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  1. Default [URGENT HELP NEEDED] Yosemite to LAs Vegas in November


    I'm travelling from SF to Las Vegas in mid november and i'm hoping to stop by Yosemite and Death Valley.

    Can someone suggest a scenic but relatively short route from Yosemite to Las Vegas and where I can stop over in between for the night as I understand it is a long drive. I have about 1.5 days to make my way from yosemite to las vegas. Some suggestions I have gotten is to stop in lone pine en-route to death valley and Las Vegas. Is this possible at this time of the year and how long will the drive take? Any help and advice is much appreciated..Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default You're lucky it's been such a warm fall

    Often times by now, the Tioga Pass road which goes from Yosemite NP to US-395 is closed due to snow -- but the road is open and dry. So, there are several places you could stay. Bishop is usually my choice, but this field report from someone who just took a similar route, has suggested that Lone Pine is more fun. Check out his photos!


  3. Default

    Thanks so much for the quick response!

    I will heading down that way next week on the 19th. If in the event weather turns bad are there any alternatives to Tioga Pass that will still take me down the 395 highway? And how much longer will these alternatives take?

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

    Default Choices.

    If the Tioga pass is closed your quickest route would be to head around the Southern end of the Sierra's through Bakersfield and Barstow. With such limited time I think you would be better off choosing between a detour to Yosemite or Death valley.
    If you choose Death valley and want to drive down the 395 you would have to check the conditions of the passes North of Tioga and cross that way.

    At the moment the chances look good for Tioga but things can change real quick, good luck !

  5. Default

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks so much! .. As I am on a really tight schedule as I have to be in Las Vegas by the 20th and this is my first time on a road trip EVER .. coming all the way from Asia.. I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions on whether my tentative itinerary is feasible or not humanly possible!

    Here is my my tentative plan:

    18th Day 1-
    Arrive in SF at 11am and set off for Mariposa
    Spend the night at Mariposa

    19th Day 2 -
    Set our early and explore the Yosemite NP
    - take the free shuttle service
    - Yosemite Falls
    - Happy Isles, Vernal Falls
    - Half Dome and mirror Lake

    LEave Yosemite for Bishop/Lone Pine in mid/late afternoon
    --> Via Tioga PAss and down 395 if possible
    spend the night at Bishop/ Lone Pine

    20th day 3 -
    Set out early for Death Valley
    Explore death Valley and leave for Las Vegas in late afternoon
    Arrive in Las Vegas in late evening

    Assuming Tioga Pass remains open [fingers crossed] is this plan feasible at all? Or am I being way too ambitious?
    Thanks any advice is much much appreciated

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If Tioga Pass is open, it is doable, but you will be quite rushed. If Tioga is not open, I don't think you can do 395 at all, you will probably have to go via Bakersfield.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default See how you feel.

    It is doable, but it will be better to leave your options open and have a plan 'B', which as glc mentioned would best be to head South. Not only will you need to check the road conditions but also see how you feel on arrival. Flying in on an International flight, clearing customs and getting your luggage before picking up your car rental and then driving to Mariposa is all going to get tiring. Add to that the fact that your body clock will be out of sync and Mariposa could seem daunting at the start, so see how you go.

    If you go to Yosemite, I would drive around the valley floor loop road and stop at viewpoints along the way, but not leave to late in the afternoon. [It's easy to lose track of time in this wonderful place] The Tioga pass is quite slow going, but spectacular so you won't want to miss the views, but more importantly as the sun gets low it can get very cold up there and the road could become icy. You really want to be off there by nightfall.

  8. Default

    Hi DAve,

    thanks for the help. I foudn this site to check out the road closures.
    It says that 120 and Tioga pass are closed due to snow. Would this be the best place to check for road closures.. and is this accurate?

    Thanks again... looks like my plan isnt going to happen ;(

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Not looking good right now - Ebbetts (CA-4), Sonora (CA-108) and Monitor (CA-89) passes are also closed. Carson (CA-88) is open, but with Monitor closed, you have to take a significant detour north to get to 395, you might as well take I-80 or US-50 to Lake Tahoe - or go south to Bakersfield.

    Yes, that's the best site for CA highway info. It may be a bit easier to use if you click on the Mountain Highways link in the left sidebar.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Yes, It's a game of "wait and see", but right now they are forecasting snow showers from Weds through to Friday night on the high ground, and the odds are looking less likely of it being open, fingers crossed for you.


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