My husband and I are flying into LA on 8th June and have to be in Saskatchewan on 16th june. We would like to drive from LA to Vancouver, and fly from Vancouver to Saskatchewan. We are trying to plan the time in between LA and Vancouver so as to take in Las Vegas, Yosemite, Hoover Dam, the West Coast and any other places that you can tell us about. We aren't particularly interested in the usual touristy places - although feel that Las Vegas has to be included, but we like to get to the real people and places by getting off the tourist route. Can anyone help us with places to see and clean and cheap places to stay (we don't need 5 star, just clean and safe).
This is a pretty agressive trip for a very short time period. You'll have to drive about 1800 miles in all--and some of the places you've mentioned take about a day to see all by themselves.
Having warned you about this, here is my suggestion for this whirlwind tour you have planned.
June 8th--fly into LA, get rental car, check into hotel near Santa Monica/Westwood area, rest at hotel or at restaurant overlooking the beach in Santa Monica.
June 9th--one day in LA. Decide what you want to see--a drive along the beach to Malibu and back, a visit to Disneyland, a day at the Getty Art Museum, a day in San Marino at Huntington Library, or a day visiting Hollywood and Universal Studios
June 10th--Leave early and drive to Las Vegas--a 5 hour drive if there is no traffic--which since it is Saturday there shouldn't be any. Check into a hotel on or near the LV strip, then immediately head out to Hoover Dam and take the tour. Come back into town and go to a show at one of the hotels. I like Elton John or Danny Gans, but the other comedy, magic, and music shows are all great, too. Check out the exploding volcano at the Mirage, the pirate ship battle at Treasure Island, the indoor rainforest at The Aladdin, the Eiffel Tower restaurant at Paris Las Vegas, or the restaurants at either the MGM or Caesars Palace, the dancing fountains at Bellagio, and the wavepool at Mandalay Bay.
June 11th--In the morning, tour the various hotels at Vegas--especially the ones listed above. Take the free monorail or just walk the strip with the crowds to see it all. Try to leave LV by 11 AM and head out through Death Valley into Lone Pine and north up 395, then west through Yosemite. Stay in Sonora, or somewhere near Modesto.
June 12th-Head west into San Francisco, go into Chinatown and drive down Columbus Street down to Fisherman's Wharf. Visit the Boudoin Bread Factory and have a "walkaway cocktail" of crab, shrimp, or lobster. Leave SF and head north to Sonoma. Visit one or two of the wineries in this area, then go to the old Mexican square and roam in and out of the shops and the cheese factory. Spend the night here.
June 13th--head north up 101 through the redwoods. Stop at the "Trees of Mystery" and take the approximately 2 hour self-tour they offer. Then get back on the road and head north to Grants Pass. If you have time, there is a Shakespeare Festival at Ashland, just about 20 miles east of here--but it's backtracking a bit, and the play will take a while--so it's your call. Spend the night somewhere in the Grants Pass/Medford/Ashland area.
June 14th--head north on US 101 up to Portland, Oregon. Go to the "Typhoon" restaurant there (a good japanese place that serves over 120 different types of teas. Go to the Rose Festival if it hasn't finished yet. If you have time go on up to the Mt. St. Helens visitor's center in southern Washington. Spend the night somewhere in this area.
June 15th--go north on US 101 to Seattle, stop and see Elliott's Bay in Seattle. Visit the Space Needle, and if you have time go east and see Snoqualmie Falls (higher than Niagara Falls), then have dinner in Kirkland on the east side of Lake Washington, or near downtown on the shores of Lake Union.
June 16th--get up early and drive the 3-4 hours to Vancouver. Catch your flight to Saskatchewan.
P.S. If you want to skip your day in LA, you would have time to take a ferry through the San Juan Islands of Washington over to Victoria Island, Canada and see the Buchart Gardens, spend the night in Victoria, then take the ferry the next morning to Vancouver. Alternatively, you would then have more time to tour Vancouver and its famous "Grouse Mountain" area on the north side of town.
Anyway, enjoy your trip
You will need to book your hotel (and tickets) for some of these places really early since places fill up during the summer months--especially in Las Vegas. Book your hotel now (no kidding!) or you could find the entire town booked in June when you arrive--and this is for a town that has more hotels rooms on the corner of a single intersection than San Francisco has in the entire city.
Also, I have kind of focused on California and Nevada here rather than on Oregon or Washington--but that's because in my view there is a lot more to see in these first two states than in the last two.