Not another post on this road trip I hear you say! I am arriving in San Fran from Ireland on January 28 with my girlfriend. We will spend New Years in San Fran and we are planning on doing a road trip from 2 January until 6/7 January. I have drafted a travel plan based on some of the info I have got from your site - amazing site by the way, fair play to you all for putting so much time into responses - but I have also been left with some questions which I need some help with and I'm sure with your experience here you should be able to answer no problem.
2 January - San Fran - Mojave/Vegas
3 January - Mojave/Vegas - Sequoia National Park + Death Valley - Vegas
4 January - Vegas - Grand Canyon - Vegas
5 January - Vegas - San Luis Obispo
6 January - San Luis Obispo - Carmel/Monterey
7 January - Carmel/Monterey - San Fran
Ok Question time.
1. I see that the fastest route San Fran - Vegas is I 880 to I 580 to I 5 to Stockdale Highway to CA 58 to I 15. Is there any risk of any of these roads being closed at the start of January? We will be renting a car so we want to avoid any risk of damage to the car and obviously ourselves.
2. On the first night I am not sure whether to go straight to Vegas or just go as far as Mojave. On the second day I plan on going to Sequoia and Death Valley NP so might be better to base ourselves at Mojave. What is Mojave like? Or would you recommend somewhere better to stay on way to these NPs?
3. As I said, on the second day we plan on going to Sequoia and Death Valley, is there any risk of these being closed due to weather? And is this too much to try and squeeze in to a short winters day?
4. On day 5 we plan on going from Vegas to San Luis Obispo, what route would you recommend? Again want to avoid bad road conditions, while would like to take a quick route but also scenic if possible.
5. Finally, I am uncertain whether or not to make it straight back to San Fran from San Luis Obispo on 6 January or stay overnight in Carmel or Monterey. Is this a long journey? I have heard that the coast road, Highway 1, can be a quite tiring road to drive, because of the bends.
Again, I must complement you for this amazing site. I will keep searching for more info for my trip but these few questions were bothering me and preventing me from booking hotels etc.