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2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

cleveland,ohio
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2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

Flying into and out of San Francisco

Day 1 - San Francisco

Day 2 - Pacific Coast Highway - Stay where?

Day 3 - Pacific Coast Highway - Stay where?

Day 4 - Los Angeles

Day 5 - Los Angeles

Day 6 - Vegas

Day 7 - Vegas

Day 8 - Mojave

Day 9 - Death Valley

Day 10 - Mammoth Lakes or Sequioa/Kings Canyon

Depending on driving 395 or through Bakersfield? - Which is better is winter? Should I decide at that time depending on the weather?

Day 11 - Yosemite

Day 12 - Yosemite

Day 13 - San Francisco

Day 14 - San Francisco

Anything else I can substitute for Vegas. Have been there many times. Anything else I am missing?

Interested in Nature, hikes etc.

LA
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1. Re: 2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

I would plan on the eastern entrance to Yosemite, via Tioga Pass to be closed and would suggest you plan on using the southern route through Bakersfield. That may impact where you stay after Death Valley.

What are you interested in doing or seeing? I'm not sure what sorts of things to recommmend if you don't need to see Las Vegas.

Maybe a couple of days in San Diego or one of the Orange County beach areas like Newport Beach. A day trip to Catalina Island.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: 2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

Sure skip Vegas spend time in La or go to Orange County and then you can go from there to Death Valley

Most would suggest 3-4 days in cities such as SF and LA

I would be surprised if the Eastern Sierra route is open

On Highway 1. Monterey/Carmel and either Cambria or Pismo beach. Have you read the CA forums TOP Questions. Plenty of info

Edited: 12 September 2013, 17:40
Grover Beach...
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3. Re: 2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

Day 2: Monterey/Carmel

Day 3: Cambria or Pismo Beach

Day 8: Mojave is NO where in between Las Vegas and Death Valley

Day 10: The road into Yosemite from the east will likely be closed. Mammoth Lakes out. Drive southern route through Tehachapi into Bakersfield up to Oakhurst. Spend night in Oakhurst, drive to Yosemite on Day 11.

Not sure how much hiking will be available in Yosemite in December. Depends on whether it has snowed, rained or a storm passes through while you are there.

Keep in mind that a winter visit to Yosemite will require you carry chains for your tires and be prepared to put them on at any given notice.

Edited: 12 September 2013, 17:48
cleveland,ohio
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4. Re: 2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

Thanks for all your help. Will plan to do the southern route thru Bakersfield. Is it better to go to Mojave on the way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas? Read the Top questions and that helped a lot.

Fremont, California
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5. Re: 2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

If you want to substitute something for Las Vegas

in December I would go to Mission Inn and see the Christmas Decoratons

http://www.missioninn.com/festival-of-lights/

Then go to Palm Springs and do the arial Tram and see Joshua Trees National Park - both give you hiking possibilities. Living Desert in Palm Springs is also nice.

http://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm

http://www.visitpalmsprings.com/

http://livingdesert.org/

Drive to Temecula and do wine tasting and to get your touch of Las Vegas stay overnight in a suite at Pechanga Casino

http://www.temeculawines.org/

http://www.pechanga.com/

Las Vegas is nice too - but wanted to give you an alternative too given your question. Have a good time.

LA
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6. Re: 2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

Ooh. Palm Springs at Christmas would be fun and nicer that Las Vegas

Oregon Coast
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7. Re: 2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

Mini gives you some good ideas instead of LV. I've spent a number of Christmases in Palm Springs and it can be delightful :-)

>Is it better to go to Mojave on the way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas?<

Possible terminology problem here - I'm guessing you mean Mojave National Preserve? Not the town of Mojave out near Rosamond / Lancaster area?

cleveland,ohio
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8. Re: 2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

For sure, I will look into Palm Springs. Will like to see Joshua tree National park too. Thanks for all your ideas. Regarding Mojave, I did mean Mojave National Preserve.

San Diego...
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9. Re: 2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

If you're not interested in Las Vegas, just drop it and spend the time in California.

Since you probably won't be able to use the Tioga Pass entrance from 395 to get to Yosemite, going to Mammoth Lakes would be going out of your way. Mammoth Lakes will be cold at that time and probably the only thing to do there at that time is to go skiing.

I would suggest this:

Day 1 - San Francisco

Day 2 - Stay at Monterey, Carmel or Pacific Grove

Day 3 - Stay at Cambria, San Simeon, Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo

Day 4 - Los Angeles

Day 5 - Los Angeles

Day 6 - Palm Springs

Day 7 - Joshua Tree or Mojave National Preserve

Day 8 - Death Valley National Park

Day 9 - Lone Pine

Day 10 - Sequoia National Park

Day 11 - Yosemite National Park

Day 12 - Yosemite National Park

Day 13 - San Francisco

Day 14 - San Francisco

The mountain areas such as Yosemite and Sequoia will be cold and could have snow, and if there is snow or ice on the roads the parks will probably require chains on the tires of the car. This is not allowed by most car rental companies.

An alternative way to get to Yosemite Valley would be to drive to Mariposa, California, leave your car in the Park-and-Ride there, and take a YARTS bus from there up to Yosemite Valley. Then you could reach Yosemite Valley without doing any mountain driving and without worrying about any chain requirements. See http://yarts.com for the Highway 140 route.

There is no similar bus for Sequoia at that time of the year, so if the chain requirements are in effect for Sequoia you would probably have to skip that park.

Driving in the central valley of California during the cold months means the possibility of dealing with the Tule Fog that sometimes forms in that valley (places like Bakersfield, Visalia, Fresno and Merced). For more information see http://foguniversity.com

cleveland,ohio
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10. Re: 2 week Califonia Road Trip Itinerary in December

Thankyou for all the information you provided sunrisesandiego. Our car rental Hertz keeps telling us that the rental cars have all weather tires and don't need chains. If the roads have chain requirements, I am sure it is not advisable to drive during that time even with all weather tires?? Might have to look into the YARTS bus info.