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  1. Default Some specifics on SF -> Vegas via Yosemite/Death Valley

    Hi Guys,
    I've been trawlling through threads here for the last couple of days, some great knowlege and info!!
    I know this trip gets brought up quite often, I've read a lot of threads on it already, Hope I'm not out of line making a new post but i wanted to ask some specifics.

    I'm coming from Australia next month and plan to pick up a rental car (convertable, hopefully) and drive from San Francisco to Vegas, via Yosemite and Death Valley. I understand the time of year is not ideal for Death valley, but I'd still like to go. Though DV it's likely going to be more brutal, being Australian i understand want 100F+ dry-heat temperatures are like and I'm sure we'll survive with water and modern AC (as long as the rental company looks after their cars!).

    Anyway, we're only planning a 3 day/2 night roadtrip, So I'm curious on where you folks would suggest would be the best places to lay our heads for the nights? As some places like Furnace inn will be closed, I thought it may be ideal if we could find a place just outside of death valley to stay on the second night, and shoot through DV quite early for vegas on the last day of the trip? Originally I was thinking it would've been good to check out DV then head south and check out Barstow and the usual route north to vegas... But I'm not sure it would be worth the extra time?? (and it looks like the last travel day will be a friday, so we may get traffic issues heading into vegas??)

    Also I've read here that if I'm unlucky Tiogas pass may be closed in mid-june? Does anyone know what the weather is like currently and if this is likely the case?

    Here is the current route i have planned out:
    Last edited by JPDyno; 04-30-2012 at 11:08 PM.

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

    Default What I would do.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I know this trip gets brought up quite often, I've read a lot of threads on it already, Hope I'm not out of line making a new post but i wanted to ask some specifics.
    Not at all, we're pleased to help !

    With regards to Death Valley, yes it will be hot [very] but cars drive through there all the time without problems, in fact a lot of manufacturers use it to test their new models in extreme heat. Put the top up and the aircon on and like you say, keep water and snacks handy and you will be fine. If you had a breakdown, just stay with the car and someone will be along soon, do not under any circumstance wander from it. It's a wonderful drive and worth it for the landscape alone, although there are stops you can make to take in the views etc from the car, just make sure you have sun protection even for the shortest stints out of the car. Furnace Creek Ranch will be open but no the Inn, and it's a good place to stop, look around and get some 'Tucker'.

    Personally I wouldn't bother with Barstow, purely to do with the time you have. Yosemite is out of this world and incredibly beautiful, so I would spend night 1 here. When you arrive you might have time to drive up to Glacier Point [awesome] and possibly visit the Giant Sequoia trees in Mariposa Grove. [Depending on when you leave SF] Next day you could explore the valley floor before driving the spectacular Tioga Pass and perhaps 'aim' for Bishop for night 2, before continuing your journey across DV on 190. You can take the 'Locals route' to Pahrump via State Line/Bell Vista road from Death Valley junction and then 160. Nothing is 100% decided when it comes to Tioga Pass, but if it's not open when you travel this year I would be most surprised. It's been a very settled year with very little snow accumulation and looks as though it could open in the next few days. In fact if it's not open in June I will eat my own head ! lol

  3. Default

    Awesome, Thanks for the advice. I'll look into accommodation at Yosemite and Bishop. We should have a lot of exploring time this way also. Anywhere else in Death Valley worth stopping that's not far off the 190?

    Looking forward to Yosemite, I just noticed Ansel Adams gallery and will want to check that out also! Glad to hear the weather looks promising for Tioga pass to be open.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-06-2012 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Removed Quote of Entire Previous Post

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

    Default Good news.

    The Tioga pass is set to open at Noon tomorrow !

    In Death Valley you will find photo opportunties all along the way and a couple of notable stops would be the Mesquite sand dunes and the short walk to Zabriske Point viewpoint. Just south of Furnace creek are Badwater Basin [the lowest point below sea level in the USA] and Artists drive. Dantes view and Armargosa Opera house are another couple of spots beyond Furnace Creek.

    A map of Death Valley.

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