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  1. Default Brit first road trip Vegas to SF IN NOVEMBER

    I plan to leave Vegas in rental car on 8 nov and have to be in SF by 13th. Def want to do death valley and Yosemite. Perhaps leave rental car Oakland airport for ease of driving in a foreign land! Would like to stay a night in DV for sure. Then what? If Tioga pass is open how long to drive from say stovepipe to Yosemite entrance or through the park. Would it be best to stay DV on the 8th and then somewhere on entrance to yosemite on 9th and then drive through in one day? Then what is a nice route to Oakland airport? or should we stay in or near yosemite for another night? I know it's weather dependent on the tioga pass. If its closed how do we go through Yosemite from death valley? We don't want to spend long days the car. I think 8-13 th should make for a comfortable drive, and would like a route to take in the best of the natural wonders that we could experience given the time of year. Bit nervous about driving in snow and will have only smallish rental car. Many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    Stovepipe Wells to Tioga Pass is about a 4.5 to 5 hour drive via CA-190/CA-136/US-395/CA-120.

    Yosemite Village to Oakland is about 4 hours via CA-120/I-205/I-580/I-880.

    If Tioga is closed, you will need to take CA-190 out of DV to US-395, go south to CA-14 to CA-178 or CA-58 and go to Bakersfield. Then take CA-99 to CA-41 to get to Yosemite. This will take you at least 8 hours.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Watch out for temporary closure also.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    It's a tricky one as there is no way of knowing what the status of the Tioga Pass will be, but you don't want to miss it if at all possible. I would certainly allow for an overnight stop on route to Yosemite from Death Valley and at least another night in the park. If the Tioga is open [and there is a reasonable to good chance it will be] you could always spend the night in Lee Vining and pass the time stopping in towns along the way like Bishop and Mammoth Lakes. You could also drive the 'June Lake Loop' and visit Mono Lake. If Tioga were to be closed you could head south around the mountains via Lake Isabella and make your way to Fresno, or perhaps Sequoia NP for the night. There would be a chance of snow in Sequoia NP, especially if the Tioga was snowbound.

    Yosemite is a wonderful place and you could spend a whole day in the valley exploring different parts. If the Glacier point road is open, the drive and short walk to the viewpoint really is a must see in my book ! As you drive up you don't think the views can get any better, and then they do ! You then have Mariposa Grove where you will find the giant Sequoia trees, so you can see you could easily spend a couple of nights here and not see it all. The temperatures and conditions in the valley can be clear and warm[ish] even when there is snow on the ground 'up top' on the highground.

    On occasions Tioga Pass is closed temporarily due to light snow fall, or for the risk of ice on the road. As you check the status and weather keep an eye on the overnight temperature as it's often during the morning that this would happen until the sun comes up and burns it off. I say this because if you do stay to the east of the mountains, you could be waiting around in the morning for this to happen which could impact your time in Yosemite.

  4. Default Thanks southwest Dave and glc - supplementary?

    Quote Originally Posted by lac View Post
    I plan to leave Vegas in rental car on 8 nov and have to be in SF by 13th. Def want to do death valley and Yosemite. Perhaps leave rental car Oakland airport for ease of driving in a foreign land! Would like to stay a night in DV for sure. Then what? If Tioga pass is open how long to drive from say stovepipe to Yosemite entrance or through the park. Would it be best to stay DV on the 8th and then somewhere on entrance to yosemite on 9th and then drive through in one day? Then what is a nice route to Oakland airport? or should we stay in or near yosemite for another night? I know it's weather dependent on the tioga pass. If its closed how do we go through Yosemite from death valley? We don't want to spend long days the car. I think 8-13 th should make for a comfortable drive, and would like a route to take in the best of the natural wonders that we could experience given the time of year. Bit nervous about driving in snow and will have only smallish rental car. Many thanks
    Many thanks to both - what a great site! I want to book some accommodation, so i think I am going to have to plump for the southern route into Yosemite and leave TIoga for another trip.

    Traveling from Vegas is it possible to go across the Mojave National preserve and then to DV? I read that we could drive the Kelbaker Road in about an hour, but how long to get there from Vegas, would it still be possible to get to DV the same day? Or would we need to stay somewhere in between. (sorry to seem green but for us Brits 100 miles in the UK is considered a long trip!) .

    How,long from Dv to south entrance to Yosemite?

    Is there anything special we could do from Yosemite to Oakland or should we just plan to do the 5 hour drive? Am I correct by the way that coming from Yosemite, Oakland airport makes better sense than SF. airport for dropping the car?

    Do u think I need to hire a 4wd? It's rather expensive. Could we still have a good trip staying on paved roads?

    Sorry for the length of this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    I personally would book DV and Yosemite lodgings but leave a night in between open to change. There is a good chance Tioga will be open and it's a much nicer route from Death Valley.

    It would be possible to see the Mojave preserve but it is a bit out of the way and I'm not sure it's worth it if you are only spending one night in Death valley and then moving on.

    From Stovepipe it would be approx 7 hours to Oakhurst which is under an hour to the south entry kiosk.

    I would go direct to San Fran from Yosemite and max your time in the park.

    If you are visiting SF you might find they have a rental office in the City which could make most sense. I think there is BART rail from Oakland but there definitely is from SFO to the City.

    You won't need a 4WD and if you did rent one you would not be able to go off paved roads anyway, not without breaking your rental agreement a that is.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome!

    Stovepipe Wells to Tioga Pass is about a 4.5 to 5 hour drive via CA-190/CA-136/US-395/CA-120.

    Yosemite Village to Oakland is about 4 hours via CA-120/I-205/I-580/I-880.

    If Tioga is closed, you will need to take CA-190 out of DV to US-395, go south to CA-14 to CA-178 or CA-58 and go to Bakersfield. Then take CA-99 to CA-41 to get to Yosemite. This will take you at least 8 hours.
    Hi. Just got a proper map and boy that is a long way round! I suppose one advantage is going in through south entrance I would see the sequoias, but it's anheckmof a detour if TIoga is closed. Perhaps I should just wait and see about the weather, though that risks there not being accommodation left where I need it! Perhaps it's not too busy that time of year though it will be a weekend.

    Thanks for the road numbers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default You should know a day or two beforehand.

    Quote Originally Posted by lac View Post
    Perhaps I should just wait and see about the weather, though that risks there not being accommodation left where I need it!
    At that time of the year, unless it is a holiday weekend, you should not have any difficulty finding accommodation. You will know a day or two beforehand where you will be. Check what your options will be, and carry that information with you, so you can book then.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    2 years ago in early October, I was able to walk right in to the Cedar Lodge, which is just outside Yosemite in El Portal on CA-140. Room was $110 after tax. Worst case, you should not have any problem finding a room in Mariposa or Oakhurst.

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