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  1. Default Vegas to San Francisco Mid-May


    We'll be leaving Las Vegas the 9 May, driving to SFO. Would like to do Grand Canyon, Yosemite, maybe Death Valley. Would like to stop in Sonoma and/or Napa for a day & a night on our way to SFO. Arrive in SFO by the 12th or

    We fly out of LAX on the evening of the 19th.

    Would like this to be a relaxed trip. How much do you think we can fit in? Any recommendations as to what to see, scenic routes to take?

    We are coming from New Zealand so who knows if we will have another opportunity to do this.

    We could possibly shorten our stay in Las Vegas, we were planning on 6 nights, 5 days. Maybe we don't need that much time there?

    Thanks for any feedback.

  2. #2
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default A Jam-packed trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by mihilli

    We'll be leaving Las Vegas the 9 May, driving to SFO. Would like to do Grand Canyon, Yosemite, maybe Death Valley.

    We could possibly shorten our stay in Las Vegas, we were planning on 6 nights, 5 days. Maybe we don't need that much time there?
    Welcome to the Forum!

    It seems you might be trying to do too much in the few days you expect to have between Las Vegas and San Francisco. Places like the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Yosemite are all-day expeditions, not including travel time, and it is approx. 24 hours of in-the-saddle drive time total between Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, and San Francisco. If you can reduce the number of days in Las Vegas, that would sure help, but I am not even sure if that will even keep things relaxing.

    My advice would be (and I know someone will differ in opinion) to forgo the Grand Canyon and treat yourself to a leisurely time in Death Valley and Yosemite. OR forgo Death Valley (except a quick pass through) and visit Grand Canyon and Yosemite only. That's just my way of thinking.

    As far as scenic routes, I really can't think of any in the areas you plan to visit except for the direct to routes. Although, between Kingman and the Grand Canyon you could do old Route 66, but this will add some driving time due to lower speeds.

    I'm sure some of the other veterans on the board will have some other ideas!

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-17-2006 at 02:21 AM. Reason: Fix a couple of typos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Breaking it up

    Since any trip from the Grand Canyon to DV and Yosemite would basically take you right back through vegas, I'd break up those stops. I'd go see the Grand Canyon when you first get to Vegas. Its about a 5 hour trip one way to the South Rim, so you could leave vegas early, get to the canyon in the afternoon, spend the night there, and then head back the next day.

    That would give you time to rest up for the rest of your trip, and give you plenty of time to swing through DV and stop in Yosemite and Napa before heading to SF.

  4. Default

    The first time I drove in the west I under estimated the time it takes to drive places. Looking on a map it doesn't seem too great a distance to drive thru Yosemite, but it takes nearly a full day because the roads are up and down mountains and your speed is limited - then you need time to stop and see things.

    Similarly, the Grand Canyon is spectacular, but you need at least half a day to see it and then you're a long way from anywhere. I remember staying in Flagstaff and getting a plane trip over the canyon, which made me air sick :(

    Driving through the desert to Vegas is interesting, but you seem to drive forever to get nowhere fast. From Vegas it's worth stopping at the Hoover Dam and taking the tour. On the way to LA it's a good trip to branch off on the I10 for Palm Springs, you can go up the cable car and shop at Indio - the area is relaxing after all the driving, and a few days sitting by the pool is a welcome relief.

    Driving down the coast from SF to LA on the PCH is one of the better trips, but can be slow and a bit dangerous at times, especially if you're tired and trying to rush before it gets dark. I like Monterey and Santa Barbara areas to stay for a couple of days ... and down near San Diego I prefer to stay at La Jolla Pines (near the golf course).

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