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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Denderleeuw (city of lions), Near Brussels
    Posts
    20

    Default Best way from Zion NP to Yosemite NP ?

    Hi !
    Me and my girlfriend (from Brussels, Europe) are planning a trip!

    Next year, around may/june, we're going to America for the first time.
    I would spend a few days in Vegas first to kick my jetlag...
    Than the following days would happen:

    1 : Las Vegas - Kingman 105 miles
    2 : Kingman - Grand Canyon South Rim Entrance 172 miles
    3 : Grand Canyon - Kayenta via Tuba City 154 miles
    4 : Kayenta - Route 163 Monument Valley (navajo region) 64 miles
    5 : Kayenta - Lake Powell 101 miles
    6 : Lake Powell - Bryce Canyon 154 miles
    7 : Bryce Canyon - Zion National Park 85 miles
    8 9 10 : Zion NP (stay there to relax and enjoy the nature)

    > right here i'm stuck...

    12 : June Lake
    13 14 15 : Yosemite National Park
    16 : Yosemite NP - San Francisco
    17 : San Francisco
    18 : San Francisco - Brussels


    With number 11 I'm a little stuck, to pass from Zion to June Lake (near Yosemite).
    I read somewhere that it's possible to go through Great Basin in 1 day. But I couldn't find the right roads. The roads I found were too long, or too much small roads, no highways... unless the Extraterrestral Highway nearby (is that a good one to visit?).

    The routemap www.us.map24.com leads me back to Las Vegas to go around Death Valley... but it also takes + 15 hours...

    Or via Cedar City >>> Pioche (Panaca) >>> Tonopah >>> June Lake ... but it takes a few days too probably.
    And how to find a hostel in the desert, there?
    Of is it best with a camper?

    How would you guys do that in a minimum time scheme ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default a few options

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    Since you are planning to spend the night enroute, you really shouldn't have any problems here. The entire distance could be done in a long day if you really needed to, so two days will give you lots of options.

    I'd say your best two would be to either go through Great Basin (good roads/directions are listed on the park's website) or through Death Valley. Both could very easily be done in two days. If you take the Great Basin option, you could find a motel pretty easily in nearby Ely, if you go through Death Valley, you could stay right in the park.

    There is one big IF to your trip, however, depending when you are traveling in May/June there is a fairly decent chance that Tioga Pass will still be closed for the season. If that is the case, then June Lake would end up being a very long way from the Yosemite Valley, and you'll want to make the trip either via Bakersfield to the south or Lake Tahoe to the north.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Denderleeuw (city of lions), Near Brussels
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Thanks!
    Or we can ride from Cedar City to June Lake... with a stop in Old Mill Road (little a'le'inn) near Area 51, through extraterrestrial highway...

    But it's 2 days with 6 hours on the road... too long for my girlfriend (she wants to ride max 4 hours a day)

    See the map:
    http://www.bulevardi.be/pics/road.JPG

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default well yes

    That route is also an option, although I lodging will be a little problematic. I think you'd have to go to Tonopah to find a room.

    4 hours really isn't that much time in a car for a day, and when you are talking about distances the size of the west, its a limit that can really put some serious limits on where you can travel. I really don't think one day where you'd cover 6-8 hours on the road would be unbearable.

    And again, I will remind you that there is a pretty fair chance that you won't be able to access Yosemite via June Lake at this time of year, which will add several hours of travel to your current plans.

  5. Default The shortest route I find is about 8 hours

    The shortest route I can find is from Cedar City to Tonopah, and then up over Tioga Pass into Yosemite, taking 319, 93, and 375 through Nevada. But with *best possible* times (no stops) its like 4 1/2 hours to Tonopah, and then another about 4 hours to Yosemite.

    That's definitely the back roads through Nevada though, and through some pretty deserted places to get to Tonopah. Tonopah is the biggest city on this route (hah! thought I'd never be saying that....) and best place to find a place to say. Be prepared a bit -- cell phone, extra water and food, and don't do anything stupid.

    But if Tioga Pass is closed due to snow, there is no direct route to Yosemite. You'll have to go around the southern end of the Sierras through the Bakersfield area to come into Yosemite from the west. That's definitely going to be longer, particularly at a max of 4 hours in the car per day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Denderleeuw (city of lions), Near Brussels
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Thanks for the road tips! I'm gonna think about it and try to find the best route for us.

    Well, actually I said '4 hours maximum driving a day' as a guideline... We can drive more, a whole day if we need to. If it's just for one day it's ok.
    Because we don't want to make a rushy stressy drive-holiday, but more a relax-holiday. Of course we want to see a lot in less time, but that's a contradiction ;-)

    Maybe, if we go in June, it will be okay to pass the Tioga Pass...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Denderleeuw (city of lions), Near Brussels
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Hmm, I checked the route you told me, from Cedar City to Tonopah.

    You said I can do it in 4h30 when driving well non-stop.

    http://us.map24.com gives me 8h15 for that trip...
    http://maps.google.com gives me 5h07 for that trip.


    Maybe I should trust google more for those timelines?
    Because your 4u30 and the 8h15 is double of the time... makes a big difference !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default always estimates

    Online map programs are always estimates, however all the numbers you have told us about from the map24 site seem very very high. I don't see any reason why that trip would take 8+ hours.

    Google's estimates are often optimistic, but can certainly be hit or miss. 5 hours for this trip seems in the ballpark. As Larrison said, 4.5 hours is about the best possible time you could cover that distance, but that would assume driving at or a little above the speed limit with no stops, if you stop a time or two, I'd say 5-6 hours sounds most likely.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Denderleeuw (city of lions), Near Brussels
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Hmm, yeah.

    I've checked also with www.viamichelin.com maps and they say 7h37. Also very high... But you never know, with routeplanners.

    Maybe I'm going to make an average time schedule in my excel-file, based on several routeplanners ;-)

    Anyway, I'm going to reschedule the trip with alternative routes because the Tioga Pass could be closed indeed... Thanks for the advice about that !

  10. Default What is the mileage shown?

    Look at the mileage shown for the internet mapping engines -- it's always a good check to see what mileage they are showing, and compare that to the hours.

    I was using www.maps.msn.com (everyone has a personal preference) and from Cedar City, UT to Tonopah, NV it lists as 289 miles, and estimates at 4 hours, 30 minutes. Every internet mapping engine seems to make an estimate on speed possible dependent upon the type of road you're traveling. On a superhighway you can sometimes beat the internet mapping engines times if you really push, but most of the time you'll take more -- due to those necessary stops to get gas, find a restroom, get out and walk around after being in the car for hours, or do some sightseeing.

    As a rough rule of thumb, you can average somewhere around 50-57 mph, dependent upon your personal driving style. The 289 miles in 4.5 hours is an *average* of 64 mph (hence "best possible" time...). A better estimate would be somewhere around 5-6 hours to travel that distance. But I don't understand where the 7+ hours is coming from, unless they are routing you down to Las Vegas and back north to stay on the superhighways.

    My personal opinion is it would be an interesting route -- take you through some really back country areas in Nevada, in a part of the state I've never had a chance to explore. But I wouldn't push it to do the highest speed you could -- enjoy the views, and be a bit safer and cautious since you'll be in pretty desolate country. I'd pack a nice picnic lunch and some snacks in a cooler since it doesn't look like there are many places to stop, and I'd plan on finding somewhere to have leisurely picnic lunch about noon.

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