Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Default First Road-trip baby!! :)

    Hi All,

    Being a 'novice' road tripper, thought I would ask for your help/advice relating to my first ever US RoadTrip!! :)

    My wife and I are wanting to drive from San Fran to Vegas via Yosemite NP on July 12th. unfortunately, time is against us so we can only spend 1 night stop-off in Yosemite. I have a few questions i desperately need help with PLEASE....

    1. Which is the best route to take from SFO -> Yosemite NP -> Vegas and how long would the driving 'stints ' be between SFO-Yosemite and Yosemite-Vegas ( considering 2 days driving / 1 night stop off )
    2. It being our honeymoon, any suggestions on an amazing hotel in Yosemite ?
    3. anything to watch out for whilst on-route ??

    I would really welcome any suggestions to the above questions so please feel free to mention anything at all..... :)

    Thanks in advance guys!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Keeping it Simple

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    With only an evening to spend in Yosemite and time running short to make arrangements, I'd strongly suggest that you contact Yosemite as soon as possible, see what's available, and get put on any waiting lists they may have. Accommodation types range from tent 'cabins', to motel, to resort hotel, but if it fits within your budget, I think that what might best suit your family is to stay in one of the duplex cabins behind the Ahwahnee Hotel. You would probably book them through the hotel. While an evening is not enough time to fully explore the park it is enough time to visit one or two of the major view points such as Tunnel View, and to take some pleasant short strolls in the valley. Check with the rangers at the visitor centers for those that best suit your needs.

    Short of finding a place within the park for the night, you're probably better off crossing Tioga Pass before sundown and making it to Lee Vining for the night. Your second day of driving is by far the longer of the two, and shortening it a bit will help. On that second day, it might be tempting to try to include Death Valley National Park on your drive to Las Vegas. I'd take a pass on that for a couple of reasons. Going through the park would slow you down a fair bit and make for a very long day getting to Vegas, even if you start out from Lee Vining, and it will already be getting very 'warm' in Death Valley in the afternoon in mid-July. Instead, simply take US-395 south from Lee Vining to Big Pine, CA-168/NV-266 east to US-95 south, and on into Las Vegas. With normal stops for gas, fuel, and baby's needs, that will be a 6½-7 hour drive as is, and adding more to it is probably not in order.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-28-2015 at 12:13 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    To go to Yosemite from SFO, take the best route out of where you are to I-580. From SFO Airport, that would be US-101 south to CA-92 and cross the bay on the San Mateo bridge. Take I-880 north to I-238 to I-580. At the I-580/I-205 split, take I-205 to I-5 to CA-120. Take that east to CA-99, go north for a bit where CA-120 splits back off, take that to Yosemite. Figure 4 hours or so to Yosemite Village.

    Yosemite Village to LV via Buck's route is going to be over 8 hours, so if you spend the night in the park get an early start in the morning.

  4. Default

    Thanks Guys !!!

    @AZBuck - i had looked at the Cabins at Ahwahnee Hotel however wasnt sure if that was too much of a ' de-tour ' from my route to LV but glad you have suggested it as I shall certainly look into this!
    Dumb question time ( so I apologize in advance ) however you strongly suggest booking up Accomodation asap ( i'll get on it! ) but would I need to reserve any type of Park Entrance Tickets/fee's in advance?

    Agreed, I dont think time will permit to cross Death Valley but i suppose that can be my excuse for next time! :)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Are 2 nights impossible?

    The Ahwahnee is located in the heart of Yosemite and if you want to see the valley rather than drive straight over Tioga pass its not really a detour. Visit the valley the afternoon you arrive and then get on the road reasonably early the next morning to enjoy a couple of stops along Tioga. Depending on how you are doing for time when you hit 395, I would still consider the drive through Death valley as it is fascinating even through the wind shield. As your planning doesn't appear to be set in stone just yet, I would recommend trying to find an extra night for your journey, there are not many finer or more romantic destinations than beautiful Yosemite.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    would I need to reserve any type of Park Entrance Tickets/fee's in advance?
    Nope, just pay at the entrance.

    Going via Death Valley instead of 168/266/95 would add about 1 hour, plus stops.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    There is a very limited number of places to stay within Yosemite, and they are all very popular, that's why you need to make reservations early. There are no limits on the number of people who can visit the NP in a day, so there is no need to reserve park entry fees (in fact, you really can't do it).

    What does the rest of your honeymoon look like? I have to agree with Dave that having 2 days for this section would make for a much more enjoyable trip.

  8. Default

    Thanks for all the replies guys, really .... All this info is making a huge difference!!

    @midwest mike - My trip actually looks like this

    LAX ( 2nights ) -> SFO ( 4nights ) -> Yosemite NP ( 1nighy stop ) -> LV ( 3nights ) -> LAX

    So pretty much a round trip, but the times are quite tight so will evaluate where I can trim a night to make Yosemite 2nights.

    I was going to leave SFO pre-dawn so if I did remain on a 1 night stay should I be in Yosemite at a decent hour to catch some views of the valley?
    I can set off again at dawn to LV to catch Tioga Pass then right ?

    Thanks again guys!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    I would actually leave SF at lunchtime a day earlier so that you wake in Yosemite, you could then spend the whole day exploring the Valley, Glacier point and Tioga Pass and spend that night around Lee Vining or Mammoth. That would leave you a relaxing drive into Vegas with time to do a little sight seeing in Death valley.

    Have you considered the Grand canyon ? You could have spent 2 nights in Vegas and one at the Grand canyon before heading direct to LA. The reason I ask is that a lot of people take a tour from LV to GC but do not realise they are going to the west rim and Skywalk which is not part of the National park and nowhere near as spectacular as those views made famous the world over through film and photography. Most bookings are changeable without penalty and if you like natural wonders just one tiny bit I think you may regret spending 9 or 10 days in Citys with only one overnight stop in nature. You should also know that by driving from LA to SF in one day will not allow you time to enjoy the spectacular coast highway around Big Sur.

    I'm sure you will have a great time but a couple of nights away from the city's would make it more special in my opinion. Have fun !

Similar Threads

  1. Road Trippin' with Baby
    By DasDimi in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: 04-01-2015, 12:15 PM
  2. East Coast Road Trip with baby!!??
    By buckolfc in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-23-2012, 02:35 AM
  3. Road Trip Baby!!!!!!!!!!! Kansas City-Mt Rushmore-Denver
    By Chris Jeffers in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-13-2011, 07:31 AM
  4. First time in US - first Road Trip. Advice pls?
    By MichaelBecker in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-26-2009, 06:40 PM
  5. First post, first road trip!
    By ajbdk5 in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-05-2009, 12:13 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name