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  1. Default Vegas to Yosemite (Oakhurst) in 1 day ... via Death Valley... realistic?

    Hi all, new to this site and have found it to be excellent already.
    Not sure if I should be starting a new thread here ..... but I do have a question regarding Vegas to Yosemite!
    Anyway, myself and my wife are travelling mid October from Ireland.
    As you'll see from my rough plan below I'm just about trying to fit everything in (A compromise between road trip, city tours and a few days at the end to chill)

    LA (stay 3 nights) .. the usual sights etc.
    Gran Canyon (South rim) (1 night)... just wanna get the sunrise!
    Las Vegas (2 nights)
    Yosemite (2 nights)
    San Fran (3 nights)
    Somewhere on Rte1? (1 night)
    OC (3 nights)

    Some questions:

    Does it make sense to visit Hoover Dam on the way from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas? ..or is Hoover Dam a day trip?

    I'd really like to go via Death Valley, Mammoth Lakes, Tioga Pass to Yosemite(Oakhurst), but having already read some posts it looks like this is just way too much to do in one day .. What if I was to go through Death Valley and then head back south towards route 58/Bakersfield then on via Fresno... would this shorten the drive time enough to make it realistic? If so how long should I expect it to take?

    Any suggestions what best place would be to stop for the night if taking coast road from San Francisco to LA ?

    Any other suggestions on interesting routes or places to see along the way.
    and any recommendations on somewhere 'different' to stay on the last leg of the journey in OC, I was thinking somewhere around Dana Point etc.??

    Thanks for your help.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Just a Few Pointers

    Céad Míle Fáilte!

    Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon is a long day's drive (~500 miles) and if you plan to see the sunset that evening at the canyon, you will have to plan to be up before dawn on the day of the drive so that you can clear L.A. before the rush hour traffic starts to build up at 6:00 AM or earlier. Also, even in October, it makes sense to get a reservation at the Lodge in the canyon. Then the drive from the canyon to Las Vegas takes you right over the top of Hoover dam, and all you have to do to take the tour is turn right into the parking lot and sign up.

    If you plan to do anything on the way from Las Vegas to San Francisco, you'll need to schedule a second day. It's 575 miles by the most direct motorway route. You can't count on Tioga Pass being open in mid-October, but a nice two-day alternative would be to see Death Valley and then continue northward on US-395, spending the night in the Bishop/Mammoth Lakes area. The next day, continue northward to Lake Tahoe and then take US-50 through Sacramento and I-80 into San Francisco. This is a very scenic drive with opportunities to stop and enjoy some of what you'll be missing by not getting to Yosemite. As for a place to stop on the way down the coast highway, you should probably be looking at somewhere around Cambria, Morro Bay or San Louis Obispo with SLO offering the most choices. Again, you'll need to get a very early start out of San Francisco on the first leg, both to beat traffic and to have time for everything there is to see in Monterey, Carmel and along Big Sur. There are a ton of posts about this general itinerary, so have a look at these links to some of the best of those.


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