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  1. Default SF to Vegas via Bodie and Death Valley


    First post on here but Iíll no doubt be back asking more advice.

    Myself and 2 friends are planning a trip to Vegas in August. As part of our trip we are flying to San Francisco then the plan is to drive back to Vegas as we want to add a bit of a road trip into the holiday.

    I understand the direct route is from SF towards LA then inland into Vegas but we want to do the trip over 2, probably 3, nights, via Bodie and also through Death Valley. Then, drive to Vegas the next day.

    Plan at the minute is to drive from SF to Bodie and stay somewhere for the night, any suggestions? Then, drive through death valley, again have a look about, and stop somewhere in the National Park. Again, any suggestions?

    Iíd appreciate any routes or things to see on route, especially in Death Valley. Anything I'm missing that we NEED to see?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Rental ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The big miss for me is the non mention of Yosemite NP and the fact that it is on the most popular route between SF and LV and well worth an overnight stop. The Tioga Pass is spectacular [CA120] and joins the 395 near Lee Vining not too far from Bodie. The problem you might have is that if you are renting a vehicle, they are not permitted to travel on unmade roads which is exactly what you need to do to get to Bodie. Down 395 to Lone Pine and across Death Valley on 136/190 to Furnace creek. Nearby is Badwater the lowest spot in the USA. You can take the Locals route to Vegas from Death Valley junction via Pahrump using State line road/Ash Meadows/Bell Vista Rd. You can find lots of info on the NP's by looking at the nps Website for each one.

    You will find Lot's more info searching the forums and by simply scrolling to the bottom of this page where you will find 'Similar threads'. Any questions, just ask !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I went out to Bodie early this January, and the last 3 miles of the road is unpaved and SEVERELY washboarded. I'm afraid that this would be violating your rental car contract.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden


    Hi Mark,

    My wife and I drove the exact route in late May last year. We had planned to drive thru Tioga pass but unfortunately opened the road very late last year after the winter. We drove instead through the Sonora pass and for the first night after SF we stopped in Lee Vining. The next morning we drove to Bodie (we did not know about the rule for rental cars, that you could not drive on gravel road) and spent a half day in the park. Then we drove to Death Valley and spent the next night in Stovepipe Wells and the next morning we headed to Las Vegas via Bad Water. It was good day trips and a excellent route.


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