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Thread: West coast trip

  1. Default West coast trip

    Hi All - this will be our first tour on the West Coast and any tips and advice would be very valuable. We will have 2 weeks in August (aug 10-24), start and finish in San Francisco, and would like to see as much as possible.
    Our preliminary plan is the follwing:
    - 2 nights in SF
    - Monterey, Carmel, 17-miles-drive, 1 night Pismo Beach
    - Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Universal Studios, 3 nights in LA
    - Mojave, travel to Las Vegas, 2 nights in Las Vegas
    - Grand Canyon, 1 night in Flagstaff
    - Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, 1 night at Bryce Canyon
    - Bryce Canyon, Zion, 2 nights in Las Vegas
    - Travel through Death Valley, 1 night in Fresno
    - Yosemite NP, last night in SF
    Please suggest if something is not feasible or suggest better alternatives. Thank you for any help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You've got a good start, but there are 3 things where I think you should take another look at.

    The first is that you probably won't be able to drive the coast from Monterey to Pismo Beach. There is a bridge out near Big Sur blocking all traffic and it's not expected to be replaced for at least 6 months. You can read the details and follow updates here: Big Sur Issue!

    Second, I would rework the Arizona/Utah section of your trip. You'd save yourself some time and miles by driving directly from LA to the Grand Canyon - rather than making 2 trips to Vegas. You are also really rushing the Utah portion of your trip. Flagstaff to Bryce via Horseshoe and Antelope means you wouldn't get to Bryce until quite late and really wouldn't have time to see the park that day. The trying to drive from Bryce to Vegas means you would have very little time to squeeze in both Bryce and Zion the next day. I'd try to give yourself at least one more night in this section.

    Finally, Your Vegas to San Francisco leg has some issues. The biggest is that Fresno is not a good stopping point. First, it would be difficult to impossible to see Death Valley and get to Fresno in the same day, and Fresno is really out of the way anyway, as it would have you going around the Sierras rather than entering Yosemite via Tioga Pass. It would make far more sense to spend the night somewhere on US-395, like Bishop or Mammoth Lakes. Even there, I would strongly recommend trying to spend the following night either in or near Yosemite. Trying to get to San Francisco the same day means you'll have hardly any time at all to explore Yosemite, and that would be shame.

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