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Thread: Tioga pass

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Shifnal, Shropshire, England
    Posts
    3

    Default Tioga pass

    After reading your exciting posts of driving in extreme conditions this has got me a bit concerned about my pending road trip around CA. We are due to land in LA on 25/5 and then head off to Las Vegas for 3 days. From Vegas we are heading to Furnace creek on 30/5. This is where the dilema starts. The Current plan was drive to Yosemite on 31/5 via the Tioga pass or the Sonora pass. From reading your posts it is looking highly unlikely (big disappointment) that I will not be able to cross the Sierra Nevada to Yosemite by this date. If I follow the southern route, what are my options in terms of the best place to stay when I leave Las Vegas before I get to Yosemite. I would still like to go via death valley but would like to keep the driving to no more the 6hrs per day. Also if I go south what other sites/places of interest could I pick up on the way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    A good place to stay would be Lake Isabella.You should be able to make it from there to Yosemite in 5 to 6 hours. The obvious attraction going that way would be Sequoia/Kings Canyon, but you won't have enough time unless you can get considerably closer the day before, such as Porterville or Visalia.

    It's very doubtful that Tioga will be open, but Sonora might be a possibility - I read that they only have "several more miles" to clear of snow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default This is extra-special weather

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Terry View Post
    After reading your exciting posts of driving in extreme conditions this has got me a bit concerned
    Sonora Pass is often open by Memorial Day (the last weekend in May) and even with the extraordinary late spring snowstorms I'd bet money Sonora will be open. There will be lots of snow on the pass and the waterfalls will be truly astounding -- but I think you can plan for it to be open.

    Also, I've driven nearly 1,000,000 miles in North America and I've only seen one thundersnow storm! It's so rare, the chance you'll ever get to experience it yourself is 10,000,000 to one or less.
    If I follow the southern route, what are my options in terms of the best place to stay when I leave Las Vegas before I get to Yosemite.
    I thought you were staying in Death Valley? If not, Lake Isabella has some very nice places or Tehachapi is great -- Wonderful German bakery in town.

    Seriously, you're going to be traveling in the west for the peak of the spring wildflowers and waterfalls -- It's going to be awesome -- forget about the snow!

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Shifnal, Shropshire, England
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for the advice. Following GLC's idea of stopping of at Sequoia/Kings Canyon, this has now made keen to follow the southern route to Yosemite. Currently I am booked into Las Vegas for 3 nights up to Monday 30th. The plan was to stay at Furnace creek on 31/5 and then leave early on 1/6 for the long drive to yosemite via Tioga Pass.

    No I am considering only staying 2 nights at Vegas (1/2 a day would be to visit the grand canyon via a helicopter trip) and stay at Furnace creek on 29/5 as I would still like to drive through death valley and stay at furnace creek. This leaves about 5-6hrs drive to get to portville and stay the night ready for an early start to Sequoia/Kings Canyon on 30/5. It is looking about 5-6 hrs to cedar lodge Yosemite plus 2-3hrs to look around around Sequoia. The plan then is to spend 2-3 hrs at Yosemite and then drive to San fran in the afternoon (about 3.5 to 4.5hrs drive).

    Are my allowances of time reasonable and will have enough time to see the main sights at Death Valley, Sequoia & Yosemite?

    I prefer to have my hotels booked in advance so the option of deciding about the Sonora pass near the time are not really an option due to the uncertainty.

    I get the feeling by going the southern route still gives me the chance to see a lot of the main attraction of the mountains.

    Colin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    This leaves about 5-6hrs drive to get to portville and stay the night ready for an early start to Sequoia/Kings Canyon on 30/5. It is looking about 5-6 hrs to cedar lodge Yosemite plus 2-3hrs to look around around Sequoia. The plan then is to spend 2-3 hrs at Yosemite and then drive to San fran in the afternoon (about 3.5 to 4.5hrs drive).
    Do you mean that you want to get from Porterville to San Fran and spend a few hours in Sequoia and Yosemite all in the same day ? If so that's not going to work to well and is far too much. Furnace creek is less than 3 hours from Vegas and one of the first major stopping places in DV. I would consider making your way across DV during the day and stay out the other side of the park, the Lake Isabella area perhaps. From Lake Isabella you could continue through Sequoia and stop the night in Oakhurst and do a quick visit of Yosemite before continuing to SF.

    Edit] Ok, it looks as though you are spending the night in Cedar lodge Yosemite, phew ! Your plan would work out OK in that case but you could consider staying further 'down the road' from Furnace creek and having a bit more time in Sequoia and/or Yosemite. If you didn't want to go all the way to Lake Isabella, there are lodgings at Stovepipe Wells or just outside the park, Panamint Springs
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-17-2011 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Added comment.

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