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  1. Default Vegas to Yosemite-time?

    Hey all,

    Me and some fellow brummies are doing a road trip at the end of June. We have most of it planned but have come have fallen at the final hurdle.
    We will be leaving Vegas on the 4th July (so hopefully they'll be no traffic??!!) and heading to Yosemite and need to be back in San Francisco on Thursday (6th-noonish) for the flight back to England. Would we make it to Yosemite on the Tuesday in time to pitch up a tent and see a bit of the park!?? (would like to drive through Death Valley)

    Cheers lads

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    9,358

    Default Bad Guess

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    ...leaving Vegas on the 4th July (so hopefully they'll be no traffic?
    Surely you jest. You do realize that July 4th is the day we on this side of the Atlantic celebrate our independence from you all and will be a VERY busy travel day. Think of combining two Bank Holidays. Many people will have taken long weekends and will be using that Tuesday to return form their fun in Las Vegas to their jobs in the Bay Area. You will not be alone on the road. Still with two and a half days, you ought to be able to do what you want, just a bit more slowly and with less elbow room than you might be expecting. For details of the trip your planning, check these recent threads:

    Thread_1
    Thread_2
    Thread_3

    as well as the threads the software has found and listed at the bottom of the page.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default There is one (more) tiny problem

    Quote Originally Posted by mcgowske
    We will be leaving Vegas on the 4th July (so hopefully they'll be no traffic??!!) and heading to Yosemite and need to be back in San Francisco on Thursday (6th-noonish) for the flight back to England.
    In addition to the point raised by Arizona Buck -- I am not convinced that Tioga Pass will be open so you can even reach Yosemite from the east side. I know that this would be a very late opening -- but the snowpack is amazing up there right now. For more info, see this thread.

    Mark

  4. Default Be prepared for severely hot weather

    Quote Originally Posted by mcgowske
    Me and some fellow brummies are doing a road trip at the end of June. We have most of it planned but have come have fallen at the final hurdle.
    We will be leaving Vegas on the 4th July [ ... ] and heading to Yosemite and need to be back in San Francisco on Thursday (6th-noonish) for the flight back to England. Would we make it to Yosemite on the Tuesday in time to pitch up a tent and see a bit of the park!?? (would like to drive through Death Valley)
    Hmm.. just as a note, mgowske, you are awake that it will be severely HOT in July in Death Valley? I just went through Death Valley in April, and it was 97 F during the day. A quick check on line indicates that the average July temperature in Death Valley is 115 F (47 C). It is not uncommon to have multiple days in a row with the day's temperature above 120 F in Death Valley in July.

    Not that its not doable, but you need to be prepared for severely hot weather through Death Valley that time of year.

    As a more on topic note, a quick map check indicates you might be thinking of heading NW from Las Vegas, going through Death Valley from the east to the west, on to 395, then north to 120 and west from Lee Vining through Yosemite, and hence to SF.

    You'll have to check, but 120 is closed by snow during the winter (see the Tioga Pass threads elsewhere here), and may not be open even by the 4th of July.

    In good weather, you're talking at least 4 hours to Death Valley and another 10+ hours of drive time to SF, assuming 120 is open. Figure 6 hours driving time to Yosemite from Death Valley, and another 4 hours or driving time from there to SF. (Note that's driving time -- in the car, going at speed. Gas stops, sightseeing stops, bathroom breaks, meals etc have to added to that time...)

    Is it doable? Yeah maybe, but you'll be arriving in Yosemite in the dark or at sunset. And heading out very early in the morning to make sure you get to SF by noon.

    An alternative may be to take the faster southern route down through Barstow, and then cut up through the central valley to SF (99 or I-5). Not as amazing scenery, but you can hit up some of the places in the central valley for wines and agricultural stuff as gifts to take back home.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-11-2006 at 08:41 AM. Reason: Added a title for clarity

  5. #5
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    Default Some fact-checking info

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison
    Not that its not doable, but you need to be prepared for severely hot weather through Death Valley that time of year.
    True, it can be very warm in the park in the summer -- But that is part of the appeal.
    In good weather, you're talking at least 4 hours to Death Valley
    Actually, I run up to Furnace Creek fairly often. It is exactly two hours from my office door (in Las Vegas) to the Ranch at Furnace Creek, and even in the wildest summer weather, it would only take an addition thirty minutes.
    and another 10+ hours of drive time to SF, assuming 120 is open.
    Again, I make this drive 4-7 times a year and from Death Valley it is about seven hours via the Interstate to San Francisco. If you go via Tioga Pass and SR-120 -- it could easily be as long as 10 hours.

    Mark

  6. Default More conservative for desert driving in the summers

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    [ .. ] Actually, I run up to Furnace Creek fairly often. It is exactly two hours from my office door (in Las Vegas) to the Ranch at Furnace Creek, and even in the wildest summer weather, it would only take an addition thirty minutes. Again, I make this drive 4-7 times a year and from Death Valley it is about seven hours via the Interstate to San Francisco. If you go via Tioga Pass and SR-120 -- it could easily be as long as 10 hours.
    Thanks Mark - is that the route from the south, via Pahrump and DV Junction? I had assumed a northern route in via Beatty and Scotty's castle, so your route would be shorter, probably by about an hour. But relooking at it.. you're right - I had dropped something in the calculation or rounded up for conservativeness by way too much.

    I tend to be more conservative for desert driving in the summers. Not so much in speed, but in preparation and sticking to main roads. I've had to dig my vehicle out of the sand a couple of times in the Mojave, the last time being from just pulling too wide on the shoulder in turning around near the 1000 Palms Oasis not too far from Palm Springs. It's really easy to get dehydrated in the desert as you know, even inside a vehicle -- particularly on a long road trip. And if you get stuck, then things can get very serious very quickly. One of the things I do is I'm an Asst. Scoutmaster for a troop of Boy Scouts, and we've camped in the desert when temperatures have been well over 105 F during the day, and even did a short 5- mile hike that day. But you have to be prepared...
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-11-2006 at 08:42 AM. Reason: added title for clarity

  7. #7
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    Default LV to Furnace Creek via Beatty

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison
    Thanks Mark - is that the route from the south, via Pahrump and DV Junction?
    LV to Furnace Creek via Beatty would be about the four hours you suggested -- but that would be an unusual approach. Yes, that is Route 160 from LV and then via State Line Road to Death Valley Junction and into the park. Heat or cold -- it is two hours door-to-door. This day trip to Racetrack Playa only works time-wise in the cooler spring months.
    I tend to be more conservative for desert driving in the summers. Not so much in speed, but in preparation and sticking to main roads. I've had to dig my vehicle out of the sand a couple of times in the Mojave,
    I've dug myself out of sand pits and other impedimients more times than I care to remember. I hope the last time you got stuck -- you tried to air down before digging? A tire at 32 psi is an effective land anchor whereas one at 12 psi can often float its way out of the sand.

    Here is post about desert-travel tips -- do you have others to add?
    One of the things I do is I'm an Asst. Scoutmaster for a troop of Boy Scouts, and we've camped in the desert when temperatures have been well over 105 F during the day, and even did a short 5- mile hike that day. But you have to be prepared..
    Agreed, too many first-time visitors to the desert fail to take the conditions seriously. I never leave my vehicle for any reason (unless I am close enough to touch it) without strapping on my fanny pack with water and survival gear. Folks have become incapacitated by the heat less than 25 feet from the roadway in Death Valley. I carry a flat of water bottles in the summer for the sole reason of handing them out to tourists about to take a "short walk" without water.

    Mark

  8. Default

    Thanks for that info lads...just to clarify then....from LV head to Pahrump then down to Shoshone..then to the Death Valley junction and then drive until we reach the road that effectively takes us out of Death Valley in a south west direction?(190?)
    Also, where would be the 2 1/2 hour point?(Furnace creek, can't find it on yahoomaps) and how long would it take to get to the 395 from, say, Death valley junction?
    Appreciate your help!

  9. #9
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    Default Death Valley Routes

    Quote Originally Posted by mcgowske
    Thanks for that info lads...just to clarify then....from LV head to Pahrump then down to Shoshone..then to the Death Valley junction
    Yes, that is a fine alternative -- it allows a look at Shoshone -- lots of mining history there and also gives you a couple of alternative routes into Death Valley. Either proceed west on SR-178 over Jubliee Pass into the valley at Ashford Mills and then north up Badwater road. Or you can stay on SR-127 and follow the Amargosa Riverbed north to Death Valley Junction and then west on SR-190 into the Park.

    But, as has been pointed out througouth this thread -- you don't have enough time to take many scenic detours. So, the fastest way to DV from Las Vegas is: SR-160 to Pahrump (do not turn west on NV-372/CA-127) stay on SR-160 all the way through town and turn west on Bell Vista Road, this turns into Ash Meadows Road and again into State Line Road (not necessary to make any turns). This will take you directly to Death Valley Junction -- whereupon you will follow SR190 into the park.
    Also, where would be the 2 1/2 hour point?(Furnace creek, can't find it on yahoomaps)
    You can't miss Furnace Creek -- it is the location of Park headquarters, visitor center, cafes, the Inn, etc. Located at the junction of SR-190 and Bad Water Road.
    and how long would it take to get to the 395 from, say, Death valley junction?
    Impossible to know -- aren't you going to look at some places in Death Valley? If you drove straight through and never stopped for anything, it would take about two hours to reach US-395.

    Mark

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