Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Default How to do Kings Canyon and Death Valley in a few days?

    We coming to the west coast in a couple of weeks (for our honeymoon!), and I'm struggling to plan the southbound trip from San Francisco to Vegas. From reading other threads in this forum it looks like the following itinerary is rather improbable;

    25th - Leave Yosemite mid morning, drive to Kings Canyon via Fresno
    26th - spend the day and overnight in Kings Canyon/Sequoia.
    27th - Leave early morning, head to Death Valley for overnight stop
    28th - Leave Death Valley midday and drive to Vegas

    I've read lots of posts about;
    SF -> Yosemite -> Death Valley -> Vegas or
    SF -> Yosemite -> Kings Canyon -> Vegas
    but none that cover both Kings Canyon and Death Valley. Am I right in thinking the restriction is the mountain passes? Presumably we either have to head east out of Yosemite via Tioga pass then down the 395 (and therefore miss Kings Canyon), or head south out of Yosemite towards Fresno and onto King Canyon (missing Death Valley)? It looks like the only way to do both is to head south through Sequoia National Monument and then onto the 178 (by Lake Isabella) then north on the 395 towards Death Valley - I'm guessing this is a long drive though and not really suitable for a couple of days?

    Thanks for the help,

    Ed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default You can do this!

    Quote Originally Posted by egrigson View Post
    We coming to the west coast in a couple of weeks (for our honeymoon!)
    Congratulations on the pending marriage and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    and I'm struggling to plan the southbound trip from San Francisco to Vegas. From reading other threads in this forum it looks like the following itinerary is rather improbable;
    It really depends on how hard you want to push travel on your honeymoon. For summertime travel -- all of the mountain passes will be open -- I am presuming that the dates mentioned above are July....?
    25th - Leave Yosemite mid morning, drive to Kings Canyon via Fresno
    26th - spend the day and overnight in Kings Canyon/Sequoia.
    27th - Leave early morning, head to Death Valley for overnight stop
    28th - Leave Death Valley midday and drive to Vegas
    The distances are all reasonable -- as long as you don't mind longish days.
    Presumably we either have to head east out of Yosemite via Tioga pass then down the 395 (and therefore miss Kings Canyon), or head south out of Yosemite towards Fresno and onto King Canyon (missing Death Valley)? It looks like the only way to do both is to head south through Sequoia National Monument and then onto the 178 (by Lake Isabella) then north on the 395 towards Death Valley - I'm guessing this is a long drive though and not really suitable for a couple of days?
    Like I mentioned, there are no restrictions for travel in the Sierra Nevada mountains in July. To do your trip, you would exit Yosemite from the southern portal at Mariposa -- make sure you stop and see the Redwood Groves! And then south on CA-41 to Fresno, like you planned for stops at Kings Canyon. From Kings Canyon, there are a couple of options, but given your time constraints, I would do CA-178 past Lake Isabella. You can stay on CA-178 past Ridgecrest and up to CA-190 for the trip into Death Valley, but I recommend that you instead head north on US-395 and and pick-up CA-190 at Olanche so you can enjoy the spectacular drive through the Darwin Falls area on approach to Death Valley. Be sure to stop at Panamint Springs (for ice tea/beer) check out the Redwood Burl bar and the photos and then proceed east into the Death Valley Park. From DV, its about a three hour drive to Las Vegas.

    Again, this is all doable.

    Happy Planning!

    mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default One other options

    What I would probably do in your shoes is to change things up a bit. Instead of going to Yosemite first, I'd go to Sequoia/Kings Canyon first. Spend your time there and then go to Yosemite, over Tioga Pass and onto Death Valley.

    There's nothing wrong with the route that you and Mark are talking about, but even though there is a little bit of backtracking, I think this route would give you more time in the places you say you want to see.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default San Francisco is the starting point?

    Unless I mis-read this -- they are starting in San Francisco and heading south...

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default yes but

    By the time you go from Sequoia, down to Lake Isabella and then back north to Death Valley, you're only looking at 50 more miles to start with Sequoia, then backtrack north through Yosemite and cross Tioga on your way to Death Valley.

    If I was doing the trip myself, driving over Tioga and down US-395 would be well worth 50 extra miles compared to going the shorter route via CA-178.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I must be missing something

    Michael, this looks like a looping, circular route to me....

    San Francisco > Yosemite > Sequoia & Kings Canyon > Death Valley > Las Vegas, am I missing a leg that backtracks someplace?

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default my take on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Michael, this looks like a looping, circular route to me....

    San Francisco > Yosemite > Sequoia & Kings Canyon > Death Valley > Las Vegas, am I missing a leg that backtracks someplace?

    Mark
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What I would probably do in your shoes is to change things up a bit. Instead of going to Yosemite first, I'd go to Sequoia/Kings Canyon first. Spend your time there and then go to Yosemite, over Tioga Pass and onto Death Valley.

    There's nothing wrong with the route that you and Mark are talking about, but even though there is a little bit of backtracking, I think this route would give you more time in the places you say you want to see.
    i think michaels referring to back tracking slightly by going to kings canyon first, as he has suggested, not on the original/your route. :)
    both options are doable and if your thinking of driving over the tioga pass sight seeing this could work,but both are great drives.

  8. Default Thanks for the advice

    Thanks for the quick and useful replies. I'll check our map again and see which we prefer but good to know the options. Looking forward to a great drive, it looks spectacular even on Google maps with the terrain option turned on!

    Thanks again,

    Ed.

Similar Threads

  1. LA - Yosemite - Kings Canyon - Death Valley - Grand Canyon
    By hhcribbs in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-16-2008, 10:28 AM
  2. Replies: 26
    Last Post: 06-04-2007, 05:00 AM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-30-2007, 03:11 PM
  4. Death Valley, Sequoia, Kings, Yosemite (May)
    By Burgers in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-20-2007, 02:31 PM
  5. LV, Grand Canyon, Death Valley and SF in 5 days?
    By dlp in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-28-2006, 12:26 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES