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  1. Default From Grand Canyon to San Francisco

    Hi all fellow road-trippers!

    I would greatly appreciate some tips on best routes from Grand Canyon to Yosemite. We will come for a three week roadtrip to southern California in August-September. We will fist spend few days at Las Vegas and then head up to Crand Canyon South rim on August 21.

    I have tried to figure out the best route from thereon to Yosemite, which would not so much include the same roads that we will use to get to Grand Canyon (we will come from LAX through Barstrow to Las Vegas and from there the usual route to the south rim).

    I have been thinking about the following route: from Grand Canyon heading a bit east and then up to Utah and then from Cedar City (or St. George) west towards the desert and (through a lot of very small cities) through Tonopah to Yosemite. I am, however, a bit uncertain of this route due to the fact that it involves a lot of desert and the sierras. How are the roads, what is the scenery, is there any places to stay for the night etc...

    I would appreaciate any tips, route suggestions or advice on routes not to be taken!


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

    Default A long way around

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    Well, I think you'd have a very interesting trip if you have the time for it. I'd say you've be looking at a minimum of 3 days for this trip.

    You'll be looking at pretty much a full day drive to go from the South Rim to Cedar City. You'd go right by Zion National Park, but if it were me and I was going to the effort to go this route, I would have to make a stop at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon too just to compare the very different views.

    Your trip through Nevada would appear to take you along the Extra-Terrestrial Highway, running past "Area-51," which could be a fun drive, but it is empty country, and you'll want to make sure you have plenty of gas, as your fuel stop opportunities will be few and far between.

  3. Default Change of plan

    Thanks hugely Michael!

    That's what we thought that the way to Tonopah would be kind of empty... So will not be going there. Now we have two options:

    1) From Grand Canyon up to the border of Utah, staying there for one night. Then heading to Las Vegas on highway 15, and taking road 95 from Las Vegas up to Amargosa Valley, there road 373 to Death Valley Junction, and road 190 through Death Valley. Would be staying one night either somewere before Death Valley or then e.g. at Lone Pine after Death Valley. Then up north with road 395 and through Tioga Pass to Yosemite (would be there around 24 August so Tioga should be open).

    2) From GC back highway 40 to Kingman, and still continuing highway 40 to Barstow. From Barstow road 58 to Four Corners and there up the road 395 until Tioga Pass.

    Any recommendations which one would be better (scenery, time of travel and driving conditions - meaning that would it be a hard drive through Death Valley in option 1)?

    We have about 3 days to spend, and 4 even if it takes longer than expected. Please anyone comment with any good ideas...

    Thank you so much...

  4. #4

    Default Death Valley -- Hot, But Scenic

    The drive on CA Hwy-190 through Death Valley is scenic drive, but it will be hotter than hot during August and September. If you aren't camping, then you will have to be careful with respect to finding spots to stay on both sides of Death Valley.

    If you're doing the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and want to do Death Valley, you could take I-40 west to Exit 78. Head north through the Mojave Natl. Preserve (visit Kelso Dunes) to Baker at I-15. Continue north on CA Hwy-127 and enter Death Valley via CA Hwy-178. This stretch of road takes you past Badwater
    (282 ft. below sea-level), Devil's Golf Course and Artists Drive. A short detour east on CA Hwy-190 gets you to Zabriskie Point. Again, it's probably going to be grossly hot.

    If you return to I-40 to head west, then there is a nice stretch of Route 66 between Seligman and Kingman. Route 66 between Kingman through Oatman to Needles is a scenic drive, but it is also a very slow drive.

  5. Default Maybe not through Death Valley afterall

    Thanks a lot for your comments. We will keep this route in mind if we decide to go through Death Valley. However, I was surfing this great site yesterday for a good while and I found some very good tips from previous discussions (and one article by Mark which got me convinced to use routes going up from LV and then using 266 and 168 to Bishop and from there to Tioga Pass). So I think I have the route from LV to Yosemite now clear, but what I am still unsure of which route to take from GC back to LV.

    We will go to GC from LV though Henderson and Boulder City and Kingston. Hence, I would not want to take the same road back from GC to LV. The few questions that remain are:

    1) Am I right if I say that it is about a 5˝ hour drive from LV to GC with this "normal" route? Any idea when we would be in GC if we left LV at 9 am and stopped at Hoover Dam? We would like to make it to GC to see the sunset. Is there a guided tour at Hoover Dam, how long does that take?

    2) If we wanted to come back from GC to LV through the north side of GC (border of Utah and in the middle stay one night at St. George) - how long would that trip be? From my map I get the idea that it would be about double, around 10-11 hours drive altogether.

    I just want to make sure that, even if we take the longer way from the north side and if we leave GC around 2 pm on Wednesday, that we would be close to San Francisco in the evening of Friday. Any ideas on is that doable if we take the longer route from GC to LV? If that is not doable then we should use the shorter route south of GC...

    3) Also I guess, if we want to make any stops at Yosemite and want to keep our schedule, we should use the shorter route from GC to LV, am I right? Any prefences anyone which one would be more nice: to roadtrip though border of Utah, or to stop for a while at Yosemite?

    This roadtrip planning is hard, there is so much to see and so little time! So this is starting to get mathemathical to calculate how long we have time for each route... I am sure you all know what I am talking about. Thanks in advance for all and any replies!

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