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  1. #1

    Default 18 day circular trip starting and finishing in LA...

    Hello! What a fantastic website! I've spent about 4 hours solid reading all the excellent, informative posts on here - how lovely to have found a forum full of friendly experts =)

    Apologies in advance if I repeat a few obvious questions in this thread that have already been answered elsewhere but I'm a bit overwhelmed with info at the moment and would appreciate a little guidance!

    My other half and I are taking a 6 month 'career break' to travel around South America and have decided to kick things off with an 18 day road trip in the States (we fly into LA on 5th October and then from LA to Colombia on 22nd October).

    We have no solid plans at the moment - all we know is that we want to do the following:

    LA (2 nights)
    Grand Canyon (we'd like to do some camping/hiking here so maybe 3 nights? Also - it it do-able to drive to the GC from LA direct or would you recommend a stop over?)
    Vegas (1 night)
    Death Valley (1 night)
    Yosemite (as with GC - would love to spend some time hiking/camping here so maybe 3 nights?)
    San Francisco (3 nights - I used to live here but boyf has never been so looking forward to showing him the sights!)
    PCH back down to LA over 4 days - I've done this before over 2 days staying in San Louis Obispo for 1 night but would like to spend longer doing the journey and stay somewhere else (eg Big Sur)

    I'd really appreciate any tips any of you may have - if there is anything you feel we are missing or if you think we're being over-confident with driving times (ie the LA - Grand Canyon bit). We don't really want to be spending most of our time in the car but at the same time don't want to miss out on all the fantastic sights this part of the world has to offer. We hadn't originally planned to include Yosemite but after seeing pictures on this forum we've decided we'd be daft to miss it!

    Also - weather-wise do you think we'll be ok camping in Yosemite in early/mid Oct?

    Thanks for reading! =)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Looks good !

    Hello Kerry and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your itinerary looks positively relaxed ! Too often people try to cram to much into a trip [me included] and miss out on quality time in some amazing places. It is refreshing to see a trip that is going to allow you time to absorb some of the splendours.
    It is a full days drive from LA to GC but doable, although you could stop on route and continue to the canyon the following morn.
    The weather is unpredictable but Oct would typically see warm dry days at GC and Yosemite [ideal for hiking] and cold nights, but as long as you have suitable sleeping bags etc you should be fine.

    [Pleased you gave way to the charm of Yosemite !

    If you would like to know anything else please ask!

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

    Default What a great way to start an epic adventure!

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    It's only about 500 miles from LA to the Grand Canyon so it could be easily done in a day if you don't make too many long stops along the way. You might want to plan to drive as far as Williams AZ (only about 425 miles from LA) for the night and then get up early to get to the GC in the early morning to see the morning light.

    Getting out of LA can be crazy due to traffic. Personally, I would leave LA the evening before and drive at least to Victorville for the night to avoid the rush hour crunch. This shaves off about 75 miles, too, making the days drive to Williams or Grand Canyon, whatever you decide, downright leisurely.

  4. #4


    Thanks for your tips guys :)

    Judy your suggestion that we get to the other side of LA for one night made me think it might be nice to drive out to Joshua Tree from LA and spend a night there then drive up 177 / 62 /95 to Needles to join the 40 and head to GC - would that be a pleasant drive? Not sure what those smaller roads would be like...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Go out the west entrance from Joshua Tree and take 62 into 29 Palms, then take Amboy Rd up to old 66 and take that over to I-40. At Topock, take the old Oatman Highway through Oatman, then take old 66 over Sitgreaves Pass back to 40 - then you can press on or get back off onto old 66 in Kingman and take that to Seligman. You have some options here.

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