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North American West Coast road trip. Vancouver-Los angeles

Travel Forums North America North American West Coast road trip. Vancouver-Los angeles

1. Posted by kedun (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

This thread is marked as being about Canada

Hey all,
I am planning a road trip from Vancouver down to Los angeles sticking with highway 101, then the Pacific Coast highway. We are going back up north and stopping in Salt lake city, yellowstone park, then montana. We plan to camp most of the way and occaisionally stay in hostels. I have got a pretty good idea on what I am doing, but would really appreicate some guidence from people who have done this trip. The things I want to know are:
Camping Vs. Hostels, What is the better option, being they both cost about the same?
What towns are worth stopping at?
What are some MUST see things we will pass?
We are thinking of doing this over the coarse of 24 days, is this realistic?
Where would the best surf spots be?

And if you have any information, or things we should look out for let me know! Thanks so much!
We will also need a lot of help for navigating the bigger cities like, San Francisco and Los Angeles, so if anyone feels like helping us that way, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again!

2. Posted by way2goeh (Full Member 159 posts) 7y

Ive done this trip many times. Best thing to do is buy a map of canada and the US at walmart or whatevre (less than 10 dollars american).

Places to stop :
Hearse Castle (south of Monterrey)
Santa Barbara
Obviously Vegas HAS to be on your list, so take the hoover dam tour (2 dollars i think)
Bear Lake, utah - on the way to yellowstone- u can walk abut 300 metres out in the water and the water is still waist high
Big Bear Lake, or any of the lakes in the San Bernadino Mountains (abut 100kms east of LA)

Best places to surf, I know of only one place personally Huntington Beach south of LAX

depending on when yr going, camping for me is always fun. at least you can cook yr own food on site which is cheaper than restaurants b/c of hotels/hostels. Fresh air, bears and even those fun lovin mosquitos. Make sure they have showers. There are hundreds of websites for camping or go to CAA to get those booklets for free. Only negative, besides moquitos, is most places dont allow campfires anymore due to wildfires. Camping in Yellowstone is an experience in itsself :)

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Apr-2009, at 09:35 by way2goeh ]

3. Posted by kedun (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

What time of year have you gone?
Did you reserve a campsite ahead of time or not?
On of the people I am going with is determined to wing the whole trip and do as little planning as possile, and another is asking me to plan down to the last detail. I am hoping maybe i can meet them half way and reserve hotels, but not campsites. Do you think i should, or just reserve them now?

4. Posted by way2goeh (Full Member 159 posts) 7y

i didnt go camping in the Regardless of campsites or hotels, you should always do in advance to get best price (hotels) and best campsites with everything u need and location. But remember, hotels cost 3x more than campsites and in yellowstone it will cost about 200 dollars a night. CAA has some kind of discount for hotels (probably 10%).

5. Posted by kedun (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Alright. Thanks for your help!

6. Posted by The Julies (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y

Hey, I am doing the exact same road trip, my friend and i are starting on the 7th June, when are u doing it? I think 24days will be enough we have got 35days to do it before flying off to Auckland. Do you know if you can get a train from Vancouver to Seattle? because we wanted to do that by train and then drive from Seatle to L.A?

7. Posted by kedun (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

We are leaving Calgary on july 20. I dont know about the train. Try this site:

I have never taken a train before, so I couldn't tell ya. You could also take a ferry, but it depends on where your going to in Washinton I guess.
Hope that helps a bit!

8. Posted by way2goeh (Full Member 159 posts) 7y

Train from Vancouver to Seattle is AMTRAK. one per day and costs about 40 dollars each way, but if you do in advance, usually there is a discount. 4 hour train ride. The trains station in Vancouver is next to skytrain. Seattle, you have to find transportation (its close to city but not close enough).