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  1. Default Yosemite - Las Vegas Dilemma

    Hi, We are a family of 4 traveling from New Zealand around California from 7 May - 9 June this year. We are planning to visit and stay in Yosemite mid-May and then plan to make our way to Las Vegas before carrying on to Disneyland, and back up the coast to San Fran. Our dilemma is the best route to take leaving Yosemite to get to Las Vegas - can we realistically do this in one day, bearing in mind that Tioaga Pass will probably not be open? What is the best route to get us to Las Vegas, and if we had to stop off where is best (we thought Death Valley at the Furnace Ranch (Inn not available), what is this place REALLY like), or should we push on further and find somewhere closer to Las Vegas with more choice - looking for somewhere just to "chill" with pool, nice facilities before the sensory overload of Vegas. How long in driving hours is this trip (Yosemite to Las Vegas), we figure between 10-11? (not via Tioaga Pass), if you cannot go via Tioaga Pass which route should you take? We are staying at the Evergreen Lodge which is about 22 miles from Groveland. Everything else for our trip seems to make sense except this part! Hope you can help. Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Yosemite to Vegas via Death Valley

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If Tioga Pass is not open, then your route of choice from Yosemite to Las Vegas is to head east out of the park on CA-140 and then south on CA-41 to CA-99 to Bakersfield, CA-56 to Barstow and finally, I-15 to Vegas. That is nearly 500 miles and easily an all day drive. Your estimate of 10-11 hours is pretty good. If you did want to take it easy and do this over two days, the halfway point is roughly Mojave, CA, the intersection of CA-56 and CA-14. While there are a couple of motels in Mojave, your choices would be somewhat limited. Barstow has more, and better, choices. Death Valley is actually fairly off the 'direct' route described above if Tioga Pass is closed, but if you go to Ridgecrest (which has about half a dozen motels) from Mojave via Ca-14 and US-395, then Death Valley is accessible via CA-178. From Ridgecrest through Death Valley to Las Vegas is 250 miles, so you would have time to explore the National Park a bit. The best way to describe Death Valley is surprising. I'm a geologist and thought I knew what to expect, but it is actually quite varied. Be sure to stop at the park headquarters or a ranger station and see if there are any lectures or guided hikes available.

    Finally, don't give up on Tioga Pass quite yet, It could be opening early this year.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Options

    Quote Originally Posted by Robins View Post
    Our dilemma is the best route to take leaving Yosemite to get to Las Vegas - can we realistically do this in one day, bearing in mind that Tioaga Pass will probably not be open?
    If you don't include Death Valley and/or Tioga Pass, in the route you can easily go from Yosemite to Las Vegas in less than eight hours. Death Valley is one of my favorite parks -- even in late May when temps will be triple digits, but if you use CA-99 and the Interstate highways it is a fast road to Las Vegas. But if your route includes travel to Death Valley -- your estimate of 10-11 hours is pretty reasonable.
    if we had to stop off where is best (we thought Death Valley at the Furnace Ranch (Inn not available), what is this place REALLY like),
    The Ranch property is set-up like a two-story motel -- there are cabins, but they are rarely available. The rooms are pretty basic, but nice and the pool and the date gardens are lovely. Plus you can always go up to the Inn for a very elegant and chic dinner if you want. ***I see that the web site is indicating that the Inn dining room may close by the 15th of May -- such a shame that it can't stay open longer. More info here.**** There is something magical about waking up in Death Valley -- and if you can fit in the time -- I would do it.
    or should we push on further and find somewhere closer to Las Vegas with more choice
    I wouldn't say that there are many other viable choices for lodging -- Pahrump and Beatty both have motels, but certainly they don't offer anything not found in Death Valley.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-22-2007 at 03:02 PM. Reason: Added Link to the Inn dining room

  4. Default Thanks for the tips - one more question!

    Hi All, Many thanks for your answers re our dilemma from Yosemite to Las Vegas - always hard half a world away to figures these things out!
    If we did do the one day trip to Las Vegas, is there somewhere suitable for a really nice "chill out" relax place - good facilities and restaurants about 1 hour or so out of Las Vegas, an oasis in the desert I guess is what we are looking for before we hit the bright lights and to recover from a big drive...What is Boulder City or Henderson like?
    We were planning to stop off in Barstow after Las Vegas, en-route to Anaheim, so perhaps could change that if stopping in Barstow would be the best option before rather than after Las Vegas and then just do LV - Anaheim in a day (think that is quite easy 4 hours or so?).
    This is the only sticky part of our journey so appreciate all the feedback!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default More suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Robins View Post
    If we did do the one day trip to Las Vegas, is there somewhere suitable for a really nice "chill out" relax place - good facilities and restaurants about 1 hour or so out of Las Vegas, an oasis in the desert I guess is what we are looking for before we hit the bright lights and to recover from a big drive...
    Not really. Any places that would be an hour from Las Vegas would be out of the way for your route, except Pahrump and I wouldn't recommend that -- the choices at Las Vegas are multiple and varied -- I don't know where you are planning to stay in Las Vegas -- but some places are very laid back.
    What is Boulder City or Henderson like?
    Boulder City is very All-American and relaxed, (but wouldn't be my choice for an oasis in the desert) and it is an hour beyond Las Vegas and makes no sense on your route. Henderson is a suburb of Las Vegas -- you would be hard-pressed to know find the dividing lines in many respects -- Locals can spot the differences immediately, but I don't think you would at first glance.
    We were planning to stop off in Barstow after Las Vegas, en-route to Anaheim, so perhaps could change that if stopping in Barstow would be the best option before rather than after Las Vegas and then just do LV - Anaheim in a day (think that is quite easy 4 hours or so?).
    I have stayed in Barstow many times over the years, and as much as I like it as a Route 66 town -- it is a little hard-edged and you have to enjoy the grittiness of this tough little town --

    If you are looking for a nice, pleasant place -- very much an oasis, on the drive from Yosemite -- I would suggest Lake Isabella or Kernville. Lots and lots of choices and price ranges. Two that I would recommend -- very rustic and the best steaks in the area -- Johnny McNally's Fairview Lodge -- excellent value. A bit more upscale, with the pool, excellent food, range of accomodations from cabins to luxury suites -- Whispering Pines Lodge BB

    [update: 09-19-07: Terry Anderson, the host of McNally's writes: If you have Winter travelers interested the restuarant is closed after Thanksgiving but our rooms and cabins are open year round.]

    From there is an easy drive to Las Vegas.

    LV to Anaheim is about 5 hours.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-19-2007 at 10:40 AM. Reason: updated info

  6. Default Thanks Mark

    Will look at your suggestions and hopefully sort it out!

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