(of motorhome rental after previous one night hotel stay upon arrival)
Pick up your motorhome in Los Angeles then get yourself on to Route 101 and head north – you are on your way to stay at Santa Margarita Lake KOA, just under four hours away. They call the area around Santa Barbara “America’s Riviera” so their beaches & restaurants might make it a natural break on the way.
✪ 240 miles to Santa Margarita.
★Visit Chumash Painted Cave to see some of the very elaborate and colourful rock paintings that have survived for five hundred to a thousand years.
Day 2 & 3
Ready to get going towards San Francisco today? Please, be sure to stop at that well-known ‘Folly’, Hearst Castle, as you drive through San Simeon – 65 miles into your journey. Take time to enjoy amazing coastal scenery through the Big Sur and Pebble Beach; with maybe a stop at Carmel or Monterey.
Then cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge. You are heading for the Petaluma KOA, 34 miles north of that famous icon. A petting farm with cattle, sheep, donkeys, goats and peacocks enhances the ranch atmosphere at this campground. Summertime fun includes an inflatable water slide; bounce house and sunset hayrides – so plenty to do as well the option to take guided tours of San Francisco, which depart daily May through October. Enjoy a second night at Petaluma KOA.
✪ 250 miles to San Francisco KOA Petaluma
★ Visit Hearst Castle and stop at Carmel or Monterey. Take some pictures of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and enjoy the Slolife of laid back southern California.
Day 4 & 5
An early start is recommended today for the drive across California to the town of Midpines and the Yosemite/Mariposa KOA, the gateway to the first National Park of this trip – Yosemite.
Watch for the views across San Pablo Bay as you leave San Francisco. Stay at Yosemite KOA for two nights. Your campground is at the edge of the Park and you will enjoy a drive of just under an hour to the Park itself.
✪ 190 miles to Yosemite Mariposa KOA
★ Spend the day exploring the fascinating scenery including a visit to Bridal Veil, Yosemite Falls and, if you can the 2.5 mile hike to Inspiration Point then return to Yosemite KOA for your second night.
It will be quite a long day so an early start is recommended. The driving will hopefully be leisurely as you drive once more through Yosemite National Park before taking the southerly route through the Sierra National Forest to the town of Fresno and maybe an hour for lunch. Then take the winding, easterly route 198 to Sequoia National Forest, home to some of the world’s largest trees, and to one of the oldest cities in California, Visalia.
✪ 260 miles to KOA Visalia/Fresno
★ Take time to enjoy Sequoia and maybe climb Moro Rock for commanding views of the great western divide. Explore the giant forest of trees and witness the grandeur of General Sherman the biggest tree on earth!
Day 7 & 8
Heading for Las Vegas – and a two night stay at the Circus Circus KOA campground. It is almost a seven hour drive, mainly freeway, but worth it to get to the ‘fun capital’! NB: If you are travelling between September and June and can extend your journey, a route through Death Valley is really worthwhile, otherwise it will be a really long day. If you do extend your trip enjoy a night at Furnace Creek campground. The Koa next to Circus Circus is right on the Las Vegas Strip!
✪ 260 miles
★ Spend the day wandering the Strip and then enjoy one of the many world class acts or shows like Cirque du Soleil – any one is a fabulous choice. If time permits a visit to the Fremont Street experience is a must with free live entertainment and the amazing light show!
The third National Park of this tour is coming up today – it is in Utah and just three hours from Las Vegas. Like Yosemite and Sequoia, but very different, Zion National Park is spectacular. Just 30 miles northeast of Zion is your overnight stop, the Glendale KOA, set right in the middle of the natural wonders of Utah.
✪ 195 miles
★If you get a chance a hike up to Angels Landing is very worthwhile, another great way to tour Zion is on horseback with Canyon Trail Rides, this may well be the highlight of your trip, rides last 1 or 3 hours!
Not travelling far today, in fact only 43 miles in just under an hour, to the Cannonville/ Bryce Valley KOA located just about 12 miles from the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park. This Park is totally different again from the other three, so much not to be missed and we want you to have the opportunity to spend the day. Giant amphitheatres bristling with pink rock pinnacles that seem to glow at sunrise and sunset are the background to hundreds of back roads hiking and biking trails and guided horseback rides.
✪ 50 miles
★If you missed the horse ride trail in Zion then definitely try and do it in Bryce!
Leave around 8am and arrive at Flagstaff KOA in Arizona by 6pm – and this includes the time for a three or four hour trip on Lake Powell. This is a fabulous man-made lake on the Colorado River. If time permits extend your trip and stay overnight to include a trip to Antelope Canyon – a photographer’s dream!
✪ 285 miles
★We suggest you rent a speedboat and take it to the famous Rainbow Bridge National Monument, alternatively you can book a guided boat tour from Lake Powell Resort hotel.
Day 12 & 13
After your overnight, 7,000 feet above sea level, you will probably want to ride the nearby Skyride up to 11,500 feet for an overview of the Grand Canyon, Coconino National Forest and Flagstaff itself. There are hiking trails from the campsite or go south and visit Walnut Canyon and its ancient cliff dwellings carved in the walls.
Head west now, just 45 miles, to Williams KOA, the gateway to the Grand Canyon, where you are booked for two nights! You have three choices for going to the Grand Canyon. Take the hour’s drive so you have all the home comforts; join KOA’s van tour or arrive by rail on the Grand Canyon Railway. Your KOA hosts will help with reservations and taxi to the railway.
At the campground you can enjoy live Western music, hayrides, fun-bike rentals, mini-golf and horseback riding.
✪ 45 miles
★ If you get the chance book and take a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon (definitely not to be missed!) or maybe a jeep or rafting tour!
On the homeward road today but there is no need to rush away from Williams – so do spend the morning enjoying some of those activities they provide. The drive is 125 miles today – 82 of them on State Road 66, better known as the world-famous ‘Route 66’ – where we hope you’ll get some kicks!!Head for Kingman KOA and unwind in the huge pool, high in the desert surrounded by the Hualapai Mountains. Nearby you can see traces of the pioneer wagon ruts that still mark the Fort Beale Wagon Trail.
✪ 125 miles
★ A visit to the Route 66 Museum in Kingman is a must.
The next to last day is a long one but with three stops. Heading west, the first stop is another icon of the Colorado River – the world-famous Hoover Dam on the border of Arizona and Nevada. Stop a while and stare at this man-made wonder before heading into Boulder City, then go south and skirt the Providence Mountains before diverting to the Mojave National Preserve.
✪ 340 miles
★ Mojave National Preserve is the penultimate stop today, a desert solitude in Southern California, singing sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, and carpets of wildflowers are all found at this 1.6 million acre park. A visit to its canyons, mountains and mesas will reveal long abandoned mines, homesteads, and rock-walled military outposts.
150 miles to drive back to Los Angeles this morning – and it will take at least 3.5 hours…so it has to be an early start unless, of course, you have taken the ‘Early Bird’ option, in which case you don’t have to be back until 3pm… thank goodness!