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  1. Default California - last minute

    Hi guys!

    I've read lots of threads about planning a trip around california. Thanks to this great forum!
    Me and my girfriend will go from 29th August to 15th September.
    There is one difficulty about visiting all the places of our interest.
    My trip starts from SFO and ends in LA, which leads to the following itinerary:

    First I'm staying a couple of days in the San Francisco area, then:

    Day 1 - San Francisco to Napa/Sonoma Valley
    Day 2 - along coast up north to Eureka - Mt Shasta & Lake - Lassen Volcanic Park (overnight in this area?)
    Day 3 - Lake Tahoe
    Day 4 and 5 - Lake Tahoe to Yosemite
    Day 6 to 8 - here's the difficulty: back to south of SFO and drive down the coastal road till Ventura (stops between)
    Day 9 and 10 back into Death Valley - south to Mojave dessert - Joshua tree Park (where to stay?)
    Day 11 Palm Springs - San Diego
    Day 12 - 15 coast up to LA (stops between)
    Day 15 - 17 LA

    How do you think, is it a reasonable plan?
    What would you skip? Where would you spend more time?
    Is there some time left to go to Vegas from Death Valley?
    Thanky for your help!

  2. #2

    Default Thoughts

    Hi Martin, and welcome to the site.

    That sounds like quite a cool trip!

    There are places where you will find you want a little more time and others where you seem to have time in excess. All in all I think it'll work out just fine. Are you planning on booking accomodation, etc. before you set off? I personally prefer to let things stay somewhat fluid and worry about accomodation when I amon the ground but that's not always possible.

    Have you got definite plans in LA? The reason I ask is that the latter part of the trip - from leaving San Diego - seems to me to leave you with a really good chunk of time and, if you were able to go with the 'make it up on the ground' suggestion, then you could always steal a day or so from here if you suddenly decided that you wanted to spend more time somewhere, or head into Vegas, or whatever.

  3. Default Comment...

    I'll agree, you haven't got anything in here that's massively out of distance or time.. except maybe one in my opinion.

    And that's the Day 2 trip.. Eureka to Mt Shasta to Mt. Lassen. The big Redwood groves are from 1-2 hours north of Eureka, and I'd hate to have you miss them. Plus, if you head east from Eureka you'll be on 299, which is pretty windy as a road (lots of forests and nice views, but the road winds a bit). The fastest route to Mt Shasta is over to Redding, then up on I-5. That's probably 4-5 hours on the road, without any stops. From there its about another 2 hours to Lassen National Park. You'll be going through some very scenic country here, and I do have a concern about you having enough time to get out of the car, walk around a bit and at least take some pictures and enjoy the scenery.

    There's the Castle Crags State Park, several falls in the Mt Shasta area, MacArthur -Burney Falls, and several spots in Mt Lassen you might want to investigate (Bumpass Hell, Emmigrant Lake, Summit Lake, day hike to the summit of Mt Lassen, etc.).

    One option you might consider would be spending the night in the Mt Shasta area, or near Burney.

    If you break the trip at about Burney, you can continue through Lassen to the 36, and then east to Susanville and catch the 395 south to Reno/ Tahoe area. That puts you on the eastern side of the mountains, into some of the high Nevada dessert and open rangelands. It's one of the less populated parts of the west. You could even side trip to the Black Rock Dry Lake where they have the Burning Man festival every year, on your way to Tahoe, or go through Virgina City where the Comstock Lode silver was mined.

    I just did sort of a reverse trip through this area end of June. Sacramento to Mt Lassen to Mt Shasta, and then beyond. That's written up in the RoadTrip Reports section of this forum.

    *Grins* Just watch out for the Lemurians on Shasta.........

  4. Default

    Thanks for your comments!

    I thought of booking some hotels in advance, but try to leave it open to keep it fluid as you said.
    I booked 2 nights in SFO when we arrive there and 2 nights in LA where we finish.
    I still think of booking a hotel at Yosemite (outside the park).
    Also maybe at Redwood Ntl Park, Mt Shasta area, Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree Ntl. Park?
    Any recommendations?

    Do i have to expect lots of traffic? Besides city rush hours Yosemite, Tahoe is pretty crowded?

    Another difficulty which just came up:
    I just broke my right forearm - damn!!
    Am i allowed to drive an automatic rental car with plastercast? Do i need special permission?

    Thanks for your help!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Nothing Hard and Fast, But...

    August used to be the busiest month for tourism (based on room rentals) in the lake Tahoe area. Over the last 10 years or so, this has shifted more towards July and overall, the number of visitors is down. So take comfort in the fact that it could be worse, and things will definitely be tapering off as you get into September. As far as driving with a cast. People drive while yakking on their cell phones, eating, applying make-up, you name it. Surprisingly, none of it is illegal. Now it is up to you to still drive safely. Not as safely as you can, but safely. If you are in an accident, and it can be shown that you were driving while impaired, there will be more of a presumption that you are at fault and you are at increased risk for being ticketed for unsafe driving, but there is nothing to prevent you from driving.


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