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  1. Default Las Vegas to San Francisco problem with route

    Hi folks forum I havebeen lurking around for a while trying to see if I can find all the information needed for my wife and I's June 2 week trip (16 days) to california. If I had my way we would be doing this trip on a Harley rental-never mind!!

    Here is my proposed trip:
    Day 1 Land in San Fran from the UK, pick up hire car (convertible of course) at 1pm and travel to Monterey for two nights.
    Day 2 Monterey visit Big Sur, hearst castle etc
    Day 3 Travel to Ventura for three nights
    Day 4 Ventura
    Day 5 Ventura visit six flags rollercoaster park
    Day 6 travel to las Vegas
    Day 7 Las Vegas
    Day 8 Hire a Harley for the day visit Hoover Damm, Boulder City etc
    Day 9 Las Vegas
    Day 10
    Day 11
    Day 12
    Day 13
    Day14 San Fran
    Day 15 San Fran
    Day 16 San Fran

    My questions are as follows;
    Firstly, does my route and plan seem okay to you seasoned travellers?. I have looked at the forum and am still a little confused into which way to travel back from Las Vegas to San Francisco

    I would like to do the usual tourist route taking in the wonderous scenery including death valley up through to Yosemite, Tiago pass and onto Bodie ghost town. Can you help me space the four days I have to do this journey by recommending old town charm and beautiful scenery to stay at. Were not really into hiking much, just want to chill, maybe a swim in the accommodation pool, take photos and eat USA steak!

    Looking at the maps, Furnace creek seems too closefor our first night . I like the look of Kernville, would you recommend this.

    I would also be grateful for your choice of Las Vegas Hotel, definately want to be on the strip-looking at three star (four if I could get a good deal) with a pool

    Many Thanks in anticipation of your replies
    Peter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default looks good

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'd say the basic outline of your route looks fine.

    As far as your remaining 4 days, I think spending the first night in Death Valley would make a lot of sense, you'll have plenty of time, so I wouldn't see the need to rush through Death Valley. You've be looking at a very long day if you try to see DV and make it to Kernville.

    I'd also say that Kernville doesn't make a lot of sense if you are hoping to go over Tioga Pass, since it would be a very long way out of the way. If Tioga is still closed during your trip (it typically opens in May or June, depending on the weather) then Kernville would make a little more sense as an overnight destination.

  3. Default

    Okay if I stay at Furnace Creek (145miles from Vegas), where would you suggest next?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default One Possibility

    Rather than heading around the Sierra Nevada to the south, go north instead. Leave Death Valley to the west on CA-190 and join US-395 northbound. This is a very scenic drive up the east side of the mountain range, with plenty of wondrous scenery, including Mono Lake. You could then spend the night somewhere in the Lake Tahoe area and make a morning visit to Virginia City before making the final run into San Francisco.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    if you hav'nt been to yosemite before i would recommend 2 days there before heading to san fran,especially if the passes are open.you will need it to enjoy it's beauty,the scenery is breath taking,and a trip up glacier point is a must do. after death valley,if you stayed around the mono lake area [for some great food visit "woah nellies deli" which is at the gas station on the junction of hwy 120 [tioga pass] and hwy 395,it has a basic diner feel, but great food!] it would give you easy access to the tioga pass,this will take longer to drive than you think as you will want to stop and take in the great views,arrive at the valley floor in the afternoon for some exploring.the following morning a trip up to glacier point before heading to san fran.

    you mentioned kernville. we drove from vegas to the south shore of lake isabella across death valley [stopping at furnace creek for lunch]and loved the little town of kernville and the drive up the kern valley to the trail of 100 giants. you can see more about that in the road trip report section on this forum[as well as yosemite/mono lake]titled san francisco loop.
    as said it would make a good alternative if you wanted to visit yosemite from the southern entrance especially if tioga was still closed.

    have a great trip!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-17-2008 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Added a link to this section of his excellent field report!

  6. Default

    Thanks for all the replies so far. Great field report gommy, definately gives the flavour of whats ahead on my trip.

    If I stayed in yosemite area, where is a good scenic motel/hotel.

    Are there many places along the way that resemble towns like Kernville or is this place a one off.

    I am thinking of staying in death valley at the furnace ranch as recommended by midwest Michael for the fist night, then head to Kernville for the second and then set myself up for a route through Sequoia and Kings National parks and onto yosemite for the third/fourth night. Will definately visit Bodie ghost town-looks amazing. May have to miss Tioga pass-is this wise?

    I dont think I will go up as far as Lake Tahoe.
    Its difficult cutting out things to see, but I guess its trying to get the happy balance between enjoyable holiday and hard slog holiday.

    Plans are not in stone and subject to change

    Thanks for the replies, please keep them coming

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    thanks!
    you can book lodging in yosemite n.p. through the n.parks site,google nps.gov,but you would need to book early that time of year.
    we did'nt come across anything else like kernville with it's "village square" feel,but the scenery and small places you drive through are great.,
    if you are arriving in yosemite from kings canyon area and want to visit bodie then,if open,you would go over the tioga pass to mono lake to get there.
    we travelled up the generals highway to the giants forest,but this is'nt in kings canyon and to get to kings is quite a diversion given you only have 4 days for this part of your journey.
    also i can't see where your going to have time to do bodie and enjoy any quality time anywhere if you decide to go up the sequoia route.the problem i see is that if you stop in death valley and kernville your not covering much ground in the first 2 days and leaving a lot to do in the other two remaining.a possibility would be to spend an hour or 2 in kernville[it's a small place] and head further up the road for the night. if you definately want to visit bodie i think you would be better of sticking to the east through lone pine/lee vining etc. tough choices are'nt they?,but you'll have a great time which ever way you decide.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 02-19-2008 at 09:53 AM.

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi all,

    Hope no-one minds me jumping in as our routes are quite similar...

    We too are planning a early October SF - LV route, with the help of some great advice and some trip reports from this forum. We did Las Vegas last year with day trips to the GC, Red Rock, Boulder & Hoover Dam, this year we're returning and doing the area justice.. as long as I can have a couple of days in Vegas to recover before flying home. This is my route so far -

    SF - Sonora - Yosemite via Lake Mono - Sequoia NP - Death Valley - Valley of Fire/ Lake Mead via Toonpah/ET Hwy - Zion NP - Bryce NP - Monument Valley via Hanksville(cheers Gommy - looks a great route) - Grand Canyon - LV

    I'm planning on 3 weeks allowing for 3days in SF, 3days in LV and 2 nights in the parks and 1 night on route, Sonora, Beatty, Mesquite and Mexican Hat.

    My issues are attacking Yosemite from Lake Mono, what's the chance of the Tioga pass being closed early Oct? Staying in Sequoia - Three rivers area or Hot Springs? Sequoia to DV, have I given ourselves enough time for Kernville/Lake Isabella? And I could possibly do with a stop between Bryce and Monument valley, is there any alternative to Hanksville?

    Cheers folks,
    Butty
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-01-2008 at 11:23 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default You are gonna need a helicopter

    Quote Originally Posted by ChipButty View Post
    Hope no-one minds me jumping in as our routes are quite similar
    This is a dynamic board -- no one "owns" a particular thread....
    SF - Sonora - Yosemite via Lake Mono - Sequoia NP - Death Valley
    You need to look (again) at the map -- unless you have easy access to a helicopter, you can't go from Lake Mono to Sequoia to Death Valley without backtracking across the Sierra Nevada mountain range at least twice.
    - Valley of Fire/ Lake Mead via Toonpah/ET Hwy - Zion NP - Bryce NP - Monument Valley via Hanksville - Grand Canyon - LV
    Valley of Fire and Lake Mead is on the way to Zion, but the ET Highway is way out of your way. It can be done, of course, but with serious zig-zags.
    I'm planning on 3 weeks allowing for 3days in SF, 3days in LV and 2 nights in the parks and 1 night on route, Sonora, Beatty, Mesquite and Mexican Hat.
    Beatty, Mesquite and Mexican Hat are very odd places to stay overnight on this route. It could be done, but I am not sure why????
    My issues are attacking Yosemite from Lake Mono, what's the chance of the Tioga pass being closed early Oct?
    Only if the drought ends... Chances are zero it will be closed.
    Staying in Sequoia - Three rivers area or Hot Springs? Sequoia to DV, have I given ourselves enough time for Kernville/Lake Isabella?
    How are you getting from Mono Lake to Sequoia?
    And I could possibly do with a stop between Bryce and Monument valley, is there any alternative to Hanksville?
    Yep, there are lots of towns between there.

    Mark

  10. Default

    Have booked three nights at T I las vegas and will now spend 5 days on the road. Have booked furnace creek ranch as advised. i have cancelled the idea of kernville-too far outta the way.

    Looking at maps it seems there are two separate routes to yosemite area. On e takes you through the forests/woods and the other up and over the mountains (would prefer this). Is this true

    I would like a two day stop over around yosemite area. Looking for smallish town with character-any suggestions.

    thanks in anticipation

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