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  1. Default One night stop between Yosemite and Las Vegas .. Advice needed

    We are in the process of planning our road trip this late September/early October. I just need advice on where to have an overnight stop between Yosemite valley and Las Vegas? Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default That (of course) Depends

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Besides depending on which way you go, such a decision also depends on your travel style and what you're looking for in "an overnight stop". So let's just lay out the options.

    Without a lot of trouble, you could be in Las Vegas in a single day's drive. It is unlikely that Tioga Pass will be closed that early in the season while on the other hand, it's late enough in the season that most of the tourist traffic will have departed. That means you could make the roughly 400 mile drive west out of Yosemite on CA-120 to US-395 south, then use CA-168/CA-266/NV/266 to cut over to US-95 south into Vegas and be there for dinner. In fact, if you go this way, that's just what I'd suggest since there aren't a lot of good options for stopping for the night that aren't essentially all the way to Las Vegas anyway.

    If you'd rather avoid crossing the Sierra Nevada on CA-120, then you'd drop south on CA-41 to Fresno, take CA-99 to Bakersfield, CA-58 to Barstow and CA-15 north into Las Vegas. At just under 500 miles, that trip could also be done in a day, but if you prefer to break it up into two roughly equal segments and enjoy a more leisurely pace, then your choices really come down to Bakersfield at 200 miles and Barstow at around 325 miles from Yosemite. There's not a lot in between other than the Mojave Desert and the dry lake beds north of Edwards Air Force Base.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,747

    Default

    As Buck rightly says, it depends on, but I would not miss out on the drive over Tioga pass and would allow time to stop along the way and take in the views. That would make Bishop a good option for an overnight stop and allow you time to drive through Death valley with a few stops on route to Vegas the following day.

  4. Default

    Thanks both.. Our whole itinerary starts in LA for 3 nights there and then drive up to San Fran in two days with one night stop over in Cambria. Then 3 nights in San Francisco then one night in Yosemite and then off to Vegas for 4 nights before going back to LA for our return flight.
    Someone on another forum advised that we should take 3 days / two nights to get from SF to LV so one stop is Yosemite and definitely want to take the Tioga Pass if possible! And also have been advised a drive through Death Valley is worth it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default It's all worth it.

    Yes, Death valley s worth it and is on a natural path to Vegas and yes, you need a minimum of 2 nights between SF and Vegas if you want time to enjoy at least some of Yosemite's natural beauty. Get an early start from SF so that you can explore part of the Valley that day and Glacier point the following day [not to be missed]or vice versa. You may have time to visit Mariposa grove of giant Sequoia trees as well. Over Tioga you could stop at Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows to breath in that mountain air. As you exit Yosemite you will see Mono Lake in the distance and if you have time you could stop there. There is a viewpoint overlooking the lake if you turn right to the gas station just before you get to the junction of 120 and 395 and drive up the hill to the parking lot. There is also a nice diner in the gas station if you are feeling a bit peckish.

    Have you considered driving to the Grand canyon NP for a night before going back to LA and having one less in Vegas ? Be warned that most canyon tours from Vegas do not go to the National park but instead go to the West rim on Indian lands which is nowhere near as spectacular. The NP is too far to do as a day trip from Vegas as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    Default In That Case....

    Since you have the time and want to see both Tioga Pass and Death Valley, then that's what you should do. Late September - early October is perhaps the best time of year to do such a drive. As noted before Tioga Pass will still be open, and in addition Death Valley will be 'cool' enough to enjoy. What you'd want to do then is to continue south on US-395 to Lone Pine CA and take CA-136 to CA-190 into and through the park. Remain on CA-190 all the way to the town of Death Valley (outside the park) and then jog right on CA-127 to Ash Meadows Road. Follow that (the name changes to Belle Vista Ave.) to Pahrump and NV-160 into Las Vegas. While Bishop offers the best range of lodging options, Lone Pine is closer to halfway between Yosemite and Las Vegas and does have a choice of three decent motels.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Amti-clockwise??

    Have you thought of reversing the direction of this trip?

    When driving the Pacific Coast Highway CA1, from SF to LA it pays to be on the ocean side of the road, where all the pull offs and overlooks are. It means not having to cross over oncoming traffic each time you pull into and out of the viewpoints.

    Lifey

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