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  1. Default LA-Palm Springs - Yosemite - Death Valley - Vegas


    Have been reading all the amazing posts and comments on your site (thanks for all the info). alas after reading it all we have know decided to wedge in Yosemite National Park and Death Valley after LA and Plam Springs on our way to Las Vegas.

    Are we crazy?

    We are two Australians in our mid 20's who have never been on a road trip in america. We are spending 5 nights in LA before heading out. Originally we were going to drive to Palm Springs and stay for 4 nights before heading off to Vegas for 3 nights.

    BUT after reading about Yosemite National Park we thought since we have the time perhaps we should have a go of driving up and visiting it.

    At the moment this is the route / timings we are looking at.

    Tuesday Day 1 La - Leave early say 12pm Palm Springs

    Wednesday Day 2 Palm Springs - Visit the Joshua Tree national Park stay another night in Palm Springs

    Thursday Day 3 Palm Springs to Yosemite National Park (7 hour drive) we can stay in the national park in 'curry village' permeant tent things or there are 6 or so other hotel /motels they just looked funny! Drive around the park a bit

    Friday Day 4 Yosemite National Park - Death Valley (6 hour drive) stay the night and a bit more exploring the park if we like or going to visit one of the lakes around the area

    Saturday Day 5 Death Valley - Vegas (we could also arrive on Sunday in vegas as well)

    is this too much?

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

    Default a touch

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Your plan is a touch too much. First, your drive time estimates, which presumably are coming from a computer program, are too low. Palm Springs to Yosemite will take you more than 8 hours, and Yosemite to Death Valley is also basically a full day if you are planning to spend anytime stopping to enjoy the scenic Tioga Pass.

    The problem comes that you haven't actually left yourself any time to explore yosemite itself. However, since you can arrive in Vegas on Sunday, you could fix that by spending one extra day at Yosemite, and pushing back Death Valley by a day. DV to Vegas is only a 2 hour drive, so that will be an easy one to finish things off.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Does it have to be that route?

    Hi, from one Aussie to another.

    My query is, as you will be flying into LA, is that where you will also be flying out of? And why are you spending five nights in LA? Do you need to be in LV on the Sat/Sun? And how much of this is already booked?

    To add Yosemite and Death Valley to your trip, you could use your time much more productively, if you are able to change some and reroute the whole trip.

    But then, I understand you may have set commitments.


  4. Default

    Hi Lifey,

    We are flying in to La and then flying out of Vegas to NY. 5 nights in LA because we have a whole stack of friends and family that we both need to fit in before heading off to vegas and ny.

    we have only booked LA and then the flight from Vegas on the 31st August.

    Sorry i should have mentioned that. it will be the end of August are we crazy to be doing that much driving in the heat?

    Midwest Michael yes i did get the driving times from a computer!

    Is it worth it driving all the way up north or is there a scenic route we can take from la - palm springs - vegas?

    thanks so much for all your advice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Maybe you would consider an alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by holdmygold View Post
    It will be the end of August are we crazy to be doing that much driving in the heat?
    Guess that all depends on how used you are to the hot weather. If you are coming from Perth, I guess it would be second nature. If you are coming from Hobart, you might find it a bit much. So I guess, that is something for you to decide.

    On the other hand, it is a huge distance to cover for very little time to see anything much. Yes, you will be able to say you have been there. But I guess you would like to do a bit more than that.

    Not in anyway degrading the magnificence of Yosemite (I have been there several times), have you been to the Grand Canyon? If you would like to see one of the great wonders of the natural world, it definitely is a posibility in the time frame you have. Depending on what your commitments are in LV, you could always visit Death Valley as a day trip from LV. And that said, there are other magnificent spots able to be reached in a day trip from LV.

    And when looking at computer mapping programmes, be sure to add 20% to their suggested time. You see computers never stop to take a photo, fuel up, have a meal and visit the bathroom. Nor do they ever see a red light, strike road construction, traffic holdups, etc. Unfortunately, we have to drive in the real world.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Love Yosemite, but........

    Yosemite is a true gem of the NP system and one of my favourite places. It's a big detour for just a 'drive thru' though and it will be very busy. You could make a little time up as Michael suggested above, plus you could continue north from Joshua tree instead of returning to Palm Springs, perhaps to Bakersfield or Visalia with an early start. Have you considered Palm springs as a day tip from LA ? It would be a long day but with an early start to avoid LA traffic, it would be doable. You could then head North to Yosemite, possibly visiting Sequoia NP on the way. I know that if I had to choose, I would be heading North from LA, but then again heading East with the time you have, you could bring the South rim of the Grand canyon into play. Hmmm?

    DV will be hot, very hot ! You can still enjoy the drive through this amazing landscape and take short walks to viewpoints, stop at Furnace creek etc, just make sure you have sun protection and carry water and snacks in the car.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Death Valley will certainly be hot, but so will Palm Springs!

    If it were me, I'd actually skip Palm Springs (or do it as a daytrip as Dave suggested). Instead, I'd spend a couple days driving up the coast to about Monterey - and then cut over to Yosemite and continue to DV and Vegas.

    I think that would give you a bit more variety in terms of what you'll be seeing, but then again, the idea of spending several days in August in Palm Springs doesn't really appeal to my personal tastes. Your tastes could be different...

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