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  1. #1

    Default Grand Canyon to Las Vegas to Death Valley to Sequoia/Kings to Yosemite to Tahoe?

    Hey all,

    Brand new on this forum, but so glad I found it! My wife and I got the travel bug and have been trying to figure out how to make this trip happen. We live in Orlando and this will likely be our only chance to make this trip happen, so we want to do it right. As such, we are really open-ended and (like everyone else) need some advice.

    We want to have enough time to do everything and appreciate everything, so we can get away with taking up to 2 full weeks to make it through the trip. So with that sort of timeframe, how much time should we devote to each place, and what sort of side-sights should we be sure not to miss out on (I figure we should be o.k. finding the "main attractions," but could use advice on the lesser-known places).

    Any help you can throw our way about timetables would be very much appreciated!

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

    Default Starting Out

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    With just 2 weeks available, can I assume that you are planning to fly out to the West and begin your roadtrip from there? I really don't think you'd have anywhere near enough time to drive across the country twice and see all of those amazing places.

    Also, when do you plan for this trip to happen? Because the passes across the Sierra don't open until late spring, this could play a big role in planning your trip.

    I will also say that there are thousands of threads about these places on the forum already, so you will benefit simply from looking around/using the search function to read up on the vast amount of information that is already here.

  3. #3

    Default

    Yes, we'll be flying in - probably into Grand Canyon and then going north from there, though we could just as easily reverse the trip and start in Tahoe.

    I have spent a little time looking through the other threads - the wealth of info is a little overwhelming - as best I can tell 2 days for death valley and 2 for yosemite seem to be the normal recommendations. Tack on to that another 2 nights in vegas and maybe 2 in tahoe and we still have another 6 days to burn? I'm guessing an extra night in Sequoia... and then we're done?

  4. #4

    Default

    and as far as dates are concerned - we're free pretty much any time. Tenative plan is late may, but it can be any time after april

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Las Vegas would be a good choice to fly into and rent your car - and do a loop trip. The later in the spring you can do it, the more places and roads are open, but also the hotter it gets in the desert.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default The mountains in the way

    There really isn't commercial air service to the Grand Canyon, the closest you can get without a charter flight is Flagstaff. However, most people would start either in Phoenix or Las Vegas simply because of there are far more flight and car options. Also you might want to look at San Francisco/Oakland/Sacramento to see how those options compare with flying home from Reno.

    As far as your routing, it would appear your biggest problems will be with the Sierras. Since most of the passes don't open until May or June (depending on the weather each year), its quite possible that you will have to cross the Sierra around Bakersfield on your way from Death Valley to Sequioa/Kings and then you'll have to go north to US-50 to cross back over again to get back to Tahoe. Again, Late May is really a borderline period so you'll have to take a look at the actually conditions when you are traveling. It is also possible that even if Tioga Pass through Yosemite could be closed, but some of the other passes between Yosemite and Tahoe might be opened.

  7. #7

    Default

    So I guess at this point, assuming we don't go around in a loop and fly in to and out of vegas, we have two options:

    1) Take 395 up to tahoe and see everything through there (alabama hills, whitney, bristlecones, bodie, June Lake, etc
    2) go south of the Sierras and go into Sequoia and King's Canyon

    which is more recommended? i'm leaning towards 395, but hate to miss out on Sequoia (do they have sequoia's in Yosemite?)

    If we fly in and out of vegas then it won't be a problem - we'll just go north up 395 and south through sequoia, but it seems like an awful long and round-about trip just to get to that one park.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default more than one

    Sequoia National Park isn't accessable from the east side of the Sierras any time of year, but if Tioga Pass isn't open yet, you won't be able to get to any part of Yosemite either. If it is open, you still do have to go all the way across the Sierras to get to the Yosemite Valley.

    There is a grove of Sequoias in Yosemite, but it really doesn't compare to the National Park.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default See it all !

    Hi skeetlebread,

    1) Take 395 up to tahoe and see everything through there (alabama hills, whitney, bristlecones, bodie, June Lake, etc
    2) go south of the Sierras and go into Sequoia and King's Canyon
    Depending on how you want to use your time I can't see why you can't accomplish both.

    You could drive through Death valley to Lone pine, head up the 395 to Lake Tahoe and then across the top of the Sierra's and down to Yosemite valley and the Sequoias. If you didn't want to return to Vegas you could fly out of L/A or even S/F, but as mentioned before Vegas will mean no one way charge and you won't have any back tracking over the same ground by doing this loop.

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