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  1. Default San Francisco-Bit of West-Calif Coast-SF

    Hello, I've got approx 3wks for a roadtrip starting in San Francisco second week in April. Like a lot of people, the challenge is to fit in lots of great places while still seeping up the some of the atmosphere that comes from staying a bit longer in one place.
    So far, I've got San Francisco 2 or 3 nights then onto either Napa or Sonomora (maybe visiting a hot spring or going on a bus tour). Then pass through Sacramento onto Lake Tohoe (I'd like to go snowshoe walking or cross-country ski lesson) but not sure if one day is enough. Then onto Yosemite for two nights. Sequoina/Kings Valley one day then Death valley one day/night. One night/day Las Vegas. Visit Hoover Dam/Moave dessert?
    The part I've got booked is 17-20 train trip to Grand Canyon.
    Then 10 days left for Flagstaff to Sedona to Prescott.
    Not sure whether to go to Phoenix with main aim of Tuscon (I've heard good things). Then back to Phoenix and onto San Diego but via interesting route (seen another thread on this). Then LA, rest of the time up the coast back to San Francisco.
    I could reduce the coastal time and go to Las Vegas after the Grand Canyon trip? Or cut out something else? It's a long post. Any tips would be welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    One thing I would suggest is thinking about what seems the most interesting to you? That usually helps me decide when I have several options and can only pick from one or two. I don't know that only one day in Las Vegas would really give you a sense of the place - I think you may feel rushed trying to fit everything in.

  3. Default trip?

    Thanks. I like a mix of city and a bit of walking/scenery. Can anyone see anything that needs changing? I've booked the Williams part in the middle. I could do the route the other way around but thought it good to end up with the coast at end of April and see a bit of snow in lake tahoe earlier on in April.
    What I have so far is:
    day 1 - Sanfran arrive
    day 2 - sanfran
    day 3 - lake tahoe (can't go tioga pass way)
    day 4 - yosemite
    day 5 - yosemite
    day 6 - sequoina - stay at oakhurst
    day 7 - death valley
    day 8 - las vegas
    day 9 - las vegas
    day 10 - williams (already booked night here)
    day 11 - train to grand canyon & stay over (booked)
    day 12 - williams night (booked) - Flagstaff
    day 13 - Sedona
    day 14 - Phoenix - Tuscon
    day 15 - Palm Springs
    day 16 - San Diego
    day 17 - LA
    day 18 - LA
    day 19 - Santa Barbara
    day 19 - Big Sur
    day 20 - Monterey
    day 21 - Santa Cruz
    day 22 - Napa Valley or Sonoma - wine tour
    day 24 - San fran (drop off car)
    day 25 - leave san fran

  4. Default 24 days

    opps I've only got 24 days. In post above I've repeated day 19 twice.

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

    Default Zig Zag

    You've got a bit of a zig zag in days 3-7. You'd have to cross the Sierras 3 times on your current path. It would probably make more sense to do Sequoia and Yosemite first, then cross to get to Lake Tahoe, and then hit Death Valley on your way back down to LV.

    On day 14, I don't know if you'll want to go all the way to Tucson on your current schedule. You could do it, but since you are going right back towards California the next day, I don't think you'd have much time for sightseeing in that area. I think you'd be better off focusing your time around Phoenix.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Drop the lake?


    Looks like a fun, all inclusive trip. My only concern is that Lake Tahoe is a long way out of your way relative to the rest of the trip. I think you'd get more out of San Francisco/Marin County and Yosemite if you dropped that one destination.

    However, your best chance for cross country skiing or snowshoeing will be at the higher elevations of Lake Tahoe. (Both activities are offered in Yosemite at Badger Pass ski area, but they may not have enough snow that late in the year.) If you haven't tried either, you'll find that snowshoeing is much easier to learn. In fact, I've had friends learn the basics in less than 15 minutes, and be deep in the woods away from civilization in an hour!

    The most scenic route between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite is to go south from South Lake Tahoe to Hwy 88, then west to Jackson (this route has many quaint mining towns that date from the 1850s gold rush such as Jackson, San Andreas, Angels Camp and Sonora). Then south on Hwy 49 through Sonora to Hwy 120 and on into Yosemite Valley. Stay in the valley if you can, or in El Portal (just west of the entrance) as an alternative. It is much closer than Oakhurst. You'll want to be as close as possible to spend more time in the park and less time driving to and from.

    My guess is that you'll drop Santa Cruz as a destination since you need to get rid of one day 19 from the itinerary.

    Have a great time,

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  7. Default National Parks routes

    Thanks for the really useful tips. I was reaching the conclusion that I should drop the lake too. Just to add another quandry...
    Wondering whether to take the route past Joshua Tree National park on the way from Williams to Palm Springs and then onto San Diego...or go via the Anza-Borrego desert on the Mexican border? Wondering whether to keep Phoneix on the route?
    Also, at the start of the trip from San Francisco, would it make sense to visit the wine region (Napa or Sonoma) and then onto Sacremento to Yosemite or go on route straight from SF to Yosemite (and go to wineries at the end of the trip?)

  8. Default Sedona to Palm Springs via Joshua Park

    Hi, Can anyone suggest the best route from Sedona to Palm Springs. We'd like to stop off in Joshua Park or drive through it. The journey is quite a long one anyway and we've got accomo lined up fairly close to Palm Springs town - I think near to the Indian Canyons.

  9. Default Route 155 lake isabella in April?

    I'm not sure (despite reading lots of info!) whether to get from Sequoia national park to Death Valley we can go route 155 to lake isabella in April? Or whether it's closed.

    I've read that a scenic route is 198 south, 65 south to Bakersfield then CA14 past red rock and route 178 to 395 to 180.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Looks like

    It looks like taking AZ-89 to I-10 to Joshua Tree National Park, Pinto Basin Road and onto CA-62 will work for you. This is about 415 miles, so it is entirely doable in the course of a day.

    If you took I-40 in, you would be heading in the opposite direction upon entering the park.

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