Travel Report Westcoast USA (Sept 2019)

Music in our Travel Report Westcoast USA video by Lost Highway from FRAMETRAXX Gemafreie Musik

What could a 20 day photo trip on the westcoast of the USA look like?

Our Travel Report Westcoast USA summarizes our photo trip from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park and further over Death Valley to the Valley of Fire. We have chosen the following route:

1. Day: Munich -> Los Angeles -> Santa Monica (Courtyard Marriott Santa Monica)

2. Day: Santa Monica

3.Day: Santa Monica -> Visalia (Fairfield Inn Visalia Sequoia)

4.Day: Visalia -> Sequoia National Park -> Kings Canyon -> Fresno (Springhill Suites by Marriott Fresno)

5.Day: Fresno -> Yosemite National Park (Tenaya Lodge)

6.Day: Yosemite National Park (Best Western Plus Oakhurst)

7.Day: Yosemite National Park -> Mammoth Lakes (The Westin Monarch Resort)

8.Day: Mamoth Lakes -> Bodie (Ghost Town) ->Mono Lake -> Mammoth Lakes

9.Day: Mammoth Lakes

10.Day: Mammoth Lakes

11.Day: Mammoth Lakes -> Lone Pine -> Alabama Hills (Best Western Lone Pine)

12.Day: Lone Pine -> Furnace Creek / Death Valley (The Inn at Death Valley)

13.Day: Furnace Creek -> Las Vegas Lakes (The Westin Las Vegas Lakes)

14.Day: Las Vegas Lakes -> Valley of Fire -> Las Vegas Lakes

15.Day: Las Vegas Lakes -> Joshua Tree National Park -> Palm Springs (Renaissance Hotel Palm Springs)

16.Day: Palm Springs

17.Day: Palm Springs -> Santa Monica (JW Marriott Le Merigot)

18.-19.Day: Santa Monica

20.Day: Santa Monica -> Munich

Where is Yosemite National Park?

Where are the Valley of Fire, Sequioa, Kings Canyon and all the other national parks and cities and how do you drive best? You can find out all this in our Travel Report  Westcoast USA.

What one should absolutely think of when travelling to the westcoast of the USA:

Local currency: US dollar. Take as small USD notes as possible with you for tips. Money can easily be withdrawn at any ATM. Otherwise credit card payment works everywhere without problems.

Vaccinations: Coming from Germany, no vaccinations are required. However, the standard vaccinations are recommended, see suggestions from the Federal Foreign Office.

Luggage: The photo equipment should definitely be taken on board, therefore pay attention to cabin luggage mass (!) Otherwise it does any kind of suitcase or bag.

Clothing: Actually nothing special here for the clothing, but since we wanted to “hike”, we took functional clothing, a rainproof jacket and sturdy gym and hiking shoes. In the malls it can become sensitively cool due to the air conditioning systems, so also think about it.

Important documents next to the passport

Visa: As a German citizen you don’t need a visa, but you need the ESTA, which should be applied for at least 72 hours before departure (!)

Driving license: In the USA the German driving license is normally sufficient. if you want to be on the safe side, you should also have an international driving license.

Credit cards: In America you pay by credit card and if you want to rent a car you need one.

Do I need a rental car for the tour? Can I drive myself?

The answer is clear: YES and why you find out in the following Travel Report Westcoast USA. You should also take a really comfortable rental car as you will spend many hours and miles in it. Since some roads are “off-road”, a 4×4 is also an advantage, but not a must.

The choice is huge and the quality is the same with almost all providers. The big worshipers have the advantage to have more stations if you need help. In Santa Monica it is best to park your car in a public garage and change to a bicycle or scooter. It works here for both without any problems.

The rental car should be fully insured from Germany, without deductible, then you do not need to worry on the spot. One more tip: parking tickets for wrong parking can usually be ignored, they are not pursued. The situation is different for driving too fast. You should pay for these if you don’t want to have any problems with your next entry.

Where to spend the night? Accomodation

There is a huge selection of hotels and accommodations in America. Hotels range from very cheap (motel) to 5-star hotels, so there is something for every budget. It is important to keep in mind that the prices of Mo-Thu are lower than those of Thu-Sun. This is especially noticeable in the big cities, where the prices are often 2-3 times as high. This rule also applies around the national parks and you should make sure that you include it in your route planning. Furthermore – especially in the season – you should book popular destinations like Yosemite and Death Valely in advance, as the number of nearby hotels and room availability is very low and the prices are extremely high.

Detailed travel report West Coast USA and National Parks:

Day 1: From Munich we fly directly to Los Angeles. After 11,5h flight, we spend another 90min at the border entry, which is new, but illogical. First you have to scan your passport by yourself, take fingerprints and photos, to get a receipt, with which you have to go to an official again. This way you queue up 2 times and it doesn’t get any faster.

We take the shuttle bus to the rental car staton, as always and here (Dollar-rent-a-car) it goes fast, so that we drive with our GMC Yukon already after 30min from the yard and direction Santa Monica. Thanks to Apple Car Play we can drive without getting lost.

Shortly before Santa Monica a warning light shows that oil is missing. Why should everything work out?

In case of problems with the rental car, it is best to drive directly back to the rental station.

Day 2: After a call to the Dollar Hotline they tell us that we should go to an “Authorized Dealer” to have oil refilled. My friend Daniel, who lives in the USA, tells me that this is every Chevrolet or GMC dealer. So we go to the first GMC dealer, but he has no oil. We have to wait at least 45 minutes for the second one and we don’t have a really good feeling that they know what they’re talking about. So we drive back to the airport and change the car. In retrospect we should have done it right away, then we would have saved 2 hours of time.

We take a Chevrolet Tahoe, actually exactly the same car, only a different make on it. It drives much better and is also newer. We continue to the most beautiful shopping center in L.A., “The Grove”. Then over Rodeo Drive and Sunset Boulevard, back to Santa Monica.

UBER is too expensive for rental bikes and on the beach of Santa Monica all "electric" means of transportation are forbidden.

For the afternoon we want to rent bicycles and drive along the beach to Venice Beach. You can choose between “Hulu” bikes for which you need the Breeze app, Jump electric bikes (Uber) and Metro bikes for which you need a PIN code via SMS. Alternatively you can rent the classic version directly at the beach.

The cheapest option is Metro Bikes, because we don’t get a PIN code via SMS (probably doesn’t work on German mobile phones). You can’t find the Hulu Bike App in the German App Store, so it’s out. Remains Uber. After installing the app there are two “Surprises”. First, the minute costs 30cent, which is 18 Euro an hour, which is extremely expensive, and second, you can’t ride electric bikes on the beach. So we give the bikes back after 15min, walk the last meters to the beach and rent 2 bikes for 10$/hour.

After the bike tour we go to a beach bar for a nice cold beer. The beach bar is located directly to the left of Hot Dog on a Stick at the pier exit and is a small hotspot at the beach of Santa Monica.

In the evening we go to Thai Dishes on Broadway. Very recommendable, in contrast to the new Cheesecake Factory, which offers bad food and even worse service. If you just emphasize “Cheesecake” in German, that’s the best thing and unfortunately we’re still not over the fact that an excellent Asia-Fusion restaurant had to make way for this lousy shop, an insider tip for years.

Santa Monica is absolutely perfect for cycling, walking or jogging.

Day 3: The day begins with a run from the hotel to the pier, and along the beach, then across the famous “belly leg Po-Stairs” of Santa Monica and back to the hotel. Here the route: 8,2km.

To Malibu for breakfast and to the Tejon Outlet Center for shopping

From Santa Monica we take the famous route 1 to Malibu. Here we have breakfast at the Farmers Market. A real insider tip. Then we stock up with water and a few snacks at the Whole Foods Market opposite and make our way to Visalia, our destination today.

On the way we pass the Tejon Ranch, the largest private land property in the USA and shortly behind it lies a really recommendable outlet paradise. (Outlets at Tejon).

Shortly after Bakersfield, we see a Panda Express and have lunch there. For fast food there is hardly anything better on the way.

In the evening we reach Visalia and are amazed about this beautiful little town with about 100.000 inhabitants. The ideal starting point for a trip into the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Day 4: Since it is Sunday and we assume that there will be many visitors in the park today, therefore we start after breakfast at 7 am. From Visalia it takes about 50min to the park entrance. We decide to take the annual pass for 80USD, with which you can visit practically all NPs in the USA.

Although I have been to Sequoia Park before, I am still fascinated by its beauty. Highlights are Moro Rock (this short trail one you simply have to walk), the Grand Sherman Tree (one can walk easily from the 2nd parking lot and of course the drive through the park itself). The size and beauty of these thousands of years old trees is indescribable.

Following the “180” the Sequoia merges into the Kings Canyon and you can take the short way from the Visitor Center to the Giant Tree and then continue towards Fresno, or really drive to the end, which takes about 2 hours there and back without stopping.

We decided to turn after the first magnificent viewpoints (after about half of the way).

From Kings Canyon to Fresno it takes about 50 minutes. Fresno itself is a big city with great shopping and eating facilities. We were positively surprised.

From Fresno via Mariposa to Yosemite National Park

Day 5: We continue from Fresno to Yosemite NP. The travel time to the Visitorcenter is about 1,5h, provided there are no traffic jams or construction sites like us.

We don’t take the direct way but the one via Mariposa and then the 140 into the park. The way is longer, but better to drive and therefore temporally equally fast. The landscape is also very attractive. In the park we drive first to the Bridevail Falls. The last part one has to walk and then one has a spectacular view, even if the waterfall in September does not have much water anymore.
Many tourists climb up over the smooth polished marble blocks and at least half of them lay down at least once long and neatly.

El Capitan and Cathedral Beach

Afterwards we continue to El Capitan and at the Cathedral Beach we have a picnic break. A wonderful place with a great view and a small river.

Half Dome, Curry Village and Tenaya Lodge

Let’s go on to the Half Dome. The parking lot is “Curry Village” and from there it goes on only on foot or with the bus. We want to walk the trail tomorrow and decide to go to our next accommodation in Fish Camp.

On the way there is another highlight (which is constantly overcrowded), the Tunnel View. It is a vantage point directly behind the tunnel (on the 41 coming from Fresno), which offers a spectacular view into the Yosemite Valley.

The ride goes over the mountains and another 50km through the park. The landscape is much less charming than the way over the 140th mountain.
We spend the night in the Tenaya Lodge. It feels a bit older than it used to be. The rooms are rather Motel Standard and the very high overnight price is not adequate. However, the pool area and the garden are very nice, where we relax and let the day end.

The dinner is necessarily taken in the hotel (there is nothing else) and unfortunately this is also not appropriate to the price. We are glad to have booked only 1 night.

Hike to Mirror Lake

Day 6: After breakfast (buffet, 20,- USD per person, but OK) we leave. The journey via 41 takes about an hour from the park entrance. Our destination is Curry Village, where we park the car and want to walk the 8km Mirror Lake Trail, which is highly recommended. In September there is not much over from the lake.

The views to the Half Dome are indescribable. The 8km became 13km at the end and it took about 4h with breaks.

Don't miss the Glacier Point, the real Highlight of the Park

Back at the car we continue to Glacier Point, another hour drive. If you don’t have much time in Yosemite, you should only do Glacier Point. You will never forget this sight again. There is no other point from which one has such a good view into the Yosemite Valley.

Oakhurst is a good overnight alternative at Yosemite National Park

As we leave Glacier Point towards Fresno, it slowly gets dark and you should see to it that you come out of the park, as the roads are not really fun in total darkness.

Another hour later we reach the Best Western in Oakhurst. We can recommend this to everyone. It costs about half of the Tenaya Lodge and is not a resort. But the price-performance ratio is right here.

Take Tioga Pass to cross through Yosemite National Park

Day 7: We leave Oakhurst and drive towards Yosemite, but again via Mariposa on Route 49 and from Mariposa on Route 140, as already 2 days before, as this is much more beautiful and used by fewer people at the same time. Behind the park entrance we turn onto the 120, the Tioga Pass.

This pass is only passable from May to October, as one climbs to over 2500m. The stops are especially in the 2nd part of the route indescribably beautiful. At Olmstedt Point we stop for the first time. Here we have to walk the short trail (steps down at the viewpoint) and don’t stay at the viewpoint like everybody else. The view to the Yosemite Valley is spectacular.

Tenaya Lake, Lambert Dome and Mammoth Lakes

Next stop is at Tenaya Lake for a little rest. You can also “walk around” the lake, about 5km.

From Tenaya Lake we continue to Lambert Dome Picnic Place. From here we walk the 5km circular trail. It’s not long, but it has some good gradients. If you still have energy, you can even climb the Lambert Dome, the tour was enough for us.

Afterwards it is time to start. About 1h drive to Mammoth Lakes is still ahead of us. The route over the 395 is scenically very beautiful and at nightfall we reach our destination, the Westin Monarch Resort in Mammoth Lakes. It offers a laundry possibility, which we like to use and in the meantime we go to the “Burgers” around the corner for something to eat. Home-brewed beer and first-class burgers round off the day.

Bodie, Ghosttown

Day 8: Today we go to the ghost town Bodie, which is located about 1h north of Mammoth Lakes and can be reached via the 395 and 270. The last 3 miles are Gravel Road but passable without any problems. No matter what some criticize on Tripadvisor, this ghost town is worth a visit. One gets a very good impression of how it was 100 years ago and is also amazed what luxury there was in this wasteland at that time.

Bodie lies very lonely at over 2000m altitude. In his weddings (gold rush) between 1870 and 1880 lived there 8-10.000 inhabitants. Today only 5% of the buildings are preserved and it is fun to walk around because everything is still the same as the inhabitants left it. One lets Bodie practical “decay”.

Mono Lake

Then we continue to Mono Lake. But you drive on the 395 again to the south. In Lee Vining we make a stop for lunch and can only recommend the cafe of the Lake View Lodge. Very good food in an enchanting garden.

Then we continue on the 395 until the exit 120 East. Follow this until you reach a long bend and the Mono Lake exit. You can also visit the Visitor Center Mono Lake in Lee Vining.

At the parking lot of Mono Lake you have to pay the parking fee (3,- USD per person) and then you can walk the trail to the lake. The rock formations look incredible together with the sky. Interesting are also the alkali flies, which there are millions here and which breed in the salt water of the lake. Their larvae were a main source of food for the Pajute Indians.

Horseshoe Lake and Beertasting

Day 9: Today we explore the lakes that gave Mammoth Lakes its name. We get off at Horseshoe Lake and make a short circumnavigation (about 4km). Afterwards we go to the brewery and do a Beertasting “Seasonal”. For 16 USD a bit expensive and 3 of the beers really take getting used to, but the food is good.

Mountainbike Eldorado Mammoth Lakes

Day 10: We rent bikes at the “Adventure Center” Mountain Bikes. 62 USD per bike with helmet and insurance and another 55 USD per person for the Mountain Pass (gondola pass to get to the mountain). We start with the easy Discovery Trail. It’s a lot of fun, but at descent no.3 I get the metal pedals fully against the shinbone and have a good laceration. So I go back into the store and borrow shin protectors additionally. Another 33 USD for 2 persons.

Afterwards we go up the mountain, where we get off at the middle station (about 2500m high). We take the “Beach Comber” descent, which is considered easy (but we ask ourselves after a short time for whom exactly?).

The descent takes about 1.5 hours and the deeper you get, the better the paths become again. Back at the Adventure Center we decide not to challenge our luck any further and to avoid further injuries. I let my leg be tapped again and then we go for lunch on the “Bavarian Alm”, or at least what the AMericans think it is (currywurst with Cheddar cheese?).

The rest of the day we spend at the heated hotel pool, where I scrap the display of my iPad Air2 in a careless moment. Somehow not my lucky day.

For dinner we drive to the restaurant “Mogul”. You can hardly eat better, the “technical” highlight of the trip and our absolute restaurant recommendation in Mammoth Lakes!

Alabama Hills

Day 11: Today we drive to Lone Pine, about 1,5h drive from Mammoth Lakes.

Lone Pine is the access point to the Alabama Hills, which are known for their western movie past. The weddings were certainly between 1920 and 1970, but even today Western movies like Django unchained or Ironman are shot here. A visit to the film museum is definitely worthwhile and the 5 USD donation for the entrance fee is gladly given.

After an hour, you could see everything. From the museum you can have dinner in one of the numerous restaurants or drive directly to the Alabama Hills. The advantage of visiting the museum is that you get a map with locations. Otherwise, one would drive through the Hills and not understand anything, as no filming location is signposted. The map is not good, but you will find everything at the end.

Besides the locations, the Heart Arch is a highlight, a rock with a heart-shaped hole and several smaller arches.

For overnight stays we recommend the Best Western Plus, best to book directly via the website, as it does not appear on the usual booking pages. For dinner we went to the Totem Café. It was OK, but we wouldn’t choose it again.

Directions to Furnace Creek in Death Valley

Day 12: Due to the expected high temperatures we start early towards Death Valley. About 2 hours drive ahead of us.

The first stop is the sand dunes at Mesquite. Outside it is 40 degrees and so we leave the car only for a short time. In addition, we caught a day with an extreme, almost stormlike wind.

After that we continue for about half an hour to Furnace Creek. At the Visitor Center you can get all necessary information. The Annual Pass for the National Parks is also valid here.

We continue in the direction of Badwater. On the way we stop at the Gold Canyon (you can save yourself), at Devil’s Golf Course (definitely do it),

at the Natural Bridge (about 15min one way walk from the parking lot), also very nice

and finally in Badwater, the -85,5m deepest point of the USA. Here a wind blows, similar to a hot hair dryer with full force from a distance of 30cm into the face. Also here we can’t stand it very long outside.

On the way back we turn into the Artist Loop and stop at the parking lot to walk up a hill. On the way we are blown away by the wind in the truest sense of the word. This is almost hurricane force and many give up. We only stay for a short time and drive on. Only now we notice that the first parking lot is actually the wrong one and one only follows the herd instinct. The actual parking lot comes 2 miles later and you can drive past the first one.
Drive the Artist Loop in any case, as it is a beautiful scenic route.

The Inn at Death Valley - expensive but a priceless experience

At the end we get out at Furnace Creek where we check into our hotel, “The Inn at Death Valley”.

The hotel was built in 1928 and is a traditional house. In 2017/18 it has been extensively renovated. The rooms are small but ok, very English in style.

The highlight is the heated pool and the elaborately designed garden. Originally the house was run by the Borax Company, today it belongs to the Xanterra Travel Collection Group.

We found the stay overall very pleasant and spend the afternoon in a Pooloase in the middle of the desert that is already almost priceless. Which brings us to the biggest point of criticism.

The only possibilities for accomodation in the Valley in Furnace Creek all belong to the same hotel group and the prices are correspondingly high, even for the campsite.

The hotel never charges less than 300,- Euro per night and in addition there is dinner (even with the cheapest dishes not less than 100,- € for 2 persons and breakfast, from 20,- € p.P.).

Thus no favorable overnight accomodation. In our opinion all prices are about 1/3 too high. At the same time the house has no problems to fill its 88 rooms and if you want to eat in the restaurant in the evening, you have to reserve a table in the afternoon. The hope that prices will fall can therefore be buried.

Our conclusion: Close your eyes and go! Once, one should treat oneself to an overnight stay in the valley and look away from the peppered prices. The night in the Valley of Death is an experience in itself and no place is closer than Furnace Creek.

The Ranch, the sister hotel, OK for breakfast and an interesting steakhouse

Day 13: There is hardly anything more beautiful and impressive than to start the day in the hotel’s beautiful heated pool and enjoy the sunrise. The silence in Death Valley is fascinating.

Afterwards we make a detour to the “Ranch”, the sister hotel, where we test the breakfast buffet. All in all we are happy not to have stayed here overnight. The additional price for the Inn is justified in comparison. But the steakhouse is very nice, which you should have a look at alone for the photos.

Afterwards we drive again the Artist Loop, which unfolds its full splendour in the sunlight.

At Zabriski Point, our next stop – we enjoy the fantastic view. On our return we meet real crowds of people, as the coaches from Las Vegas arrive at 11 o’clock. For this reason 2 tips, a) better use the toilets at the next parking lot if you can’t hold your breath for 120sec and b) be there before 10:30am if you want to be undisturbed and photograph Zabriski Point without people.

Then we continue in the direction of Las Vegas. The 2,5h drive is monotonous.

In Las Vegas we stop at the new Apple Store in Townsquare, in the south of Las Vegas and have my iPad display repaired, which doesn’t take 30min. Then we go to the Panda Express at the south entrance of Las Vegas, which we know for many years and which has a certain tradition for us. Good fast food!

The Westin Lake Las Vegas at Henderson

This time we don’t spend the night in Las Vegas directly (too loud, too bustling), but in the Westin Lake Las Vegas, shortly after Henderson at an idyllic lake in absolute peace. But before we go there, we go up and down the strip out of interest and wonder how much has changed in the last 4 years. This city really looks different every time. We are happy to be far away from the hustle and bustle in the evening and enjoy the quiet location.

Valley of Fire and Fire Wave

14th day: Today we drive into the Valley of Fire, which is located about 1h15min northeast of Las Vegas. Since we have the Annual Park Pass, we choose the way through the Lake Meat National Park, which is free for us. All others should take the I15.

The Valley of Fire costs 10,- USD entrance fee per car. In the Visitor Center you get a good map. We walk different trails despite the heat and are lucky to see some rare bighorn sheep.

At the end we can only recommend one trail: “Fire Wave”.

These rock formations unfold their magic in the afternoon light and offer unique photo opportunities.

We had about 36 degrees Celsius and although it’s only 2km back and forth we were happy to have 1.5l water with us and also extremely exhausted when we arrived back at the car. Definitely put on sturdy shoes and take enough water with you, at least at such high temperatures.

The Valley of Fire is definitely worth a visit.

From Las Vegas to Palm Springs

Day 15: Today we go to Palm Springs, the longest continuous route on our tour, 4h driving time. We choose the route through the Mojave Desert, which is much more interesting than the highway. In Kelso we stop at the Visitor Center. Today a deserted town, but with a good history.

From there we continue to the Kelso Dunes. Here you have the feeling to be in the Sahara again.
We continue in the direction of AMBOY, a ghost town a la Bates Motel, on Route 66, which offers excellent photo motifs.

However, it is a prerequisite that you do not meet like we 2 German tourists who park your car directly in the picture motif and then eat your homemade salad directly in front of it, where many other photos want to take. Even when asked if they had an idea why nobody parks there but you just came brainlessly shaking your head and sometimes you wonder how such people get a passport.

Disappointed by the “destroyed” photo motif we drive on towards Sheephole Valley Wilderness Reserve and then through Joshua Tree Park to Palm Springs. On the way we stop in 29 Palms, a fascinating little village at the north entrance of Joshua Tree. Here we have seen the following Grafitti:

It is interesting because it shows the Iraq war and all the soldiers depicted are of Mexican descent. At the same time there is a big banner on the town sign which says “Trumpland”.

For dinner in Palm Springs we go to the “Thai Smile” restaurant on the E.Tahquiz Canyon Drive, which is very recommendable and is probably visited more often by Pierce Brosnan. We only saw his photos on the wall.

Indian Canyon, Andrea Canyon and Lulu

Day 16: We drive to the Indian Canyon, where I could photograph hummingbirds very well in the past, because there is a nectar drink at the Visitor Center. To the disappointment that the Annual Pass is not valid here and that we have to pay $10 entrance fee, a short time later we realized that the nectar drinker will be removed in summer because of the bees. No potions, no hummingbirds.

But we don’t give up that fast and walk into the canyon. With a little patience we manage to take some pictures at the end.

For dinner we go to the restaurant “Lulu” on Main Street, which we know from earlier stays in Palm Springs and it is still a hotspot with very good food.

Final destination Santa Monica

Day 17: From Palm Springs we head back to L.A.
After about 30 miles there is a Premium Factory Outlet, where you should definitely stop. Even though it is now overrun by Asians, it is always worth a visit.

A few hours and some shopping later, we continue to L.A. and there again to Santa Monica, where we arrive punctually to the sunset in the hotel Marriott le Merigot. Valet prices have risen since the last time, to 50USD per night and so we decide to park the car in the car park 500m away for half.

Sightseeing in Los Angeles and on to Malibu

Day 18: After breakfast we drive up Sunset Boulevard to Hollywood Boulevard and from there to the Chinese Theater.
As always everything is crowded and so we just drive past and then over La Brea, la Cienega, Melrose and finally over Wildshire Boulevard to Malibu, where we have an excellent lunch at the Farm Market – as so often.

Then we return to Santa Monica and later to the beach for the sunset. Here we had extremely good photo motives for photographers, no matter if you want to do street/people or landscape photography.

Day 19: We rent bikes again – they are included in the price at JW Marriott – and commute between Santa Monica and Venice Beach. This should be done by everyone who has the opportunity here.

2 Magnum ice cream for 11 USD are very expensive at “Perry’s”, but we don’t want to spoil the fun. Next time we prefer Ben & Jerrys in Venice.

After a last test of the hotel pool we go to the sundowner on the beach and take some last pictures at sunset.

Flying home and Summary

Day 20: Departure from Los Angeles via Frankfurt to Munich. Already during the flight you cannot get rid of the feeling of the approaching Jet Lags.

All in all, it was an exciting journey, with many new discoveries and places you hadn’t seen on the radar before. Who would have thought that there was a ski resort in California on the east side of the Sierra Nevada? Death Valley has also changed a lot in the 25 years since my first visit, not necessarily to my advantage. Who knows Lake Las Vegas? If you have seen a lot in the USA and especially in California, we can only recommend this itinerary to you. We would do it the same way again immediately.

Want to order a calendar from our phototrip to Westcoast USA?

starting  18,90€, Sizes A2-A5

starting  18,90€, Sizes A2-A5

starting  18,90€, Sizes A2-A5

Which photo equipment for the West Coast USA?

The photo equipment we took to the west coast of the USA is listed below. Furthermore you have the possibility to order the used photo equipment directly through our Photo-Shop and ask for further technical details. There you will also find a lot of extras. To be honest, we had a lot more (e.g. the Nikon 200-400mm, roll trolley, filter, tripod etc.), but we didn’t need it and would leave it at home next time and travel with “light” luggage.

Cameras:

  • Nikon D850
  • Apple Iphone X

Lenses:

  • Nikon 70-200mm f/4
  • Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2

Backpackack / Trolley:

  • Lowepro Flipside 400 AW II