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  1. Default Another San Francisco to Las Vegas topic...

    Hi there, my boyfriend and I will both be 21yrs old and are planning on doing a 2 week San Fran to Vegas trip. I have spent lots of time reading a lot of the threads in this forum about the trips from San Francisco to Las Vegas (loved this one http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum...rancisco+vegas )

    I have a basic itinery but I have a couple of questions and it’d be great if I could have some fine tuning please!

    Mon 21st June - Arrive in San Francisco at 18.30 – stay in Adelaide Hostel for 4 nights, do the night time Alcatraz tour.

    Friday 25th June – Pick up hire car and drive to Curry Village Yosemite, stay 2 nights.

    Sunday 27th June – Drive via Tioga Pass with a side trip around June Lake and stay in Bishop/Lone Pine area depending on how far we get after pictures stops etc

    Monday 28th June – Drive to Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley. We would like to visit Sequoia National Park as well, as a bit of a sidetrip from Bishop before heading to Stovepipe Wells. But looking at google maps I’m not sure what kind of roads there are. Is the whole green area of the national park ok just to head into and see big trees on the outskirts? Or is there somewhere specific we should head for? I’ve seen Mark Sedenquist post this route:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=e...,1.867676&om=1

    but I was hoping more to visit near Owens Lake/Lone Pine rather then head all the way down there and have to add an extra days stay.

    Tuesday 29th June – Stay overnight in Stovepipe Wells

    Wednesday 30th June – Drive to Las Vegas and stay for 4 nights. We want to go visit Grand Canyon so we were considering staying Wednesday night in Las Vegas and driving to Grand Canyon early Thursday morning, driving back and dropping the car off Thursday night in vegas. Or another option would be to drop the car off as soon as we arrive in Las Vegas on Wednesday and then book a coach trip. Or..could we drive straight through to GC from Stovepipe Wells, stay overnight in GC and then drive back to Vegas to drop off the car. Which would be better?

    Sunday 4th July – Fly home to Manchester, UK at 7.45am

    Thanks very much!
    Naomi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default First of all -- great job looking around the forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by Naomi View Post
    Hi there, my boyfriend and I will both be 21yrs old and are planning on doing a 2 week San Fran to Vegas trip. I have spent lots of time reading a lot of the threads in this forum about the trips from San Francisco to Las Vegas
    Thanks for spending some time looking around -- there are some many trip resources here that even old hands (like the RoadTrip Enthusiasts group) lose track of everything!
    Mon 21st June - Arrive in San Francisco at 18.30 – stay in Adelaide Hostel for 4 nights, do the night time Alcatraz tour.
    You'll have a great time in San Francisco -- it's a great city.
    Sunday 27th June – Drive via Tioga Pass with a side trip around June Lake and stay in Bishop/Lone Pine area depending on how far we get after pictures stops etc
    Sounds perfect.
    Monday 28th June – Drive to Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley. We would like to visit Sequoia National Park as well, as a bit of a sidetrip from Bishop before heading to Stovepipe Wells.
    You'd need a helicopter to drive from Bishop to Sequoia -- there are no roads of any kind over that part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    It would be a full day in both directions to drive from Bishop around the southern end of the Sierras, up to Sequoia and then back to Stovepipe Wells. Stovepipe is pretty rustic - but one of our active member was just there... and loved it.
    Wednesday 30th June – Drive to Las Vegas and stay for 4 nights. We want to go visit Grand Canyon so we were considering staying Wednesday night in Las Vegas and driving to Grand Canyon early Thursday morning, driving back and dropping the car off Thursday night in vegas. Or another option would be to drop the car off as soon as we arrive in Las Vegas on Wednesday and then book a coach trip. Or..could we drive straight through to GC from Stovepipe Wells, stay overnight in GC and then drive back to Vegas to drop off the car. Which would be better?
    OK, going to the Grand Canyon and back in one day isn't really possible. It's five hours hard driving each way and if you spend as few as four hours at the Grand -- that would mean you'd be on the road for 14+ hours. It's not a day trip. You'll need to spend the night somewhere.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-13-2009 at 11:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default In for real treat !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I am pleased you have found the forums to be useful and you have done your homework well but to answer your query's.

    Sequoia National park is nearer to Yosemite and can only be accessed from the West side of the Sierra's. The map you have linked to is in the Sequoia National monument, there are giant Sequoia's there and one of my favorite spots is the "Trail of 100 giants" near Johnsondale but it would add a full day. If you are after a big tree "fix" there are the Sequoia's at Yosemite in theMariposa grove area.

    The Grand canyon is more than a day trip from Vegas and to do it in one day would mean 10 or more hours on the road for 2 or 3 hours at the canyon. If you get to Lone pine on the 27th you are less than an hour and a half from Stovepipe wells so I would be looking to stay further into the park [Furnace creek] or carry on further towards Vegas via Pahrump and then travel to Grand canyon making it a more manageable journey than starting out at Stovepipe wells.

  4. Default

    We're definitely going to go the Mariposa Groves area now, those trees look big enough for me! We're also going to stay at Furnace Creek as well now, it makes much more sense to head further through Death Valley that day, plus it's cheaper than Stovepipe Wells.

    As to the Grand Canyon thing, we've decided to drop the car off in Las Vegas as soon as we get there and book a coach trip. I know that's really touristy and you don't get much time there, but at least we'll get to see both Hoover Dam and the GC with no effort on our part. It's not really cost effective for us to pay for the car for an extra 2 days with the Under 25 insurance being as it is.

    Thank you both very much for your help :)

    Naomi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default choose carefully

    I understand going with a bus tour considering your car rental expenses, however, I would really encourage you to choose carefully and see really how much time they plan to give you. Especially when they plan a stop at Hoover Dam, a lot of times the amount of the Grand Canyon you get to see is extremely disappointing. Really ask how much time you get to explore, and how much is time to explore yourself vs with a group. Really, if you can find a trip with an overnight stay that is affordable, I really would still recommend that.

  6. Default

    Hi there again, I hope this thread bumps up after 6 months of inactivity!

    So, all of a sudden it's nearly only 2 weeks til we set off! How time flies.

    Firstly, after a lot of review reading, we've ended up booking a GC trip with Grand Adventures, they get great reviews, there are only 10 or less people on the mini bus and you get 3 to 4 hrs at the canyon. We booked on the Sunset tour http://www.grand-adventures.com/grandcanyonsunset.html as we did want to see the sunset. We just really couldn't justify the extra cost of car hire and another day or 2 added when we can do the tour. If we had more money I would have definately taken your advice.

    Secondly, I've being trying to finalise route details, I bought a Benchmark map which is proving useful along with Google maps. Our first leg is from San Francisco (Avis car hire, Post Street) to Mariposa Grove. I was just wondering whether you would recommend I-80 (over the toll bay bridge road, I think it's only $2 from a quick google), I-580, I-205, Ca120, Ca99, C140, Ca59, Ca41 to Mariposa Grove. I've noticed on other threads you've said go south on the 101 and over the San Mateo Bridge, but I didn't understand why. Are the views better?

    OR, instead of going on the C49, carry on the Ca140 to El Portal, where we are staying at Cedar Lodge (Curry Village wasn't available for all our nights unfortunately) and use the Yosemite Shuttle Bus to get to Wawona Hotel, and then the Wawona Hotel to Mariposa Grove Bus, as I noticed on the site you gave me it says:

    "The free Wawona-Mariposa Grove shuttle bus shuttles passengers between Wawona and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias spring through fall. The bus picks up and drops off passengers at the Wawona Store, South Entrance, and at the Mariposa Grove Gift Shop. The Mariposa Grove Road closes several times each day from spring through fall when the parking lot becomes full. Visitors arriving on the shuttle bus are guaranteed access into the Mariposa Grove even when the parking lot is closed (as a result of being full)."

    Although I suppose if we took the first route I said, if the parking lot was closed, we could drive up to Wawona, park there and get the bus back down.

    Sorry if that's a bit rambling, I'm just trying to get my thoughts out on paper!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Not a lot in it.

    Hi Naomi, welcome back !

    I bet you can't wait ! There really isn't much in your route choices time wise, I think the San Mateo bridge is an advantage when setting out from near the airport, but as you are starting from the City, Bay bridge will work fine and is slightly quicker. You could stay on 120 from Manteca, through Groveland and into Yosemite and down the 41 direct to Wawona.

    If you have other questions just ask, if not have agreat trip and drop by to share some of your experiences, thanks.

    Dave.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    No toll eastbound on the Bay Bridge. It's $4 westbound.

    I'd recommend 580/205/5/120/99/140 if you are going to El Portal.

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