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  1. Default Two week road trip CF AZ UT - our plan - suggestions welcome

    Hi everyone.

    Me and my wife are planning to spend our two week vacation on a small road trip in the south-west USA. I'd like to share the trip schedule with you to hear your comments and suggestions. Especially we'd like to know if there are some more interesting places to see on our way which we shouldn't miss. Here's the plan:

    Day 1 - Arrive to the USA at Los Angeles Airport at 1 PM, pick up the car, go to hotel to take some rest after long flight. If not too tired go and see Hollywood sign and Walk Of Fame.

    Day 2 - Get up early to drive from LA to Havasupai. This simple way or this, more complicated to see Joshua Tree Park. Or, as a third option, - through Mojave desert. Please advise which way to choose. Because of this day's distance, I think we'll not have much time for longer stops, rather enjoying views from car. Sleep in the car on Hualapai Hill Top.

    Day 3 - Start hike to Supai village with first sun rays or even earlier. Spend day at Supai village, enjoying waterfalls. Sleep in a campground.

    Day 4 - Early hike back to the car. Ride to Monument Valley Sightseeing Monument Valley by car. Sleep in Mitten View Campground.

    Day 5 - Ride to Arches Park Small hike in the Park. Sleep on the campground.

    Day 6 - Ride from Arches to Kanab or Fredonia Anything interesting in this route? Or better go this way: ? Sleep in a motel in Kanab or Fredonia.

    Day 7 - In the morning try in Kanab to obtain a permit to go to Paria area next day. After that go to see Horseshoe Bend. Any other ideas for this day?

    Day 8 - Hike in Paria area (if we got a permit) to see The Wave and at least entrance of Buckskin Gulch slot canyon. After returning to the car go as far west as possible towards California. Any propositions where to spend the night?

    Day 9 - Go to Sequoia Park. After that ride to San Francisco. Hope to find cheap place to sleep not far from SF center.

    Day 10 and 11 - SF sightseeing. Golden Gate bridge, Union Square, Japan Town, Chinatown, Lombard Street, Painted Ladies, cable car ride. All other propositions welcome :)

    Day 12 and 13 - ride to LA along Highway #1. Propositions of must-see objects and where to stay for a night welcome :) Maybe we'll stop for a while to spend some time on the beach. Which beach would you recommmend as scenic, nice and calm?

    Day 14 - LA sightseeing - not sure what to see during one day. Maybe we'll just go to the beach :) Oh, and ofcourse we have to find place to sleep.

    Day 15 - early morning drop the car at the LA airport and fly home.

    This is our plan. We've been on one road trip five years ago and now we'd like to see what we missed that time. So, we've seen Grand Canyon north ans south rim, Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Death Valley.

    If you know some more interesting places on our route, please let us know. One more thing: I'm a photography maniac so I'd be interested in interesting places for great shots.

    Thank you in advance for all your suggestions and informations.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a bit tricky

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    For your first leg, I will say that I don't think you'll have time to do anything other than just drive straight there. You're looking at nearly 500 miles, which is a full day, and the section from I-40 to Havasupai is mostly across Indian Reservation Lands, and the roads will be very slow going as they are in poor condition and quite winding.

    I'd also double check your plan to sleep in your car at the trailhead. First, I'm not sure if overnight parking/camping is allowed here, and again, since this is on Tribal Lands its governed by their rules. Additionally, just from a practicality standpoint, there are very few cars where 2 people can sleep comfortably, and I'd want a full, good night of sleep before starting a major hike down into the Canyon.

    I'd say your plans for day 8/9 are way too much. Kanab to San Francisco via Sequoia is nearly 900 miles of driving. That's nearly 2 full days on the road all by themselves. Trying to fit in a Hike in Utah and see anything in Sequoia in addition to all of those miles over 2 days just isn't going to work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Alternative.

    It does look a busy schedule, but you probably already know that !

    As Michael said, day's 8 and 9 are your biggest problem and unless you can find extra time Sequoia really isn't possible. If you got an early hike in and left for San Fran, I would head for Cedar city and take UT 56 to NV 319 >US 93 and onto the E.T. Highway [NV 375] to US 6 through Tonopah. This will take you to CA 120 and over the Sierra mountains in Yosemite on the very scenic Tioga pass. You will still have a lot to do and the lodging choices will be limited along this route, but if you could get to Tonopah at night it would give you a little time next day for sight seeing over Tioga.

    From Arches you could drive down scenic byway 12 through Escalante and to Bryce canyon [great for photography] but again, time is not on your side. You get to scenic 12 via UT 24 through Hanksville and passing Capitol Reef NP.

  4. Default

    I reconsidered the plan and I'd like to share it with you. Looks like we'll have one extra day :) The points that I definitely want to do are:

    - Havasupai

    - Monument Valley - would love to sleep there on a campground

    - The Wave and at least entrance to Buckskin Gulch slot canyon at Paria area (if we got a permit).

    - San Francisco

    - HWY #1

    Here's the new schedule:

    Day 1 - Arrive to Los Angeles Airport at 1 PM, pick up the car, drive to Yucca Valley. Sleep.

    Day 2 - Drive from Yucca Valley to Havasu parking through a litle of Joshua Tree. Map here

    Day 3 - Hike from parking to Havasupai. Staying for the night on a campground.

    Day 4 - Morning hike back to the car. Ride to Cameron with Wupatki NM on the road.

    Day 5 - Ride to Monument Valley with stop for watching dinosaurs' traces at Tuba city. Looping Monument Valley. Hiking at Wildcat Trail. Sleeping on Mitten View Campground.

    Day 6 - Ride to Kanab. Stop at Horseshoe Bend. If enough time go to Bryce Canyon, if not do Bryce next day.

    Day 7 - In the morning try to obtain permit for The Wave at Paria area. If Bryce not seen previous day, go to Bryce. If so, what to do?

    Day 8 - If lucky (have permit) go to The Wave at Paria area. Any propositions if not lucky? Then go west as far much as possible. Las Vegas (?)

    Day 9 - Drive to Sequoia Park. Then to SF. Arrive to SF at late afternoon.

    Day 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 - here are six days which I'm not sure how to organize yet. Thinking about 3 days in SF, 2 on HWY#1 and 1 in LA. Or maybe better 2 for SF and 3 for HWY#1 to have one beach-day. I'm not sure, we'll see. Suggests welcome :)

    Day 16 - Fly home in the morning.

    Oh, I've just seen Dave's reply. So, my new plan may need some more modifications...

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


    Sorry, but you haven't yet addressed the biggest problem with your plan - which is that it simply will not be possible to do your current days 8/9 as you've got scheduled.

    Your other changes look alright, and leaving out Arches will give you a little more time elsewhere - but those really weren't major issues in the first place.

  6. #6

    Default Itinerary Suggestions

    Here is a suggested routing for you, which will substitute Yosemite for Sequoia, but you won’t miss much. I mapped out your initial itinerary and selected sights along the way. I noticed that you only have 8-9 days of long-haul driving, so there is room for a lot of sightseeing.

    Day 1 – Los Angeles to Yucca Valley (90 mi, 2-hrs)
    Drive to Yucca Valley and get some rest.

    Day 2 – Los Angeles to Peach Springs, AZ (302 mi, 6-7 hrs)
    Historic Route 66; Hualupai Lodge at Peach Springs

    Day 3 – Peach Springs to Supai, AZ (Primitive roads ???)
    You are planning to hike today, so no driving is shown; only what you decide to do to get into and around the Indian Reservation.

    Day 4 – Peach Springs to Monument Valley (289 mi, 5 hrs)
    Sunset Crater National Monument; Wupatki National Monument

    Day 5 – Monument valley to Arches NP (202 mi, 6-7 hrs)
    When you reach the town of Mexican Hat, take UT-261 north; Goosnecks State Reserve (pass on this one-too remote); The Moki Dugway (The cliff road on UT-261); Valley of the Gods; Natural Bridges National Monument.

    Day 6 – Spend this day around Moab, one of the most scenic areas in the Southwest US.
    Arches NP; Canyonlands NP; Dead Horse Point State Park; Manti-La Sal Mountain Loop; Red Canyon (UT-128)

    Day 7 - Moab to Kanab (332 mi, 6-8 hrs)
    Bryce Canyon

    Day 8 – Explore the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument. It is huge.

    Day 9 – Kanab to Tonopah, NV (370 mi, 6-8 hrs)
    (I have no experience on this route, so you’re on your own)

    Day 10 – Tonopah to Mariposa, CA (237 mi, 7-9 hrs)
    Mono Lake; Yosemite National Park; Mariposa Grove Redwoods

    Day 11 – Mariposa to San Francisco (165 mi, 3-4 hrs)
    Fishermans Wharf; Cable Cars; Lombard Street; Filbert Street (Steepest in SF - 2 blocks south of Lombard)
    Golden Gate Headlands; Alcatraz

    Day 12 – San Francisco to Monterey (120 mi, 3 hrs)
    Cabrillo Highway (Route 1); Many beaches; Several lighthouses; Whale watching at Monterey; Monterey Aquarium; Big Sur; 17-Mile Drive

    Day 13 – Monterey to Los Angeles (330 mi, 6-7 hrs)
    Hurst Castle at San Simeon

    You can add or subtract these attractions to your revised itinerary pretty easily. These are just suggestions and you can look them all up on the Internet.

    Here is a map link:,27.729492&z=5

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