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  1. #1

    Default Trip advice needed for road trip from Las Vegas to Pacific Coast Highway

    My wife and I are flying into Vegas April 18th, we are renting a car and leaving the next morning for a seven day road trip to tour the Pacific Coast Highway. Being from Texas, we never thought of running into snow during this time. We planned on going to Tahoe then over to Redwood National Park at Crescent City, then travel down the coast to Santa Barbara then back to Vegas. Are there any roads we need to avoid, does anyone have any advice on routes we should take. Are we trying to do to much in to little of a time, our plan was to stay one night in Tahoe, one night in Crescent City area, two nights in Napa Valley, one night in Carmel, two nights in Santa Barbara, then back to Vegas. Feel free to make any suggestions, the only thing set in stone is our Flight is booked and our rent car is waiting for us, so all advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I guess its too late, but Vegas seems like a very odd place to start this trip, since it will mean 2 hard days of driving to start and basically one more full day of driving to get back from the coast. San Francisco or LAX would have saved you some time and miles.

    I'd suggest rather than going to Crescent City, you might want to stop in the Arcata/Eureka area. I'm thinking you'll want to cut over from I-5 at Redding via CA-299, which means you'll have to do some back tracking along the coast anyway. It would also be a very long day to get from Crescent City to Napa, probably too much if you want to do any exploring of the redwoods in this part of the PCH. Carmel to Santa Barbara is also a pretty full day when you consider the amount of things to do in this section. I'd consider stopping more in the San Luis Obispo area. In fact, depending upon how badly you want to see the Santa Barbara area, it could be easier for you to stop your exploration of the coast here, and head back to Vegas via Bakersfield.

  3. #3

    Default

    Appreciate the advice, the Vegas part of our trip on the 18th is our 37th anniversary and we are going to the Elton John show. Reno was going to be the direction we headed but is not necessary if you have a more direct route to the Redwoods or if we are trying to do to much we could even do a second road trip to for the northern coast at a later date. What would be your suggestions?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    There's several "Redwoods" parks - Redwood National Park, Jedidiah Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, and Humboldt Redwoods State Park (this is the one with the Avenue of the Giants and the drive-through tree). No matter which one or ones you want to visit or which route you take, it's a full 2 day drive from Las Vegas.

    If you want to visit Napa and drive the coast from SF to close to LA, I don't really think you have time to also do the Redwoods and the northern coast.

  5. #5

    Default Second half of road trip to Northern California 2013

    We did the trip below in 2012 from Santa Barbra to Mendocina (scenery was unbelievable). This year we are doing a 19 day trip driving from Houston to Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Eureka, and Tahoe. Taking mother-n-law, she has never seen California's beauty, my question is "we will be leaving Las Vegas on the 22nd of June going to Yosemite, what is the best route to take, plan on staying the night on the road the 22nd then arrive at Yosemite View Lodge on the 23rd. Also, can you give review on Yosemite View Lodge - thanks for any help you can give!






    Quote Originally Posted by Doc000 View Post
    My wife and I are flying into Vegas April 18th, we are renting a car and leaving the next morning for a seven day road trip to tour the Pacific Coast Highway. Being from Texas, we never thought of running into snow during this time. We planned on going to Tahoe then over to Redwood National Park at Crescent City, then travel down the coast to Santa Barbara then back to Vegas. Are there any roads we need to avoid, does anyone have any advice on routes we should take. Are we trying to do to much in to little of a time, our plan was to stay one night in Tahoe, one night in Crescent City area, two nights in Napa Valley, one night in Carmel, two nights in Santa Barbara, then back to Vegas. Feel free to make any suggestions, the only thing set in stone is our Flight is booked and our rent car is waiting for us, so all advice is appreciated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Tioga Pass is spectacular.

    The most popular and scenic route from LV to Yosemite would include a trip across Death valley on 190 through Furnace creek to 395 at Lone Pine and then north to Mono Lake and enter Yosemite on the spectacular Tioga Pass [CA120]. To get to 190 you can take 160 to Pahrump and then take W. Bell Vista Ave/ Ash Meadows Rd north of town to Death valley junction where you turn right and immediate left. Bishop or Mammoth Lakes would be a good area to stop for the night.

    One word of warning. You will need to check the Tioga Pass is open when you travel as it usually opens between mid May and end of June for the season after the snow plows have cleared it. The odds are in your favour but if it is closed you could go straight to Tahoe and across the north of the Sierras and enter Yosemite from the west, or depending on your plans for getting home, head to Yosemite after Eureka. You would also have the choice of heading south around the mountains via Bakersfield and head north to the west of the mountains and into Yosemite. Knowing what happens after Eureka would be helpful to make the best of each scenario.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Assuming the Tioga Pass is open, I'd go through Death Valley and spend the night in Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, or Lee Vining.

    Take NV-160 out of LV to Pahrump, go north out of town a couple miles, and turn left on Bell Vista Avenue. This will take you to CA-127 at Death Valley Junction, turn right then an immediate left onto CA-190 into the park. Leaving the park, take CA-190 to CA-136 to US-395 and go north.

    At Lee Vining, take CA-120 over Tioga Pass into Yosemite. Take that to Crane Flat, turn left and head into Yosemite Village. Take CA-140 out of the village and out of the park to the lodge.

    If Tioga Pass is closed, leave Death Valley on CA-190 and stay on it to US-395 and turn left. Stay to the right onto CA-14 to CA-178, take that through Lake Isabella to Bakersfield. You can spend the night in either place (or continue to Fresno, another 2 hours from Bakersfield). If you don't want to go through Death Valley, take I-15 out of Las Vegas to CA-58 to Bakersfield.

    At Bakersfield, take CA-99 to Fresno, then CA-41 toward Yosemite. You can either enter the park, head down into the village and take CA-140 out - or at Oakhurst you can take CA-49 to Mariposa to CA-140.

    I have no experience with the lodge, but it looks like it gets good reviews on Expedia and Tripadvisor.

    EDIT: Dave was posting while I was - if the pass is closed and you want to take 395 north, you can turn left on CA-89 (if Monitor Pass is open, it is normally the first pass to open in the spring) and take that to CA-88 and go over Carson Pass (maintained year-round) to CA-49 at Jackson. You can either take that to CA-120 and go in to the park through Big Oak Flat down to the village, or stay on CA-49 to Mariposa to CA-140.

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