16 days in California & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

16 days in California & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States vacation planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Drive
2
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive
4
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive
6
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Grand Canyon National Park
— 2 nights
Drive

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San Francisco

— 1 night

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Sat): snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, then stroll around Stinson Beach, then delve into the lush surroundings at Muir Woods National Monument, and finally step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island. Here are some ideas for day two: take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, immerse yourself in nature at Marin Headlands, then hike along Lands End, and finally take some stellar pictures from Twin Peaks.

To see photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco planning website.

Los Angeles to San Francisco is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Los Angeles in July; daily highs in San Francisco reach 26°C and lows reach 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips

Carmel

— 2 nights
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. On the 8th (Mon), kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, then kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls. Here are some ideas for day two: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For ratings, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, use the Carmel trip planning site.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Side Trips

San Simeon

— 1 night
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Wed): kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, then identify plant and animal life at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, and then step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle.

To find traveler tips, maps, photos, and tourist information, go to the San Simeon itinerary maker website.

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Simeon takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. When traveling from Carmel in July, plan for warmer days in San Simeon, with highs around 40°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Wildlife · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

— 2 nights

A Land of Giants

With mountain peaks reaching past 4,250 m (14,000 ft) and trees stretching to over 75 m (250 ft) high, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks present nature on a grand scale.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Thu): take in breathtaking views at Kings Canyon National Park, then delve into the lush surroundings at Giant Forest, and then hike along Moro Rock Trail. Keep things going the next day: hike along General Grant Tree Trail, admire all the interesting features of Generals Hwy, then contemplate the long history of General Sherman Tree, and finally trek along Congress Trail.

To see ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park travel itinerary planner.

Getting from San Simeon to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park by car takes about 5 hours. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park when traveling from San Simeon in July, with lows around 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) so you can go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Death Valley National Park

— 1 night

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Sat): stroll through Telescope Peak trail, then take some stellar pictures from Dante's View, then explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Artists Palette. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Sun): explore the striking landscape at Devil's Golf Course, then contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, then explore and take pictures at Artists Dr, and finally don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Death Valley National Park trip planner.

You can drive from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Death Valley National Park in 7 hours. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in July, Death Valley National Park is a bit warmer at night with lows of 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Yosemite National Park

— 3 nights
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Glacier Point and Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. Step out of the city life by going to Vernal Fall and El Capitan. And it doesn't end there: trek along Tuolumne Meadows, see what you can catch with a fishing tour, don't miss a visit to Pothole Dome, and explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome.

To see where to stay, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to Yosemite National Park in 4.5 hours. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Death Valley National Park in July: highs in Yosemite National Park hover around 33°C, while lows dip to 9°C. You will have some time to spend on the 18th (Thu) before leaving for Grand Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Wildlife

Grand Canyon National Park

— 2 nights
The size, shape, and color of Grand Canyon National Park combine to leave an impression on visitors as deep as the canyon itself.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Mather Point. On the 19th (Fri), take in breathtaking views at Inner Canyon, explore the stunning scenery at Yavapai Point, take some stellar pictures from Yaki Point, then trek along South Kaibab Trail, and finally get great views at Mather Point. On the next day, trek along Bright Angel Trail.

To see more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Grand Canyon National Park road trip planning site.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Grand Canyon National Park in 10.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Grand Canyon National Park, with lows of 13°C. On the 21st (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

California travel guide

4
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.