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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Exeter, United Kingdom

    Default November - December cross country trip. Advice needed!

    Hello everyone!

    My wife and I are planning a 5 week road trip crossing the US. Starting in Washington 10th November, arriving Los Angeles 10th December.

    We've determined our preferred route, but plan to take it as it comes, some days we may well stay others press on.

    I've shown our route below.

    I'm a little nervous about our route across the Sierra Nevada, we plan to head from Vegas to Mammouth lakes and then on to Yosemite before heading up the the coast just above San Franciso.
    Likely to be leaving Vegas on around 1st December.

    Am really looking for any advice anyone might have about the likelihood of snow making this route innappropriate and if so what might be a more sensible option.

    Also if you've any annecdotes or tips of the places we are headed then would really like to hear them!

    5 weeks 'till we head off! Can't wait

    Many thanks,

    Washington to Buena Vista, VA via Blue Ridge Parkway
    Then onwards to Lexington, KY
    Nashville, TN
    New Orleans, LA
    Houston, TX
    Alberquerque, NM - 14 hours between (where to stop off, see in between?)
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Las Vegas, NV
    Mammouth Lakes, CA
    Yosemite National Park, CA via Tioga Pass Road
    Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
    San Francisco, CA
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Last stop Los Angeles, CA

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

    Default one won't work

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Your current plan to go from Vegas to Yosemite via Mammoth will almost certainly not be possible. Tioga Pass typically closes in late October or November, and while there have been a couple of cases of the road being open into December, that is very rare and really not something you should be planning to use (treat it as an unexpected surprise if it is open.).

    Your only options will likely to go around via Bakersfield, or if you have more time, to go up to Lake Tahoe and then cross the Sierras on one of the year round passes.

    One more tip, take any online mapping program's travel time estimates with a big grain of salt. I know you're planning to break it up, but despite what a program might tell you, Houston to Albuquerque couldn't possibly be driven in 14 hours. Its nearly 900 miles, which is at least 16-17 hours, and needs to be broken up into 2 days. Add at least 20% to your estimated travel times to factor in just the basic stops for food, fuel, rest, etc

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Odds are not good.

    Amarillo TX is about as far as you should aim on route to Albuquerque, depending on which route you take. Around [in] Lubbock is another option for a shorter day on the road, where it would be possible to continue through Roswell next day for an "out of this world experience".

    You can find the Tioga closing dates in this thread but as Michael mentioned, the odds are not in your favour. You can still visit Death valley from Vegas and catch Tahoe to the North or perhaps Sequoia NP going around the Southern end to Yosemite.

    If time is on your side you could consider heading up through Farmington and Shiprock to Four corners from Albu, and then drive through Monument valley and back down to I 40 via the South rim of the Grand canyon.

  4. Default

    I'm doing a similar trip (Baltimore to LA, southern route), though about a month before you. I don't have any tips myself (yet!), but I made a post where people were very helpful:

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