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  1. Default 26 day round trip from LA

    Hi, my boyfriend and I will be traveling to LA in February for the month. I have worked out an itinerary and would really appreciate feedback on it as I'm not sure I have left enough time for each place.

    Day 1-6: Arrive LA. See the sights.
    Day 7: Newport & Laguna
    Day 8-10: San Diego
    Day 11: Palm Springs
    Day 12-13: Grand Canyon
    Day 14-16: Las Vegas
    Day 17: Death Valley for a couple hours then drive to Oakhurst.
    Day 18: Yosemite
    Day 19: Yosemite to San Francisco
    Day 20-23: San Francisco, Santa Rosa & Napa Valley
    Day 24: San Jose, Santa Cruz, Monterey
    Day 25: Big Sur, San Simeon (Hearst Castle), Santa Barbara
    Day 26: Santa Barbara to LA, fly home.

    What do you think?
    Thanks in advance! :)

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

    Default Good job !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums!

    You have obviously done your home work and have a good plan outlined. The only thing I would consider altering would be to take a day out at the beginning of your trip and use it between Vegas and Yosemite.

    It would an extremely long day to go through Death valley, enjoy it and get to Oakhurst which wouldn't set you up in the best manner for your short stay in Yosemite. I would spend a night somewhere like Stovepipe wells in Death valley and watch the sunset over the sand dunes and take the time to enjoy this fascinating landscape and then continue on next day.

    Lake Isabella area is another option to stop overnight, as I am sure you realise you will have to head South around the Sierra's as the Tioga pass [CA120] into Yosemite will not be open due to snow accumulation.

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

    Default one bad day

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I only see one serious problem with your plan. Your Death Valley day is just way too much. Just the driving on that day would be about 550 miles, a large portion of which is on 2 lane roads. So, even before you've stopped for a second in Death Valley, you're already looking at about a 12 hour day.

    I'd really give yourself more time here. At the very least I'd only plan to drive to Bakersfield or Lake Isabella on this day, but with almost a full month available for this trip, I'd put some serious consideration into spending a full day here.

    You could also look at seeing more things in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, and spend less than a full week in LA. Based on my tastes, I would personally find that more interesting, but I'm not a huge "city" person and would get a little stir crazy spending the first 10 days of my trip in LA and San Diego.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    I'd have to agree, that trip looks great with the one exception already highlited above. As one who visits LA twice on every trip (arrival and departure), I would urge you to consider cutting the time spent there in half, and add the time to your Death Valley / Yosemite leg of the trip. An overnight stay in Death Valley is more than a worthwhile experience, not only for the sunset / sunrise, but I doubt you will ever see the stars as one sees them from Death Valley.

    Enjoy the trip.


  5. Default Thanks!

    Thanks everyone for your helpful replies. I've been having a look around for places to stay in Death Valley but doesn't seem to be much available in our price range ($70-$80 USD a night), other than Amargosa Opera House outside the park....has anyone stayed here? Do you have any suggestions on places to stay? Thank you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Location.

    I really don't think the Opera house would suit the lay out of your trip as it's so close to Vegas and would not only mean doubling back to be able to explore DV but a long drive to Yosemite.

    I have not stayed at either but the Panamint springs resort or Stovepipe wells lodging would be better bets on a limited choice in DV. If they don't fit into your budget then the Lake Isabella/Kernville area would most likely offer better value lodging. You will find plenty of options by typing "Lake Isabella lodging" into your search engine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default ridgecrest

    If you're not going to stay inside DV, then I agree that you need to be looking on the west side of the park. Lake Isabella would be an option, but if you'd like to spend a little more time in the park, you could also look at the Ridgecrest area, which has lots of motel choices and would be about an hour closer to Death Valley.

  8. Default Another question...

    Thanks for those suggestions, I will look into them :) Definitely going to stay the night in or around Death Valley.

    Another question.....would anyone recommend dropping the stopover in Palm Springs and going straight from San Diego to the Grand Canyon....or is that too big a drive also? Just thinking of possibly adding an extra day somewhere else.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It's your trip.

    As with whether to drop some time in LA or not, they really are your choice's as to what and what isn't worth it and how far you want to drive in one day, but San Diego direct to Grand canyon would be on the limit of what we would recommend as a "full day's driving", and would take at least 10 hours I would think.

    If you didn't fancy driving that far you could always stop within an hour or two of the Canyon and continue the next day, or arrive at Palm springs the evening before.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'd break up a SD-GC run into 2 days and see some stuff enroute. Possibilities are Joshua Tree, Oatman, and Old Route 66. You can take some very scenic roads from SD without using Interstate highways. You can get a lot farther than Palm Springs the first day.

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