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  1. #1

    Default LA - Vegas - SF - LA

    Found this forum, and it looks interesting and helpful.
    I've seen users post their plans, and other users commenting on it.
    I would love it if you can help me optimise my route!

    First of all, we arrive at LAX 4th of July, and we leave the 28th.

    4: Arrive, settle in hotel, go to Santa Monica for 4th of July fireworks
    5: Hollywood & Beverly Hills, rest of the day at ease, Venice Beach & Santa Monica
    6: Universal Studio's
    7: Grand Central Market and maybe Malibu Beach or Long Beach or...

    Here the roadtrip part more or less starts :p
    8: LA to Williams, route 66, stop at Calico Ghost Town
    9: Grand Canyon, continue towards Monument Valley
    10: Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend, and sleep in Page?
    11: Hoover Dam + arrive at Vegas (maybe something extra?) (hotel booked)
    12: full day in Vegas + night (hotel booked)
    13: Death Valley NP & Sequoia NP, sleep somewhere on the way
    14: Mammoth Lakes & Yosemite, continue towards Lake Tahoe
    15: Lake Tahoe + go to Sacramento
    16: Sacramento + go to San Francisco
    17: SF (any not-so-typical hints for San Francisco?)
    18: SF
    19: SF
    20: Drive by the shore to San Luis Obispo in several days, completely at ease,
    21: What towns or stops can you suggest? Monterey, Big Sur, ...?
    23: SLO (My godmother lives there, so visit her, go shopping, go to the beach...)
    27: SLO
    28: Flight to BELGIUMMMMM

    Well, can you help me? I've added some questions in the planning itself.
    Because the hotel in vegas is booked, the first part can't be much adapted.
    For the rest nothing is booked, so open to enhancements.

    My major concern is where to sleep (budgetary), and if everything is achievable, regarding driving time & distance.
    And did i skip things we should certainly do or see? Mainly for the long-drive days.
    Any remarks are most appreciated!!!!

    And again, nice website! Love the 'tunes for the road' page!!!
    Last edited by deleye; 06-11-2011 at 02:14 PM.

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

    Default Pesky mountains.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have the makings of a wonderful trip, but I think you might be under estimating the time and distance in some areas and consequently the lack of time in certain places. Your main problems are your plans around the Sierra Nevada where Death valley and Mammoth lakes are to the east of the mountains and Sequoia and Yosemite to the West and trying to squeeze all four into 2 days and be heading to Tahoe won't work if you want to see anything of these great places. From Page, I would consider heading towards Zion NP and down I15 to Vegas, but Hoover dam is out the other side. To slow things down and make it more memorable, I would consider cutting out Tahoe and Sacramento or cut your total time around the coast down and give yourself another couple of days in the middle of your trip. The National parks will likely be booked up but you could check for cancellations, although they are more expensive than lodgings to be found outside, like Williams and Page and so on.

  3. Default

    Calico Ghost Town is a tourist trap. If you want to see a real ghost town then Bodie, CA is a much better place to go. When traveling up Hwy 395 after Yosemite you will see the road to Bodie.

    HOWEVER, I'm wondering you route on this section:

    13: Death Valley NP & Sequoia NP, sleep somewhere on the way
    14: Mammoth Lakes & Yosemite, continue towards Lake Tahoe
    After Sequoia NP there are no direct roads to get to Hwy 395, so you will need to go to Yosemite first, drive over Tioga Pass and then go 60 miles out of your way to see Mammoth Lake. Or did you mean Mono Lake? I wouldn't bother with going to see Mammoth Lakes, but Mono wouldn't be out of your way.

    You're only going to be able to get a fast glimpse of each of the natural areas you are going to.

  4. #4


    Hi and thanks for the response.

    Can you make a suggestion then for what to do when we leave Vegas?
    Tell me how to see Death Valley, Sequoia, Yosemite and still see Lake Tahoe in about 3 or 4 days.
    Is that possible? Maybe also add suggestions towards the roads to take ad places to sleep?
    I think Mammoth Lake is less important than these?

    I can definitely move the part from SF to the end two days. (coast and SLO in less days)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Four days.

    From Vegas head to Pahrump on 160 and then take Bell Vista ave/Ash meadows/State line road to Death valley junction. Cross DV on 190 to 395 and then head South around the mountains via Lake Isabella/Bakersfield to Visalia. With an early start from Vegas around this area would make a good end point. Fro Visalia head through Three rivers on 198 into Sequoia NP on the 'Generals highway'. This will take you through the heart of Sequoia where you can stop at the visitor centre/Museum and the Giants forest for a walk among the trees. You could then make your way to Yosemite . Spend the night in, or near to Yosemite and then next day explore Yosemite. Next day head over the Tioga pass [CA120] back to 395 and north to Tahoe. These will be long days but the amazing and diverse scenery will leave you amazed, and wishing you had more time. ;-)

    Bodie is an excellent suggestion but I really don't think you have the time and if you did make time you could be in breach of your car rental agreement where you are not allowed off paved roads. The last few miles into Bodie are unpaved.

  6. #6


    Alright! Can't thank you enough for the help! Sorry for the many questions!
    Routes are very clearly and i'll follow the directions.

    Some minor questions,
    the way from Visalia to Yosemite. That is trough Sequoia partially, okay, great,
    but then do i need to drive through Fresno? That's what google maps suggests, probably because it's the fastest?
    And where do you suggest we stay before visiting Yosemite? And after? Just before heading over tioga pass to lake tahoe?

    Oh, and thx for the bodie tip in stead of Calico. I read that somewhere but forgot the name.
    Last edited by deleye; 06-12-2011 at 04:06 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You will be coming out of Sequoia/Kings Canyon on CA-180, take that to Fresno and take CA-41 to Yosemite.

    If staying in a tent cabin with a walk to the bathrooms is acceptable, stay in the park at Curry Village, everything else will either be already booked and/or very expensive. Otherwise, you will need to stay in surrounding towns such as Oakhurst, Mariposa, or El Portal. You may want to look at staying at the "Yosemite Bug" on 140 between Mariposa and El Portal.

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