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  1. #1

    Default Road trip - Las Vegas to Los Angeles via San Fransisco

    I only just discovered this amazing site! Too bad I didn't find it sooner :)

    I've been researching and planning a road trip with my gf in the south west for the past month now, and have a preliminary itinerary I would like your feedback on.

    Firstly our background: we're in our late 20's and early 30's. We're experienced travelers (within Europe), but this will be our first serious road trip. I've been to the US quite some times but mostly east coast and sout east. This will be my gf's first trip to the US.

    Our goals for this trip: see as much of the south west nature and scenery highlights, do some light hiking in some of the national parks, introduce my gf to "america", visit SF, cruise the west coast highway, and two personal goals from my gf: seaworld and disney (:D).

    The flights and car are booked. We're flying to Las Vegas on the the 9th of May and returning on the 1st of June from Los Angeles.

    Up till now this is the itinerary we've come up with:
    9-May Fly from AMS to LAS
    10-May Vegas to Peach Springs/Seligman (or somewhere else on route66)
    11-May Seligman to Grand Canyon
    12-May Grand Canyon
    13-May Monument Valley
    14-May Page
    15-May Bryce
    16-May Zion
    17-May Zion
    18-May Vegas
    19-May Death valley
    20-May Death valley to Lake Tahoe
    21-May Lake Tahoe
    22-May Yosemite
    23-May Yosemite
    24-May San Fransisco
    25-May San Fransisco
    26-May West coast
    27-May West coast
    28-May West coast
    29-May LA
    30-May LA (Disney)
    31-May LA (Seaworld)
    1-Jun Fly back to AMS

    The things I'm not too sure about:
    • Should I make the extra miles to monument valley, it's quite the detour. Not doing it could give more time for Bryce or Zion.
    • Same goes for Lake Tahoe, I'm not too sure I should go that far north. We're going late in May so I might get lucky on Tioga or Sonora passes. There's also the option going through Bakersfield and Sequoia national park on the way to Yosemite

    Any feedback and help is greatly appriciated! :)

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

    Default Good job !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Basically you have done a great job of planning and obviously done your research with regards to Tioga pass etc.

    To be honest, I don't know that I would bother stopping on route to the Grand canyon and go straight there. You could spend another day in Vegas adjusting your body clocks and taking it easy after your flights or get a day ahead. You could still travel through Seligman on the way and even have time for a stop at the Hoover dam.

    I think Monument valley is worth the trip and you have the time, but that really comes down to personal preference. The same really goes for Tahoe or Sequoia, which also has the Tioga pass status thrown into the mix, which at the moment is a 50/50 chance of it being open.

    If you are planning on staying in the National parks you will need to start thinking of booking lodgings, although it's early in the season they can fill up. With the 5 parks you have listed I am almost certain it will be cheaper to buy an annual pass for $80 then it will paying individually. Check out individual entrance fees on the site and if, as I suspect, the annual pass is cheaper, you can purchase it at the kiosk in first park you visit.

  3. #3


    Thanks Dave.

    I just ordered the national parks pass. :)

    I was wondering about the stop on the way to the Grand Canyon, mostly because it's a 4.5 hour drive and it would be the first day driving. Never really considered staying an extra day in Vegas before heading out.

    The more I think about it I might leave Lake Tahoe out of the trip and plan a two prong itinerary for a east and west approach to Yosemite depending on the status of Tioga pass, and use the extra time to do more sightseeing in Yosemite.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Be aware that online map programs are extremely optimistic about travel time estimates, and you always need to plan on the trip taking about 20% more time. LV to Grand Canyon simply is not a 4.5 hour drive, for example, you need to plan for 5-6. That said, it shouldn't change your ability to drive there in a day, if you decide to use your first day in LV.

    It may be too late, but its generally better to wait to purchase your national parks until you arrive at your first national park. I actually didn't think they even allowed international orders, but even if they do now, you won't have to pay and shipping/handling by waiting until you arrive. Even though you probably won't need it again after your trip, waiting until you first arrive also means that you can use it for a full year after you start your trip, rather than having the expiration clock start sooner.

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