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Ideas for a solo, week long roadtrip from L.A.

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Jun 5th, 2011, 10:26 PM
  #1
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Ideas for a solo, week long roadtrip from L.A.

I've got to get outta Dodge! I've got a week, a convertible, a camera and an adventurous spirit. The only thing I haven't got is an itinerary. I've thought of heading north along the coast (Big Sur, Carmel, Monterrey, SF, Muir Woods, Point Reyes), east into the desert (Death Valley, Mojave and/or Joshua Tree), or even to Sedona. I just can't make up my mind.

I love beautiful scenery, sunsets, driving, hiking, history, cute little towns and great food.

Please give me your thoughts. Help me plan a great week. I'm really open to just about anything.

Thanks!
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Jun 5th, 2011, 10:30 PM
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Oh, and I'd like to leave this Wednesday.

Thanks again.
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Jun 5th, 2011, 10:54 PM
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North baby... go north... too hot going East -
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Jun 5th, 2011, 10:57 PM
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I know, but I'm d-y-i-n-g to see some of those desert sunsets...
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Jun 6th, 2011, 12:05 AM
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I would take Hwy 395 north past Randsburg, Red Mountain on up to the 190 turn off to Death Valley, maybe explore the Panamint Mountains if you like to really be alone. If not I would keep going up to Big Pine, Bishop and maybe to Mammoth Lakes. Check if the roads are open and what the weather will be. I've done both of these trips by myself with two dogs. If you want to stay in Death Valley be sure and see if there are openings for the nights. If you haven't been to Death Valley and are open to desert scenery you will love it. Visit the ancient kilns in the Panamints.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 12:05 AM
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Or go to Yosemite, if you can get a room.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 12:35 AM
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Thanks, SeaUrchin. I will look into your Death Valley suggestions. And, while I love Yosemite, I want something different for this trip.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 03:36 AM
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Death Valley is awesome, but will, most likely, be warm. I haven't been there from the west, but if the views from that side are at all like the views coming in from Beatty in the east (north of Vegas) it is a beautiful. There is a neat ghost town just off that road called Rhyolite that has a house made of beer bottles. If you decide to go to Death Valley, do your hiking early in the AM or late in the afternoon.

There probably is lodging at Stovepipe Wells or Panamint Springs if you want to pay a little less than at Furnace Creek and have AC for a rest in the hot part of the day. You could go the tent route if you are really into the sauna routine.

Mid-week, lodging in Vegas should not be too bad, but for a much more inexpensive option ( like twenty something /night) check the casinos in Laughlin or on the NV side of Hoover Dam.

If you decide to go the coast route check the conditions on the mudslide area of rt. 1, or go north to Muir Woods, Mount Tamopolis, Point Reyes etc. also awesome.


I'd probably go to www.weather.com and check the conditions in the possible directions i could go and make a decision based on where there is good weather.

Have a fantastic trip.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 06:49 AM
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It will be cooler at higher altitudes, so why not roar through Las Vegas and hit Zion NP and Bryce NP? Plenty of red-rock sunsets, desert nights, spectacular scenery, and if you need to refresh coming or going, Vegas, baby.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 08:15 AM
  #10
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Thank you for your suggestions. Keep them coming! Is it ill advised to travel without reservations at this time, or do you think I'll be okay? That is one issue that's keeping me from pulling the trigger on a desert trip.

Thanks!
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Jun 6th, 2011, 08:25 AM
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Sequoia Nat'l Park, Lake Tahoe, Santa Cruz, Carmel, Big Sur,
Carpinteria, Santa Barbara wine areas, all good for short trips.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 09:37 AM
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Mojave National Preserve for your first sunset. Pull into Buffalo Bills in Primm for the night. Next day head through Vegas and Beatty to get to Death Valley. Get your sunset picture near Panamint Springs. Day 3 go through Bishop to Mammoth Lakes on US 395. Day 4? South Lake Tahoe.
Maybe come back home by way of the coast-Monterey or Santa Barbara.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 10:30 AM
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Panamint recreation area:

http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisi...pringsarea.htm
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Jun 6th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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Okay, the desert it is! More itinerary suggestions gladly welcome.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 12:03 PM
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School is out in many places and people have begun their summer vacations, so I don't how easy it will be to find accommodations. I would call and find out where you can get in and let that be your deciding factor!

If you are heading between Needles, CA and Kingman, AZ for any reason, then check out the cute little town of Oatman, AZ on the old Route 66.

Utahtea
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Jun 6th, 2011, 12:19 PM
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Not to advise against visiting San Francisco but look into Sequoia and especially Kings canyon (they are next to each other) - John Muir rock in the river will give you a photo to brag!!
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Jun 6th, 2011, 01:06 PM
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Kings Canyon with a day at Hume Lake would be my ideal. There are great easy to moderate hikes, Sequoia is right next door so you can do Mono Rock and get reservations fast for Crystal Caves. Have fun!
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Jun 6th, 2011, 02:19 PM
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Are there any particular desert accomodations you recommend I look into?
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Jun 6th, 2011, 02:29 PM
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Stovepipe Wells is fine and basic, Furnace Creek is more expensive and a tad more upscale. There are campgrounds in Death Valley too. Maybe you could grab a last minute cancellation at one of these.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 02:58 PM
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Start with SeaUrchin's drive north on 395, but don't turn off on 190. Make a quick stop in Lone Pine for the Film History Museum, lots of stuff about the western movies. Then overnight in either Bishop or Mammoth depending on how long you want to drive. From there, you can spend a little time driving to the Lakes in Mammoth, then take the June Lake Loop. Back on 395 the Forrest Service Visitor Center at Mono Lake is worth a stop. The drive from Lee Vining to Bridgeport, over Conway Summit is beautiful. Stay on 395 to Carson City unless you want a detour to the ghost town of Bodie, it will take several hours, but it worth it. You can spend the second night in Carson City before heading east on US 50, the Loneliest Highway in the country. Great high desert/basin & range country. Pit stop is bergs such as Middlegate and Eureka before Ely. Nice tourist train and lots of history.
Now you can go on and explore some of the Great Basin National Park or turn south of US 93 and a long drive into Las Vegas. If you love the wide open space and driving, this is fun!
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