Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. Default San Francisco to Yosemite, Death Valley and Vegas in early November

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a newbie to this site but already an addict... hoping you can all help.

    We're coming over from the UK at the beginning of November and planning a road trip from San Francisco into Yosemite and on to Vegas via Death Valley. Is this feasible at this time of year or are certain roads blocked due to weather? We're leaving San Francisco on Monday 7 Nov.

    Any recommendations in terms of the best route to take, duration and stop off points along the way would be brilliant. I've read that the route/distance all depends on whether the Tioga pass is open but I guess this is hard to predict?

    Thanks in advance everyone.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    How many days can you allow for this trip?

    The odds are about 50/50 that the Tioga Pass will be open, and you may need tire chains in Yosemite. If Tioga is not feasible, you can either go north to CA-88 or US-50 towards Lake Tahoe to get across the Sierras to US-395, or you can go south to Bakersfield and get across on CA-178 or CA-58.

    If Tioga (CA-120) is closed, CA-108 and CA-4 will probably be closed too.

    Bottom line - at this time of year you will need to be flexible and have a way to monitor conditions. Caltrans has a website and a free call number for current road conditions.

  3. Default

    Hi there. Thanks for the reply.

    We were planning on leaving San Francisco early morning Mon 7th Nov, arriving into Vegas on the evening of Wed 9th. This plan was based on other stuff we've read but I guess all depends on Tioga being open?

    Schedule is pretty tight as we'll have been in the US for 9 days at that point - flying in to LA, few days there, then travelling up to SF via Santa Barbara, Big Sur, Monteray.

    Open to suggestions regarding the best route - everyone has said Yosemite is a must, but I guess we could cut out Death Valley if it's not as highly recommended?

    Your advice really is appreciated, thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It'll work.

    With 3 days available you do have time to visit both parks, but which route you will be able to take is a case of wait and see. Undoubtedly in my mind, the Tioga pass is a 'no brainer' if it is open, it's part of the Yosemite experience and quite a spectacular drive.

    If your budget permits, I would spend Mon night in Yosemite NP, if not in one of the towns close by to the west of the mountains, Groveland, Mariposa, El Portal or further south, Oakhurst. Night 2 you should leave open to change, day 2 explore more of Yosemite, [check out Glacier point if open] before heading over Tioga pass to the Mammoth/Bishop area, or south to the Lake Isabella area. Day 3 on through Death valley to Vegas. Death valley has quite a spectacular landscape that is alien to anything we see here in the UK and is worth driving through and making a few stops.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default recommended

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If Tioga Pass is still open at the time of your travels, that will be your best bet, and then visiting Death Valley would be right on the way.

    The good news is that you've got 3 days available, so even if you have to go around via Bakersfield, you should still be able to make it work and enjoy both parks.

    I'd plan to spend Monday night right in Yosemite, spending the day exploring the Yosemite Valley. If Tioga is open, then spend Tuesday finishing your exploration of Yosemite, driving over the pass and do a little exploration of the towns along US-395, reaching Death Valley, and then spend Wednesday in DV before finishing the short drive onto Vegas.

    If Tioga is closed, you'd just need to plan to spend most of Tuesday on the road, driving around to get to Death Valley, where again you could explore that area and finish up the drive on Wednesday.

  6. Default

    Guys, thanks for the advice, really appreciate it. Good to hear that we've got time to take in both Yosemite and DV. Any recommended hotels/restaurants/points of interest along the way?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Here is a list of some of the Hotels in and around Yosemite. You can use the RTA reservations link to the top right of the page to find other options. Much will depend on your budget and as mentioned perviously, staying in Yosemite NP will make the best use of your limited time and is a great experience. Look for lodgings in the other areas mentioned [and beyond] to see what suits your needs, we don't do much in the way of lodging/dining recommendations as things can change so quickly, new owners/staff etc.

    If the Tioga pass is open, they serve great food in 'Woah Nellie Deli' which is located in the gas station on the junction of 120 and 395. A short distance up the hill past the gas station is a parking lot that has nice views of Mono lake. If you wanted to stop the night nearer to [or in] Death valley you should check out Panamint Springs and Stovepipe Wells.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 09-14-2011 at 02:49 AM. Reason: correction.

  8. Default

    Great stuff, thanks again. This is a massive help for finalising our plans.

  9. Default

    olliep - hi bud! A coincedence!! My wife and I fly in to San Fran on the 22nd and aim to leave there on the 24th - drive down to Carmel and then head to Yosemite and through to Death Valley and on to Vegas! We cannot wait! Looks like a fair bit of driving but seems worth it!
    Car hire - you seen the deals Carhire3000 are doing - seem to get good feed back.
    San Fran seems very expensive for hotels.
    Vegas is very cheap for hotels! (we considering NYNY - good suite for £350.00 although some friends just said roll up and haggle!)
    What budget are you allowing per day? Wifey and I seem to argue a lot about this!
    We orderded Fairfx cards and the rate looks good and is versatile when over there.
    Will post more later but any things you have stumbled on would be good to hear.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Per night ?

    Vegas is very cheap for hotels! (we considering NYNY - good suite for £350.00 although some friends just said roll up and haggle!)
    I take it that isn't per night ! ? You can check out deals in the RTA reservations link.

    You can turn up and haggle, but if you want to stay on the Strip, it doesn't always work out and particularly at the weekend combined with big event[s]. On our RV trip our son and DIL tried for a room on the Strip and all that was available after trying half a dozen or so Hotels were $700 [plus] per night suites. I'm sure that if they had looked harder and didn't have the RV as back up they would have found somewhere, but it wasn't as easy as they had hoped on that occasion, which happened to be in October.

    Enter your own dates in the Motel link if they are not correct, as the dates I used fall on a weekend and rates are likely to be higher than if you were arriving mid-week.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 09-15-2011 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Added comment.

Similar Threads

  1. SFO-Yosemite-LA-Vegas-Death Valley-Vegas-Grand Canyon: November
    By UK2USA in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-26-2011, 10:35 AM
  2. San Francisco - Yosemite - Death Valley - Las Vegas
    By Walter Sobchak in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-30-2011, 02:49 AM
  3. San Francisco - Yosemite - Death Valley - Las Vegas, in 2 days
    By zachbb in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-09-2010, 12:56 AM
  4. Las Vegas to San Francisco - via Death Valley and Yosemite
    By Gareth from Wales in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-10-2010, 12:50 PM
  5. San Francisco-Yosemite-Death Valley-Las Vegas
    By Jaydun in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-13-2005, 04:59 PM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name