We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

self drive in April 2013 to western usa

London, United...
Level Contributor
26 posts
45 reviews
Save Topic
self drive in April 2013 to western usa

Am trying to plan a trip in April 2013 to western usa - just my husband and myself. Would love to see Vegas, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Death Valley, San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur. Was thinking of 14/15 days...not sure which airports to use (flying from London). Hoped to also include Yosemite but think this may be adventurous as the Tioga Pass will be closed. Would love any ideas on: places to visit, route to take, no. of days to spend at any one place, approx daily travelling time, places to stay etc. Look forward to reading your comments. Many thanks - Tracy

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
51,965 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: self drive in April 2013 to western usa

Humm. TA is great if you read up on the places you want to see and then use maps.google.com to come up with your route and based on your likes and dislikes, you alone ( or with your DH) can decide how much time to stay in each place. What you are asking is all out there in books, travel guides, maps etc

In 15 days which is just over two weeks you are trying to do too much. A map will show you why.

Most would do the following Arrive in SF 3 nights

Rent Car and drive to Yosemite 1-2 nights

Drive to Monterey Carmel -- 1 night

Drive to Pismo Beach or Cambria 1 night

You can then cut across and go to Death Valley (are you skipping LA and Southern Ca) 1 night

You are then leaving CA so you should look at the other states or use the road trip forum for ideas.

London, United...
Level Contributor
26 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: self drive in April 2013 to western usa

Thanks for your advice.

Roseville...
Level Contributor
1,102 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: self drive in April 2013 to western usa

You are trying to do to much. Can you list, in order if possible, the top 6 things you want to see/do?

London, United...
Level Contributor
26 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: self drive in April 2013 to western usa

Think we will divide into 2 separate trips. The first ( in April) will either be coastal route from LA to San Francisco ( possibly including Death Valley &/or Yosemite) OR Las Vegas and the Canyons. Think both these routes should be possible in time scale of 14 days. What do you think? Any recomendations? So much to see and so little time! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

London, United...
Level Contributor
26 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: self drive in April 2013 to western usa

Sorry, forgot to say in order top 6 sights would be:

Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon,Big Sur, Yosemite, San Francisco, Vegas.

Unfortunately they are not located in the correct geographical order to make a 14 night trip possible/enjoyable. Never mind, will just have to make 2 separate trips instead!

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
60,806 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: self drive in April 2013 to western usa

Hi Tracy

We have really enjoyed our trips to the National Parks "near" Las Vegas (easy airport to use) in spring. Here is a direct link to the multi-state (or multi-country) Road Trips forum: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri… That's a great forum to plan a trip that may include Nevada, Arizona, and Utah.

The other trip you're considering could also be great in April, but you'd miss the high country in Yosemite. Waterfalls in April would be building volume daily. SFO - SF - Yosemite Valley - Cambria - {Big Sur to} Monterey/Carmel - SFO This could be done in 10-12 days, but 14 days would be fabulous. In June - October, this trip could be LAS - Death Valley NP - eastern Sierra - Yosemite Valley - Cambria - Monterey - San Francisco - SFO, in either direction.

London, United...
Level Contributor
26 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: self drive in April 2013 to western usa

Having read everyones suggestions, am now considering flying into LA... staying there for 1 night... renting a car.... spending 5 nights driving along the West coast to San Francisco.... staying a few nights in San Francisco.... getting a flight to Las Vegas then either staying there for 5 days and getting a helicopter ride to Grand Canyon OR staying there for 2 days and renting a car and touring the area for 3 days.... then return flight home. Due to the weather in April, I have missed Yosemite and will have to see this in a future visit. Does this trip seem "do-able" ? There is so much to see but I don't want to return home and feel everything was too rushed! I would rather split into 2 separate trips. Any further advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: self drive in April 2013 to western usa

No heliflights go to Grand Canyon NP. Best is to drive yourselves from Vegas and stay for the night (2 nights will be better). Heli flights go to Grand Canyon West where the Skywalk is. You can''t compare GCW to the real GCNP south rim or north rim but north rim will be closed when you are coming.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
51,965 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: self drive in April 2013 to western usa

Sorry -- May have missed it but do you not want to spend time in LA ? It is an amazing city and lots to do outside of Hollywood and then perhaps a night in Cambria and then a couple of nights in Monterey will bring you to SF for a few nights where a car is not needed. You can take a tour to Yosemite (2 or 3 days) via inca adventures or Extranomical -- We have seen good reviews from visitors in small buses. You can then fly to Vegas -- That part of the trip is outside CA so more info on that forum

London, United...
Level Contributor
26 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: self drive in April 2013 to western usa

Thanks Tet14 for your comments - didn't appreciate the north rim would be closed or that the helicopter flights only go to GCW. Sounds as though it would be best to drive to the canyon - if we spent 2/4 nights away from vegas, where would be the best places to head for/stay? we could then return to vegas and get a return flight home. Your comments are much appreciated.