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  1. Default July 2015 San Francisco to Vegas via Tioga Pass and Death Valley

    Hi :-)

    I am trying to get a booking done with my travel agent, we are coming from South Africa, spending 3 nights in San Fran, 2 nights and 3 days hopefully driving Tiago through death valley onto Vegas, 4 nights in Vegas. We need 4 nights in Vegas because of meeting our American friends there and don't want to cut San Fran shorter than 3 nights. We have a provisional booking at Mammoth Lakes and Furnace Creek Inn.... please advise if we would be better off having our stop overs elsewhere? My thinking is that Furnace Creek Inn is a good option but perhaps we can do better than Mammoth Lakes in our 1st stop!? But where? Of course we want to maximise our time but without being in a mad rush.

    Thank you much!
    Leanne

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,748

    Default What Iwould do.

    Hello and welcome !

    You are correct, Mammoth is on the east side of the mountains and would leave you next to no time to see a little of Yosemite which is an amazing place. I would stay in Yosemite valley if your budget permits or one of the towns to the west, Groveland, El Portal or Mariposa. Furnace creek is not far from Vegas and although a nice location you could stay in Bishop or Lone Pine and then explore DV on route Vegas. That would allow you more time to explore Yosemite and Death valley without having to double back.

  3. Default

    Thank you... I am really trying to nail this down... I do really want to wake pun in Death Valley and explore before it gets hot.... but I will explore other options you suggested for our first stop :-)

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

    You can still stay in or to the west side of Yosemite and Furnace creek from where you could visit Badwater and Artists drive and Zabriske point before continuing to LV. You could use the locals route to LV by taking 190 to Death valley junction and then turn right and immediate left onto State line road to Pahrump and then 160.

  5. Default

    I need to make a decision by Thursday.... Whenever I look into a lodge in Yosemite it just seems like the drive to Furnace Creek the next day over Tiago will be way too long! I have read about how people loved waking up in Death Valley... it will be July so that need so that need to be considered too.... Southwest Dave you seem to know your stuff :-)..... 2 nights on that trip for first timers.... what would you do? We love National Parks... ours in South Africa are very different from both Yosemite and Death Valley!

    I think the decision needs to be Yosemite Valley 1 night and Bishop the 2nd OR Mono Lake/ June Lakes 1 night and keep to Furnace Creek Death Valley the 2nd? Any suggestions are welcome!
    Last edited by leebmack; 02-24-2015 at 01:56 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default Staying in/near Yosemite

    The Lodge is as you say, a long way. You would be better off staying in a tent cabin, or just west of the park. That would make your drive to Furnace Creek a much more comfortable one, with a little time to stop along Tioga Road and Pass.

    It really is one of those national parks which takes, and deserves multiple days to see and explore it fully. Having said that, I have only seen it on one day visits, three times.

    As well as waking up in Death Valley, just seeing the night sky is also quite an experience. Without artificial light around, that view of the night sky is like no other.

    Lifey

  7. #7
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    Default Love Yosemite ! ( DV is great too )

    To be honest, there is no right or wrong answer, just the choice that you need to make for yourself going with your instinct. In an ideal world I would cut a night from elsewhere and spend a night in Yosemite, a night around Bishop and 1 at Furnace Creek to balance the natural beauty against time in the city. I understand the attraction of waking up in DV but I could not drive straight through on Tioga Pass and not visit Yosemite Valley and Glacier point, which in my opinion offers one of the worlds great views. The fact that you have lots of time in Vegas and Furnace Creek is so close to it, plus the fact you are slightly limited to what you can do out of the car with the desert heat, yet you can enjoy DV by driving through it with short walks from the car. This is why I would choose a night in Yosemite, I feel it has more to offer. I understand being in FC early morning would help avoid the heat but that would also mean rolling into Vegas early in the day while missing out on some wonderful sights. If it were me I would roll into Vegas a day later as it's only 2.5 hours from Furnace C and you would have a much nicer time in my opinion, but your trip, your decision. The good news is you will have a fantastic time whatever you decide.

  8. Default

    Thanks Southwest Dave :-)...

    I am with you on that! Perhaps one night less in Vegas... I will discuss with the man tonight and we will decide but you have really helped, both on this thread and on other threads I have read too!! :-) I guess one just doesn't want to regret the decision, it really is a dream trip that won't happen again anytime soon!

    Leanne

  9. #9
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    Default

    Perhaps one night less in Vegas...
    The way to go !! ;-)

    Dave.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default Thank You

    Quote Originally Posted by leebmack View Post
    ... but you have really helped, both on this thread and on other threads ...
    That's what keeps most of us going. :)

    Lifey

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