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  1. Default First time RV trip SF-> Las Vegas - october


    I'd like some advice and tips on a road trip we're planning in mid-october. First visit to the US.
    We'd start out in San Francisco, we plan on renting an RV there for 9 days, ending in Las Vegas.

    So far I've thought about the following route:
    - SF
    - Napa Valley (harvest season)
    - Lake Tahoe
    - Yosemite NP

    Now after Yosemite I'm not sure how to proceed to Las Vegas - what would a good route be?
    If Tioga pass is not open how do we travel to Yosemite and out to of it to Las vegas?
    Also, how difficult are the road with an RV in the national parks?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    there's no good way to do both Yosemite and Tahoe without doing some zig-zagging, but since most of Yosemite National Park is on the west side of the Sierras, I'd do it before you go to Tahoe so you only have to go over the mountains once. You could then head south through Death Valley on your way to Vegas.

    Its pretty rare for Tioga to close for the season by mid-October, although you can get a storm which will shut it down for a day or two, and the later in the month, the worse your odds become. However, even if it is closed, it wouldn't be much of a hassle getting to Tahoe, as there are a few other passes available to the north of Yosemite. At worst, you'd be able to take US-50 which stays open all year.

    Thousands of RVs drive through the national parks, and you really shouldn't find them to be too difficult.

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

    Default Other options.

    With 9 days available, you do have a nice amount of time to wander on route to LV and keep things relaxed. Following your thoughts on a route, if you were to go SF>Napa>Tahoe, you could then head south on 395 and head across the mountains into Yosemite on the Tioga Pass. You could then visit Kings canyon/Sequoia NP and go around the southern end of the mountains [via Lake Isabella] into Death valley and on to Vegas.
    [There are some vehicle lenght restrictions in Sequoia on the Generals Highway. That could mean you have to enter and exit by the Kings Canyon entry station]

    An alternative would be to head to Yosemite first as Michael suggested, but from Tahoe you could make your way to Southern Utah and Zion NP before heading south to Vegas. Heck, you could even consider going from Yosemite to Zion to the Grand canyon and back to Vegas via the Hoover Dam. Depending on the pace you want to travel at, the Grand canyon might be worth considering instead of Tahoe rather than, 'as well as'.

  4. Default

    Alright, thanks for the suggestions.

    Route will now be: SF-Napa-Yosemite-Zion-Grand Canyon-Las Vegas
    Is Bryce worth picking up aswell?

    I'm looking into renting the rv for a few extra days, we really want to have a relaxed trip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you have the time, Bryce is well worth it! Also, if you have the time, after Bryce, you can take UT-12 to Torrey (FANTASTIC scenic highway), then UT-24 through Capitol Reef to Hanksville, then UT-95 down to Monument Valley then go to the Grand Canyon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default NP's pass and 'bits.'

    Yes Bryce is quite something and it is fascinating just looking at the incredible rock formations ! As glc mentioned there are other options as well, depending on time and how relaxed you want the trip to be. This is an RV trip we took out of SF some years ago that would follow your route to Zion, but includes Bryce and the route laid out by glc above to Grand canyon and Vegas. It might offer some ideas or at least an insight to what is possible.

    You will notice that Bryce can get quite cold in October as it is at high elevation, but it's still worth the visit. It's my favourite month to travel in the Southwest, when the main crowds have gone and generally the temps are nice. You should be OK with campgrounds, but if you have a set itinerary, I would pre-book campgrounds in the NP's for peace of mind. The RV sites are more limited in number than tent sites.

    If you visit all 4 parks it would cost $95 in entry fees so you would be better off to purchase the annual pass for $80. This can be done at the entry kiosk of the first park you visit [Yosemite] or there is [was?] a NP store upstairs on Pier 39 if you are spending any time there. The fees are for entry only [vehicle and all occupants] but not camping etc. From Zion to Bryce you will have to pay for a tunnel escort on the Mount Carmel Highway, which I believe is $15. It's not a real hassle, it's actually a lovely drive and quite exciting, but you will have to wait a short while for them to stop on coming traffic so you can journey down the middle of the tunnel.

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