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2 weeks trip from Zion to California

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Hi there,

I am planning a trip for September 2014 for 2 weeks, we are a French couple in our 40's. we would like to mix our holidays with some hiking and then some rest /visiting the southern coast of California. We know pretty well Northern California. In France we are based in the French Alps.
I have a main itinerary in mind but would appreciate few pointers to adjust the logistic/itinerary.
First week we would like to concentrate our visit to Zion Park & Bryce, couple of days each to have a fair amount of time for hiking.
Then we would like to drive off from Las Vegas -> Palm springs -> Los Angeles

So first question : I was wondering if I should take a flight from Paris to Las Vegas or Salt lake city ?
Looking at the map if I we start off from Las vegas, we would drive up to Zion and Bryce and go back down by more or less the same route. Would it be more interesting to land in Salt lake and drive down to Zion, Bryce and then to Las vegas etc ...

Secondly : From Las Vegas to Palm Springs which route would you recommend and how much time would you suggest to stay in Palm Springs ?

Thirdly : Once in the L.A region we would like to avoid checking In&out of hotels constantly so which city would be best to use as a base ? We would like to visit the coast up to Santa Barbara and then down to San Diego.

Are we trying to fit too many things or drive too much over two weeks ? I do not want to be rushed.

As for our flight out, what would make more sense, flying out from Los Angeles or San Diego ?

Many thanks in advance for your ideas !
Laurence

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