After the summer session, a few of us decided to go on a 10-days west coast road trip, here are some of our experiences.

Day 1 to 3 (Yosemite National park)
We drove from Berkeley to Yosemite National Parks and went on the higher falls hike (6 hours) and the mist trail (3 hours). The hikes were challenging and borderline tortuous, but the view at the summit was totally worth it.

We spotted two black bears on our way back to the accommodation nearing dusk.

We also prepared our own food in the Airbnb, and it proved challenging to prepare food for 10 people in a tiny kitchen.

Day 4: Sequoia National Park
There is a sense of serenity to the park, capturing the beauty of the century-old sequoia wood. You can find the largest tree in the world here.

We spotted deers and foxes on our night drive back. I would not recommend driving at night, as road lights are scarce in remote areas, the windy roads and wild life appearance can make night driving rather dangerous.

Day 4 to 5: Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.
The glamorous nightlife of Las Vegas is in full display.

Our grand canyon trip is cut shot by heavy rain as flash floods can be a common occurrence in these time of the year. I would advise to constantly check for weather updates if you are to visit this area.

Day 6 to 9: Los Angeles
The hustle and bustle of Venice beach never ends. There is endless amount of activities happening: amateur basketball tournaments, skateboard parks, muscle beach etc

We also went to catch our first baseball game at the Dodgers stadium.

The six flags magic mountains amusement park is worth a go. The sheer quantity of roller coaster rides make Singapore Universal Studio pales in comparison.

Day 10: Back to SF
The drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco is 8 hours long. We went by on the coastal scenic route 1. The weather was not on our side as the coastal fog obscures the horizon. We did see some sea lions though.

Advice for future students:

  • Book your car rental and airbnb ahead of time as price increases when the date approaches.
  • Avoid small car rental companies or apps as there may be a lot of issues with their booking. Our car rental from zipcar was full of problems and we were not able to receive adequate compensation for that.
  • Make time to take rest during drive and avoid night time driving


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