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California Road Trip - How to fit it all together.

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My boyfriend and I are planning a US road trip and we are having trouble figuring out a route through California.

This trip is part of a 6 month USA trip so time at this stage isn’t a worry.
Our easy targets are San Diego – LA – Monterey – San Francisco – Mendocino – Redwoods National Park following the coast (Highway 1). We plan to end in Oregon.

But we are stuck on how best to fit in; Yosemite, Kings Canyon/Sequoia, Death Valley, Sierra Nevada Highlights, Joshua Tree and Palm Springs. What is the best route to take to see all of these places or any suggestions along the way?

Big drives don’t worry us too much and when we are not in major cities where we focus on food and culture, we are more interested in nature/hiking and historic towns.

We will be in a van and probably be in the area June-ish so I imagine Death Valley will be blistering so we won’t want to spend too much time there.

I know this is very open but does anyone have any suggestions? Our approach at this stage will either be from Phoenix or Las Vegas.

Thanks so much.

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