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  1. Default Los Angeles - San Fransisco - Yosemite - Las Vegas in APRIL

    Hi everyone
    I am well aware there is a ton of stuff on this site re SF - LV but I can't find anything to cover our planned itinerary so apologies for the new thread!
    We (three generations aged 6-76) are planning to fly to Los Angeles (cheapest flights) at the end of March 2015, for a 2-week trip. 3/4 nights heading up the coast to SF. A couple of days there and a couple of days in Yosemite.
    Questions - can anyone please advise the best places to stay just outside of the park? At that time of year, I assume route 120 is the best option in? Also, I have read that Mariposa Grove is closed?
    THEN the big question - we want to go to Las Vegas for a few nights. All the posts I can find are about going over the Tioga Pass which clearly we will not be able to do in April. Are we best going back to SF and flying? Or going via Bakersfield and via Death Valley, or Bakersfield straight to LV? (We have been to Death Valley before so happy with either way.) Whichever route we take, please can anyone advise where a good stopover would be as I understand either way this is a 2 day trip.
    Thanks in advance! Can't wait to be back in the US! xx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default answers

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You are the first person to mention the Mariposa Grove closing, and I honestly hadn't heard anything about it, until I went to look up what you might be talking about. Much of the area will be closing next year, for a restoration project, however, those closures are not scheduled to begin until May 2015, so they shouldn't impact your trip. Here's the full details on what's going on, and how it will impact visitors heading to the area.

    As far as getting into and lodging for Yosemite, I would look to stay inside the park if at all possible. It may cost a bit more, but nearly every place outside of the park is going to mean a drive of 45 minutes to an hour to get back into the Yosemite Valley. Highway 120 is the most direct way to get to the park from San Francisco, and you may be able to find lodging in the Groveland area. Otherwise, the village of Mariposa probably has the largest selection of motels, with Oakhurst being another option.

    I think you do have some bad information about getting from Yosemite to Vegas. The fastest way in the winter is to go down to Bakersfield, then go across on CA-58 and I-15 straight to Vegas. It can be done in one full day on the road - and actually would probably be faster than driving back to SF and then flying, once you factor in time for airport security, car rental drop and pick up, etc. You don't need to take two days - although if you wanted to add Death Valley into the mix, then another night would be a good idea. Another option you could consider is to head north and cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the Lake Tahoe area - which again is a way where an overnight would be recommended, but adds a lot of scenic possibilities into the mix.

    One final thing you might think about doing is reversing the order/direction of your trip - which would let you travel south down the coast. It's not a huge deal, but traveling south down the coast means the ocean, and the pullouts to stop and look at the views, are all on your side of the road.

  3. Default

    Hi Michael

    Thanks for the information, all really useful. I have looked for lodging inside Yosemite but nothing seems available at the moment (maybe it's the websites I am using!) - will keep plugging away! Also excellent re getting to LV in a day. We have two weeks in total and I am really keen not to rush the coast so hopefully this will be our only mad day whilst still fitting everything in. And I LOVE the idea of reversing the trip, would never have thought of that as we drive on the other side of the road in the UK :-)

    One last question - excellent that Mariposa Grove will still be open - assuming it is accessible in early April, would our party of reasonably fit 6yrs - 76yrs all be able to reach the Grizzly Giant etc?

    Thanks again, love this website. Anna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Official Yosemite site.

    I have looked for lodging inside Yosemite but nothing seems available at the moment (maybe it's the websites I am using!) -
    Us the official site for Yosemite lodgings here. There are towns outside such as Groveland, El Portal, Mariposa but I agree that being there is by far the best bet if the budget permits. If you drive to Vegas [recommended] then on your last day in Yosemite you could drive south for cheaper lodgings and eat into the journey, Oakhurst or Fresno for example.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    It's a little less than a one mile to walk from the parking lot to the Grizzly Giant, so I would guess that would be within reason for your group.

    Of course, I'd always recommend checking with the rangers about the specific trail conditions and their recommendations. I would also recommend spending time looking around Yosemite's website, as it is packed full of information that can answer many of your questions.

    If you are interested in Giant Sequoia's, you might also consider visiting Sequoia National Park, which is a pretty easy detour between Yosemite and Bakersfield. It's another case where it would make the drive to Vegas a 2 day trip, but something to consider for your plans.

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