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  1. Default Las Vegas to Mammoth Village, then on to San Francisco in December 14/ January 15


    We are planning on going from Las Vegas to Mammoth, with a possible overnight in Death Valley. Approximately, how long is each leg of this drive? Would we be better off flying? What sights would we miss if we flew? I am assuming we donít really need a car in Mammoth, as we are only there for a couple of days over xmas, and will be in the Village - is this right, or would it be better to have a car?

    After Mammoth, we head to San Francisco. How long is that drive, and where would be a good place to overnight, as we are travelling with a child?

    Thank you for your help.

  2. Default North of San Francisco in an RV?

    Our family are planning on travelling north of San Francisco to Redwood National Park, and are considering getting an RV for the quick trip. We plan to visit Fort Bragg, Eureka and Redwood National Park. Does anyone have any recommendations as to where to stay? Any other towns or sights that are worth a visit?
    Thank you very much

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Holistic View

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I've combined your two posts into a single thread so that everyone can see the full scope of this trip and because aspects of each segment will affect the other segment as well as the overall trip. The most obvious example is in the vehicle rental. I'm not aware of any commercial flight services into Mammoth Lakes/Yosemite either from Las Vegas or to San Francisco. Also, Tioga Pass, the short route over the Sierra Nevada to San Francisco will be snow bound well before and well after Christmas. So your only real option is to rent a car in Las Vegas for a one-way rental to San Francisco (and beyond?). You will need something with good all season tires and probably front wheel drive, but otherwise it should be as comfortable as possible. To get from Mammoth Lakes to San Francisco you'll have to continue north on US-395 to Carson City or Reno and take US-50 or I-80 west from there. Either one of those cities would make a good overnight stop depending on which road you decide to use for the westward leg, and would allow you a rather comfortably late start from Mammoth Lakes.

    For the (apparent) continuation of this trip north from San Francisco to the Redwoods, I wouldn't think that an RV would be required or even the best option. It is going to be cold in January, and you'd be much better off in a motel or B&B than in an RV. Many RV parks will be closed in any event. And besides RVs are expensive, certainly more so than continuing with the car you rented in Las Vegas (the one with good tires and front wheel drive) and a comfortable warm motel room each night. My wife and I were just up in that area recently and stayed just south of Mendocino, a town that is entirely on the national historic register, and in Arcata, a pleasant college town. I would recommend either of them over Fort Bragg or Eureka.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default RV and freezing temps.

    To add to the above, you could very well find that you would not be able to fully use an RV. If the weather should turn cold with freezing temperatures overnight the vehicle would have to be 'winterized' in case the water pipes freeze and burst.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You may be required to use tire chains to get to Mammoth. It depends on the weather and road conditions at the exact time. CA-203 frequently requires chains, and US-395 does occasionally. You also may be required to use chains to get across the Sierras on any of the passes (I-80, US-50, CA-88) that are open in the winter to get to SF, unless you detour far south to CA-178 or CA-58.

  6. Default

    we Are also planning a drive from Las Vegas to San Francisco with Just one night in Mammoth then onto San Francisco. We will be travelling 7 September from Vegas. We would like to drive through bad water basin to mammoth - is this possible in one day.
    Then the next day drive from Mammoth to San Francisco .
    Last edited by Robynb; 06-28-2014 at 12:24 AM.

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

    Default It's doable.

    Hi Rob, welcome to the RTA forums !

    Yes that would be possible. You can take the Locals route into Death valley by taking 160 to Pahrump and then just north of town turn left on Bell Vista Ave/ State line Rd to Death valley junction and then turn right and immediate left onto 190. You could make a quick stop at Zabriske Point for a short walk to the viewpoint. At Furnace creek you will find refreshments and a small museum which you could visit after dropping down to Badwater Basin. On the way back up from the basin you could take a detour through Artists drive, then it's a lovely drive across 190 past the Sand dunes etc.

    Try and leave Mammoth early as you will want to get out of the car for photos and to breath in the spectacular views and mountain air along Tioga Pass. (CA120] You will have to pay an entry fee to Yosemite NP to cross Tioga but it's worth it, it's just a shame you don't have an extra night to enjoy this magnificent National park. As you turn onto CA120 from 395 there is a gas station on your left which has a great little diner inside if you haven't already had breakfast. Just up the hill form here you will find a lovely view of Mono Lake.

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