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  1. Default SF to Grand Canyon via 395

    Hello everybody

    I found already an amazing amount of information on this site, but I have still some questions:
    We are a family (6) and will do our roadtrip mid august. We will rent an RV. I would like how we get the best - and most beautiful way - to go to the grand canyon- south rim(TEN X campground) . We have 2 (3)days to get there.
    We stay at crane flat (yosemite) . I 'd like to take the TIoga pass and drive along highway 395, but where should we stay overnight (Lone Pine; Rigdecrest, ...?)
    Our RV contract says that we can't pass death valley.
    So I was planning to go via Barstow to highway 40, but I don't know where we should stay overnight so that the distance is feasible.

    Is Mojave preserve worthwile to visit or will it too busy if we want to arrive the 3rd day at the Grand canyon south rim.

    Thanks a lot for your advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Best Bets

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    After crossing Tioga Pass, take a little time to check out Mono Lake, particularly the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area. Then head down US-395, itself a scenic route through Inyo National Forest and Bishop to Kramer Junction and CA-58 east to Barstow. That would be your best bet to overnight. It's roughly half way leaving you time for some stops on both days of your two day drive from Yosemite to the Grand Canyon, and there's really no other towns with as many lodging options to choose from for some distance on either side of it. This is the Mojave Desert in summer, so camping might not be as appealing as otherwise might be the case. The desert in summer is also why your RV is not allowed into Death Valley. With daytime temps hitting 130º or more, too many engines and cooling systems get fried. Anyway, on the second day to the grand Canyon, you might want to take one or the other (or both) of two possible detours. The first is down AZ-95 along the Colorado to Lake Havasu City where the kids can see London Bridge, transported stone by stone to the desert and reconstructed there. The second is the longest remaining stretch of what was old Route 66 (and the visual inspiration for the Cars movies) from Kingman to Seligman through Peach Springs. Mojave Preserve is another possibility, but to be honest I don't think the kids would get much out of it, and it could be blistering hot


  3. Default

    Thank you verry much for your advice! It looks nice! I still have a question: do you think it is feasible to drive with an RV 335 miles in one day ?(from Yosemite, crane flat to Barstow) If that is possible, even if we have a stop at Mono lake, we can drive then the next day to Lake Havasu (186 miles), the day after we could drive over route 66 to the Grand canyon (249 miles). Do you think that would be a nice trip?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    335 miles in an RV isn't necessarily too much, but I don't think I'd try to go over tioga and make it to barstow in the same day. There's just a lot you can stop and see. I think it would make more sense to stop somewhere like mono lake or bishop. You can still make it to lake havasu on day 2 and gc on day 3

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default The bigger picture.

    Could you just clarify for me please, have you got 3 days to travel from SF to GC or from Yosemite to GC, and how long have you planned to stay in Yosemite for ? If you only have one night at Crane Flat after travelling from SF then you really won't want to travel much further than Lee Vining or Mammoth Lakes the following day, if you want time to see some of the highlights Yosemite has to offer.

    As you are travelling in an RV in August you may [probably] have a problem finding available campsites in the National Parks unless you are already booked. Where do you go after GC, will you be returning the RV to San Fran and what dates are fixed ? Seeing the full picture will help us to give you the best advice.

  6. Default

    Thank you for your advice!
    Our program is now the following:
    day1 : SF
    day2: SF - Crane Flat (yosemite)
    day3: Crane flat
    day4: crane Flat - Lone Pine ?
    day 5: Lone Pine? - Lake Havasu?
    day 6: Lake Havasu? Grand canyon
    day 7: Grand Canyon
    day8: Grand canyon - Monument Valley?
    day9: Monument Valley? - Lake Powell?
    day 10: Lake Powell?
    Day 11: Lake Powell? - Bryce?
    day 12:Bryce? - Las Vegas
    The items with ? are not booked yet. Any suggestions are welcome! I also find it difficult to find the right campground. Do you have suggestions for that as well?

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

    Default Zion ?

    Good to see you have time in Yosemite, it's amazing !!

    At Monument valley you have Gouldings campground, or there are a couple of choices an hour east in Bluff, I'm not sure of others available. It would be possible to drive to MV and stay in Page [Lake Powell] in one day, which could possibly save you enough time to spend a night at Zion NP, a real beauty and more rewarding than Monument valley in my opinion.

    Other than the NP campground at Bryce canyon, 'Rubys Inn' is right by the entrance to the park and is a pretty cool place. If you do decide to stop at Zion the 'Watchman campground' is good, but it's unlikely you will find availability. There are others, the Virgin River resort is nice but approx 20 mins away, or in Springdale you have Zion canyon campground.

    If you are keeping the RV in Vegas there is a nice place called 'Oasis RV Resort' but it's a cab ride from the Strip, otherwise you could use 'Circus Circus RV site, but it's more of a parking lot.

    I would advise you start using your search engine to see whats available in and around these popular spots and secure them, it's a busy time of year.

  8. Default

    Thanks a lot for the information! I will try to find out where we can stay. Do you think it is nessecary to make all the reservations in advance?
    I still do'nt know if we'd better stay near Lone Pine or in Bishop or anywhere else. Do you have a suggestion?

  9. Default

    It is the first time we 'll drive with an RV. The type is C30 motorhome. On the campinggrounds you have the choice between pull through and back in. What is the difference?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Both Bishop and Lone Pine have a few choices of where to put you and your RV for the night. Bishop has Brown's Town Campground plus a few others. Years back, Brown's Town was pretty decent. Lone Pine has Boulder Creek RV Park.

    We've stayed at the Circus Circus RV Park. As Dave said (above), it's pretty much a parking lot. However, it has full hookups, it's right on the Strip (so you have access to the transportation on the Strip), a pool, and (if you are traveling with a dog), a dog run. (They have strict dog rules, such as "dog may not be left unattended outside your rig". Our dog was shocked to be allowed inside the RV so much!)


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