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  1. Default SF circle in one month

    Hello all.

    I ran into this forum after googling random road trip things a few days ago, and now I just find more and more exciting things on this site. Its amazing fan group/members seam really supportive and helpful throughout those posts I've been reading. An absolutely wonderful place! Sorry if someone else has already been posting about the same trip I will now ask you all for help to carry out, but so far I haven't seen it, and I really hope for some help with undertaking this big task.

    Me and my girlfriend just can't wait to be going on this trip we've been planning for some time now. We will be going to San Francisco in the middle of June and have a return flight in middle of July. We are staying the first 4 nights in SF before heading towards Yellowstone, which I so far have calculated to 5 days of driving. We wouldn't like to drive too much each day, and we would like to take our time gazing at the different world (we're Scandinavians)
    We would be staying one full day to see the park, before driving towards Salt Lake City over the course of 2 days. Only spending the night and then (and I need your help here) I wanted to reach Las Vegas 4 days after having gone through Arches, Monument valley, Grand Canyon and Zion. I really want to see everything, but I also have a feeling that if you want to dig deeper in to each place it's gonna take a lot longer than you can manage in this time frame. I really want to see all of it.

    Okay LV, we would stay there for 2 nights so one evening and one full day. Next morning go towards San Diego which we would hit in the evening on the same day. Stay there for 3 nights, go to LA, stay there for 4 nights. Then Solvang, CA, stay the night, and then San Jose, stay 2 nights, before leaving the next day towards the airport and deliver the car back.

    Sorry if my account was not at all understandable. I read some other posts, and it seamed that the forum always wanted more info, so there you have it :D

    All in all, is my plan realistic and how is my timing between the places? We want to find motels outside SF, LA and LV, but it seams we will be in need of accommodation in the desert which, as I understand, is scarce. Isn't it necessary to book in the desert? The dream is to rent a Ford Mustang convertible, but is this just a really stupid idea? I don't mind spending the extra cash on the rental and the extra gas, but is it just really uncomfortable on a long drive, og is it not handy on the dirt roads? :-S
    Oh, and tell us about any underrated places to visit on our trip that are not in the map wizard. We checked the map wizard on this page and found so many things to see!

    Hope to hear from you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    A couple things stand out - you need more than one day to see Yellowstone. It's huge and traffic moves very slow. Also, most rental car agreements do not allow you to drive on unpaved roads, so take a Jeep tour at Monument Valley.

    If possible, arrange your trip so you will be driving the west coast from north to south - that way the scenic pulloffs will be on your side of the road. That would make LA and San Diego first, Yellowstone last, you may want to go through Yosemite on the way back to SF.

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

    Default Needs balancing.

    To make the trip to Yellowstone worthwhile you need to be thinking of at least 2 nights around the park and 3 days to visit some of the highlights. You have enough time but you really don't need to spend 5 days driving from SF to Yellowstone. It is a very interesting drive through amazing landscape but a lot of it can be enjoyed as part of the drive rather than spending a lot of time in one place. I would also try and save some time for your journey from Yellowstone to Vegas to enjoy the National parks you are planning to visit. Unless you really wanted to visit Salt Lake City you could exit Yellowstone to the south and try and save a little time to visit the Grand Teton's and then through Jackson and Vernal to Moab for Arches and Canyonlands. It depends on your main interests, but I think you would regret spending so much time in the City's only to have to rush through the amazing National parks.

    Car rentals are a personal choice but a mid size sedan is comfortable, roomy and offers the best all round value on longer trips. The convertible is always popular with visitors as it seems to be 'the done thing' but in the desert you might want the top up and aircon on !

  4. Default

    Thanks both for your answers!

    So I took one day off the trip to Yellowstone so we will make it there in 4. It seems there's more points of interest on the other roads we will come across anyway. We will then spend 2 full days around Yellowstone. Where is the best place to stay? I'm guessing its necessary to book that now..?

    I actually just wanted to go by Salt Lake City to go to the desert, hence only spending an afternoon and night there. I wanted to make a stop before the city at the Golden Spike. Don't know if there's anything to see at all, but I like the story.

    According to my plan there's still one more day which I will then put at going through the desert. I checked out the Jeep tour and it sounds awesome. Any good companies you guys can recommend? I checked also Goulding's ranch and couldn't find any rooms with my dates, but as accommodation in the desert seems scarce I'm starting to worry about finding places to stay in the desert.

    Regarding the car, Southwest Dave, am I to understand that you would advise against it? It's just "The dream" as you probably guessed, so I just want to know how bad of a choice it is. I mean, with the top up the a/c should still be alright, no?

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

    Default Yellowstone needs booking.

    Yes Yellowstone needs booking asap. If you can stay within the park then that's the place to be, if your budget can cope. West Yellowstone is an option although the prices there can be high due to demand. You might want to consider staying in two locations in the park as it's so huge, one to the north and one to the south. The cabins at Canyon are fine for a nights sleep, small, basic but cosy. Sometimes there is nothing available but if you check back there are due to the free cancellation policy at Yellowstone.

    I don't think a convertible is a bad choice for a couple, if it's what you want to do then go for it. :-)

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