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  1. Default Summer drive from Grand Canyon to Yosemite


    I am new to the forum and to driving in USA so would really appreciate some advice. I have looked at lots of other related threads but can't see the answers I need!

    I will be driving from Las Vegas to the South Grand Canyon in early August and will end up at Williams, as our family of four love the idea of the train journey to the South Rim in the midst of all the driving. We are then off to Yosemite and plan to spend 2 or if necessary 3 days driving up to Groveland where we have booked a cabin. The big question is what to see between Williams and Groveland in August? Many posts suggest Death Valley but many others say not in August! If we are driving 3 to 5 hours a day what is our best route? We like scenery and wilderness and would stay in either simple motels or more expensive hotels whichever gave us the best route.

    Sorry if this has been answered many times before but it is hard to get an idea of distances/driving times/scenery/accommodation from thousands of miles away!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default What To Do

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I would have to agree with those who caution against trying to see Death Valley in August when temperatures can (and do) top 120°F (50°C). But there are still plenty of options on the way to Groveland. Between Seligman and Kingman, you can detour off the motorway to take the longest remaining section of the old Route 66 roadbedfor a taste of what RoadTripping was like in the 'old days'. A little farther west, you can follow another segment of the old Mother Road to Oatman for a unique taste of the old west. Just south of I-40 on the Colorado River is the town of Lake Havasu City where the reconstructed London Bridge is now located (transported stone by stone from its namesake city). About 50 miles west of Barstow CA is Edwards Air Force Base, home of the 'Right Stuff' and with some unique planes on display. On the way up the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, you can take the time to poke into Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on your way to Yosemite.

    Limiting yourself to 4 hours of driving a day would require 3 days to get to Sequoia. I'll assume you take some of the side trips I've noted above, which would put overnight stops at roughly the Needles CA, and Bakersfield CA. Both of those towns offer a good choice of lodging options.


  3. Default

    Thanks that's really helpful.

    We will miss DV this time and would like to detour into Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Any hints on the best route and what to se there?


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

    Default How far will you go ?

    As with all National parks, when you arrive you will be given leaflets and the rangers are more than happy to answer your questions and share their favourite spots. If you go into Sequoia via Three Rivers and onto the Generals Highway it will take you to the visitor centre and the 'Giants Forest', home to the General Sherman tree, the largest living thing on earth !! A scenic drive and stroll among the 'Giants' is a wonderful experience.

    Much will depend on whether you want to stick to your goal of up to 5 hours travelling per day or not. If Yes, over 3 days you would stop at Barstow, Sequoia NP [or Three Rivers depending on budget] and onto Groveland via the Generals Highway. You will have to add visiting time and the last leg would be a full day with sight seeing. Kings canyon would then be pushing things against the clock. Alternatively, and what I would most likely do, is push further on Day 1, to Bakersfield or beyond and then have close to a full day in Sequoia/Kings Canyon before continuing to Groveland next day.

  5. Default

    This is so much better than trying to work it all out myself!

    Looks like a longer drive day 1 to Bakersfield, a day trip to Sequoia and then a leisurely drive up to Groveland would be ideal.

    Thanks for all the help

  6. Default


    Thanks to your help I have the route pretty much worked out and am looking forward to some original Route 66 driving. My next strange question is what sort of car to rent, I love the idea of luxury class rental (eg Cadilac DTS) for my road trip but some of the threads I read talk about difficult narrow winding roads going to and through Yosemite and the hell of traffic in San Francisco where we end the trip. It's very hard from here to judge whether driving such a big car would be a problem compared with the smaller (Impala) size. Fuel consumption is not such a problem really as when I checked prices in CA today $4 was not unusual and I normally pay about $9 a gallon at my local station!

    I don't mean to start a "best car for a trip" thread just to know if a regular but experienced driver like me would be ok on this route in a big Cadilac.


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


    For the most part, even mountain and city roads in the US are plenty wide by some international standards.

    Plus, from a pure size perspective, the Caddy basically the same size as the Impala - which is generally considered a full sized car. You're only paying more for luxury features - many of which could make driving in places like the mountain actually more enjoyable.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default 'Or similar'.

    Most of the roads you are travelling are frequently used by 30 and 40ft RV's, some towing, so you have nothing to worry about on that score.

    You have probably noticed that the rental Co's only rent out cars in 'Classes' and not specific Models, so it will normally say - "Cadillac DTS or Similar", as an example.

  9. Default

    Thanks for the reassurance about the roads, I have booked a "luxury" class car and wait to see what model it will be! A mustang convertible was so tempting until I remembered that the rest of the family were coming....

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