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  1. Default Help with trip from Zion to Yosemite

    We are a family of 5 (three kids 9, 6, 3) planning a trip next year from Phoenix to Fresno. We want to explore along the way, and one leg of this trip takes us from Zion to Yosemite. We planned to stay just West of Zion (possibly Mesquite, NV) after a day of hiking, then it was on to Lee Vining Ca, via Tonopah for the next night before Tioga Pass (if open ) into Yosemite. My question is: Is the drive from Mesquite to Lee Vining too long for a day's drive with three kids? We didn't plan to hop off the road that day for much other than breaks for food, etc. Any one have any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tustin, California, United States

    Default You should be fine

    Welcome to the RTA forums!

    This route is just under 400 miles, so I don't see too big an issue with this, although I have not yet been on the route from Mesquite to Tonopah (Hwy 93) myself. Just make sure everyone's been to the restroom before turning off I-15.

    I would definitely break up the day and stop in Tonopah, NV to get some fuel (both the car and the family) before continuing on. If you left Mesquite, NV at 8am local time you would get to Tonopah by lunch time, and then another 3-4 hours before you reach Lee Vining.

    During the drive, Nintendo DS and/or Sony PSP are your friends, if you have them.

    All in all, doable. Have fun!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    as kinless says,it should be o.k but will be a long day. the route will take you onto the e.t. highway where you could stop for a stretch and a drink at the little "alien inn".
    after here you will come to warm springs and again worth a stop to stretch the legs and have a look at this little ghost town. theres only about four old buildings,a few car wrecks and a hot tub thats fed from the water that comes out the mountain. you can follow the stream by taking a short walk up the hill where you will find the water boiling from the mountain before running through to the pool,cooling on it's way. although the pool is fenced off, there is a gap in the fence and it's not uncommon for people to take a dip despite the keep out signs. the kids will probably enjoy both stops as you have tonopah,the old mining town and just beyond there is millers rest area that has toilets and a picnic area if you want a break before heading on to lee vining. have a good trip!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default St. George or Las Vegas makes more sense to me

    Quote Originally Posted by cmsmayer View Post
    We planned to stay just West of Zion (possibly Mesquite, NV) after a day of hiking
    After a day of hiking -- driving all the way to Mesquite doesn't really make much sense to me. I would stay in St. George -- enjoy some time in the motel pool and get an early start the next day. I agree it is only about sixty miles to Mesquite -- but you'll have many more lodging choices in St. George. Or if you don't mind a three hour drive -- I would go to Las Vegas -- where the choices far exceed both St. George and Mesquite.
    then it was on to Lee Vining Ca, via Tonopah for the next night before Tioga Pass (if open ) into Yosemite. My question is: Is the drive from Mesquite to Lee Vining too long for a day's drive with three kids?
    Tonopah has a lot to recommend an overnight -- but if Tioga Pass is your destination, it seems an odd route choice. I would suggest staying overnight in Las Vegas and then taking US-95 to NV-266 (Lida Junction) and stay the night at Bishop. Very cool town, lots to see and then head north again US-396 to CA-120 over Tioga Pass into Yosemite.

    Along the way you can go see the Bristlecone Forest... Here is field report that discusses this route.

    Also here are some tips for planning family road trips!

    And here is a great field report about Tioga Pass, Zion and points in between with good photos to whet your appetite!

    Happy Planning!


  5. Default Thanks for the tips!

    I really appreciate the suggestions. I guess I chose Mesquite because that gets us one small step closer on that day, but St. George had been my original choice. I'm trying to fit this all in for a 5 night trip between two sisters - one in Mesa and the other in Fresno. And a trip which takes us in to see the Bristlecone PInes sounds great, too.

    Our trip starts by traveling from Mesa to The Grand Canyon (night 1), Zion (night 2 just before, night 3 just after), and Yosemite (night 4 just before, night 5 during Yos. visit), then on to Fresno at the end of day 6. With plenty of fun side excursions and sights on the way. I'll be on this site quite a bit!

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