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  1. Default Driving From San Francisco to Las Vegas


    I am holidaying in the US in September this year. I am spending 4 nights in LA then driving up the PCH to San Francisco where I will spend 3 nights. I want to travel to Vegas, ideally through Yosemite and Death Valley with the journey taking 2 days and 1 night, and then finish my holiday with 6 nights in Vegas. What is the best route to travel between San Fran and Vegas and where is the best place to spend the 1 night stop over?

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Well the obvious route for this trip is to take Tioga Pass over the Sierras, and its really the only way to see both Death Valley and Yosemite if you're only going to make one overnight stop. Doing this trip in 2 days is possible, but it will shortchange your experience in both Yosemite and Death Valley to a degree. You'll have a pretty limited amount of time to see either park, so you'll have to figure out how you want to get the most out of your time.

    Also, it sounds like you're planning to do LA to SF in one day. This really too much to do in one day if you are traveling via the PCH. You're talking about a 12-14 hour drive and that's before you start to explore anything along the route.

    This is far and away the most discussed trip on the forum, so take a look a look around - these are a good place to start - and you'll find tons of information to help you figure out what is best for you.

  3. Default

    Hi Michael

    Thanks for your quick response and recommending the other threads. We are actually also spending 2 days (1 night) driving from LA to San Francisco on the PCH, do you have any recommendations on where we should spend the night?

    In regard to driving San Francisco to Vegas the plan was to drive through Yosemite and Death Valley and stop if we had time at any points of interest. We would like to stay at a half way point between the two cities, where would you recommend if we followed the route you recommended?

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

    Default Midway points.

    Cambria is just about in the middle of your trip up the coast and would offer good lodging options or a little further is San Simeon, the closest lodging if you wanted to visit Hearst castle.

    The Mammoth lakes to Bishop area would be the same for your SF to Vegas trip but I agree with Michael, you will be short changed in these areas of outstanding natural beauty and if there is anyway you could spend another night on route, I can not express how much I would recommend you do so !

  5. Default

    Thanks for you reply Dave.

    We have already booked the LA and Vegas hotels and have a 5 day window in the middle in which to travel from LA > San Francisco > Vegas on the route previously discussed. We really want to spend 3 nights in San Fran so can't really extend our roadtrip through Yosemite and Death Valley.

    I am struggling to find a hotel on this leg of the trip, can you recommend any that are reasonable but are still nice?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are looking for "reasonable" on the PCH, there's a few hotels under $100 a night in both Morro Bay and San Simeon. There's nothing in Cambria under $100 that I'm aware of. Your best selection between Yosemite and Death Valley will be in Bishop, there are several hotels there with rates under $100 a night.

    Check, the only chain that doesn't list there is Motel 6 - you have to use their own website to research those. If you are looking for amenities, Motel 6 is not a particularly good choice. They are a barebones chain with varying degrees of cleanliness and maintenance, they are currently in a rehab cycle. I use them when traveling point to point for a simple place to sleep.

  7. Default

    Hi Jon,

    My better half and I did the PCH drive in the opposite direction in September last year and If you're still stuck for somewhere to stay around the half way point, I can recommend a cool little place in San Simeon called The Sea Breeze Inn. It's an independent, but we did manage to find and book it on the net. Classic, basic but clean, 1950's type motel. Stupidly reasonable rates. (I think we may have paid something like $30 or so for the night). There's also a few restaurants within walking distance. If you do end up staying in that area, keep an eye out in the morning for the elephant seals that lollop around on the beach a few miles further up the road.

    With regards to accomodation between SF and Vegas, if you're going for the Yosemite - Death Valley route, (and you really should, though I agree with the other guys, it will be a bit "whistle stop") you could try checking out Lone Pine, a picturesque little town next to Mount Whitney. We stayed there at the Dow Villa Hotel last year, and whilst the staff at that particular establishment weren't exactly the most welcoming, there was plenty of other available accomodation in the town, (We'd prebooked as we weren't sure whether we would find vacancies on spec) and everyone else we bumped into in the area was more than friendly.

    Bearing in mind your schedule, if I was to offer you any advice, it would probably be, get on the road early, so you can minimise doing too much driving in the dark. There's just too much great stuff to see along the way.

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