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  1. Default need advise about way back from LV to SF


    I'am new here, so welcome everybody! It is really great forum!

    In the beginning of May we (me and my wife) are planning to visit SF - LA - LV - SF. I red all possible advices about this trip, most of my plan I've done I have just one concern. Our way back to SF from LV. Unfortunately we don't have enough time to drive through DV (we want to see more than we have time for it! :-))
    So the plan is:
    Leave LV in the afternoon (3,4,5pm) and drive to Sequoia forest.Probably all way to Sequoia is to long (or maybe not?), so we will get a hotel in Bakersfield. In the early morning take last part to Seq. And here I have a question which is the better way 99 or 65 or 3rd suggestion?
    Then see everything is possible in Seq. forest (how much time it can take?). After this I have to decide what to do next. Will we have enough time to drive to Yosemite, sleep somewhere and go to SF Int airport? (next day after Sequoia we have plane back home from SF at 4pm). Please help me with this last step of or trip.
    thanks for all suggestions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    Las Vegas to Sequoia is a good 450 miles via Bakersfield. Leaving at 3 pm would put you in the park at midnight. That's not fun. Even Bakersfield is 280 miles (5 hours) so you'd get in at 8 pm if you don't stop for dinner someplace. If you can't get out before 3 pm, you might want to stay overnight in Barstow.

    Sequoia, another 7 hours from Barstow, can take anywhere from 2 hours (whizzing through) to 5 hours to see decently. Sequoia to San Francisco is about 6 hour drive. So, no, you wouldn't have time to do Yosemite this trip. That's at least a full day to just drive through the Valley and up to Glacier Point.

    BTW, to figure this, I used I-15 South to CA-58 out of Barstow over to Bakersfield. Then CA-99 north to Sequoia.

    Please don't rely on electronic mapping programs to tell you the amount of time it takes to drive someplace. Mr. Google, Mr. MapQuest and Mr. RandMcNally don't have to stop for gas, go to the bathroom, eat, or worry about traffic. BTW, the I-15 corridor south out of Las Vegas is an extremely busy corridor, especially if you leave LV on a Sunday afternoon. (So are all the other Southern Californians who have gone up there for a weekend getaway.) When I'm figuring how long it will take to get someplace, I take the total mileage and then use 50 mph as a good average. 450 miles = 9 hours in the car. Yes, you can drive 70 on CA interstates, and 55 on most 2 lanes.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default The things that eat into your time.

    If your flight goes at 4pm, and if it is an international flight, you will need to be at the airport around 1pm. Before that you have to take your rental car back. These things all take time. I would not consider a six hour drive on that last day. Plan on staying a little closer to SF airport.

    Like Donna mentioned, you do not have time for Yosemite, and unless you can leave LV considerably earlier than 3pm, you won't have a great deal of time to spend in Sequoia either.


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

    Default Options.

    I have to agree with both the above points and to be honest you need to leave Vegas by 2pm to make part of your plans possible. Just to be absolutely clear, the Sequoia National Forest is an area just north of Lake Isabella, the National Park is further North where you enter via 198 through Three Rivers. You will not really have time to visit both Sequoia and Yosemite and get to SF by lunchtime to connect with your flight, if you want to actualy spend time out of the car.

    If you leave 2-3pm and head for Bakersfield you could have a nice day in Sequoia NP and stop the night in Fresno and give yourself a reasonable drive back to the airport. CA65 doesn't take much longer than 99 and is a few miles shorter in distance. You will drive through miles of orange and Lemon groves along the way, leaving a little earlier from Vegas would mean you could get to Porterville, a little closer to Sequoia.

    If you left Vegas at 10 am you could include a drive across Death Valley and make it to Lake Isabella and then to Fresno via Sequoia NP.

    Given the choice and with an early start from Vegas, I would probably opt for Death Valley and Yosemite by crossing Death valley on 190, heading North on 395 to Bishop and then take CA120 [the very scenic Tioga Pass] to Yosemite and end the day in Groveland. There is a BIG BUT with this though !! The Tioga pass may not be open when you travel, so you would have to check the status before travelling.

    We don't know how relaxed or hurried the rest of your trip might be, but if you can juggle things to include an extra full day back to San Fran, then I would highly recommend doing so !

  5. Default

    Thank you for all helpful suggestions.
    I will definitely consider to leave LV earlier to get easy way to Sequoia NP (not forest :-) )
    #Southwest Dave - the DV is very tempting but I am afraid not this time. Next time I will stay longer in LV and I will make a trip through DV to Yosemite.
    Can you please advise which is the best way back to SF from Fresno?
    thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Assuming you are going direct to SFO, take 99 to 152 to 101. Allow at least 4 hours.

  7. Default

    thank you glc! now my plan is ready :-)
    thanks all for your help.

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