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  1. Default First road trip San Fransisco to Las Vegas via many sites

    Hi All
    Great forum and lots of info, thanks.
    We (Wife + 2 teenagers + me) are planning a trip from Londan (England) and am not sure of what is possible in winter or are realistic timings. Any advise would be appreciated. Its our first road trip and first trip to the east coast so lots too much to see in our limited time of 14 - 16 days at the end of December (20th ish).
    Things we would like to see/do are roughly: 3 days in SF, 2-3 days in Vegas and 3 days skiing (tahoe or mammoth), and on route we should see Death Valley and Yosemite and Grand canyon.
    It looks like there are 2 routes
    SF to Tahoe (stop 3days) then down 395 or 95 to Yosemite & DV (stop day or 2 ??) on to LV.
    SF down coast Hwy1 then across from Bakersfield to DV . Up to Yosemite and back down to LV. Would it be possible/better to cross from 395 to 95 then down to LV.
    Then do day or 2 day trip to Grand Canyon . And fly out of LV.
    Could I slot into this seeing the great Redwoods or is this too much or not the right time of year for tis type of trip?
    Hope that all makes sense and thanks for all your help.


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

    Default Full loop ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    As you are travelling in December it is unlikely you will be able to cross the Sierras on CA120 [Tioga Pass] to get to Yosemite from 395. You will also have to carry snowchains and may have to use them in the event of a storm.

    You could with your time actually drive a complete loop from SF or Vegas depending on the best flight deals and see the west coast as well as Tahoe. Heading south down the coast to Cambria and then inland direct to the Grand canyon, [or perhaps with an overnight stop] stay at the canyon and then head to Vegas. From Vegas you could drive across Death valley and then up to Lake Tahoe and then US50 and down to Yosemite from the west side. If the pass were to be open then you could take the Tioga Pass but it would be unlikely at this time of year even though it happened recently.

    You have the tall coastal Redwoods which you can find some in Muir woods north of SF among other places, or you have the giant Sequoia trees in Sequoia NP or in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite. It's impossible to know what the weather might throw at you but it can be a wonderful time to visit the mountains.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-22-2013 at 02:55 AM. Reason: Clarity.

  3. Default

    Lake Tahoe and Mammoth are good options for skiing, snow boarding or snow shoeing. As Dave mentioned, the Highway 120 over Tioga Pass is very likely to be closed and may in fact be closed at the junction with 395. Thus entrance to Yosemite Valley is from the west side and yes you may need to have chains with you even if you don't need them to get into valley. It is holiday season so it is good that you are starting to plan your trip and can make reservations well before your trip.

  4. Default

    Thanks all for your replies.
    I will take another look at the maps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    To help you with the maps, there most likely will not be any passes open across the Sierras between CA-88 and CA-178. Plan on CA-4, CA-108, and CA-120 being closed, and CA-89 between CA-4 and US-395 may also be closed.

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