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Thread: West Coast Loop

  1. Default West Coast Loop

    Hi there,

    We're planning a road trip around California at the end of May/start of June 2010. We're planning on flying into LA, spending one night, then driving to Las Vegas.

    From LV we'd like to visit the Grand Canyon. What's the best way to do this?

    From LV we'd like to drive up to Yosemite, doing the journey in a couple of days, with a stop off over night. What's the most sensible way to do this? We'd like to go via Death Valley but we're also aware that we'll be going in the height of the summer heat - is this sensible/feasible? (we've heard that you can't use your air-con?!?)

    If possible we'd also like to go via Kings Canyon - would this work in our time frames? Do you have any ideas of where's a good place to stop off overnight in between LV and Yosemite?

    Having looked at the ever faithful Google maps, the most obvious route seems to be 95 from LV, onto the 190 through Death Valley, North on the 395 and then into Yosemite on the 120 - is this nice? and seem sensible for time-frames?

    I've heard that accommodation at Yosemite is quite expensive. Is there a cheaper option? Can you camp if you haven't bought your own equipment?

    From Yosemite, we plan to drive to San Fran and spend a few days there. From here we intend to take a leisurely drive (6-7 days) along the coast to LA. Can you recommend any good stop off destinations en route?


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

    Default Popular choice.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    From Las Vegas the drive to Grand canyon and back and a bit of quality time at the Canyon is beyond a day trip and with an overnight stop I would recommend going to Grand canyon from LA and then back to Vegas before heading across Death valley. From Vegas the 160 to Pahrump and then the "locals route" on Bell vista/Ash Meadows road to Death valley junction and 190 is a popular choice. You will find signs along the way on up hill sections that recommend you turn your aircon off to help engine temps but this is not necessary under normal conditions, I hear some car mftr's actually use Death valley to test their cars in extreme conditions.
    Somewhere between Lone pine and Bishop on 395 is a good overnight stop to set yourselves up for Yosemite. The lodging in the park can be expensive but you can get cheaper lodgings just outside. In the park there are camps such as the one in Curry village for better value. If you stopped on the East side and drove into Yosemite you could stop out the other side in towns like Groveland, Mariposa or Oakhurst. I would try and spend a couple of days exploring Yosemite, it's incredible !
    The one problem you may come up against is whether the Tioga pass is open for the season or not at your time of travel. These are the recent opening dates, if it isn't open you can always head around the Southern end through Bakersfield and this would take you past Sequoia and Kings canyon.

    Their is much info throughout the forums on this popular area so it's worth searching, but to get you started here are some of our favorites.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 10-24-2009 at 03:54 PM. Reason: Added link

  3. Default Death Valley to General Sherman?


    I'm planning as part of my road trip at the end of May next year to drive from Las Vegas to Yosemite.

    I was thinking that I would travel up through Death Valley and on to the 395.

    I was wondering if it is possible to reach General Sherman via the 395?

    I'd then look to come back to the 395 and follow the road Northwards hopefully to pass through the Tioga pass?

    If it is possible to travel this way could anyone advise on which roads and timings?

    Many Thanks

    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-13-2009 at 08:16 AM. Reason: merged - please do not create multiple threads about the same trip

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a mountain in the way

    While Death Valley and Sequoia National Park are quite close as the crow flies, they are separated by the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    General Sherman and the rest of Sequoia National Park are on the west side of the mountains and there is no road/pass to get there from US-395 on the east side.

    If you want to include this on your trip, you'll either need to cross the mountains to the south around Bakersfield or Lake Isabella, or go up to Tioga Pass first, drive through Yosemite, and then head back south to Sequoia.

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