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Help with road trip for south west coast

Singapore
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Help with road trip for south west coast

Hi everyone,

We are two couples, late 20s, traveling on our first road trip to US in the first three weeks of October. We would like to experience a mix of city life (shopping, cafe hopping, touristy stuff) and nature (relaxation, some light trekking?). We are flying to SF and flying out from LA. So this our plan:

Fly in to SFO, take public transport to hotel

> Stay 3N in SF; no car rental

> Leave SF about 7am. Rent and drive to Yosemite National Park (approx 4hrs). Join bus tour at 1.30pm. Stay 1N

> Leave Yosemite by 2pm and drive to Las Vegas via Tioga Pass(?). Stop over at Bishop (approx 3hrs). Stay 1N.

> Continue on drive to Las Vegas after breakfast (approx 4.5hrs). Stay 2N.

> Leave Las Vegas about 7am. Drive to Hoover Dam (approx 1hr) for phototaking. Continue on to Grand Canyon (approx 3.5hrs). Can we reach by lunch? Stay 1N

> Sign up and join helicopter tour in the morning. Leave GC after lunch and head to Phoenix (approx 3.5hrs). Stay 1N.

> Continue on drive to LA. Stay 3N.

We haven't got down to exactly what we are going to do at each city and are looking into planning day trips out of SF and LA. Right now, we are more anxious if our driving route works. All the drive times are without stops and/or traffic tie ups. Appreciate any advice sent our way. Thank you!

Liverpool, UK
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1. Re: Help with road trip for south west coast

The plan looks ok - you could do the trip to Hoover Dan whilst you are in Las Vegas to save some time of the day you want to drive to GCNP.

In San Francisco make sure you book Alcatraz tickets in advance if that's on your to do list.

If possible try to avoid Fri/Sat nights in Las Vegas as room rates can be 3 or 4 x midweek rates.

A helicopter over GCNP is ok but you aren't allowed to descend below rim level and the views from the rim edge are better in my opinion.

I personally would drop a night in LA but that's probably because I'm not a big fan of LA - I would add the extra night to San Francisco as it's a more tourist friendly destination in my opinion and allows you more time to get over the jet lag before you hit the road.

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Help with road trip for south west coast

Your time for Yosemite is limited and if you want to drive from Bishop to Las vegas via Death Valley and stop for sights on your way it will be a full day. Also, on a bad day, Tioga pass can be temporarily closed in october.

from Grand Canyon to Los Angeles via Phoenix will be a detour.

Singapore
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3. Re: Help with road trip for south west coast

Hi TomC97 and Tet14,

Thanks for the advice. Will definitely book Alcatraz tickets in advance as you have warned, and will consider the trip to Hoover Dam whilst in Vegas.

For the drive from GC to LA, how about if we drive via Kingman?

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Help with road trip for south west coast

That's correct. Via Kingman will be a shorter drive and Kingman has ample lodging. Maybe also see some of R66 on the way.

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Help with road trip for south west coast

I'll answer you in here: Yes Laughlin also is an option but it's a short detour. Maybe try Golden Nugget along Colorado Rier. On the way to Laughlin from Kingman you can drive via Oatman or take fastest way via 68.

Corona del Mar, CA
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6. Re: Help with road trip for south west coast

Drive time to the Grand Canyon National Park is more like 5 hours.

Edited: 27 June 2014, 16:40
Uden, The...
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7. Re: Help with road trip for south west coast

The OP wants to drive from Hoover Dam to GC in 3.5 hours. Still tight.

Tacoma, Washington
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8. Re: Help with road trip for south west coast

You sad 3 weeks which would mean about 19N...you only show 12N

You don't have to rush as much and add nights

Do 2N at South rim and add a night at Yosemite...add a night to break up GC to LA drive in Laughlin and you could add a night in death valley

Singapore
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9. Re: Help with road trip for south west coast

Oops I meant 12 nights over the first three weeks of Oct. Thank you all for the suggestions on the stopover for the journey from GC to LA.

Agree and understand that the trip from Vegas to GC is tight so we hope to travel out early...

10. Re: Help with road trip for south west coast

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