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  1. Default Is my planned trip viable?

    I plan to fly to NY from England late May 08, going for approximately 18 days. There are likely to be four of us.

    I'd like to spend a couple of days in NY and then a couple in Washington DC before flying to Las Vegas. Again a couple of nights in Vegas (including a day trip to the Grand Canyon) before hiring a car and driving up/camping through Death Valley & Yosemite.

    We intend to finish in San Francisco but my friend really wants to drive down Pacific Coast (is that route 101?) so I was thinking about leaving Yosemite and driving up to Medford (approx 600 miles...halfway between Yose. & Portland?) in one day's graft, before swinging south so we can leisurely potter down 101 to San Fran.

    Does this plan hold merit? Would at least 12 days allow us to do Las Vegas onwards and not be rushing around (except for the 600 mile dash north)?

    Any other suggestions if my plan is not viable, gratefully recieved.

  2. #2


    Hi and welcome to RoadTrip America!

    Firstly, let me point you in the direction of our own RoadTrip Compatibilty Quiz which we recommend each member of your party take.

    Are you planning to make use of motels or camp (or a mix of both)? Camping really lends itself to the trip given you'll be visiting several national parks but be aware that you may need to book this in advance as, at some of the more popular destinations, camping spots can be hard to come by. But it's still very much well worth the effort in my opinion. With four of you in your party, of course, you'll need to keep the car size in mind.

    You should also be aware that the Tioga Pass - the road that you would be looking to take between Death Valley and Yosemite National Parks may or may not be open when you are in the area. The chances are that it will be but you'll need to keep in mind, if it's not, that there could be a lengthy diversion. Here are the dates that it opened in recent years to demonstrate:

    2007: May 11th
    2006: June 17th
    2005: June 24th
    2004: May 14th
    2003: May 31st
    2002: May 22nd
    2001: May 12th

    Once you have explored Yosemite you plan on heading towards the coast to drive along the PCH. I would absolutely try to do this if I were you - it is a beautiful drive and, in late May/early June shouldn't be too busy traffic wise. Most people will tell you that you have to drive the PCH between LA and SF (through Monterey and Big Sur) but, heading north to Medford, would open up the possibility of visits to Lake Tahoe, Reno, Lassen Volcanic National Park, McArthur-Burney Falls State Park, Crater Lake National Park and Redwood National Park, amongst others.

    Now, with all that, the question is... do you have enough time? What a nice problem to have - that is surely some of the most exciting scenery in the world.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default I think so

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think your plan seems pretty reasonable. That 600 mile day will be a little rough, but not impossibly long.

    The biggest potential issue is getting from Death Valley to Yosemite. The end of May is a hit or miss time for Tioga Pass to be open. Some years it opens in May, some years its not until June. I think (but I'm not sure) Snowfall has been above normal this winter, so you may have to find another route.

    We've got a lots and lots of other threads about this area. You can find links to some of our favorites in this thread.

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