Irish couple - Las Vegas - Death Valley - L.A

Mar 9th, 2008, 03:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 42
Irish couple - Las Vegas - Death Valley - L.A

Hello All,

May I impose on your goodwill?
Here is a broad outline of our itinery.

September 08

*LAX - Drive to Las Vegas.

*Las Vegas
4 nights - see Vegas,Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam.

* Drive to Death Valley
2 nights - Furnace Creek,see sights etc.

* Drive to Santa Monica
9 nights -
See Hollywood,Universal Studios,etc

*Fly home to Ireland.

Now from my research, I see that 9 nights in L.A is a little to much time, so I'm looking for ideas? thaughts?

We love scenery, fun things, shopping,

Thank you all in advance.

Kind regards,

majorvonhapen is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 05:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18
As someone who has done that trip I think there is too much time in LA and way too little in the outdoors.
Unless you really like big cities I would reduce the nights in LA to one or two and maximise time elsewhere
Las Vegas 3 nights mid week for good rates
Grand Canyon 2-4 nights stay in the park and consider some of the hikes
Byrce and Zion NPs
Death Vally 2 nights
Santa Barbara/Santa Monica shoreline
The scenery is just beautiful and far superior to anything LA has to offer- just my opinion. The official national parks site will give you a good idea
ruralbear is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 06:48 AM
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Posts: 42
Thank you Ruralbear!

I'm looking into making changes already. Where is the nearest nicest shore scenery?

I was looking into driving up to Monteray but I really don't want to spend all our holiday in the car.

Its a balancing act!

Thanks again!

majorvonhapen is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 06:51 AM
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Posts: 17,431
You are aware, presumably, that the average high temperature in Death Valley in September is 41 C? And that's the monthly average - closer to the beginning of the month it's more like 44 C. In the evening it gets down to a little below 30 C.

The reason for mentioning this is that it can severely limit one's outdoor activities in the low desert, which, combined with the relatively high cost for Furnace Creek, can make for an unsatisfying visit to DV. Unlike Las Vegas, where the opportunities to escape the heat are plentiful, there's really nowhere to go except inside your car or your hotel room or some lounges in the hotel.

September is still very much summer in southern California and Nevada, so if it were me I'd pass on DV and spend those two days exploring the coastal areas a little, or else add a day or two in one of the red rocks national parks in Utah - both Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks are reasonably convenient from Las Vegas. They will be warm, too, but because of their high elevation not as hot as the low valleys.

Just a consideration.
Gardyloo is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 08:19 AM
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All of my British and Irish friends have this "thing" about Death Valley. It IS a wonderful/amazing place. But it is NOT a summer destination. I know a ranger who used to be stationed in DV and he used to laugh that the only accents he heard in July/Aug/Sep were british and german - they were the only ones crazy enough to be there

Just about anywhere in the SW will be hot, but not DV-hot.

You ask about coastal scenery - Southern California has lots of long, beautiful beaches - but none of the dramatic coastal bits like you may have seen such as Big Sur, Pebble Beach, Redwoods, the north coast.

If you want to stay south instead of traveling up towards San Francisco -- I'd probably add about 4 days in San Diego.

4 days Santa Monica and 4 days San Diego would give you a good overview of the southern california coast.
janisj is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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If you want to see coastal scenery, you could add in Laguna Beach (very close to LA) or drive as far as Cambria.

I would agree with the person who said to add in Zion National Park from Las Vegas for a few nights.

Death Valley--no problem. I've already mentioned in another post that the average low is 75 degrees. Do your outside activities before noon-1pm and you'll be fine. Rest of the day either inside the car or by the pool.
mlgb is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 08:47 AM
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It's not just the British & Irish, every single one of our German, Austrian & Swiss houseguests over the years have had Death Valley as a "must see" on their itinerary. I would venture a guess that more Europeans than Americans have actually visited DV.

I agree with adding Zion to your itinerary. I also would encourage you to head to Yosemite after DV, then over to the coast, then down to LA.
lvk is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 08:58 AM
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lvk: Since my ranger friend really doesn't discern the differences -- his "the only accents heard in July/Aug/Sep were british and german" really would include British, Irish, Aussies, New Zealanders, Germans, Austrians and Swiss.

and "I would venture a guess that more Europeans than Americans have actually visited DV. is absolutely true when talking about the summer. There are visitor stats that show there are more European visitors than American in late summer. Now in high season - there are almost no Europeans and mostly Americans. It has only been in the last 20-ish years that the visitor facilities (it used to be a National "Monument" not a National "Park") were even open in the summer time.
janisj is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 09:02 AM
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Hi M - pop down to San Diego since youll be so close. It's a much more lovely city than old LA and tons of beautiful easy-access beaches.
sheri_lp is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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Read a lot about Death Valley before you come. It is a mostly flat desert. It is not breathtaking in the way that Zion and Bryce are. It is an amazing desert. But unless you are real outdoor enthusiasts and attentive to detail, it can look like more of the same all day long -and I know several friends who find it very boring.
cabovacation is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Death Valley mostly flat desert?

Vs "A superlative desert of streaming sand dunes, snow-capped mountains, multicolored rock layers, water-fluted canyons and three million acres of stone wilderness."

You can read up on DV on the National Park website and decide
mlgb is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 01:34 PM
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No,there is a LOT more to DV than flat desert. Not saying it isn't amazing. At all! Just that it will very likely be too hot to get out of the car and explore that "amazing-ness".
janisj is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 02:02 PM
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Death Valley is a magnificent National Park especially if you like to hike and/or explore with a 4wd vehicle. If you just stick to the main highways, it might be a letdown. Especially in summer when the heat will be oppressive. As others have said, this is more of a fall, winter, spring destination. By fall, I mean mid-October not September 21st.

When you say "see, Vegas, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam" are you talking about a day trip to the Grand Canyon? If so, consider going there for a few days instead of Death Valley. If you go to the North Rim, you could add on Zion (and Bryce) because they are not too far apart.

Or, you could go up to Yosemite from Vegas and then down to LA. On your way, you could drive thru Death Valley and see how hot it really is. This is a great drive and takes less than a day. Yosemite is awesome in September.
Otis_B_Driftwood is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 04:35 PM
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I meant that unless you are a real outdoor enthusiast you will not appreciate DV. I know loads of people who have no clue as to its beauty. It is just a desert to them. Not a place to spend time. Just trying to make these visitors from another planet aware of the possibilities.
cabovacation is offline  
Mar 10th, 2008, 12:25 PM
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Posts: 42
A big Thank you to Ruralbear,Gardyloo,Janisj,MLGB,Lvk,Sheri,Cabovacat ion and Otis for your insightful responses!

You've all got me thinking about just doing a 'drive-by' in Death Valley! We Irish have the complextions of milk bottles so the extreme of DV might not be good!

I think a trip to Zion and Bryce is called for and an a few nights in Grand Canyon area, any suggestions for these three areas?

I'm now going to research them!

Many thanks again, keep ideas flowing!

Kind regards,

majorvonhapen is offline  
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