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  1. Default Road trip June 2008

    Hi, we're flying from Madrid to LA on June 4th and plan on roadtripping around California-Vegas-GC-SF-Coast-LA and have loads of questions.
    Here's an easy one for starters, we'll be arriving at 9pm on the 4th and are staying with relatives that night, we plan on getting up early on the 5th and driving to Williams along Historic 66 that day. Is that doable? Will our jetlag be crazy?

    We then plan on doing the Grand Canyon and driving around the east of it up to sleep in Kanab (UT) and from there to Vegas. We'll spend a night or two there and then cross Death Valley (get up early and be on the other side before dark) and sleep somewhere on the other side. Then up towards Mammoth Lakes to do Yosemite and after crossing that on to SF where we plan to stay 3-4 nights and take it slow down the coast (3 nights) back to LA to spend another 3 nights.

    We're not so much into nature as we are into cultural, urban stuff (museums, concerts, etc.) but we definitely don't want to miss the amazing natural sights that we'll be going past on our way.

    Thanks!!! I'm so glad I found this forum, it looks really helpful.

  2. Default Comment -- arrival and hitting the road...

    Hello fargal, and welcome to the Roadtrip America forum!

    Your first question was arriving in LA from an overseas flight. Everyone is different in how they deal with jetlag -- but, if you're arriving at 9 pm, you probably won't have your baggage, cleared customs and gotten your rental car until about 10 pm. Then you need to navigate your way from the LA International Airport to your relatives, find their house, do the meet & greet, and collapse into bed. My guess is that you won't make it into bed until at least midnight, and probably not until later. (Incidently, where in LA are your relatives? It can take up to 90 minutes freeway time to transit from LAX to a house in the outskirts of the greater LA area -- although I'd expect 30-45 minutes is more typical.)

    So... it'll probably be difficult to getting up really early the next morning. Your internal clocks will be about 7-8 hours out of kilter (6 am in LA being about 1 pm in Spain, etc). My recommendation would be to get a reasonable nights sleep and plan on getting on the road after rush hour at about 8:30 am or so.

    From LA to Williams AZ is going to be about 400-450 miles (670-750 km). It's doable in a day's drive (I've done it). Sticking to the freeways with minimal stops, that's probably going to be about 8 hours travel time. A start at 8 or 9 am will get you to Williams by 4-5 PM.

    You might also want to find a grocery store and pick up a small cooler to put some ice and softdrinks and healthy snacks in it. That'll make the drives over the next week or so more enjoyable, but it'll add a few minutes before your departure time.

    The issue is how tired you will be from jetlag (you'll be driving through what would normally be your evening and into your night). If you follow the full route of historic route 66 (across town in LA, out Foothill Blvd, and then in the sections parallelng the I-40, and up through Peach Springs) you can easily have a 12+ hour driving day, or longer. My recommendation would be to pick and chose a bit on what you want to see or drive on for historic Route 66.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Rest/visiting day?

    I wonder if you should just stay put for a day visiting with your relatives and then take off the next day. I see you have 3 days in LA at the end of your trip. Maybe if you move one of those days to the beginning, things will work better for you? I could see you being up way past midnight just visiting with the relatives. Even an 8:30am start might be way too early for you. Just a thought.

  4. Default

    Thanks for answering so quickly! We've checked with our relatives and we've decided to stay for another night there as Judy suggested checking out Venice beach and some other sights and then start off on the Friday. How long will it take us to drive through Death Valley? What about Yosemite? As I said, we won't be hiking or trekking but will probably stop to check out the views. Are there places to stay in Yosemite? Are they really expensive? Do you know of any websites where I can check concerts/gigs in LA/SF? Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Quote Originally Posted by fargal View Post
    What about Yosemite? As I said, we won't be hiking or trekking but will probably stop to check out the views. Are there places to stay in Yosemite?
    yosemite is truly an outstanding place to visit. i think you would be lucky to get accomodations in the park now but this link provides some details of places in and around the park.if you are crossing the tioga pass from the east then a stop near mono lake/lee vining will put you on the doorstep the following morning. on leaving for san fran the little town of groveland to the west is convenient for a stop over
    have a good trip

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Good idea!

    I think you'll be more rested and ready for the rest of your trip with that day to sleep in and just do some exploring nearby.

    You might want to consider leaving LA that evening and driving at least as far as you need to go to get out of any areas effected by commuter traffic in the morning. Ask your relatives for an idea of where that would be as I'm not familiar enough with LA to give you that answer. Leave in the evening when the evening commuter traffic is clearing. This way you won't have to deal with it in the morning and it will get your roadtrip off to a much quicker and more pleasant start.

    Miles from LA (but this will vary depending on just where in LA you're starting from)
    LA to Death Valley is about 225 miles
    LA to Yosemite is just over 300 miles

    Time to travel? Well, it really depends on if you leave LA during one of their rush hours or avoid it as much as possible as I recommended above. Once you're in the clear of congestion, you can figure that you'll average about 57mph.

  7. Default Leaving LA....

    Getting out of LA isn't usually that hard -- unless you try to head out by going through the dense downtown core. Which can be messy any time of the day...

    I'm not sure where fargal's relatives are, but if they're more on the east side of the city, or where they don't have to drive through the downcore core, its not usually a bad drive. (A big traffic accident can mess up anything....) Similarly, if you can take advantage of the carpool lanes and/or some of the less traveled freeway routes (such as the 60, 210, etc.) you probably won't hit the brakes between getting on the freeway and Williams.

    I'd actually push for them to leave directly from LA, since if they avoid going through downtown in 45 minutes they can be heading out of the city at high speed. That'll avoid the cost and time in another overnight stop.

  8. Default

    My relatives live in Corona

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