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  1. Default When to go to the south west!


    I'm planning my first trip to the US and a roadtrip to San Fran-LA-Vegas-San Fran (to include GC, Death Valley etc)

    Ideally I want to go for 3 split between end of March and beginning of April but really not clued up at all re:weather. I've been told to avoid July/Aug time if I want to survive Vegas but I definately want to make sure I get some sunshine and heat, but not sure if my ideal time will give me this! Obviously i realise it's a pretty big area and so weather will vary but any advice would be very much appreciated! My second choice of time would be Sept/Oct time.


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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The biggest advantage to going in the late summer or fall is that the mountain passes will be open. That's especially important if you travel across Tioga Pass through Yosemite. The passes are typically closed between November and May/June depending on the specific weather.

    That makes Sept/Oct a favorite time for a lot of people around here, but you can have a good time whenever you go.

  3. Default

    It might help to know exactly where the "etc" is to help make a decision.

    There are pluses and minuses to Spring and Fall.

    Spring you could run into snow in Yosemite and Bryce Canyon. As Midwest Michael mentioned, Tioga Pass in Yosemite usually doesn't open to late May early June but usually stays open till mid Oct. We were in Yosemite March 8, 9 & 10th this year and we had beautiful weather in the 60's in Yosemite Valley. The next week they had to close the entire park because there was so much snow it took out the electricity. This is a rare occurrence but just let's you know how wild the weather can be in the spring. Waterfalls in Yosemite will be going pretty good by March and April but down to a trickle in the fall. Bryce is beautiful with snow in the canyon, but the trails might not all be open depending on the timing & weather. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is closed till May and usually stays open till sometime in Oct. If you want to do the Narrow's hike in Zion the last two springs it's been closed to hikers because of high water. The road to Kings Canyon is closed in the spring.

    Death Valley starts getting up into the HOT about mid April and doesn't leave until mid Oct so you don't have to worry about missing the heat!

    Spring break makes for crowded parks and as I learned this year, there is NO set time for when "spring break" happens!

    We love both the spring and fall for traveling to these areas and AVOID the summer! For first timers who want to be able to see it all, I'd suggest the Sept. - Oct. time frame.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default "Mediterranean Climate"

    Which is what California is alleged to have. Wet winters (and Springs), hot dry Summers.

    All in all, the Fall tends to be our best weather, especially up north. LA gets less rain, even in winter/spring, but still has some.

  5. Default

    Yea I would put it off till May or later, we just did a trip through Utah to SF and back and it was wetter and colder than we were hoping for. We spent 3 days in SF and it rained for 2 of them which hampered site seeing. Hike the Lands End trail to see the Golden gate, avoids crowds and is much more scenic imo.

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