Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Default Las Vegas> Yosemite in July, is death valley a feasible option?

    Hi all, planning a 3 week roadtrip from LV> Yosemite> SF> LA (via PCH) and the stretch from Vegas to Yosemite is the bit i'm struggling on. The tioga pass in my eyes has to be done, looks brilliant. The 395 towards it also looks good and planning a stop around the Mono Lakes area. So this is where i have came to. We are going to be hiring an RV from Vegas, i just want to know if it is a good idea to be going through Death Valley in July in an RV with 4 people. Is it worth the risk of getting a flat in the boiling hot desert? How long does it take to cross the hottest part? Does it stay hot all the way up until you start ascending the Tioga pass? Any help would be great, thanks. Safe trippin'

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

    Default If you were allowed to it would be worth it. [?]

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Death Valley is a wonderful place and visited by many, even in the summer when it is extremely hot ! Just the driver through this wonderful landscape is rewarding. The problem you have is that your rental contract will almost certainly state that you are not permitted to enter Death Valley in an RV.

    The Tioga pass is quite spectacular and well worth crossing the mountains into Yosemite on. To travel 395 you will have to go around DV via Barstow or take 95 north and then cut across on NV 266, or continue to Tonopah.

  3. Default

    'Death Valley
    Vehicles may be operated with EXTREME CARE in Death Valley and other desert areas during the months of July and August. In Summer, renters visit these areas at their own risk and Cruise America will not be held responsible for extraordinary vehicle recovery and other charges. During certain periods these areas are not habitable and could pose a danger to the driver and passengers' but i'm less worried about the contract and more worried about my families safety. The landscape is what i'd go there for. So if it was possible to see similar (the long straight road with the barren landscape i'd be happy to take those.

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

    Default Keeping your options open.

    Not knowing exactly what the weather might be the day you travel means that you would need to rely on common sense when you are there. You are likely to see an average daytime high of around 115f and I think the highest ever July temp was 134f !! Around the 'average' temp I would probably drive across there, but it's a call only you can make. The roads are well paved and in the event of a breakdown, I doubt you would have to wait long at all for another vehicle to come by. I don't think you are at any higher risk of a breakdown, but they can happen anywhere. If it were to happen you just wait with the vehicle and most definitely do not leave it to look for help. Make sure you have plenty of drinking water and sun protection on board. We drove across in October in an RV and it was touching 100 degrees and was not a problem at all. If I were to do it in July, I would plan to leave Vegas as early as possible in the morning to get a head start. Furnace creek/Badwater [the lowest point in the USA] are under 3 hours from Vegas and the hottest area. Once you start to gain in elevation towards Panamint Springs things generally begin to cool. Vegas to Furnace creek via Pahrump will take under 3 hours and then a little over 2 hours to Lone Pine on 395.

    Using that common sense factor you should have no problem with the safety of your family, but even then you would need to think of the financial costs if you needed to be towed or get a wheel changed, that CA might regard as an 'Extraordinary vehicle recovery'.

    Personally I would keep my options open and plan on stopping around Bishop for the night, which would give you a choice of routes on the day.

  5. Default PHX>SEDONA>GC>LV>Yosemite> SF then down to LA via the PCH.

    So the route is highlighted.. Any opinions? Is this do-able? Thinking of going straight from the grand canyon to Vegas and then on to a place on the east side of the sierras. We want stops that will give us time out and dont want to be stuck in the RV all day. So is this do-able? Would it be better to stop in San Francisco and leave LA for another time? It's going to be in July and over a period of three weeks.. Any help would be appreciated :)

    Moderator Note: Please keep all questions about the same trip in the same thread.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-08-2012 at 10:46 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The route you've laid out is no only doable - its basically the outline for the single most discussed trip plan on this forum. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who've planned similar trips like this using the help of RTA.

    Three weeks is a nice amount of time for this trip and you should be able to do it without being too rushed at all.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Book those NP campgrounds !

    You have plenty of time to enjoy this trip, it's positively relaxed when compared to what most try to cram into a trip. You could actually add a few bits to your trip, Monument valley, Bryce canyon and Zion would be well within the scope of your trip but might feel too rushed for you. From Sedona you could easily drive to Monument valley and spend one night and enter the Grand canyon via the east entry kiosk along Desert view drive. I would actually use this entry point whether you visit MV or not and make your way to the main canyon area in the same direction as the Colorado river does. Desert view drive has a few viewpoints and it will save you going back and forth along it, and somehow I prefer it to arriving in the middle of the park, through the south entrance. I just like the build up to the 'main show', starting with the expansive views from the Watchtower of the Colorado river and surrounding scenery before the 'Grand Finale' ! [Near to the east entrance is the 'Cameron Trading Post' which is worth a visit and if needed, has a basic RV park across the road from the restuarant and shops.

    You will certainly need to book RV sites in both Grand canyon and Yosemite as soon as the booking window opens [check the dates at] as they can sell out in no time at all. Make a note in your diary ! You might want to book others as well, [?] there are limted sites around SF for example. For GC, the Trailer park has hook ups and Mather campground doesn't, both are near the village, the rim and the shuttle bus service to Hermits rest etc. I would recommend one of the three 'Pines' campgrounds in Yosemite Valley, again a free shuttle bus service is available nearby and means you can leave the RV where it is and enjoy the park for much of your stay.

    You could consider handing the RV in as you reach LA and find lodgings, it'll be a bit of a beast to get around the City ! As you are considering another visit and leaving LA for that time, I would certainly look at Bryce and Zion NP's as an option and end in SF, I know which I would prefer, but that comes down to personal choice.

Similar Threads

  1. Reno to Phoenix via Yosemite, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Sedona
    By johudd in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-24-2012, 06:50 AM
  2. October : LA-SF-Yosemite-LV-Sedona-Mesa Verde-Phoenix
    By Gruff in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-19-2008, 08:59 AM
  3. Big Sur/PCH Or Sedona
    By dalsh327 in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-21-2007, 11:25 AM
  4. Sedona AZ to Wisconsin....
    By jendowning in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-04-2007, 09:44 PM
  5. Phoenix to Sedona; Sedona to Grand Canyon
    By ljl99 in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-05-2006, 04:05 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name