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  1. Default Las Vegas - San Francisco - Los Angeles - San Diego - Las Vegas

    I only discovered your site this morning and have been soaking up as much info as I can all day long.
    I was using a 'local' to me independent Travel Agent who specialises in Tailor-made but things were not going as I hoped and so I've suddenly booked flights and accommodation myself. It has all been a bit rushed and now I need a little guidance.
    We are self-employed and have never managed more than 10 days away but the possibility has arisen for a 21 day trip!
    So far it looks like this, all accommodation is booked but free to cancel (with enough notice).

    28th Aug 2011 fly Manchester(UK) direct to Las Vegas and have 4 nights to catch up, enjoy LV and also take a day trip/flight to the GC.

    1st Sept. pick up car and drive to Sequoia NP, staying at Wuksachi Village.

    2nd to Yosemite NP, staying at Tenaya Lodge.

    3rd to 5th San Francisco.

    HELP(!) my first problem is that reading on this site, I really should visit Death Valley and maybe not bother with Sequoia as we are going to Yosemite.

    Until I got into this site I had assumed it was easy to cross over the Sierra Nevada mountains but can I really only go south via the Sherman Pass or north via the Tioga Pass?

    Should I stick with the hotels I've booked, go through DV and take the Sherman crossing then head up Sequoia? Or as I've read on posts here go to DV then Lone Pine and turn north on 395?

    I thought Tenaya Lodge was in Yosemite but it seems to be miles away, do you have any better suggestions?

    I'm afraid of asking too many questions and 'mudding the waters' so here is the rest of my itinerary. Please feel free to advise if I should "steal" days from one part for another. Any other recommendations would be really appreciated.

    6th Monterey
    7th Santa Barbara
    8th - 11th Los Angeles
    12th - 14th San Diego
    15th Palm Springs
    16th-17th Las Vegas
    18th Fly home.

    I realise that this is such a popular topic and if I had more time I could probably find all the answers on other threads. However time is of the essence and any help would be fantastic.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default There's No Such Thing...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums! too many questions, if getting answers to those questions makes for a better RaodTrip. So let's first just tick off the problems/opportunities you've found so far. The first thing you need to know is that most day trip flights from Las Vegas to the 'Grand Canyon' are actually to what is known as the West Rim on the Hualapai Indian Reservation. This is not the National Park where all the great photographs of the Canyon that you're used to were taken. So you might be a bit disappointed. On the other hand, helicopter flights to the West Rim can descend into and land on the Canyon floor. Flights to the South Rim (Tusayan airport - National Park) are available, but flight restrictions in the national park airspace means that you can only overfly the Canyon. Just make sure that you know what you're getting.

    Yes, indeed, there a very limited number of roads that cross the Sierra Nevada. It gets even worse in the Fall/Winter/Spring as most of these are snow bound. Personally, I would forego Sequoia and instead take the "local's route" from Las Vegas up through Parhump and then using Belle Vista and Ash Meadow Roads to Death Valley. Use CA-190 through the park and CA-136 to get on US-395 at Lone Pine. CA=120 then takes you over Tioga Pass and into Yosemite Valley.

    Tenaya Lodge at Fish Camp is only about 30 miles from the heart of Yosemite Valley, and those are 30 gorgeous miles. At this point, I would be very surprised if there were any accommodations still available in the park itself, so if you have reservations at Tenaya Lodge which is just outside the park boundaries, I would hold onto them until you are sure you can get something else.

    As for more general ideas for the area you'll be visiting, be sure to read through the discussions linked to here.


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

    Default More balance ?

    Nobody knows your tastes better than you, but the way I look at it is that you are in a beautiful part of the world with some of nature's finest and your trip is biased towards the City life. That's OK if it's what you want, but I would look at that balance. Buck has already given you a 'heads up' on the Grand canyon, but I would consider finding the time to spend a night at the South rim and witness a sunset over this wonder of the world. From Las Vegas to San Fran, I would consider another overnight stop, whatever you decide. Yosemite is a wonderful place, [as is DV and Sequoia] and with only one night, plus the driving to and from there, it doesn't leave a lot of time to do these natural wonders justice.

    How about cutting a couple of days from Vegas [one either end of your trip] and one from LA, and then you could spend an extra night on route to SF and drive to the Grand canyon from Palm Springs for a night and head back to Vegas the following afternoon ?

  4. Default

    Thanks for the replies, I was awake half the night trying to piece together all the advice I'd been reading on here. Your ideas make real sense and I do need to balance the trip out more. Have to go to work now but will back on the plan tonight.
    Thank you, I'll let you know any updates and probably a lot more questions!

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