Road Trip - West Coast
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Jan 15, 2013 8:34 AM Last Post By: smartcookiee
Jan 13, 2013 8:20 PM
Road Trip - West CoastHi All,
I'm going to the USA at the end of December 2013. I will spend New Years Eve in New York and spend a few days in New York, before flying to LA.
From here, we were hoping to road trip to some of the places we want to see. LA, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, San Francisco, hopefully Yosemite National Park and hopefully San Diego.
Are there any tips about this trip. How long should we consider, what to do/not to do, any implications because of the weather (this trip will begin roughly 3rd January, 2014)......We were originally considering doing a tour to these places, however a lot of the tours arent operating throughout this time of the year.
Any feedback/recommendations would be greatly appreciated!!
Jan 13, 2013 10:51 PM
1Welcome to Thorn Tree.
It would help if we knew your home country and your tolerance for cold and snow. Driving experience on snow would also be helpful.
A driving tour of the west at that time of year requires familiarity with driving on snow. Of the places you want to visit, the only ones where you won't see snow are San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. You are faily safe from snow in Las Vegas too. Other than that, you are likely to encounter it. That includes the high passes leading into and out of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
How much time do you have? CA-1 down the Pacific Coast of California will be snow-free between San Francisco and it is a beautiful drive. You will also avoid snow between Los Angeles and San Diego. Once you turn inland to Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas, you will likely encounter snow. You will have to enter Yosemite from the west as Tioga Pass, the east entrance to the park, is closed that time of year. Book reservations for lodging at Yosemite as early as possible. Snow or not, it will be busy. Reservations at Grand Canyon National Park are also a good idea. Only the South Rim will be open.
Your route will depend on the available time and the airport you use as a point of departure. Is that also Los Angeles?
Jan 14, 2013 6:50 AM
2Good advice from zeldasdad as usual, yes there will be snow at Yosemite and they may require that you have (or at least carry) tire chains. Unfortunately most rental car places will not allow you to use tire chains due to the possibility of damage.
Jan 14, 2013 7:11 AM
3January in the west is an excellent time to visit the deserts. Higher eleveation areas will be snowed in. I'd consider places like Death Valley National Park in California, Saguaro National Park in Arizona, and the southern Utah canyonlands.
For winter driving, besides snow, beware of "black ice" usually encountered when temperatures are near freezing in shadowed spots and on bridges and overpasses.
Jan 14, 2013 8:18 AM
4Christmas/ New Year Is probably the most expensive an disagreeable period for a visitor to enjoy NYC...I suggest you fly Las Vegas direct... Renting there,drive a loop trip of your desired attractions... Keeping(with a eye to the weather) to lower elevation areas as much as possible... Stop in at Washington DC/ NYC on your return to where ever...carracar
Jan 15, 2013 8:34 AM
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