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  1. #1

    Default Las Vegas to Yosemite in late January

    Howdy forum,

    This may be my first of many queries, so I hope you'll be patient with me. I am taking the family on 'the big trip' and one of the more complicated legs will be travelling from Las Vegas to Yosemite around the 20 Jan 09.

    Some pertinent information:
    -Kids are 9 and 11 and they can generally survive a long trip in the car if they have to.
    -We only plan to have two night in Yosemite (night of arrival and night prior to departure.
    -I am a keen amateur photographer.

    A couple of questions:

    - what is the best route considering weather?
    - is there an interesting stop enroute if the family dont want to drive for 7 hours?
    - Am i nuts trying to drive into Yosemite that time of year?

    Please excuse me if I have asked some dumb questions!

    Cheers,

    Claude

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Keep the questions coming !

    Hi Claude and welcome to the R.T.A forums.

    - what is the best route considering weather?
    The Tioga pass [HWY 120] into Yosemite is very popular but is closed this time of year due to snow. You will need to take I-15 to Barstow, Then to Bakersfield on the 58 and then North on the 99 to Fresno and finally 41 into Yosemite.

    - is there an interesting stop enroute if the family dont want to drive for 7 hours
    With time for a couple of stops and lunch e.t.c you are probably looking at a 10 hour day. A lot of people break this up with an overnight stop and use the extra time to cross Death valley, which is a fascinating place. If you were to do this Lake Isabella is a pleasant enough area for an overnight stop. If you wanted to do it in a day I would stop before Yosemite and drive in the next morning in daylight so as not to miss anything. Oakhurst would be a good spot for location to Yosemite.

    Am i nuts trying to drive into Yosemite that time of year?
    Not in my book, especially as you are a keen photographer. [Another good reason to cross Death valley] The only downside is the high ground will be closed off, but the valley floor is spectacular in itself.

    Please excuse me if I have asked some dumb questions!
    No need, the idea of the forum is to help people get ideas, please ask away if you have any other questions on this part of your journey or any other aspect of it. We will be only to pleased to help you piece your Itinerary together.

    One more thought, I would imagine you are getting your travel times from an on-line mapping tool. [L/V to Yosemite in 7 hours] It's worth knowing that in most cases they are hugely optimistic with there travel times and spare no time for lunch/sight seeing/ fueling stops e.t.c. so that's worth keeping in mind. Also you might want to keep an eye on the weather forcasts this time of year and it may mean your trip takes even longer than expected because of adverse conditions, this a good site for forecasts.

    Dave.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default To add to this....

    One more thought, I would imagine you are getting your travel times from an on-line mapping tool. [L/V to Yosemite in 7 hours] It's worth knowing that in most cases they are hugely optimistic with there travel times and spare no time for lunch/sight seeing/ fueling stops e.t.c. so that's worth keeping in mind.
    The moderators here generally agree that you can use the following formula to get a more accurate traveling times. Take the total mileage and divide by 57mph (west of the Mississippi River) or 53mph (east of the Mississippi River). This formula takes into consideration brief stops for fuel and restroom breaks. It also allows for VERY short stops for food, i.e. your basic, quick fastfood stop. And for the normal type of congestion you might find going through cities, small towns, etc.

    Obviously, no formula can be 100% accurate but this formula is generally more accurate than the mapping programs as they don't allow any time for those types of quick stops at all.

    I generally find that the online mapping program time estimates are fairly accurate for short runs when you're not stopping, even for gas or the restroom. But, even then, they can be wrong if, for example, you're hitting a city during rush hour. They just don't allow for these types of situations very well.

    I agree with Dave's advice on other matters.

    Please keep asking questions. That's what we're here for.

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