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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Yosemite NP to Las Vegas

    {Editor's Note: This thread was originally posted by Forum Member dmgesq but was "lost" due to an adminstrative error. It is reproduced here:}

    I am spending a few nights in Yosemite, then driving to Vegas. We are travelling in Summer and want a scenic route. Also, if the scenic route is going to end up taking us more than 7 hours, we may want to find a good midpoint of interest to stop, so I would appreciate any advice along those lines as well.

    I've been reading through all of the posts regarding this drive, and they are very helpful, but I still don't see the best route described. My objective is to take the most scenic, but reasonably direct, route from Yosemite to Vegas. We will be driving in late June. As the drive seems a bit long to do in a day, I would very much like a recommendation as to a good midpoint to stop for the night.


    Editor's Response:
    I've been reading through all of the posts regarding this drive, and they are very helpful, but I still don't see the best route described.
    This route is a very popular one, the last time I checked there were 547 different threads related to the drive between San Francisco and Las Vegas.
    My objective is to take the most scenic, but reasonably direct, route from Yosemite to Vegas. We will be driving in late June.
    The most direct route between Yosemite and anywhere to the east is via Tioga Pass (SR-120) but no one knows if it will be open by the end of June. For daily reports you can look at this thread and see if the road will be open when you visit. Our "straw poll" thinks you will be fine. I am not as sure...
    As the drive seems a bit long to do in a day, I would very much like a recommendation as to a good midpoint to stop for the night.
    If Tioga Pass is open there are several routes to Las Vegas. They are all scenic and all reasonably direct. But the most direct could include an over-night stay at Bishop and then you can either use SR-168 over Westgard Pass through Deep Springs and over to Gilbert Pass and then east on SR-268 through the historic Lida mining district and over to US-95 and south to Las Vegas. This is an awesome route -- should still have some wildflowers and if you have time you can visit the ancient Bristlecone forest along the way. More information on this route in this field report.

    OR
    you can continue on south on US-395 to Lone Pine and travel east on SR-138 joining SR-190 for the incomparable drive along Rainbow Canyon and Panamint Springs before climbing Towne Pass for a descent into Death Valley. Three primary routes from Death Valley to Las Vegas, here is the local's favorite. Stay on SR-190 to Death Valley Junction and then turn west on State Line Road (from Death Valley Junction) which turns into Ash Meadows Road to SR-160 and then turn south and drive through the town of Pahrump and over to I-15 and Las Vegas.

    Hope this helps!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-23-2006 at 10:52 AM.

  2. Default Place to stay on way to vegas

    Thanks so much for that information. It seems as though the first route takes you through Nevada, and the second one through more of California, no? Assuming we went the Death Valley route (option 2), where would you recommend staying?

    By the way, we will be driving literally the last week of June so I am hoping the Tioga Pass is open. I am assuming that the Pass is only "on the way" for option one?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default No, both options are on the EAST side of the mountains

    By the way, we will be driving literally the last week of June so I am hoping the Tioga Pass is open. I am assuming that the Pass is only "on the way" for option one?
    It is likely to be open, but not guaranteed. Both options listed above assume that you used Tioga or another pass to cross the Sierras. If Tioga is still closed you will have to cross at another pass and so it is impossible to provide detailed suggestions until we know where you are going.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmgesq
    Thanks so much for that information. It seems as though the first route takes you through Nevada, and the second one through more of California, no? Assuming we went the Death Valley route (option 2), where would you recommend staying?
    Just like I said earlier, Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, or you can stay at Furnace Creek Ranch or the Inn if it is open....

    Mark

  4. Default

    If I may chime in?

    Going from Yosemite to Las Vegas you have three basic options:

    The first, and most scenic route IMHO, is to go east from Yosemite over the Tioga pass to the east side of the Sierras, and from there to Las Vegas. Options to stop along the way are either on the eastern side of the Sierras (Mammoth Lake area, Bishop etc) or to continue south and east to Death Valley region (Furnance Creek, Stovepipe wells, etc.) before stopping.

    The second and third options are if Tioga Pass is not yet open. The quickest route other than the Tioga Pass route to get East of the Sierras is to swing south out of Yosemite through the California Central Valley, and then head East from Bakersfield area through the high desert region below the Sierras and north of the San Gabriel/ San Bernadino mountains that border the LA area. That's option number two... south and then East via Barstow and Baker to Las Vegas. You can still do Death Valley that route, but you'll need to swing back north.

    The third option is to go substantially north, and pass over the Donner Summit east of Sacramento, and then come south on 395 from the Reno/ Tahoe area. The Donner Pass is an all -year route, so unless you're in the middle of blizzard it will be open. But this route is the longest of the three. You can make it to Mammoth Lakes or Bishop area to stay the night, but it would be a longish day's drive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Drove Sonora Pass today!

    Even though the official signs indicate the Sonora Pass is still closed -- I drove it today. It is a gorgeous route.

    More later.

    Mark

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