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  1. Default Yosemite via Kings Canyon/Sequoia/Death Valley

    We are coming from Switzerland and planning a road trip starting in San Francisco around 12 May this year.
    So far we are thinking:
    Day 1- 3 San Francisco
    Day 4 Drive to Santa Rosa(staying with family) via Napa and Sonoma
    Day 5 Drive to Lake Tahoe
    Day 6 Cruise on Lake then drive to Yosemite
    Day 7 and Day 8 Yosemite
    Day 9 Yosemite via Kings Canyon/Sequoia/Death Valley to Las Vegas
    Day 10-13 Las Vegas -Grand Canyon

    Will the Tioga Pass be open at this time of year?

    Where is a good place to stay in Lake Tahoe

    Has anyone stayed in the Curry Village in Yosemite?
    From Yosemite, could someone suggest the best route to Kings Canyon, and is it feasible to cover KC, Sequoia and Death Valley all in one day?
    If not, where would be a logical place to stop overnight.
    We were thinking of taking a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, but have been reading that these tours do not actually go to the south rim, is that correct?
    We could possibly drive there, but have friends in Las Vegas, so wanted to spend time with them too.

    I have been reading lots of threads, but cannot find the exact info on the route from Yosemite and we are struggling with the maps we have.
    Many thanks for your help.

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

    Default making choices

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    In answer to your main question: No it is not possible to go from Yosemite to Las Vegas, seeing Sequoia/Kings Canyon/Death Valley in one day. In fact, that would really even be too much even for 2 days.

    Yosemite to Las Vegas is pretty much a full day drive all by itself. If Tioga Pass is open (which is unlikely, although not impossible. It typically opens in mid may to mid june), you can make the drive in one day via Death Valley, although that is a very scenic trip and you have to be rushing pretty good to do all of that in one day.

    If Tioga Pass is closed and/or you chose to go to Sequoia, you have to go around the Sierras via Bakersfield. There is no way to cross the mountains through Sequoia National Park, and there really is now way to fit in either Sequoia or Death Valley into a one day trip from Yosemite to Vegas on this route.

    If you chose to go to Sequoia, the thing you really need to keep in mind that the park does take a much of the day to visit, as it involves driving up into the mountains and back out. You're looking at a couple hour drive from Yosemite to get there, and needing several hours to get through and back out of the park. When that's done you'll be exiting near 3 rivers/Exeter/Visallia, so you won't have made much forward progress towards Vegas.

    It should also be noted that Tahoe is on the east side of the Sierras, so going there and back to Yosemite would involve 2 mountain crossings. I think you really need to make a choice between Tahoe and Sequoia. In either case, do Yosemite first, then go to either Tahoe or Sequoia, on your way to Vegas.

    That choice may give you the chance to drive out to Grand Canyon. You are correct that most helicopter flights from Vegas do not go over the National Park, and if you have time to go to the south rim itself I would.

  3. Default

    Is it that big of a deal crossing the mountains twice? We do really want to go to Lake Tahoe.
    Is is an easy drive from Sequoia to Death Valley?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    It's not a big deal, other than the fact that it is time consuming. Tahoe to Yosemite is going to take the better part of a day (I'd say 6 hours if things go well.)

    Sequoia to DV is not a difficult drive, it's just a long one. It's basically a full day, needing 8-10 hours on the road.

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


    Day 9 Yosemite via Kings Canyon/Sequoia/Death Valley to Las Vegas
    Yosemite to Las Vegas by the most direct route and assuming Tioga pass is closed would be around a 10 hour day, without any detours into Sequoia or Death valley. To add a visit to each of those parks and you will be looking at another 10 hour day to have time for some brief stops to enjoy the visit. I doubt you would manage a visit to Kings canyon as well, that's if it is accessible.

    You do realise that the Grand canyon is more than a day trip from Vegas, right ?

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