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Old 9th May 2014, 03:02   #16
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

As of now, it looks like the plan might change. We want to do the helicopter ride in Grand Canyon and the 2 coaches and a ride might just be too much in one day. So, there's a possibility we'll stay over on the 14th too at the Grand Canyon.


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Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
May I offer you suggestion -

LA to SFO through CA1 will be very long and tiring (~400 miles). Agree the drive is spectacular but with a speed limit of 35 mph is most of the places with winding roads you will be spending lot of time on the road. I'd suggest you dedicate 18th & 19th to drive from LA to SFO through CA1. En route you can see places such as Santa Barbara, Solvag, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Hearst Castle, Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica and reach SFO.
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Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
You are spot on. This is a 35 mph road with traffic...akin to an organized outer ring road in Bangalore. Perfect suggestion there...spending 18th and 19th on CA1.
Is there a way we can drive on the inter-state for most of the part and then cut onto CA1 for a bit?

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The best part of highway 1 coastal highway is near SF with the big Sur area and its numerous waterfalls(which are unfortunately dry) and the national parks. Its a long 10-12 hours drive of you count the stops, I suggest you stay the night a little ahead of LA rather than LA.
Any suggestions on where we could camp?
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Old 9th May 2014, 09:23   #17
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post


Any suggestions on where we could camp?
Check out my tlog
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...t-ii-road.html (California cruisin... Part II - The Road...!!)

Choose any spot you find scenic
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Old 9th May 2014, 10:53   #18
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Is there a way we can drive on the inter-state for most of the part and then cut onto CA1 for a bit?
All I can think of is as per the attached map gif. Stay on 5 and turn off to 46 at Lost Hills (Paso Robles Hwy) and hit Hearst Castle.

In fact, CA 1 becomes interesting only after this point, so its logical that you ride on 5 as much as possible. I don't see much downsides to this route. Also, you can go to Six Flags Magic Mountain near outskirts of LA (northbound on 5), if you take this route. (Note that your starting point will be San Deigo, but I have taken LA).

While driving, note down and savor the town names. That's the real flavor of a road trip. There is a town named 'Zzyzx' near Baker (15). 'Shafter' and 'Oildale' are on your route too!
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Last edited by bsdbsd : 9th May 2014 at 10:54. Reason: typos
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Old 9th May 2014, 11:05   #19
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

Sorry about the back to back posts. I had missed the second image. Mods, if you can, merge this post with the previous one.

Here is what your exit looks like out of 5 to Hwy 46.
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Last edited by bsdbsd : 9th May 2014 at 11:06.
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Old 9th May 2014, 11:14   #20
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

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Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
All I can think of is as per the attached map gif. Stay on 5 and turn off to 46 at Lost Hills (Paso Robles Hwy) and hit Hearst Castle. !
This is solid advice. The big sur region gets interesting only after this point, and the thing is, a 5am start will mean you hit this spot around 10-11am, perfect to soak in the sights and finish off with a rocking sunset at Carmel beach!
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Old 10th May 2014, 02:35   #21
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

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Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
All I can think of is as per the attached map gif. Stay on 5 and turn off to 46 at Lost Hills (Paso Robles Hwy) and hit Hearst Castle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
This is solid advice. The big sur region gets interesting only after this point, and the thing is, a 5am start will mean you hit this spot around 10-11am, perfect to soak in the sights and finish off with a rocking sunset at Carmel beach!
That is great advice! This sounds much more realistic and sensible.

--

Any of you take helicopter rides? Any suggestions/feedback?
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Old 10th May 2014, 02:46   #22
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

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Any of you take helicopter rides? Any suggestions/feedback?
Jump off a plane instead. Its cheaper and more fun. Helicopter rides are cheaper in India
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Old 10th May 2014, 03:06   #23
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

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Jump off a plane instead. Its cheaper and more fun. Helicopter rides are cheaper in India
I should have been more specific.

I'm considering the helicopter tours at the Grand Canyon. Any experience with those?
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Old 10th May 2014, 03:54   #24
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
May I offer you suggestion -

LA to SFO through CA1 will be very long and tiring (~400 miles). Agree the drive is spectacular but with a speed limit of 35 mph is most of the places with winding roads you will be spending lot of time on the road. I'd suggest you dedicate 18th & 19th to drive from LA to SFO through CA1. En route you can see places such as Santa Barbara, Solvag, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Hearst Castle, Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica and reach SFO.
I feel two days is way too conservative. 400 miles is easily doable in a day with a lot of scenic pit stops. (10 to 11 hours drive). You just need to start early and not get caught in LA traffic. I5 can be nasty in the morning.

libranof1987,
I ride up the coast from San Diego to the Bay Area to visit my brother and friends quite often. ~500 miles - in 12 hours, regular freeway 405 and 101, all the way till (San Luis Obispo) SLO. Sometimes, I do Hwy1 all the way, and sometimes a mix of 101 and Hwy 1. There are many stretches with 65 speed limit. From SLO to Cambira it is pretty much 55mph all the way, 60mph on an empty stretch is safe even in front of patrol cars. Even between Monterrey and Carmel it is 55mph. Also there are long straight stretches by San Simeon that are 55mph and worthy of cruise control- with ocean on one side and lush green hills with California cows grazing, it is quite a drive. I must have done this drive/ride a dozen different times. I certainly recommend this drive to anyone visiting CA.

It is going to be a challenge/impossible to find a campsite unless you start looking 4 to 6 months early. People from all around the world come to camp near hwy 1 in the summer. There would be a ton of motels where you can crash at night.

Last edited by prasadee : 10th May 2014 at 03:56.
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Old 17th May 2014, 05:18   #25
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

We're currently in San Diego.. Boy, is it a beautiful town or what!

The wildfires have painted the sky black on one side though.

We'll be heading to Los Angeles tomorrow, spend a night there and leave for SF day after.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prasadee View Post
I feel two days is way too conservative. 400 miles is easily doable in a day with a lot of scenic pit stops. (10 to 11 hours drive). You just need to start early and not get caught in LA traffic. I5 can be nasty in the morning.
We'll be leaving on a Sunday; will an 8am start be fine?
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Old 18th May 2014, 11:38   #26
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

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We'll be leaving on a Sunday; will an 8am start be fine?
Should be just fine, weekends are a little light. Check live traffic conditions and pick the right route.
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Old 24th May 2014, 21:07   #27
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

Thank you, folks, for your suggestions. Our trip concluded a couple of days back and was fairly spectacular. Would we have wanted to see some more, of course. But, given the time that we had, I think we managed to do very well.

Here's how we eventually travelled:

Day 1: land in Phoenix around 11am; drive to Grand Canyon Village, reached around 5pm. We stayed right at the South Rim so the actual Rim was just 5 steps from our hotel. We spent that evening taking a short walk around the Rim.

Day 2: Grand Canyon Village- took the Desert View bus tour in the morning and the Sunset tour that evening.

Day 3: we'd decided the day we flew into Phoenix that we wanted to do the helicopter ride as well so that changed some plans. We took a 9am ride over the Canyon this day. Then drove towards Las Vegas. Spent a couple of hours at Hoover Dam, reached Vegas around 6pm. We stayed at the Strip; walked around for a few hours to see just a glimpse of the craziness that is Vegas!

Day 4: Started for San Diego around 10am, reached around 4pm.
Day 5: San Diego
Day 6: San Diego

Day 7: Left for Los Angeles; realized we didn't have enough time for LA so decided to spend half a day at Universal Studios (essentially didn't count LA).

Day 8: Left for San Francisco around 10am; took the exact route bsdbsd mentioned. CA1 is fabulous and we took numerous stops to savor the view. We reached Hayward around 8pm.

Day 9: San Francisco
Day 10: San Francisco

The only thing we missed in SF was Alcatraz because tickets were sold out for the entire time that we were in SF.

Day 11: fly back.

I'll hopefully write a TL in the next few weeks as I find time.
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Old 26th May 2014, 11:19   #28
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Default Re: Queries about a trip to the Grand Canyon & West Coast, USA

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Thank you, folks, for your suggestions. Our trip concluded a couple of days back and was fairly spectacular.
Congratulations on your successful trip! Good to see you had a great time. Yes, of course, we always feel we could have done much more, but I see that you have done the best given the time and circumstances. Looking forward for your travelogue. Let me know when it goes up.
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