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  1. Default Alternative path Las Vegas to San Fran

    Hi All
    my family and I ( three girls aged 13, 17 19) are doing a round road trip LA - Las Vegas - San Fran - LA.
    My question is if it is possible, viable and worthwhile doing a different leg from that most often travelled between Las Vegas and San Francisco.
    We do not want to retrace paths already driven and are thinking of the follwoing:
    Las Vegas 28th July to San Fancisco travelling either 395 or 95 over two days and arriving in San Fran 30th. Preferably 395 as this wold allow us to drive through Yoesmite and some potentially lovely places.
    Is our timing viable? Are there good places to stay on this route? The alternative as Google and other maps suggest is up to Yosemite via I 5 which looks boring.

    From San Fran we will drive to LA probably on I5 as the coast route looks too long. Agreed?
    Many thanks

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

    Default A well trodden path.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You will find a lot of info on this very popular trip throughout the forums to help with your planning, but to answer your questions.

    The most popular route from Las Vegas to San Fran is actually what you are partly describing. Head to Pahrump on 160 and drive across Death valley by taking Bell Vista Ave/Ash Meadows Rd/State line Rd to Death valley junction and 190 to Lone Pine. Head North on 395 to Mono Lake and then CA120 [Tioga pass] through Yosemite. With 3 days you could stop one night to the East of the Sierra Nevada, perhaps Bishop/Mammoth area, and then spend the next day and night in Yosemite and then continue to SF.
    If you are travelling early summer you will have to check on the Tioga pass status as it can be closed into late June depending on the winter snow melt.

    If you want to drive from SF to LA same day, then Yes the coastal route will take too much time. If you can make an overnight stop, which I would strongly recommend, then head to Monterey and drive CA 1 around Big Sur and stop in the Cambria area for a night. Slow going but one of the worlds top Ocean drives !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you absolutely must drive from SF to LA same day, you can take US-101 all the way. It's not quite as fast as I-5 but it's a lot more enjoyable drive.

  4. Default thanks

    Hey thanks Guys for the feedback. We shall follow your advise, sounds great. looking forward to our US trip.

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