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  1. Default San Fran - Vegas - Opinions!

    Hi all,

    I'm currently planning my honeymoon for next summer - my partner and I (who will then be my husband!) have decided to spend 2 - 3 weeks in the states and do a road trip from San Fran - Vegas.

    I have absolutely no idea where to stay but know that I would like to spend 4 / 5 nights in San Fran and 3 nights in Vegas, so we will spend around 6 - 7 days driving.

    We want to see all the usual stuff, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Death Valley etc but I literally have no idea where to start, how much to budget, how long to allocate to each place etc etc. Any help much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default starting point

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The trip you're looking at is far and away the most popular trip on this forum, so there is a ton of information you can find just by doing a little looking around. The links you'll find here are some of our favorites, but just a small sample, of the thousands of posts that can help you get started.

    Once you've got a better idea of your basic trip plan, then we can help with more specific tips to help you finish off the details.

  3. Default San Fran - Vegas - Opinions!

    Hi all,

    I posted a while ago but I've just started to plan and book my honeymoon which will be the 30th May - 13th June next year. I've started booking hotels and realised I didn't give enough thought to the routes. This is what we're planning to do...

    30th May - 3rd June - San Fran - Hotel Rex
    3rd - 4th June - Napa - Doubletree Hotel Sonomo
    4th - 6th June - Monterey - Hilton Garden Inn
    6th - 8th June - Yosemite
    8th - 9th June - Death Valley
    9th - 10th June - Grand Canyon
    10th - 13th June - Vegas

    We've only booked the first 3 hotels so far so any suggestions welcome.

    I would be interested to know what is considered the best (preferably the fastest) route from Yosemite - Death Valley and also from Death Valley - Grand Canyon?

    Any other thoughts or tips on this trip much appreciated!

    Steph :)
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 08-03-2010 at 07:49 AM. Reason: Merged - Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip

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

    Default Over the mountain, but...


    The best and quickest become the same thing where travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley is concerned, providing the Tioga pass [CA120] is open and you can drive across the Sierra's to 395 at Mono lake, and there is a good chance it will be open at your time of travel. This is not a guarantee though it will depend on whether the plows have been able to clear the winter snows on this high mountain pass, if not you would have to go around to the South via Bakersfield or to the North towards Tahoe, how far North depends on the status of those passes.

    You can see previous opening and closing dates here by clicking on the links in the first post.

    From Death valley the most direct route to Grand canyon South rim is through Vegas. Crossing Death valley on 190 to Death valley junction and then taking the State line/ Ash Meadows Rd to Pahrump and 160to Vegas. From there it's over the Hoover dam on 93 to I 40 to Williams and then 64 to the Canyon. If you were to stop in Flagstaff I would recommend heading North on 89 and enter the Canyon form the East entrance on 64, where you can see wide open views of the Colorado river as it makes it's way to the Canyon area. This is Desert view drive and has some wonderful viewpoints along the way.

  5. Default

    Hi Dave - thanks, that's incredibly helpful. A rather wimpy question now - are all the mountain roads safe? I'm a bit of a nervous passenger (can't drive either!) and my fiancee doesn't drive all the time as we have no need to in London. Would you say going around to the South is the best option for a scaredy cat like me?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It's wonderful, fears aside.

    Very safe and travelled by millions.

    Would you say going around to the South is the best option for a scaredy cat like me?
    I would think not, but it depends on if it's a slight fear or a strong phobia. The mountain road pass is paved and in good condition and I, and many others have driven it in a 30ft RV, so it really isn't that challenging. At the beginning of the climb it is a little narrow but you will be against the rock and not the edge that is on the other side of the road, but even that has a small wall. Once you get over that first part it levels out for much of the journey with lakes, Meadows and beautiful views that really are unmissable. As you near Mono lake there is another section with some drop offs but the road is not very twisty and easy to drive, despite some photo's that make it look quite scary. If you can put your fears to one side the rewards are amazing !!

    Only you can decide but unless you have a really bad phobia I would give it a go, it will be memorable and hopefully for the right reasons ! Lol.

    While in Yosemite I would highly recommend a drive up to Glacier point as well, it is one of the most "jaw dropping" wonderful views in the world that you can drive to. It could also work as a "test bed," if you're up there and feel OK, the Tioga will be fine.

  7. Default

    Thanks Dave - not a real phobia, I'm just a bit of a wimp ;) your suggestions sound great, I shall pass them onto my driver / fiancee :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Lodging.

    Just squint a bit if you have too ! ;-)

    For planning purposes I would look at getting lodgings around Bishop or Lone Pine on the 8th and then continue to Death valley next day, it'll give you time to enjoy all the scenery. I wouldn't make advanced bookings in case the Tioga is closed but you shouldn't have trouble finding lodgings. Yosemite, Death valley and Grand canyon can get booked up if you want to stay in the parks, which although recommended is more costly than staying in the surrounding area's. Lodgings are limited in DV and Furnace creek is popular and in a good spot to continue on from to the Grand canyon [further East.]

    You can get lot's of info from the National parks Website and if a trip to Alcatraz is on the "to do" list in SF [recommended] you can also book your boat trip to the Island in advance, which is also recommended due to demand.

    If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.

    I shall pass them onto my driver / fiancee :)
    Congratulations by the way !

  9. Default

    Hi all,

    Sorry for not replying sooner but I've been up to my eyes in one thing and another, so I'm really starting to get the planning underway now.

    The most troublesome bit I'm having is the Yosemite - Death Valley - Grand Canyon section. We'll be in YS for 2 nights, DV for 1 night and CG for 1 night. I am really confused by the best places to stay in terms of driving to the next destination... I'm getting conflicting opinions from everyone!

    Thanks SW Dave, I'll definitely have a look at Bishop and Lone Pine - are those places good for driving / sightseeing and ultimately driving on to DV?

    S :)

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

    Default Yes, but.................

    Thanks SW Dave, I'll definitely have a look at Bishop and Lone Pine - are those places good for driving / sightseeing and ultimately driving on to DV?
    They are on the direct route to Death valley taking the scenic option, but only of use if the Tioga pass is open.

    If not you would be looking to head South towards Bakersfield and location wise, Oakhurst would be a good option after a day in Yosemite.

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