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  1. Default las vegas to Yosemite early june 2013

    Will be driving from Vegas to Yosemite may 29th 2013. Debating on:

    1. Going the eastern route and driving through Death valley on up to yosemite ( may stop once in a while but not planning on doing any hiking in Death valley, more of a drive through). Would drive up 395.

    2. California route to Bakersfield on up what way. ( route 15 to 58)

    3. Am leaning the Death Valley route. Concernes:

    1. Are there ample gas stations going that way on 395?
    1a Is 395 desolate? How few and far between are the towns? Any cheap hotels?

    2. I am more of a scenic nature kind of guy--which route would be best with that in mind?
    Any input would be great !!
    Last edited by brian3222; 05-01-2013 at 10:24 AM. Reason: add info

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

    Default obvious... if you have a choice

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you have the option - going via Death Valley would be the recommended choice. It is one of the most popular scenic drives that gets talked about on this forum. Not only do you get the scenery of Death Valley, US-395 is a scenic trip, and you'd enter Yosemite via Tioga Pass, one of the most scenic mountain drives in the country.

    There is no worry about gas stations or lodging. There are several towns along US-395 that are popular with tourists, including Lone Pine, Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, and Lee Vining.

    The only thing that could potentially be an issue is snow - as Tioga Pass closes for the winter, and doesn't reopen until May or June. The good news for you is that it was a pretty mild winter, and it looks like the Pass will likely be open by the time of your trip.

  3. Default

    The shorter and more scenic route would be the Death Valley/ 395 option. This year you're in luck because Highway 120 (Tioga Pass) road is expected open a few weeks prior to your trip. You might also like Mono Lake which is beside 395 just north of Highway 120.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-01-2013 at 02:27 PM. Reason: Corrected highway number.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I used our search and booking page, and found hotels in Bishop starting at $51, Mammoth Lakes starting at $55, June Lake starting at $79, and Lone Pine starting at $95 on that date. There are hotels in Lee Vining, but none of them are coming up in the search, they may either be booked out or don't list with any services.

    Fastest way to Death Valley from LV is NV-160 to Pahrump, 2 miles north of town turn left on Bell Vista Avenue, take that to Death Valley Junction, turn right on CA-127, then an immediate left on CA-190 into the park.

    No matter how much gas you have, fill your tank in Pahrump. Prices there are just as good as in LV, right now it looks like the going price for regular is around $3.30. On the California side, it's about 4 bucks in Independence, Big Pine, and Bishop. Fill your tank again in Bishop. Past Bishop, it gets VERY expensive - $4.50 in Mammoth Lakes, $4.70 in June Lake, and $4.80 in Lee Vining. There is gas in Yosemite at Crane Flat, I don't have current price data but I'd bet it's close to 5 bucks. If you are proceeding onward out of Yosemite to the west, expect around 4 bucks just about everywhere.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the info, I think I will go that route then!!

  6. Default

    Thanks for your input, Ill check that out also!!

  7. Default Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon advice.....2013

    Hello , looking for some advice, looking to travel early June 2013, after I leave Yosemite going to:
    Bryce, Zion , Grand canyon. Thinking about spending about 6 or 7 days total at these parks.

    How much time would you spend at each place ( given my total time frame of 6-7 days).
    1. Cheap places to stay around each place? ( ever heard of Pondarosa resort zion? any feed back?)
    Can u sleep in your car anyplace?

    2. Out of the way places to go to locations/directions? ( scenic, shops, indian related places, anything that comes to mind)?

    3. Activities things to see and do?

    4. Grand canyon, if u had to choose: north rim or south rim?

    5. Shortest route from Yosemite to Bryce/Zion area? Time to drive it? Are there gas stations/hotels along the way?
    Thanks :)

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-01-2013 at 08:57 PM. Reason: Merged Threads

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You are planning almost EXACTLY the same trip as another member (click for thread).

    My previous advice for LV to Yosemite is still valid.

    1. There really aren't any "cheap" places to stay near major national parks. You would probably have to get a campsite to legally and safely sleep in your car, so you might as well bring basic camping gear.

    5. Yosemite to Bryce can be driven in one very long day. It's 530 miles and allow about 12 hours. Take CA-120 back over Tioga Pass and stay on that to US-6. Fill your gas tank in Tonopah, last chance for about 200 miles (if you can't make 200 miles, it's 160 miles to Alamo, which has gas, but a bit out of your way). At Warm Springs, take NV-375 (the ET Highway). Stop at the Lil Ale' Inn in Rachel for some Area 51 kitsch (NO gas available but there are a few rooms in trailers for rent and they have food). When you reach US-93, turn left and go through Caliente. Gas and a few motels available. Turn right on NV-319 which becomes UT-56 to Cedar City, gas and major hotels available. Then take UT-14 to UT-148, go through Cedar Breaks, turn right on UT-173 and take that to Panguitch, gas and motels available. 20 minutes to Bryce. Maybe a bit much for just one day, but you have some enroute options for motels/hotels.

    From Bryce, take US-89 south to UT-9 to go into Zion via the east entrance. About an hour and a half.

    North or south rim - the north rim is a lot more remote and less crowded. The south rim is where everyone goes.

    Zion to north or south rim - 2 choices. Leave Zion via the east entrance, go back to US-89, take that to Kanab, then Alt-89 to Fredonia - OR - take UT-9 west out of Zion to Hurricane, then UT-59/AZ-389 to Fredonia. Alt-89 to AZ-67 for the north rim, or stay on Alt-89 to US-89 to AZ-64 for the south rim.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default The big picture.

    To go from Yosemite to Bryce in a day would indeed be a long day. You could make things a little easier by finishing your visit in Yosemite with a drive back over Tioga Pass and lodge in Lee Vining. You could also look to make Zion your first port of call, Springdale is a great little town with lodging options. You could look around next day and take the Mt Carmel tunnel to Bryce canyon and then the following day head to the North rim.

    It would help to give the best possible advice if we were to see the full picture of your trip and how long you have rather than bits and pieces of it.

  10. Default

    Thanks for the info GLC and directions from LV.
    Once I get to DV, looks like the route from there to Yosemite is:
    190( in DV) to 136 to 395-? is that correct? Or do you have any other suggestions?


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