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  1. Default SF to LA via Yosemite, Death Valley, Vegas, Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree NP.

    Hi I'm flying into San Francisco on September 30th and out from LA on October 25th. We plan on spending 5-6 days in SF and surrounding area, then considering the following schedule as we're interested in a route that takes us through lots of stunning nature and historical towns etc:

    - Spend one night in the Mendocino area from 6th - 7th.
    - Head to Nevada city and possibly stay one night there.
    - Drive down to Placerville also possibly spending a night here.
    - To Sonora maybe for a night.
    - Reach Yosemite on the 10th and spend two nights here.
    - Head towards Vegas via Bishop and Death Valley arriving in Vegas 14th.
    - Spend one or two nights in Vegas before reaching Grand Canyon on 17th.
    - Head to Joshua Tree NP on the 18th and maybe spend two nights here before reaching LA on 20th.

    We'd appreciate any advice on if our route sounds good/possible changes we might want to make and areas we might want to miss out. Also what places are good to stay around Death Valley and Grand Canyon areas? As you can see we're uncertain how many nights we might want to spend in some places so all advice on this welcome too!

    We're also wondering if it's recommended to book most places or if we'll be fine to just find places to stay along the way? We know we'll have to book for Yosemite and Vegas as well as San Francisco and LA.

    Thanks in advance for tips and advice!


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

    Default Looks good.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your route is certainly doable and if it's what you want to do then it's a good route, the road trip is all about individuality. It's a different approach than a lot of the trips planned for these parts, but doesn't mean it's a bad thing. It's also a lovely time of year to visit these parts.

    I would also book lodgings at the Grand canyon and Death valley if you plan to stay in the park, or you could stop over in Bishop or Lone Pine and drive through DV to Vegas next day. Outside of GC you have Tusayan which is the nearest and dearest option and then there is the Cameron Trading post out the east entrance and to the south are the towns of Williams and Flagstaff for more budget friendly options. If your budget can manage it, there is nothing quite like staying in the park. If you took a little time out of the City stays, you could consider adding places such as Zion NP and/or Monument valley into your plans, among others.

    If you are still researching for options you can use the search function, or stroll down this page where you will find 'Similar threads'. Here are some of our favourite threads covering the area.

    If you have any other questions just ask.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    One thing that would not be a certain thing is being able to leave Yosemite via Tioga Pass out to US-395. It's a 50/50 thing in mid-October. If you can't, going around is going to add several hours.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the advice. I'll take a look through the similar threads on here before finalising the trip - there are so many options!

  5. Default

    Hello again!

    We have been looking through a lot of great threads here and have picked up some great routes and ideas (especially from Mark Sedenquist!) However we are stuck and hoping for a bit of advice on a specific section of the route...

    We'd like to go from Yosemite NP, to Sequoia NP then onto Death Valley NP and are wondering the best route and how many days you'd advise doing this over? Upon leaving Yosemite we will drive to Fresno then cut east towards Grant Grove and the Giant Forest. From here we are a bit stuck on the quickest way to get to Death Valley NP as it looks like we may have to double back on ourselves and go through Bakersfield.

    Are we taking on too much? Does this sound feasible? Thanks in advance for any help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Routes.

    You would not need to double back on yourselves from the Giants Forest, you just carry on south and out through Three Rivers and Porterville and then you could cut through on CA155/178 via Lake Isabella to 395. You could also continue to Ridgecrest and take the Trona Wildrose/Panamint Valley road into Death valley as an alternative to 395, this would take you past Ballarat ghost town, although either route will do.

    It would be possible to go from Yosemite [or Oakhurst would make a good overnight stop for your last day at Yosemite] to Three rivers the same day and then into Death valley, perhaps Panamint Springs or Stovepipe Wells the following day. On the other hand you could take longer and explore in more depth. If this were the case you could drive through the Sequoia National Forest by taking 190 from Porterville to the Great western divide Highway [107] to Parker Pass and then the Kern River Highway into Kernville north of Lake Isabella. This is a wonderful secluded mountain drive and you would pass the 'Trail of 100 giants' grove of Sequoia's, but it's also slow going. So really there is no single 'best route' but there are options that partly depend on how much time you have to get from Yosemite to Vegas.

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