STEPHANIE’S ROAD TRIP
CALIFORNIA-UTAH-NEVADA-ARIZONA

20 NIGHTS/13 STOPS 

 

Exploring the West Through Iconic Destinations!

Discover Stephanie’s travel profile and all her favorite trip itineraries.
My husband Frank and I, along with our children Emma (14), Elliot (11), and Lola (8), created this itinerary for a family vacation. Our goal was to discover different parts of the American West (National Parks, cities, locals). We decided to do this by traveling through several iconic destinations: San Francisco, Death Valley, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and California. We rented a car and chose a variety of accommodations. We rented a houseboat and stayed in different motels, bungalows, hotels, and even spent a night in a Hogan. It was trip full of different experiences, places and activities. Each day was unique!
Photo @stephaniedecocker ©
NEW YORK – SAN FRANCISCO 
LOS ANGELES – NEW YORK
5 hours direct flight
$550
 
CAR RENTAL
2000 Miles  in 20 days
55 hours on the road
13 stops
AVERAGE BUDGET PER PERSON
TOTAL: $1360 / pp excl food and activities
 $ 500 / pp for 18 nights 
$310  /pp for car rental and taxi
 $550 for flight ticket
VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES & ICONIC PLACES

Sleeping on a barge in Sausalito
Spending the night in teepee tent
Horse walk in Monument valley
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Lodging and activities
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In a snapshot

In a snapshot

1GrnCircleAIRPORT TO
SAN FRANCISCO
 
 15 km / 20 min
SAN FRANCISCO

SAN FRANCISCO

BAY & CITY
3 NIGHTS

SAN FRANCISCO TO
BRIDGEPORT
 
315 miles / 7h
BRIDGEPORT

BRIDGEPORT

STOPOVER
1 NIGHT
  • We stayed in a cabin at the Virginia Creek settlement . This place was perfect for a stop on our way to Yosemite Park. It’s a typical American motel with a choice of tent cabins, motel rooms, or cabins.
  •  
    On our way from San Francisco, we stopped in Sacramento and wandered around the old town of California’s capital. We had a nice lunch.
     
    In the afternoon, we stopped in Lake Tahoe, where California and Nevada meet, and continued on to Bridgeport. It’s a one-day drive with 2 beautiful stops.

BRIDGEPORT TO
MIDPINES
 
124 miles / 2h40
MIDPINES

MIDPINES

MOUNTAIN
2 NIGHTS

MIDPINES TO
LONE PINE
 
220 miles / 4h20
LONEPINE

LONEPINE

STOPOVER
1 NIGHT
  • We stayed at the Trails Motel . A very basic and typical American motel no our way from Yosemite to Las Vegas. It’s a perfect motel for one night.
  •  Consider stopping for lunch in the typical American town of Stovepipe Wells Village before you enter Death Valley.

LONE PINE TO
DEATH VALLEY
 
80 miles / 1h30
DEATH VALLEY

DEATH VALLEY

DESERT & HEAT
1 NIGHT
  • We stayed at Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National park. There is a swimming pool which is refreshing after a long drive in the hot and dry climate.
  •  
    Mosaic canyon and Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Artist’s Drive. The start of it is about 14 miles south of the Furnace Creek Resort. It is a one-way (counter-clockwise) road that meanders through some great landscape formations
     
    Badwater: Stop here, find the marker of rocks behind parking area, and take note of how far you are below sea level. Take a stroll out onto the salt pan.

    For all hikes and walks in Death Valley, make sure to take a sun hat, even in the winter
     
    Zabriskie Point at sunset (we brought pizzas for dinner). Get there before sunrise and see all of the colors come alive in the sunrays. Come early and you will have the place to yourself to enjoy the beauty in peace.

DEATH VALLEY TO
LAS VEGAS
 
88 miles / 2h
LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS

FUN
1 NIGHT

LAS VEGAS TO
BRYCE CANYON
 
250 miles / 4h20
BRYCE CANYON

BRYCE CANYON

RED SCENERY
2 NIGHTS
  • We stayed at Red Canyon campground, a great site for outdoor recreation, set among a stunning backdrop. It’s a perfect base for mountain biking and hiking, if you want to add a few more days.
  •  
    There are several spectacular views all along the road as you enter the park. Tour in “Hoodoos” – ask for them at the Visitor Center.  Awesome!

BRYCE CANYON TO
LAKE POWELL
 
100 miles / 1h50
LAKE POWELL

LAKE POWELL

HORSESHOE
1 NIGHT

LAKE POWELL TO
MONUMENT VALLEY
 
100 miles / 1h50
MONUMENT VALLEY

MONUMENT VALLEY

SCENERY
1 NIGHT

MONUMENT VALLEY TO 
GRAND CANYON
 
100 miles / 1h45
GRAND CANYON

GRAND CANYON

A MUST DO!
1 NIGHT

GRAND CANYON TO 
WILLIAMS
 
58 miles / 1h
WILLIAMS

WILLIAMS

ROAD 66
1 NIGHT

WILLIAMS TO 
SAN DIEGO
 
500 miles / 8 h
SAN DIEGO

SAN DIEGO

ROAD 66
SEASIDE

SAN DIEGO TO
LOS ANGELES
 
110 miles / 3h
LOS ANGELES

LOS ANGELES

ATTRACTION PARKS

GOOD TO KNOW

 
– We rented a large, 7-seater car.

– It was comfortable and spacious and worked well for our long road trip. 

– The roads were in good condition all along the west coast and we felt comfortable driving there, as drivers tended to follow road rules and were courteous.