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  1. Default San Francisco to Las Vegas priorities

    My wife and I are going to San Francisco from Scotalnd at the end of August this year. After spending a few days in San Francisco we are setting out on a trip by car to Las Vegas where we will spend a few days as well and see the Grand Canyon . However the "middle part" is time limited and we really want to make as much of it as possible as we are to be joined by our son and his wife who work in Houston. We will leave San Francisco on Sunday 30th August and finish in Las Vegas on the evening of Friday 4th September. It is intended to visit the Grand Canyon on Saturday before our son has to return to work. We want to see as much as possible of the country between while stilll keeping it leisurely. We would like to see Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Mammoth Lake and stay in Death Valley for a night but otherwise we need guidance on how best to do this and see as much of the rest of the area as possible. We have never been before and after reading books on the area our heads are just spinning so what seemed relatively straight forward a month ago has spun out of control and we desperately need to tailor it to our time schedule to get the best out of it. We would appreciate any guidance.

    Last edited by Graham H; 03-21-2009 at 03:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Truly amazing !

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A. forums.

    With 5 or 6 days you have enough time to visit the places you have mentioned, although one way or the other you will have to do a bit of back tracking to see Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. From San Fran to South lake Tahoe is only about 3 1/2 hours or so and then to go to Yosemite you could head South on the 395 and over the [120] Tioga pass, which is the way you would leave the park to get to Death valley, or you could head back on the 4 and see some of the gold rush towns, such as Murphy's and Jamestown [rail town] and head into Yosemite on the 120 and leave by the Tioga pass after visiting the Valley and Glacier point.
    Your other option is to head for Yosemite first and then North on the 395 and return the same way to Mammoth lakes. Once you have that part sorted it's a matter of continuing South on the 395 to Lone Pine and taking the 136/190 through the heart of Death Valley.
    The main accommodations in the park are either at Stovepipe wells or Furnace creek [ranch only] although it is possible to drive through in a day, and it will be extremely hot in August.
    When you arrive at Death Valley junction you can take the locals route to Pahrump [State line/Ash meadows road] and then the 160 to Vegas. I would allow 2 days at Yosemite to do it justice.

    When you say you are going to Grand canyon on Saturday, do you mean you will be staying there ? It is too much to do it as a day visit from Vegas and back.

    You will be amazed at the contrasting landscapes between Yosemite, Death valley and Grand canyon, 3 of the most amazing places on earth, Have fun !

  3. Default San Francisco to Las Vegas

    Many thanks for that, it is really usefull. As for the Grand Canyon we thought we we have a family treat and take a helicopter from Las Vegas. The kids gave me a book, "1000 places to see before you die", so I have got to get at least one ticked off!
    Thanks again.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Just so you know.

    The helicopter tours from Vegas don't actually land in the Grand canyon National park. They go to the West rim and often hook up with other tours such as rafting or the sky walk.
    Although I am sure it's a great experience, to see the spectacular parts of the Grand canyon you have probably seen in many pictures you need to head into the NP, either at the South rim [which has more visitor facilities and is busier] or the quieter North rim.

    Have a great time !

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