the places you suggested like Ft Bowie and the Ain't Nobody's Biz (Phx and Tucson) and they are on my fav list already. I think I'm going to add Saguaro NP to my list also, I like desert hiking:o)

    Anza Borrego Desert State Park outside of San Diego. And compared to what you're getting right now, it'll still seem warm!
    Right, anyplace that's warmer than here sounds awesome to me!:-)

    And what about the routes? Do you know of any must drive remote desert roads?

    Gen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default More on the Desert Southwest

    OK - There's a point to this, so bear with me. A couple of other spots worth considering in southeastern Arizona are the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area if you'd like a walk in the desert as it can be transformed by water, and Kartchner Caverns State Park for a living cave to compare with Mammoth. Either of these will put you in the vicinity of Sierra Vista, AZ from which it's a short drive to Coronado National Monument, where you can get a taste of mountain hiking in the desert. And here's the point. Coronado National Monument makes a great jumping off point for some dirt-track desert roads to the west. You would continue west from the monument on the forest service road and then you can either connect with AZ-83 (dirt for the first portions) up to Elgin and Sonoita, or - if you're feeling really adventurous and have a good map - follow Duquesne Road along the Mexican border to Nogales. Either of these will give you some spectacular dirt road, desert and mountain driving. In addition, Duquesne Road passes through a number of ghost towns and abandoned mining camps.

    AZBuck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Tuweep/Toroweap

    Hi,

    I was wondering if anyone on this forum has ever been to Tuweep/Toroweap ? I know there are several roads that lead there, some better than others. Are these roads passable during November with a regular car or would it be too risky ? If someone gets caught somewhere down there, is there a way to get roadside assistance (this one's for Brad!) ? I'm used to drive on unpaved and rough roads in northern Quebec, where you don't have any signal on your cell and have to wait for hours or even days until someone finds you to get any help if you're in trouble, but every place is different from one another, so I'm curious.

    Thanks!
    Gen

    Ps-I'm leaving for SF on Friday!

  7. Default Rough roads

    Hi Gen,

    the problem with the roads to Toroweap is that they are rocky and the rocks have sharp edges. It is common to to get several flat tires along the way, so you have to be prepared for that. This information comes from the rangers in the area -- based on what they've told me, I personally wouldn't attempt driving in that area without a high-clearance vehicle that has heavy duty off-road type tires. Bob

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default

    Ah, ok then (sigh:o) I guess I'll have to buy one of those huge pick-up trucks uh? Thanks for the info!

    Gen

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