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  1. Default Las Vegas to San Francisco

    Hello,

    My girlfriend and are I are looking to spend 3 or 4 days driving from Vegas to San Fran at the end of April (23rd).

    Having spent 3 days previous at a wedding in Vegas, we are looking at taking in the typical sights on route to San Fran. I have read lots, and considered the typical route is Death Valley onto Mammoth Lakes etc.

    However am I right in thinking that we will not be able to access Yosemite via Tioga Pass at this time of year? What are other roads likely to be like? I am a confident driver - however will be in a hire car and could do without a stressful drive. It is a holiday after all.

    I would be keen to here any recommendations on what are must see's and any recommended accommodation along the way.

    First time poster - so any help appreciated.

    Nick
    (London, UK)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    The odds are not good for Tioga Pass to be open, but it's possible, you won't know till the last minute. If it's not, you will need to either go south toward Bakersfield or north toward Lake Tahoe. If you do want to go through Yosemite, I'd probably go south and go through Sequoia on the way to Yosemite.

    No guarantees but the roads should be good, unless there's a late season storm.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default You could still enjoy Death valley.

    Yes, you will probably have to go around the mountains but you coud still drive through Death valley to enjoy some of the sights there and then perhaps stop the night around Lake Isabella. Next day continue to Yosemite either going direct, or as suggested, go via Seqouia NP and stay in Oakhurst the night depending on the time you make available. You will want to spend a couple of nights near Yosemite to give yourselves a full day to enjoy this natural wonder.

  4. Default

    Thanks GLC and Southwest Dave. I will certainly look into this route.

    Is there much to see on route form Bakersfield onto Oakhurst? Reason being - I have heard wonderful things about the 395 up to Lake Tahoe. But I guess I run the risk of missing out on Yosemite NP when the pass is shut.

    If both suggest the south route as better then maybe I will go for that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Sequoia NP.

    As mentioned, the highlight on route to Yosemite via the south is Sequoia NP. It's a nice drive through the park and you get to see the largest living thing on earth, the 'General Sherman' giant Sequoia tree. You could go to Lake Tahoe on the 395 and still visit Yosemite from the west, but I would say you would need all of the 4 days to do so. We don't really do 'best' as both are good options, although you really don't want to miss out on Yosemite and although the snow pack in the mountains is low this year, the chances of the pass being open are very slim. Having said that, you could get away without booking lodgings and make a decision just as you leave Vegas based on current conditions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    If you want to go north, see if Monitor Pass (CA-89) is open, it usually opens before Tioga. If so, you can take that off US-395 to CA-88 and go over Carson Pass, which is maintained year round. You can then take CA-49 through Sonora to CA-120 to get into Yosemite.

    That would bypass Lake Tahoe. If you wanted to visit Tahoe, you can stay on 395 to Gardnerville and take the NV-207 shortcut over Kingsbury Grade to the lake, or stay on 395 to US-50. To get to Yosemite, you could then take US-50 to CA-49, or take US-50 to CA-89 over Luther Pass to CA-88.

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