I need the help of who already have been in the US Southwest.
I'm gonna fly to LA this September and my way will be this one, basically:
LA - Grand Canyon - Antelope Canyon - Bryce - Zion - Vegas - Death Valley - Sequoia - Yosemite - San Francisco - LA.
Now, what's the problem. It's that I have JUST 16.5 days. Not really much to see all this stuff and drive that road you'll think. Yes, that's it, but I want to see all this. Or maybe, the most of it. So I ask you:
What would you skip between Bryce and Zion NP? I would save one precious day doing this, or maybe I could just drive through one of those parks. I've read that Zion is great, Bryce too, but probably it has its top on Bryce's amphiteather and not much else. Probably I'm wrong.
I say that 'cause I don't want to have no time to visit the cities of SF and LA. I want to allow one day and a half each one. Or, maybe 2 days for SF and one for LA. The road between those two places will be simply driven. I could just stop at Monterey to take a look and maybe along the road to enjoy a vista of the golden beaches there.
What do you think about this plan? Am I completely loosing the sense of what I'm gonna do?!
There are big chances..
Please, help me decide what to do in this time!
Thanks a lot folks!!
I think 16.5 days isn't all that bad.
Of the places you mention, I haven't been to Antelope, Zion and Sequoia. I did hear though that Bryce (where I have been) was more spectacular and special compared to Zion. Not to say that Zion would be a deception by the way, because it should be nice as well. The hoodoos in Bryce are just great and you can go for a great hike among them, going down into the canyon.
Maybe what you also can do to save time, is to visit the sequoia groves in Yosemite NP! There are great sections in the southern part of the park, so you can base yourself there and not visit Sequioa NP. Saves you some time as well.
Also, if you are driving from SF back to LA, note that driving most or all of it along the coast will be either a VERY long day, or two more enjoyable days. Skip Monterey or Santa Cruz, go straight to Big Sur and south to Cambria and further towards Santa Barbara.
Certainly give SF 2 days. If you are running out of time, skip LA alltogether, you won't regret it!
Possible itinerary could be:
Day 1: LA
Day 2: drive to Grand Canyon, maybe visit Joshua Tree NP or some of Route 66 along the way
Day 3: Grand Canyon and drive towards Page
Day 4: Antelope and drive to Bryce
Day 5: Bryce
Day 6: drive to Vegas
Day 7: Vegas
Day 8: to Death Valley
Day 9: Death Valley
Day 10: to Yosemite
Day 11 and 12: Yosemite
Day 13: to SF
Day 14 and 15: SF
Day 16: Back to LA, maybe stop along the way.
[ Edit: Edited on 31-May-2011, at 13:08 by Utrecht ]
First of all, thanks for your incredibly quick answer!
You're then suggesting me to spend at least one day in Bryce, also to take a little stroll rather than just stop to see the hoodoos?
And, to prefer SF to LA? I thought too that it could be better: I don't know why but it seems to me that LA is kinda like.. commercial, classy, just shop&celebrities.. but not all this stuff to see! I mean, I'll anyway stop by to see the Hollywood hills, some famous places but I don't want to allow more than one day to that city. I'll move with a taxi I guess - being LA the second largest city of the US I suppouse it'll be a little bit difficult to move easily (without getting lost after a couple of minutes!)
About Sequoia, I wouldn't step it because I want to be there, should be fantastic and I read there are some reasonable medium-long hikes that I can enjoy..
Then, I'll spend 3 days both for Grand Canyon that for Yosemite. I cannot come home without having visited'em as they deserve to be!
Maybe I can, for instance, allow myself 2 days for Bryce and Zion togheter. I know it's really a poor deal of time for those 2 parks, but you know, life is choices and here I have one!
Am.. Would you finally suggest me to sleep for a couple of nights in a campground inside my car to save some money? Accommodations inside Grand Canyon are fully booked and stay out in Williams or Flagstaff would mean waste nearly three hours round trip to reach the Canyon..
Thanks for the precious help!
You are welcome of course
Life is all about choices, but I think you make the right ones on this trip.
About the Grand Canyon: if you are not going down into the Canyon, one day will be enough. Just to let you know.
Otherwise you can spend the night in Williams or Flagstaff, drive along the southern rim and then onwards to your next town for the night. If you want to spend longer, then you basically mentioned the options: low budget on a campground or driving a little longer. Williams isn't that bad though, with some great accom options and Route 66 atmosphere