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  1. #1

    Default San Francisco to Las Vegas via Lake Tahoe and Bishop.

    Hi everyone,

    I have a trip planned with two friends. I am visiting family in Louisiana for 3 days then flying up to Los Angeles for 4 days. I will then rent a car and drive to San Francisco along the cost road which looks fairly straight forward. I shall then be spending a further 4 days in San Francisco.

    Here is where i need your help and advice. So far i have planned my drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas as follows

    Pick up Crysler 300c at 08.00 on Monday 11th October 2010 from San Francisco.

    Drive to Lake Tahoe and stay the night. Hopefully arrive in good time to explore the surroundings.

    Leave lake Tahoe and drive to Mammoth Lakes then onto Bishop for a over night stay.

    Drive from Bishop through Death valley onto Las Vegas. (time permitting visiting hoover dam?). Arrive in Las Vegas for 17.00

    I realise this is a short time and we will not have much time to explore but we can only spare 2 nights/ 3 days for the journey. How does this trip sound? The three of us can share the driving. Also any interesting stop offs on the way?

    The hire car will have sat nav but obviously i will also use a map. Can anyone recommend a good map and where i would purchase one.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default 'Straight forward' ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The coast road is very bendy as opposed to straight forward and you wont have the time to drive it in one day, for that you would need 101 or I 5. However I would recommend travelling it even if it means losing a night in the lovely City of SF.

    The rest of your trip is quite doable but you are actually driving around one of the wonders of this world, Yosemite NP. Going to Tahoe is an excellent option but I would recommend looking into the option of driving to Yosemite and over the Sierra Nevada on the Tioga pass to Mammoth lakes.

    Hoover dam is the other side of Vegas and I think you will find the time disappears in Death valley while taking in the weird and wonderful landscape.

    One word of warning, the Tioga pass is at a high elevation and when you are travelling is the time of year that it closes for the season so you would have to check conditions before travelling.

  3. #3


    Hi firstly thank you for your reply. If i travelled to Lake Tahoe then onto Bishop would i still pass the Tioga pass? I am worried the road may be closed in mid October.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    No, you would be crossing the Sierras on I-80 (Donner Pass), US-50 (Johnson Pass), or CA-88 (Carson Pass) on the way to Tahoe. Those 3 are maintained year-round and are only subject to temporary closures. Tioga Pass crosses the Sierras on CA-120. Other passes that may or may not be open are CA-4 (Ebbetts Pass) and CA-108 (Sonora Pass), they close for the season.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Past but not over.

    You would pass Tioga pass but not have to drive over it, so from Lake Tahoe to Bishop is not a problem.

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