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  1. Default Southwest Honeymoon Trip

    Hi,

    My fiance & I are planning out honeymoon for October of 2007. We are from NJ and are planning to fly into Vegas for a few nights, and then traveling by car to San Francisco. While I would like two take 3 days / 2 nights to make this trip, my partner would greatly prefer if we could do it with only one overnight stop. I know this is possible, but I also know I won't get to see everything I want to, so here I am for advice.

    I will be seeing the Grand Canyon & Hoover Dam while staying in Vegas, and will head straight to Death Valley once we check out. From here, I would really like to stay the night at Sequoia National Park, but from what I hear the drive along the highway is extremely boring on the western side of the Sierra. My other option is to head along the scenic route on the East and cut over towards San Francisco at some point. Is the road through Yosemite usually open in late October? I also hear that gold rush route further north is very scenic.

    So my first decision is boring highway to Sequoia vs. scenic route. Then if I take the scenic route should I go through Yosemite or head further north to another possible pass?

    If I took the scenic route after visiting Death Valley, I would be prepared to drive quite a while before stopping for the night. Where would be a good place to spend the night on the Eastern side of the Sierra?

    Thanks very much for any advice & opinions people can provide

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

    Default Would a 1200' vertical drop seem boring to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gundabad View Post
    While I would like two take 3 days / 2 nights to make this trip, my partner would greatly prefer if we could do it with only one overnight stop.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Congratulations on the pending nupitals as well. It is a full days drive from Las Vegas to San Francisco -- I have done it many times and so and over-night will allow you to see a little more.
    I will be seeing the Grand Canyon & Hoover Dam while staying in Vegas, and will head straight to Death Valley once we check out.
    This is frequent advice on this Forum -- so here it goes again -- you might wish to cut back on your driving time and spend some quiet relaxing time with your new wife somewhere on this trip....
    From here, I would really like to stay the night at Sequoia National Park, but from what I hear the drive along the highway is extremely boring on the western side of the Sierra.
    How much mountain driving experience do you have? There is a very interesting drive through the southern Nevada Mountains from Death Valley to Sequoia but it is a VERY LONG DRIVE to do in a day. It is the Sherman Pass road (you can find several threads about it on this Forum).
    My other option is to head along the scenic route on the East and cut over towards San Francisco at some point. Is the road through Yosemite usually open in late October?
    Yes, Tioga Pass, Sonora Pass and the rest of the cross-Sierra passes are still open. If you want a real mountain driving experience -- I would recommend Sonora Pass.
    So my first decision is boring highway to Sequoia vs. scenic route.
    If you try and combine a sight-seeing trip with Death Valley and reaching Sequoia in one day -- get ready for 12-15 hour day!
    If I took the scenic route after visiting Death Valley, I would be prepared to drive quite a while before stopping for the night. Where would be a good place to spend the night on the Eastern side of the Sierra?
    Mammoth Lakes and Bishop are both great choices.

    Be sure to look at the bottom of this page for more ideas.

    Mark

  3. Default thank you

    Thank you very much for your quick reply. I do recognize there is a glut of advice on this forum about San Francisco to Vegas or vice versa, so I apologize for starting yet another thread on it. However, the trove of good information on that trip pointed me straight here from Google.

    I do have some experience driving rough roads, but at this point, the more I read about the Route 395 drive, the more I am leaning to taking that route. I will look up Sherman Pass, but I hear a lot of good things about staying in the towns you mentioned. I see a lot of chain hotels there, are there any locals hotels people have experience with that they would recommend?

    We are still young (22 and 23), so we've got the motor to head out on a 12-15 hour day. We'll hit a spa day as soon as we check into San Francisco and rest up for the last four days of our honeymoon hitting that city.

    Once I figure out a final itinerary I'll let you guys know, and will be sure to post a report on how the trip goes!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Panamint Springs for lunch

    Quote Originally Posted by Gundabad View Post
    However, the trove of good information on that trip pointed me straight here from [Google.
    That's always good to know!
    I do have some experience driving rough roads, but at this point, the more I read about the Route 395 drive, the more I am leaning to taking that route.
    US-395 is a super highway compared to the rough, albeit paved road that goes over Sherman Pass. But it remains one of my favorite roads. Here is a little more commentary about the other ones and a little more about Sherman Pass.
    Once I figure out a final itinerary I'll let you guys know, and will be sure to post a report on how the trip goes!
    We look forward to hearing more about it!

    One thing I would suggest -- stop by the Panamint Springs tavern/motel for lunch -- great Redwood Burl bar and some death valley characters.

    Mark

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