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  1. #1
    MissyAl Guest

    Default Las Vegas to San Francisco - where are good pit stops?

    Hello Everyone

    I'm sure this question has been asked time and time again - so apologies! Am planning my first road trip in the states and we've decided to go from Las Vegas to San Francisco. We know for sure we'd like to stop in Death Valley on the way but have a couple of questions:

    Firstly, can you suggest a good stop between Death Valley and Yosemite?

    Secondly, we'd like to also go to Lake Tahoe. Is this feasible on our route? Should we do after Yosemite and before San Francisco?

    We aren't in a rush so are looking to go at a leisurely pace. Are my pit stops realistic mileage wise?

    Thank you in advance.

    MissyAl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default A very popular thread here!

    Quote Originally Posted by MissyAl
    I'm sure this question has been asked time and time again
    Yep, this is a very popular route. Some of those ideas are listed on the bottom of this page.
    Am planning my first road trip in the states and we've decided to go from Las Vegas to San Francisco. We know for sure we'd like to stop in Death Valley on the way but have a couple of questions:
    When is your trip planned for? It is still winter here and we are actually expecting a good deal of snow this week on the roads between Las Vegas and San Francisco.
    Firstly, can you suggest a good stop between Death Valley and Yosemite?
    Sure, Bishop is a very fun town -- great art galleries, wonderful murals and nice, friendly folks. But if you are planning on reaching Yosemite Valley from the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains before June -- you will need a plane or balloon. The pass is still closed by snow. Use "Tioga Pass" in the search box at the top of this page for more information.
    Secondly, we'd like to also go to Lake Tahoe. Is this feasible on our route?
    Since Tioga Pass is closed, going to Tahoe is one of the two ways to reach Yosemite from Death Valley.
    Should we do after Yosemite and before San Francisco?
    The logical route would be Lake Tahoe and then Yosemite and then back to San Francisco.
    We aren't in a rush so are looking to go at a leisurely pace
    . How long a trip is this adventure going to be?

    Mark

  3. #3
    MissyAl Guest

    Default Further Info

    Hi Mark

    Sorry for the delay in replying.

    To answer your questions our trip will be mid Aug - beg Sept. We're planning to be in the States for 2 1\2 weeks but 8 - 10 of these days will likely be spent in Las Vegas and San Francisco. I assume at this time of year the pass should be open?

    Thank you.

    MissyAl

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default Open

    If you are traveling in the summer, then yes the pass should be open.

    Where else will you be spending your time during your trip?

  5. #5
    MissyAl Guest

    Default Thoughts so far...

    are....

    Las Vegas 4 \5 nights
    Death Valley 1 night
    Stop enroute to Tahoe 1 night
    Tahoe 2 nights
    Yosemite 2 nights
    San Francisco 4\5 nights

    Does this look good? Happy for any recommendations on how to improve our trip. If the pass is open what's the most logical sequence of stops - Tahoe first or Yosemite? Is there good book you can recommend with roadmaps for the area?

    Thanks again.

    MissyAl

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Yosmite is on the way

    Quote Originally Posted by MissyAl
    If the pass is open what's the most logical sequence of stops - Tahoe first or Yosemite? Is there good book you can recommend with roadmaps for the area?
    Since you will be over-night in Death Valley it makes more sense to go over Tioga Pass into Yosemite, enjoy the park and then make your way north on the Gold Rush Trail - CA-49. You can cross back over the Sierras vis Sonora Pass (another awesome road) or check out the HUGE GOLD NUGGET on display in Murphys and then cross on CA-4 (another awesome drive) or back on CA-49 and cross on CA-88 (notice a trend here) OR continue north on CA-49 to Placerville and take historic US-50 to Lake Tahoe, spend a couple of days and then drive to Virginia City and then back to San Francisco on I-80.
    Lonely Planet has a great book on Yosemite.

  7. #7
    MissyAl Guest

    Default Thanks for the info....

    Just what I was looking for.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MissyAl
    from Las Vegas to Lake Tahoe.
    Vegas to Tahoe? Since Hwy 395 is main route through there, consider swinging by the Manzanor War Relocation Center. State is just starting to put money into this to restore some of this interment camp for Japanese-Americans during WW II. It's right beside Hwy 395 near Big Pine and there's a little museum there.

    Also if you like high places, consider a quicky detour off Hwy 395, east on Hwy 168 couple miles up Westgard Pass to check out White Mountain Rd up to Patriarch & Schulman Grove to check out the Bristlecone Pines. The view is mind-boggling, and the road goes all the way above 10,000 to the visitor center for a self-guided tour of the bristle cone pines. Well worth the detour.

    White Mountain Rd


    As you make your way to Lake Tahoe, make sure you ascend via Monitor Pass - Hwy 89 (skip Hwy 207-very boring at Minden, NV). The view at the top of Monitor Pass is like nothing you've ever seen. Just stunning.

    Monitor Pass


    In South Lake Tahoe, if you have the time, and the cash, take the tram to the top of Heavenly. Like $20 for the ride, but what a view at the top! Don't forget to check out Emerald Bay. You can hike down to Vikingsholm Castle, a 39-room mansion that you can take a tour of when open.

    http://www.skiheavenly.com/

    http://www.tahoeinfo.com/

    http://www.filmtahoe.com/asp/emeraldbay.asp

    http://www.vikingsholm.org/

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