AZ to San Fran
Planning a trip in September from Phoenix, AZ to San Francisco via Yosemite, then backtracking to Las Vegas for flight home.
Would like to hear your thoughts on where to stop, how much time to allow, best sights, etc.
AZ to NM
Alternative idea is to go from Tucson to Albuquerque to Las Vegas - love to hear your ideas!
One of my favorite scenic routes is north from Las Vegas (on US95), then go west across the mountains into California to the Owens Valley and US395 at Big Pine -- US95 to Lida Jct and SR266 west (becomes SR168 at the CA border). On US395, go north to Lee Vining and take Tioga Pass across to Yosemite via Tuolumne Meadows. It would be best to allow about 2 days for this drive between Las Vegas and San Francisco, plus sightseeing time. It can be done quicker, but without time to explore. And it is a cardinal sin to race through Yosemite without stopping to explore! Just my opinion... Bob
An old west primer.
For this one, take I-10 over to Lordsburg. Along the way, be sure to visit Fort Bowie and Apache Pass -- a very important historical site related to the Apache Indian wars of the 19th century. Hike to the visitor's center (take drinking water) -- it's about 1.5 miles each way I think. Along the hike, you'll see the ruins of a Butterfield Stage Line station (America's FIRST transcontinental passenger service, mule-drawn), the Tom Jeffords Apache Indian Agency, Apache Spring (the reason everyone wanted to be there) and the fort itself.
From Lordsburg, go through Silver City to I-15 at Caballo, and north to ALB from there. A great side trip at this point would be to visit Lincoln County, over by Ruidoso. This is Billy the Kid country and the story behind the Young Guns movies took place there.
Northeast of Santa Fe, try the road between Las Vegas (NM), through Mora to Eagle Nest. It's extremely beautiful, high country -- even alpine around Eagle Nest.
Work your way across US64 to Utah, and see the red rock country between Blanding and St George via SR95, SR24, SR12, US89 and SR9 through Zion, then I-15 to Las Vegas.
This route deserves several days of your time to fully enjoy it. Just driving, my guess, at LEAST 3 days, probably closer to 4. If you want a closer estimate, let me know and I'll run it through the software for you.
One other thing.
Another New Mexico attraction is the Very Large Array, on US60 just west of Socorro. It is the radio telescope site that was filmed in the movie "Contact." There's a visitor center there also, and it is a pretty cool place. The site consists of a few dozen radio-telescope dishes sitting on the Plains of San Augustin. (Very romantic place...) Bob
old west primer
Thanks so much for your suggestions! Now to my map and tour books to look this route over. . .
You're welcome, of course!