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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Dublin, California, United States

    Default Las Vegas to SF via Death Valley

    Hi everyone,

    We (I and my friends) stay in San Jose and are travelling to Vegas over the weekend (road trip). We were planning to visit Death Valley on our way back since Google Maps tells us that it will only add a couple of hours of travel time.

    We will be leaving Las Vegas in the morning 10(ish) am and need to reach San Jose by 10(ish) pm.

    Can anyone please guide us whether this is a realistic plan - considering that the idea is just to be able to see something interesting on our way back without really needing to take anything more than a couple of hours of detour?

    If yes, which place / spot in the Death Valley is suitable for such a trip? I think Google Maps shows the Death Valley National Park by default? Is there some other spot which is closer along the route?

    Last edited by Preetesh Dixit; 05-23-2012 at 08:34 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    You need to add 20% to the Google time estimates. They don't include any stops for anything, assume you will be driving the speed limit, and don't even have to stop for red lights or stop signs.

    I plot a route from LV through DV (just blasting through without seeing anything) and to San Jose at just over 600 miles, and I don't think you can do that in 12 hours. Sorry.

    If you want to try it, take NV-160 west out of LV through Pahrump. Just north of town, turn left on Bell Vista Av, which is the "locals shortcut" to DV. After you cross the state line, you come to CA-127, turn right, then an immediate left onto CA-190. Take that through the park to US-395, go south to CA-14 to CA-178 to Bakersfield. Take CA-99 to CA-152 to US-101 to SJ. Don't be surprised if you don't get home till midnight, and you would really be shortchanging yourself - there's a lot to see in DV other than what you will be seeing through the windshield on 190 - and it would be a shame to waste your $20 admission fee. The park is HUGE.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Party or road trip ? [Or a bit of both]

    CA190 is the only way across DV to cover it on such a trip. If you really want to drive it and need to be home by 10pm, you really need to be on the road by 8am and earlier if possible. That won't be ideal if you are planning on partying in Vegas and having a late night and the driver would have to watch the intake of alcohol, if any. [They would if you left at 10am anyway.] I guess it comes down to the main goal of the trip, a 'party' or a roadtrip. If you are heading out Saturday and coming home Monday you could enjoy a bit of both with an early start.

    If you hit the road early and go across DV then I would head north on 395 and cross the Sierras on the Tioga Pass [CA120] and just enjoy the views. That would cost you another $25 on top of the DV fee though. A waste ? Nope, not for me, but it does come down to goals and budget. Although if there are 3 or 4 of you it's only going to be $15 each for both parks, maximum.

    Hmmm, you will have to take into consideration the real possibilty of higher volumes of traffic over the weekend, if indeed you mean this weekend.

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