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A vacation trip from the Bay Area to the Grand Canyon in a Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by CO2Saver, Nov 19, 2016.

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  1. CO2Saver

    CO2Saver Member

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    Following are the basics of a vacation trip from the SF Bay Area to the Grand Canyon, made in late September in a Model S. We visited a number of interesting places along the way, including Yosemite, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Lone Pine, Alabama Hills, Mt Whitney Portal, Las Vegas and Death Valley. The trip was based on supercharging, with some destination charging.

    Day 1: Cupertino – Manteca SC – Groveland, 90 + 64 miles:
    The intermediate SC stop in Manteca is optional if you’re destination-charging in Groveland, near Yosemite’s east entrance, but worth it for the break after a slow drag through the orchards of CS 120, and for the amazing diorama and aquarium at the Bass Pro shop there. The Groveland Hotel is like a B&B with your own bathroom (ie, antiquey and overpriced), but they have a dedicated 240V/40A Tesla charger, which can be reserved, so you could get a couple hours on it while dining at the Iron Door, allegedly the oldest saloon in California, then head on into Yosemite if you're lodging in the park.

    Day 2: Groveland – Mammoth Lakes SC (via Yosemite) – Lone Pine, 119 + 100 miles:
    Wanted to start out with full charge as the Priest Grade plus Tioga Pass would use up a lot of range, plus we added about 40 miles in the Valley in order to do some hiking around Bridal Veil. At Mammoth Lakes all SC’s were open – 20 minutes for a quick charge and a latte, then 100 miles down spectacular CS-395 to Lone Pine. Lone Pine is a place where you can hang out for days – great hikes up at the Whitney Portal and Horseshoe Meadows and in the Alabama Hills where many hundreds of movies and TV episodes have been filmed. Arrived at the SC early evening, strolled into town for dinner; back to the car now ready for the next leg. Overnight at Best Western Frontier Motel.

    Day 3: Lone Pine – Beatty SC – Las Vegas, 114 + 118 miles:
    The first leg has plenty of capacity for some touring in Death Valley. Splendid vistas, other-world landscapes, fine weather. At the Beatty SC a crowd of bikers came over to ogle the car. Creech AFB is here – this is where they train on the MQ-9 Reaper, the AF’s deadliest drone; further south some jets were flying. Then to Vegas. New highways, heavy traffic; fortunately, our GPS gal took us right to the door at Mandalay Bay. Their Tesla chargers were not available -- no problem: the valets used our 1722 adapter and left us on all night. Tram to the strip, evening in Vegas.

    Day 4: Las Vegas – Kingman SC – Flagstaff, 103 + 146 miles:
    Kingman on old route 66. Checked out the Route 66 museum, then on to the Flagstaff Marriott, where the SC’s are right on the property, very convenient.

    Day 5: Flagstaff to Grand Canyon south rim, 164 miles round trip:
    This was the only day without an intermediate charge. Parked at the Visitor’s Center, hiked around all day, waited for sunset to get a few more shots, back to the Marriott. This portion of the journey could be extended, but one day on the south rim is enough.

    Day 6: Flagstaff – Kingman SC – Las Vegas, 146 + 103 miles:
    This is a reverse of Day 4 except this time we stayed at the Bellagio. Sad to say their once-incredible sushi bar with the moon jellies is gone. Here we got the wimpiest destination charge ever: 190V/20A, but they left us on all night, so not a problem. They still smoke in Vegas and the casinos stink, but you can get a non-smoking room at the better hotels. Hoover Dam is a good potential stop on this leg.

    Day 7: Las Vegas—Beatty SC—Lone Pine, 118 + 114 miles.
    This is a reverse of Day 3. The Death Valley stretch included a couple side trips this time to check out some favorite spots – Artists Pallette, Badwater Basin – then back to Lone Pine where we always stay at the Frontier Motel, which has a lot of movie history. The SC is by the Lone Pine Film Museum where you can learn about the 400+ films that have been made in Lone Pine since 1919.

    Day 8: Lone Pine – Mammoth Lakes, 100 miles:
    We stopped in Mammoth for coffee and quick supercharge, then spent the morning at the Devil’s Post Pile, a great scenic and hiking spot, then afternoon hiking around Mono Lake and Crater Mountain, gourmet dining at the historical Mono Inn, then back to the Sierra Nevada Resort, about a block from the Mammoth Lakes SC; top off the charge in the morning while getting breakfast in order to leave with a max charge (275 mi).

    Day 9: Mammoth Lakes – Manteca SC – Cupertino, 182 + 90 miles:
    Not enough comfortable range for a side trip into the valley this time; still, plenty of good stops along the way; eg, a nice hike around Lambert Dome up to Dog Lake, where we saw red crossbills and a marmoset. Then a long and scenic drive down to Manteca where a brief stop at the SC gave us plenty of range to get home.

    Altogether, an easy, relaxing, problem-free trip in a great car. Fine weather and not too many tourists (a lot of Germans in rented Mustangs). All the SC’s had at most one other Tesla. We’d forgotten how the car can draw attention, given how common they are back home. We saw one other MS in Yosemite, a couple in Vegas, none in AZ.
     
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  2. joebiker25

    joebiker25 Member

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    Excellent write up! What battery size? Pics please
     
  3. theslimshadyist

    theslimshadyist NashVegas!

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    Sounds like this was a fantastic trip and thanks for providing such wonderful details.
     
  4. CO2Saver

    CO2Saver Member

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    Thanks. This was actually our fourth touring trip, the earlier three being within California, all similarly easy, convenient, successful... that's 5000 miles of touring with a fuel cost of zero. (I carry a Chargepoint and some other card but have never used them.)

    We're working our way up. Next destination will be Northwest and BC; after that, Yellowstone, maybe Great Lakes... anything that can be planned around SC's -- love 'em!

    I got my partner's acquiescence to buy the car by promising to take her anywhere she wanted to go in it. The neat part of this deal is that Europe and Bali and Antarctica are now off the table -- I'm saving enough on foreign travel to pay for the car!

    Car's specs appear in my signature: it's an 85D. Pics to follow, eventually.
     
  5. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    I see your handle ("Carbon dioxide saver"). You are saving carbon emissions in more ways than one, as long-haul international flights are quite carbon intensive. I've seen different numbers for the relative efficiency of commercial airline travel, the most optimistic being about 70 mpg per person, as I recall. So if two people travel together for 10,000 miles by airliner, that's no better (and possibly worse) in terms of emissions than driving together in a 35 mpg car for 10,000 miles.
     
  6. Apricot

    Apricot The waiting... the waiting...

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    Awesome, my wife just asked about whether we could drive from SF to the Grand Canyon. I've only got an S60, so some of those hops look a bit close. Kingman to Flagstaff, round trip to GC...
     
  7. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Great write-up of a fine trip. I will say, however, that if as you wrote on Day 9 you saw a marmoset cavorting with those crossbills, you get the Naturalist Of The Century award. But if you saw a hoary marmot, well, that also is cool. :)

    440px-Marmoset_copy.jpg 400px-Marmota_caligata_(EH).jpg
     
  8. CO2Saver

    CO2Saver Member

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    Oh god. It's mad cow, I tell ya...
     
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  9. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    I see you also have a 60... We've done several road trips in our 60, including much of the route CO2saver did. The only stretch I haven't done is Kingman to Flagstaff and back. Going from Kingman to Flagstaff is doable in a 60, but heading to Flagstaff (with an elevation gain) might be dicey. The other stretch that might be tough is through Yosemite to Mammoth Lakes -- lots of uphill. I'd suggest checking out EV Trip Planner and seeing if there are any backup charging locations along the way (RV parks, other destination chargers, etc). For example, there is a KOA in Williams AZ (about ~25 miles west of Flagstaff) where a 1-hour stop at the RV park could make the trip workable.

    Some other thoughts:
    While you can make it from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon and back, it may be worth doing destination charging in Tusayan (the town just outside the park). When we went to the Grand Canyon, we charged overnight in the RV park in the park -- but that was before there was any destination chargers in Tusayan.

    Las Vegas to the Bay Area via Death Valley and Yosemite is easy in a 60... We charged at Superchargers and one destination charger along that route (and even that destination charger wasn't really necessary)...

    Good luck!
     
  10. Mobius484

    Mobius484 Member

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    Apricot, Thanks for your posts. I see you have been enjoying your car as I hope too.. let me know if you plan on passing through my neck of the woods, there is a supercharger in Coeur d'Alene.
     
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  11. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Put Glacier National Park in Montana on your list. I did it in August 2015, before the Kennewick WA Supercharger was open and it was not a challenge. Now with that Supercharger up it will be easy.
     
  12. dmode

    dmode Member

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    Great write up. I just did my first roadtrip in my 3 week old S60 and posted details on the California thread Trip Report - Bay Area to South Lake Tahoe and Napa

    I have recently done the Bay Area to Mammoth to Lone Pine and back trip in my ICE car. Absolutely loved it, eastern Sierras is such an unique place to visit. I am not really sure I can pull it off in my S 60. The Manteca to Mammoth segment would be a very close call. Perhaps need to spend overnight in Yosemite and do destination charging.
     
  13. Hendry01

    Hendry01 Member

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    San Ramon, CA, United States
    Thanks for sharing. We did the trip to Grand Canyon via Socal/Palm Spring in the summer time and that was fun. We were able to charge at the Best Western Premier Inn Grand Canyon (by the visitor center) after checking with the manager before making the trip to Vegas from Flagstaff
     

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