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  1. Default Advice for San Francisco to Vegas Road Trip

    Hi all,

    I have read most of the relevant posts and put together a rough itinerary for my first ever road trip. Need lots of advice as we are from Singapore and this is our first trip to USA.

    We will be flying in from Singapore to New York for 5-6 days before taking a domestic flight to San Francisco.

    15 Mar - Arrive San Francisco (2 nights)

    16 Mar - San Francisco

    17 Mar - Pick up car and drive to Lake Tahoe (Kings Beach) (2 nights)
    - Willing be taking I-80. Should I exit to Highway 267 or Highway 89 to Kings Beach? We wouldn't mind a slightly longer drive for a nicer scenic drive.

    18 Mar - Lake Tahoe

    19 Mar - Drive to Yosemite Valley (2 nights)
    - Understand that Tioga Pass will be closed. So we will take either US-50 or I-80 to Highway 99. We are a bit lost on how to proceed to Yosemite Valley via Highway 99. (Not sure how to join Route 120 or Route 140)

    20 Mar - Yosemite Valley

    21 Mar - Drive to Sequoia National Park (1 night)
    - Take Route 41 to Route 180 to Route 198

    22 Mar - Drive to Las Vegas (1 night)
    - Take Route 198 to Highway 99 to Route 58 to I-15

    23 Mar - Drive to Grand Canyon (1 night)
    - Take Route 93 to I-40 to Route 64/180

    24 Mar - Drive to Las Vegas (2 nights)

    26 Mar - Fly to New York

    Kindly advise if those are the best routes for us to take and recommendations in any. Thanks in advance for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    19 Mar - Drive to Yosemite Valley (2 nights)
    - Understand that Tioga Pass will be closed. So we will take either US-50 or I-80 to Highway 99. We are a bit lost on how to proceed to Yosemite Valley via Highway 99. (Not sure how to join Route 120 or Route 140)
    I would recommend you take either US-50 or CA-88 to CA-49. Take that south to CA-120 to get into the park. I highly recommend 88, it's a very scenic lightly traveled road. To get there, leave South Lake Tahoe on US-50 and take it to CA-89.

    21 Mar - Drive to Sequoia National Park (1 night)
    - Take Route 41 to Route 180 to Route 198
    You probably won't be able to get in that way, CA-180 may still be closed for the winter. You would have to take CA-41 to CA-99 to Visalia and take CA-198.

    Before planning an exact route in California, visit the Caltrans website for road conditions - closures and chain restrictions. At this exact moment, there are chain requirements on several of the highways you would need to take (88, 89, 120). Hopefully it will be different in a few weeks. If not, plan alternate routes.

    Either going to or coming back from the Grand Canyon, I'd recommend you take old Route 66 between Kingman and Seligman.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Some thoughts.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your plan looks solid enough but you could save a few miles by stopping on route to the Grand canyon rather than detouring to Vegas seeing as you are heading there 2 days later anyway. I would get on I 40 and see how well you get on travelling through the day and stop when you are tired, it could be Kingman or you might feel like pushing on to Williams and maximising your time at the Grand canyon.

    In San Fran I would definitely recommend booking a boat ride to Alcatraz Island in advance through the nps and check out pier 39 and China town amongst many others.

    On the way to Yosemite from Tahoe, if you took I 80 to CA 99 you can either get on CA 4 at Stockton or CA120 at Manteca into the park. If you were to take US 50 you could actually head South on CA 49 through "gold country" and although a little longer in time would be my choice or if conditions are good CA 88 over Carson pass.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,748

    Default Ca 180

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    You probably won't be able to get in that way, CA-180 may still be closed for the winter. You would have to take CA-41 to CA-99 to Visalia and take CA-198.
    It should be fine, the stretch of CA180 to 198 is an open all year highway, [other than during a severe winter snow storm] it is 180 from Grant grove into Kings canyon that will be closed for winter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    Default

    Good point - I misread the Caltrans site last night. Thank you.

  6. Default

    Thanks Dave and glc for the great advice and recommendations! I shall take CA-88 from Tahoe to Yosemite for the scenery, that is what roadtrips are for! I will also take the old route 66 from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas. Any recommendations CA-267 or CA-89 to Lake Tahoe? I will be staying over at Kings Beach.

    We have already booked our boat tickets to Alcatraz, its for the evening tour! So looking forward! Will definitely be heading down to Chinatown. Probably Dim Sum at Chinatown or Yank Sing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Try our crab

    It will be toward the end of our crab season, but be sure to try some Dungeness crab; see how it compares to chilli crab and black pepper crab. We usually take our Dungeness straight rather than highly spiced and sauced, with maybe some butter or a light mayo-chile sauce on the side. Best with sourdough bread.

    As for Tahoe route options: I'd leave that decision to the last minute... if you make Truckee and feel like taking the longer drive, go for it. No need to overplan this.

    Yank Sing has really great dim-sum (and I love it and go there a lot), but it is more an "Orchard" kind of place than some smaller places in Chinatown where you might get more local flavor.

    Like Singapore, San Francisco is a great place for great seafood... you may want to have one splurge at one of the high-end restaurants in downtown rather than on Fisherman's wharf (Farallon is our personal favorite, in the Union Square area). Or for something different try any of the great Italian restaurants in North Beach.

  8. Default Snow Chains

    Wow! You sound like you have been to Singapore many times! Since you have tried Singapore's chilli crab and black pepper crab and still recommends the Dungeness crab, I will have to try it!

    I will be staying at Union Square, so Farallon is definitely do-able. Do they have Dungeness crab?

    I would also like to ask where the best place to purchase snow chain or snow cable? I will be picking up the car at Avis along Post Street in the morning before driving to Lake Tahoe. After finding out the tire size, would like to proceed to the most convenient store to get the snow chain. I did some research online and Kragen pops up a lot. It has a store at Geary Blvd. Are snow chains widely available at Wal-mart too?
    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-23-2010 at 07:05 AM. Reason: Removed quote of entire previous post

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Chains

    This is guesswork, as I haven't purchased chains in about 8 years (last set I bought was for a car since replaced by another of the same kind).

    My guess is chains are NOT a big in-stock item in San Francisco. IF there are chain controls in effect (or the weather report looks like there may be snow), you might want to consider picking up chains on the way to Tahoe, in Sacramento or one of the suburbs east of Sacramento or points east (maybe Auburn); where there is a larger chance of chains being in stock. Chances are better than 50% you won't need chains, so you may want to defer that choice until you have to. Check the Caltrans website for road conditions; plug in 80, 267, 89 or whatever road you might be on that day.

    If you DO have to put chains on, pay the $30 or so to have a "chain monkey" put them on for you at the chain checkpoint; it is a cold and frustrating thing to do if you don't have practice at it. These are seasonal workers who have permits with the state to help people put chains on (and off).

    If you haven't experienced driving in the snow, the basic advice is keep a lot of distance between you and the car in front of you, be very gentle with both the accelerator and the brake, and don't drive faster than most of the people around you (assume they know what they're doing).

    P.S. I've only been to Singapore twice: I used to work for APL, an arm of NOL. Nice place and people, enjoyed myself both times.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I don't know about in the San Francisco area, but in the San Diego area Walmart sells cables, and they are less than $30 in passenger car sizes. They are over twice that at auto parts stores such as Kragen and Pep Boys.

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