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Thread: Help needed

  1. Default Help needed

    Hi i am holidaying in las vegas in january and are going to drive from las vegas to yosemite though to san francisco we are traveling fom australia and this will be the first time driving in america i have planned a one night stopover in yosemite but after reading forums etc, am a little concerned about the distance, road conditions etc, any advice would be much appreciated the whole idea was to see the beauty of yosemite and snow but maybe there are many lovely things to see anyway along another route thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Go for it!

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Tioga Pass into Yosemite - the most popular way from Vegas to SF - is closed in the winter and would not be available for your trip, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't go. Instead you'll have to head over to Bakersfield, and then go North on CA-99 to Fresno and on into Yosemite. All of those roads are plowed, so unless there is a snowstorm on the actual day of your travel, you shouldn't have any problems.

  3. Default Its a very doable drive..

    Julian -- as Midwest Michael noted, the most scenic and direct route will be close in January. That's a 2 lane road which goes over the Sierras and gets heavy snow in the winter -- so it closes usually in about November and doesn't reopen until sometime after April.

    The alternative routes you can take are to go west from Vegas across the high desert around the southern Sierras up to the western entrance of Yosemite through Bakersfield. All very good roads, and I've never heard of this route being closed in the winter. (I've seen snow on the high desert -- a couple of inches overnight -- once.) Its going to be a day's drive though to do this trip, but Yosemite is open year round and is very beautiful in the snow.

    Another alternative route it to go north along the eastern side of the Sierras up to Lake Tahoe/ Reno area, and then down over Donner pass into the Sacramento area. From there you would turn south to come down to Yosemite from the north west. This is a major interstate highway and the major pass over the Sierras and is a very high priority to keep open in the worst weather. I've heard it being closed, but never more than like overnight. It is a longer route though -- figure 2 days at least, particularly if you stop in Death Valley on this route. But this route could take you through Death Valley, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, and possibly the California Gold Rush country on the way to Yosemite.

    Once you make it to the western side of the Sierras you are in the large California Central valley -- which doesn't get snow. So no problems again until you get near Yosemite and go back up into the mountains. The roads into Yosemite are mountain roads so in a major storm they may be closed for a day -- but the plows will be out pretty much immediately clearing the roads into and out of the park.

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