13 days in California & Montana Itinerary

13 days in California & Montana Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in California & Montana Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Fly + taxi:  5​h 15​min
2
Glacier National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h 30​min
3
West Yellowstone
— 1 day
Fly + bus:  8​h 45​min
4
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
5
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
6
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
7
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
End: San Francisco

1
night
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Thu): explore the striking landscape of Muir Woods National Monument, then take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, and then explore and take pictures at Alcatraz Island. On the next day, get great views at Twin Peaks, then wander the streets of SoMa, and then take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf.

For reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the San Francisco journey planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from your home destination to San Francisco. In August in San Francisco, expect temperatures between 73°F during the day and 59°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can travel to Glacier National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Neighborhoods Nature Parks

Side Trip

Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Twin Peaks ©
Twin Peaks

2
nights
Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park ©
The glaciers from which Glacier National Park takes its name mostly dissipated eons ago, but they left behind a scoured landscape of high and steep mountain peaks, sparkling lakes, lush alpine meadows, and thick forests.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Going-to-the-Sun Road and Grinnell Lake Trail. Get in touch with nature at Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and Logan Pass. The adventure continues: take in the dramatic natural features at Grinnell Glacier, admire the sheer force of Virginia Falls, and hike along Highline Trail.

Plan a Glacier National Park trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from San Francisco to Glacier National Park takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is 1 hour. When traveling from San Francisco in August, plan for somewhat warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Glacier National Park: temperatures range from 83°F by day to 48°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can drive to West Yellowstone.

Things to do in Glacier National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Going-to-the-Sun Road ©
Going-to-the-Sun Road
Logan Pass ©
Logan Pass

1
day
West Yellowstone

West Yellowstone ©
The town of West Yellowstone has served as a gateway to Yellowstone National Park since the early 1900s.
On the 6th (Tue), cast your line with a fishing tour, identify plant and animal life at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, and then get to know the fascinating history of Yellowstone Historic Center.

To find maps, ratings, and tourist information, read West Yellowstone road trip site .

Traveling by car from Glacier National Park to West Yellowstone takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and shuttle. Traveling from Glacier National Park in August, expect West Yellowstone to be slightly colder, temps between 75°F and 37°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in West Yellowstone

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center ©
Fishing Charters & Tours
Yellowstone Historic Center ©
Yellowstone Historic Center

1
night
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Wed): take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point, get great views at Dante's View, and then make a trip to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. On the 8th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, then cruise along Artists Dr, and then steep yourself in history at Eureka Mine.

For other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, use the Death Valley National Park trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from West Yellowstone to Death Valley National Park in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 1 hour. Traveling from West Yellowstone in August, things will get much warmer in Death Valley National Park: highs are around 98°F and lows about 70°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr

1
night
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
When you arrive in tiny San Simeon, which lies halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, you can see why William Randolph Hearst chose this coastal locale for his famous hilltop castle.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Fri): step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, then cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Sat): enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station, look for all kinds of wild species at Piedras Blancas, and then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by car from Death Valley National Park to San Simeon takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and train; or take a bus. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in August, expect little chillier with lows of 55°F in San Simeon. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

1
night
Carmel

Carmel ©
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply called Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and then take in the pleasant sights at Ocean Avenue.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Carmel trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Expect cooler weather when traveling from San Simeon in August: highs in Carmel hover around 70°F, while lows dip to 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Ocean Avenue ©
Ocean Avenue

2
nights
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park ©
Massive granite mountains, towering waterfalls, groves of Giant Sequoia trees, and wilderness as far as the eye can see distinguish the landscape of Yosemite National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Mon): take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, get great views at Tunnel View, then take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, and finally make a trip to Olmsted Point. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Tue): stroll through Lembert Dome and then trek along Tuolumne Meadows.

For ratings, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park sightseeing planner .

Getting from Carmel to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. Traveling from Carmel in August, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be slightly colder, around 43°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 81°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Tunnel View ©
Tunnel View

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