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  1. #1

    Default San Francisco to Las Vegas in 2 or 3 days?

    Hi, this is the 1st time I have used this site-so hope I am doing it right!

    I need some help please with a trip my partner and I are planning to the USA in Aug/Sep.

    We are planning to fly from Heathrow to San Francisco on 25th August and from here we are planning to drive to Las Vegas.

    We were planning to stay 3 whole days in San Fran first (26th, 27th + 28th Aug) and begin our drive on the morning of 29th Aug via Yosemite,
    Kings Canyon with an overnight stay in Sequoia.

    The following morning (30th Aug), we would then plan to drive from Sequoia via death valley and the red rock canyon to finally arrive in las vegas the same evening. We then plan to spend 6 days in vegas (31st Aug,1st,2nd,3rd,4th+5th Sep), then fly on to New york on 6th Sep to spend 2 whole days there (7th+8th Sep)-to finally fly back to the UK on 9th Sep.

    The driving part is my main concern so I don't know if anyone is able to advise if the road trip we've planned is possible over a 2-day period, or if the trip would require maybe 3 days driving (or more?!)

    If 3 days driving is suggested, we would plan to only stay 2 days in San Fran and begin our journey on 28th Aug-to still arrive in Vegas on the evening of 30th Aug. If we did do the road trip over 3 days on the same journey (Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, death valley, red rock canyon)-where would anyone suggest we spend our 2 overnight stays to make the best of our trip?

    Any route plans/road names etc would also be great if anyone can help at all. We would like to see as much as possible on our trip as we may never get the chance to go again.

    Thank you to anyone that may be able to help and I look forward to receiving any replies.

    Kind regards, Louise.

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

    Default More information here than you probably wanted!

    Quote Originally Posted by louise1721 View Post
    I need some help please with a trip my partner and I are planning to the USA in Aug/Sep.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum -- there are 9 new posts on threads discussing such a route just today. For starters I would look at these threads: the second post here and this one and this one.
    We were planning to stay 3 whole days in San Fran first (26th, 27th + 28th Aug) and begin our drive on the morning of 29th Aug via Yosemite, Kings Canyon with an overnight stay in Sequoia.
    This day is almost impossible, your time would be much better utilized if you spent one day and night at Yosemite.
    The following morning (30th Aug), we would then plan to drive from Sequoia via death valley
    As has been discussed a few times here -- it would be a two day journey to attempt to drive from Sequoia across the mountains to Death Valley and into Las Vegas. I personally think you ought to drive east over Tioga Pass (Yosemite) and then south on US-395 to Olanche and over to Death Valley and to Las Vegas. Red Rock Canyon is only an hour from from Las Vegas, you will not have time to see it on the way, I don't think
    We then plan to spend 6 days in vegas
    So much cool stuff to do in Las Vegas -- here are some ideas from locals.... Oh, and don't forget to look at the bottom of this page (there are 1200 threads covering this route on this forum)

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks very much for the reply. Looks like we need to do some re-planning if we want to see everything-as it sounds as though we are going to really need at least 4 days travel time to fit everything in. Maybe we could drop a day in las vegas and spend 5 days there as opposed to 6.

    Thanks again, Kind regards, Louise.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
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    Default One day's travel

    Quote Originally Posted by louise1721 View Post
    Thanks very much for the reply. Looks like we need to do some re-planning if we want to see everything-as it sounds as though we are going to really need at least 4 days travel time
    It just depends how much you want to see. It is only one day's journey from Las Vegas to San Francisco. I have made the trip dozens of times in less than nine hours, even with a route through Death Valley.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-20-2007 at 03:52 PM. Reason: darned typos

  5. Default Yosemite & Sequoia are not good for 1 day

    I'm going to echo that trying to go from SF to Yosemite to Sequoia in a day is too much of a push. There's not real direct route from one Park to the next. You'll have to come out of the Sierras at Yosemite, go down to the flats of the Central Valley, and then come back up into the Sierras to Sequoia. This will be a 4-6 hour drive, depending how you go. If you try this, you won't have any time to see anything at Yosemite.

    From Sequoia National park to Death Valley is a 9-10 hr drive. Its possible to do it, but it would be a challenge.

    An alternative is to skip Sequoia (and Sequoia is one of my favorite parks, I have to confess, and I have nothing but good experiences there...), and go over the Sierra from near Yosemite through the Tioga pass to the east side, and then down to Death Valley. It's a little more direct of a route, and takes you over the top of the Sierras, instead of skirting them to the south, as the other routes take you.

    If you still want to do Death Valley and Sequoia, an alternative would be to stop for the night after coming out of Sequoia at Ridgecrest or thereabouts, and continue on through Death Valley to Las Vegas the next day. Ridgecrest to the entrance to DV is about 90-120 minutes via Trona, and about another hour to Furnance Creek in the center of the park. From Furnance Creek to Las Vegas is from 2 to 2 1/2 hours (and our moderators can give you some of the local driving hints to speed you along). That will give you enough time to get the flavor of Death Valley, which will be wickedly hot that time of year.

  6. #6

    Default Road trip San Fran to Vegas-4 days instead of 2

    Hi Mark/Larrison, thank you so much for all the useful tips-my partner and I are now re-thinking our road trip and are planning to spend just 2 days in San Fran instead of 3, and 5 days in Vegas instead of 6. This will then give us 4 days driving time to hopefully see everything we want to see.

    Following your advice-I think we will spend the 1st day travelling from San Fran just to Yosemite with an overnight stay there. Day 2 driving from Yosemite to Sequoia with an overnight stay there. Day 3 driving from Sequoia to ridgecrest with an overnight stay there-and day 4 complete the journey from ridgecrest to Vegas via death valley. Do you think this would be a better plan to make sure we see everything properly? Any recommendations on hotels in these areas?

    Once again thanks for all the advice-it helps so much to get tips from people who know the areas/distances so well.

    Kind regards,

    Louise.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Redwood Groves and Mountain Views

    Quote Originally Posted by louise1721 View Post
    Do you think this would be a better plan to make sure we see everything properly?
    Your plan is fine. I would still advocate the choice of Tioga Pass and the eastern side of the Sierras, instead of the western slope and Sequoia.

    However, if you are firmly decided about traveling the western slope, there were a bunch of posts yesterday providing additional detail about visiting redwood groves and I would urge you to read those posts.

    Overview of Redwood Trees, including Sequoias and Coast Redwoods
    Differences between Sequoia National Park and Giant Sequoia National Monument

    Mark

  8. #8

    Default Skip Sequoia

    Hi Mark, after reading the very useful posts-I think we are going to go with your idea of skipping Sequoia as it sounds like the redwoods are just as impressive in Yosemite.

    New possible plan is to now spend 3 days driving (meaning we would then still be able to spend 6 days as planned in Vegas)-still spend day 1 driving to Yosemite and stay overnight there. Day 2 drive from Yosemite through the Tioga Pass and spend the night somewhere within about 1.5-2 hours drive to death valley (any suggestions of a place to stay going this route). Then day 3, drive through death valley onto Vegas. Does that sound like a better plan?

    Once again, thanks for all the advice and sorry for asking so many questions.

    Kind regards,

    Louise.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Just to be clear....

    Quote Originally Posted by louise1721 View Post
    Hi Mark, after reading the very useful posts-I think we are going to go with your idea of skipping Sequoia as it sounds like the redwoods are just as impressive in Yosemite.
    Um. That isn't quite what I meant -- some of the tallest trees on earth are the coast redwood found along the northern California coast (300 feet tall!) The Mariposa Grove, near Yosemite is gorgeous, but those trees are not as big in diameter as those found in Sequoia National Park. But they are much easier to get to than some of the more impressive trees found at Sequoia and given your preference for spending more time in Las Vegas, you will have to make those decisions on what to see in the time you have.
    New possible plan is to now spend 3 days driving (meaning we would then still be able to spend 6 days as planned in Vegas)-still spend day 1 driving to Yosemite and stay overnight there. Day 2 drive from Yosemite through the Tioga Pass and spend the night somewhere within about 1.5-2 hours drive to death valley (any suggestions of a place to stay going this route).
    I would stay over-night in either Mammoth Lakes or Bishop (because the timing with daylight makes more sense).
    Then day 3, drive through death valley onto Vegas. Does that sound like a better plan?
    That will work too. You gotta remember -- THIS IS YOUR ROADTRIP You get to decide. There is no one correct route.

    One more link to read -- lots of good posts herein.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-21-2007 at 05:44 PM. Reason: added link

  10. Default Staying in western National Parks - make a reservation NOW

    For all of you who are planning trips to our wonderful National Parks - most of um - but especially Yosemite and Death Valley - if you don't already have a reservation for a bed, you're propbably out of luck already! These book up a year ahead of time, or at least 6 months ahead - so you aren't going to be able to just drive in and "stay in the park" - unless you luck out and get an cancellation.

    That said, there are tons of motels outside Yosemite, on both sides - closest to the Valley would be in El Portal; watch names - "the Yosemite View Motel" views the entrance sign, not the valley! But it's pretty... Mariposa is a cute town to stay in, but it's an hour from the valley. If you're after Memorial weekend, Tioga will be open and you could stay in LeeVining, overlooking Mono Lake. Or at the Tioga Pass Resort - cute cabins.

    For Death Valley - the Furnace Creek Inn closes in the summer; The Ranch stays open all year, as does Stovepipe Wells. Stovepipe is cheaper and much, much quieter. both have lovely swimming pools and good restaurants. Panamint Springs has 7 cabins, but in the hot summer, not sure how well the cooling works there.

    If those are full, then you can stay in Beatty, 45 min. from Furnace Creek, or Lone Pine, 1.5 hrs. from the Valley, or Ridgecrest, 2 hrs from the Valley.
    Might want to check out the web page I made with tons of DV info not found other places.

    Sequoia National Park - there are NO accomodations in Sequoia, and only a few in Grant Grove Village, but there is a big new thing between the parks. Make a reservation! Just so you know. Even the campgrounds are already booked well into summer.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-22-2007 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Preferred Link Format & added white space

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