Nth America road trip

So me, a mate and both our gfs are planning a Jan 14 o/s trip.

Plan is to fly into San Fran then hit Mammoth Mtn, Vegas, Park City and Jackson Hole then fly into Vancouver for Silverstar and Whistler.

Who has been to these mountains, would you recommend them or others in that area. Not sure if we are going to hire a car or buy one and then try and sell it at Jackson Hole.

Probably 5 days at each mountain.

 
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Mammoth is a long drive from San Fran, all of Lake Tahoe is pretty much on the way to Mammoth from San Fran.  Don’t be fooled by roads on maps across the range as a lot of these are closed in the winter months as they cross the Sierra Nevada range at high altitude, Sonora Pass is just below 3000m in altitude and Tioga is just over that.

Route 120 through Yosemite is definitely closed from end of November through till May.  Same goes for Route 108, I did manage to get through Route 88 to Tahoe just before Xmas last year with no dramas however it was a bit of a nightmare at night after driving from LA that morning, narrow winding road in deep forest at night and on the other side of the road, I was so happy when we got out of that and into Tahoe.

All of that is pointless if you’re not planning on driving obviously but not sure where you would fly into for Mammoth.  Mammoth is a big mountain, unfortunately for me the snow sucked when I was there but it has massive potential, I would like to go back and see it at it’s best.  You have a pretty big itinerary, I would hope you have at least 3 weeks to do that justice.

This is a AJ’s TR from his US trip

https://www.boardworld.com.au/forums/viewthread/4710/


And this is Deano’s, might give you some more info to go through, I have no idea where all my pics and words from my trip have disappeared to.

https://www.boardworld.com.au/forums/viewthread/4381/P30/

 
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If it is just that long, I’d probably try and rent one. Will be a cool drive from Utah up to Wyoming, I reckon!

sounds like a great trip!

 
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Yep 100% support what Nthn says about the roads in and around Nthn Cali!

I would fly into LAX instead and start your trip exactly as stated above.

I would just rent a car too - there are some good “long term” deals in the US - google is your friend!

 
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Just did a quick google

CA-120 closes during winter :-(

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Route_120

Doh Nthn said it was closed… Sorry I kinda skimed over his words cause i knew I agreed!

 
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One thing with the rental cars is they never quote the CA state rental car tax which basically doubles the cost.  I rented a Jeep Compass or something for 12 days from memory and was quoted at $395 or something and ended up having to pay about $750 or something. 

They have various levels of insurance, one level is compulsory in CA which is basically a tax but then there is other insurance levels, basically the excess in CA (not sure about other states) is not capped so you can end up being liable for the whole cost of the car so you need to take out some form of insurance or be very aware of what your travel insurance will cover.

There are big farken deer on the roads at times so it’s not really a chance you want to take.  Also as far as I’m aware no airline goes direct from Sydney to San Fran anymore, Qantas used to but not anymore, they all go through LAX.  Not sure about other states car rental but maybe seeing as you’re going to be entering through LAX and you need to take a hop flight somewhere maybe go to Utah or Colorado and rent a car from there.  The drive from LA to Tahoe is pretty damn boring, the drive from Tahoe to Mammoth was awesome though, amazing scenery and you drive past Mt Whitney, the highest peak in the contigious US.

Anything else mate just ask, my main tips would be don’t fly to San Fran to get to Mammoth unless you’re happy to go through Tahoe.  If you fly into LAX and drive out to Mammoth you can take a quick detour to Big Bear which is awesome. 

If you elect to fly into SLC UT you can drive West to Tahoe , check out Bonneville salt flats and then down to Mammoth.  From there through Death Valley across to Vegas and then back to SLC and fly out to Vancouver.  Get a flight direct from Vancouver to Sydney.

 
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I wouldn’t fly from US to Canada if you can help it. Cost a fortune to go over that border.

Fly to Seattle and drive up from there.

 
nthnbeachesguy - 04 October 2012 12:58 AM

All of that is pointless if you’re not planning on driving obviously but not sure where you would fly into for Mammoth.  Mammoth is a big mountain, unfortunately for me the snow sucked when I was there but it has massive potential, I would like to go back and see it at it’s best.  You have a pretty big itinerary, I would hope you have at least 3 weeks to do that justice.

This is a AJ’s TR from his US trip

https://www.boardworld.com.au/forums/viewthread/4710/


And this is Deano’s, might give you some more info to go through, I have no idea where all my pics and words from my trip have disappeared to.

https://www.boardworld.com.au/forums/viewthread/4381/P30/

I will have between 5 - 10 weeks annual leave to complete the trip in…

Will likely be about 4-5 weeks though as my mates gf is a teacher.

 
ozgirl - 04 October 2012 03:28 AM

I wouldn’t fly from US to Canada if you can help it. Cost a fortune to go over that border.

Fly to Seattle and drive up from there.

What if we went Canada to US? I thought about the Seattle to Vancouver drive. Not sure on car rentals for across the border though.

 
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Flying across the border in either direction is expensive.

Car rental is fine - My parents rented a car from Seattle to drive to Banff to visit me we returned it to Seattle as well.

I also rented a car a couple of times to drive across the border to Wyoming.

 
nthnbeachesguy - 04 October 2012 03:20 AM

One thing with the rental cars is they never quote the CA state rental car tax which basically doubles the cost.  I rented a Jeep Compass or something for 12 days from memory and was quoted at $395 or something and ended up having to pay about $750 or something. 

They have various levels of insurance, one level is compulsory in CA which is basically a tax but then there is other insurance levels, basically the excess in CA (not sure about other states) is not capped so you can end up being liable for the whole cost of the car so you need to take out some form of insurance or be very aware of what your travel insurance will cover.

There are big farken deer on the roads at times so it’s not really a chance you want to take.  Also as far as I’m aware no airline goes direct from Sydney to San Fran anymore, Qantas used to but not anymore, they all go through LAX.  Not sure about other states car rental but maybe seeing as you’re going to be entering through LAX and you need to take a hop flight somewhere maybe go to Utah or Colorado and rent a car from there.  The drive from LA to Tahoe is pretty damn boring, the drive from Tahoe to Mammoth was awesome though, amazing scenery and you drive past Mt Whitney, the highest peak in the contigious US.

Anything else mate just ask, my main tips would be don’t fly to San Fran to get to Mammoth unless you’re happy to go through Tahoe.  If you fly into LAX and drive out to Mammoth you can take a quick detour to Big Bear which is awesome. 

If you elect to fly into SLC UT you can drive West to Tahoe , check out Bonneville salt flats and then down to Mammoth.  From there through Death Valley across to Vegas and then back to SLC and fly out to Vancouver.  Get a flight direct from Vancouver to Sydney.

I don’t mind driving plus I love seeing new shit so all the drives really interest me. Just trying to work out the easiest, most cost effective ways to go about the trip. Also need to bear in mind that the gf’s might not be as keen on some of this either. We would need to hire a 4WD im guessing down the the weather conditions on some of those roads/mountains.

I noticed that you can fly direct into MM from both San Fran and LA.

Another option was to route the Vancouver flight via San Fran/LAX and then do the drives from SF/LAX as an extended layover

 
ozgirl - 04 October 2012 03:36 AM

Flying across the border in either direction is expensive.

Car rental is fine - My parents rented a car from Seattle to drive to Banff to visit me we returned it to Seattle as well.

I also rented a car a couple of times to drive across the border to Wyoming.

See my reply to Nthn re: using our flights to Vancouver and a layover extension from LA/SF. Could be a cheap option.

How much was the car rental?

 
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Northern Lights - 04 October 2012 03:37 AM

Also need to bear in mind that the gf’s might not be as keen on some of this either.

Leave em at home then (or better yet get new gf’s!)

 
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Northern Lights - 04 October 2012 03:40 AM
ozgirl - 04 October 2012 03:36 AM

Flying across the border in either direction is expensive.

Car rental is fine - My parents rented a car from Seattle to drive to Banff to visit me we returned it to Seattle as well.

I also rented a car a couple of times to drive across the border to Wyoming.

See my reply to Nthn re: using our flights to Vancouver and a layover extension from LA/SF. Could be a cheap option.

How much was the car rental?

Yeah it could be - look into it.

Could not tell you how much the car was - it was a long time ago!

 
ozgirl - 04 October 2012 03:40 AM
Northern Lights - 04 October 2012 03:37 AM

Also need to bear in mind that the gf’s might not be as keen on some of this either.

Leave em at home then (or better yet get new gf’s!)

Haha, nah the are actually pretty sweet with everything. Just depends on how bad some of these drives will be.

 
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If thats all you are worried about - don’t be. The drives wont be that crazy! Especially if you don’t go on road that are meant to be closed!