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  1. #1

    Default Best and fast route San Diego to Grand Canyon and Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes.

    Hi, we are from Brazil and we are planning our trip in August-September.

    Already read some posts about these three trips we have to make but didn't find the best route.

    We have to do a one day trip from San Diego to Grand Canyon. We can leave very early, and probably gonna need to.
    We are two drives with some experience. Wanna to stop to have lunch and to pee some time. But we can use some diappers if necessary to make it in one day... lol

    The other trip is from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas. We gonna be at the South Rim.

    Them we gonna leave Vegas in direction to Mammoth Lakes. We wanna pass throught the Tioga Pass, but I don't know if it is possible. If there's another scenic route to make, we are open to it too.

    I hope you can help us with that. Specially with the trip from SD to GC. We are start to feel scary about not making it because of the amount of time travelling. But there's no other way... the reservations are already made.

    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Getting from San Diego to the Grand Canyon in one day is quite possible, even with eat and pee stops. :-) I'd highly suggest leaving early in the morning, heading out on I-15 north to Barstow, then go east on I-40. At Williams, AZ, turn north. It will be about a 10 hour drive if the traffic in Riverside/San Bernardino Counties cooperates.

    From the South Rim to Las Vegas is about a 4-hour drive.

    Going through the Tioga Pass in August shouldn't be a problem, and shouldn't be a problem in September though it's always a possibility that it could close due to weather.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

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    Donna pretty much laid out the routes for you, but you seem to be a bit confused about the location of Mammoth Lakes and/or Tioga Pass.

    Mammoth is located on US-395, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Tioga Pass is north of Mammoth, and then takes you over the Sierras. Going from Vegas to Mammoth, the obvious scenic choice is to drive through Death Valley. If you want to do Tioga, you would drive it after Mammoth, on your way to Yosemite and/or San Francisco or anywhere else on the California Coast.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thank you Donna!
    I know now that Tioga Pass is above Mammoth Lakes, so it will better to go througt it when we go to Yosemite or San Francisco than when arriving from Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes, right?! I'm planning now to pass throught death valley instead, from LV to ML. What do you think?

  5. #5

    Default

    Midwest Michael, I wrote the reply after read your post... lol

    I was confused about the location, you're right. My husbandy keep telling me that we need to go throught tioga pass, but he didn't know it too. So I decided just to look ond the googlemaps and discovery the real locations. So funny!
    I'm so relieve that we gonna have GPS in our car and that you're helping me! =)
    Thank you very much again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    GPS is a great tool, but it should never be considered a substitute for having good maps and knowing how to use them. If you don't know where things are before you plug them into a GPS, you run the very real risk of blindly following a computer to a place you have no interest in visiting, or worse, a place you really shouldn't be driving.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

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    Another option from SD to the GC is I-8 to Gila Bend AZ, AZ-85 to I-10 east, Loop-101 around Phoenix to I-17 to Flagstaff, US-89 to AZ-64 and in the east entrance. This avoids the LA area completely.

    GC to LV is more like 5 hours. Then take NV-190 to Pahrump, then Bell Vista Ave to Death Valley Junction, jog on CA-127 to CA-190 into DV. Take CA-190 and CA-136 out of DV to US-395 to get to Mammoth and Tioga Pass.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank you for the advices Michael! Seems you're a experienced driver. I will now buy a map or something like, to see exactly where I have to go and the way I am passing through. We should not to have much problem, I hope. We did some others trips around usa in the pass with less reserch, experience and gadgets... that time we used only some instructions and notes about the roads we should take and was enough. For sure we gonna the notes, specially after this post! Thank you again! Any other tips about going around California, Arizona or just for travelling long distances?

  9. #9

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    Thank you GLC. We gonna keep this note with us to decide the better and fast way to go to GC, for sure. It is our big concern about this trip and I read that LA area could be a lot busy and get us stuck in traffic in the begginer of the way. We don't wanna it! Do you think if we leave early, around 6am, this still can happen?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

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    If you leave San Diego at 6am, you will be hitting the eastern LA area at the height of rush hour. I'd personally go via Phoenix, you won't have any problems there in midday.

    Entering the GC via the eastern entrance will allow you to use all the scenic turnouts on your way in to the village.

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