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  1. Default Yosemite to Las Vegas via Giant Sequoia np

    Hi
    This site has been a mine of useful information, thank you! I'm planning a road trip to California for summer 2016 and am interested in suggestions to get from San francisco (leaving morning 9th August) to Las Vegas ( arriving evening 12th August) via Yosemite and Giant Sequoia nm and or Kings Canyon. The rest of our round road trip is very busy so I was hoping to have a day with no driving and possibly stay in a ski lodge that has a pool/ hot tub for the kids (7 and 10) who are used to big road trips across Europe but would probably enjoy a day off! I really love mountains and lakes and want to do this section justice. I could possibly free up an extra day from the itinerary if I needed to! I had thought about going through Yosemite valley, staying at mammoth lakes and maybe going to Mono lakebut then I'm not sure if we go down the hwy395 if we can get back over to see the Sequoias. If we just came the west side of the Sierra nevada would we be better carrying on down to join the i15 to go to Vegas? Is Death Valley too hot to go through in August?! I think my problem is too many great sights and wanting to be on both sides of a mountain range at the same time! Any advice on a route that incorporates some good mountain views, big trees and possibly hot springs would be gratefully accepted! :)

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

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There is no access to Sequoia National Park or Kings Canyon from the east side of the Sierras, so that's really the important fact to keep in mind when planning this section of your trip. Probably the easiest way to approach this section would be to go to Sequoia first, then back to Yosemite, cross Tioga Pass to get to the other side of the Sierras. Death Valley will be very hot in August, but it's still worth driving through.

    I will say I'm a bit concerned about what the rest of your trip looks like. Visiting all of these places and having a "day off" with only 3 nights planned here is going to be tough. Even without an off-day, that would be a fairly quick pace. If the rest of your trip is even more busy, I'd suspect you might be overdoing things. Remember, those who try to fit "everything" into too little time often end up enjoying nothing, especially on a family trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-05-2015 at 01:41 PM. Reason: fixed typo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Michael made a typo:

    There is no access to Sequoia National Park or Kings Canyon from the EAST side of the Sierras
    Concur with his recommendation to do Sequoia, Yosemite, and Death Valley in that order. You can drive from Mammoth to Las Vegas through Death Valley comfortably in one day.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There is no access to Sequoia National Park or Kings Canyon from the east side of the Sierras, so that's really the important fact to keep in mind when planning this section of your trip. Probably the easiest way to approach this section would be to go to Sequoia first, then back to Yosemite, cross Tioga Pass to get to the other side of the Sierras. Death Valley will be very hot in August, but it's still worth driving through.

    I will say I'm a bit concerned about what the rest of your trip looks like. Visiting all of these places and having a "day off" with only 3 nights planned here is going to be tough. Even without an off-day, that would be a fairly quick pace. If the rest of your trip is even more busy, I'd suspect you might be overdoing things. Remember, those who try to fit "everything" into too little time often end up enjoying nothing, especially on a family trip.


    Hi thanks for all your comments. I'm not sure if this is how you reply but this is the trip plan so far:
    4th August arrive lax (sleep at Santa barbara)
    5th go along coast road, (sleep at Big Sur or nearby?)
    6th drive to San Francisco (sleep San francisco)
    7th sight see San francisco
    8th sight see San Francisco
    9th travel to Yosemite
    10th?
    11th?
    12th travel to Las Vegas(sleep Las Vegas)
    13th sight see Las Vegas
    14th plane trip to Grand Canyon (sleep Las Vegas)
    15th travel towards San diego - scenic route via Mojave national preserve/ Joshua tree (sleep en route ?)
    16th drive to San Diego - meet up with relatives
    17th San Diego
    18th San diego
    19th San diego
    20th San Diego
    21st travel to LA (sleep LA)
    22nd Universal studios( sleep LA)
    23rd travel home


    I've tried to fit in all the families' requests but I really want to fit in the Sequoia national Park too! What do you think about changing the start of the trip to go straight from LA, staying North of LA on 4th, then staying somewhere near the sequoias on the 2nd night then cutting across to the coast road and up to San francisco? Then we could go on to do Yosemite and through Death Valley which seems to be a popular route.
    I'm not sure if this is going to add lots of driving or where we would be best to get back on to the coast road. I could steal a day from San diego to make it work! California is all too tempting!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Joplin MO
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    Default

    Is there any reason why you couldn't go to San Diego first? Doing the trip in a counter-clockwise direction would put you on the coast road driving south, which would put the scenic turnouts on your side of the road. Also, a plane trip from Las Vegas is not the way to see the Grand Canyon. This way, you could go LA-> San Diego-> Grand Canyon -> Las Vegas-> Death Valley -> Yosemite -> Sequoia -> San Francisco-> LA.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,748

    Default A tweak.

    I would plan on leaving Las Vegas and drive to the Grand canyon and then head to San Diego from there. [Or other way round if you reverse your trip]. Most tours from Vegas are expensive and go to the west rim on Indian lands which is nowhere near as spectacular as the National park at the south rim. Spending a night will let you see more and you will get to witness a sunset over this wonder of the world !

    On the 10th you will certainly want to stay in Yosemite or very close by, it's a big park and it's also amazing !! On the 11th you could head south to Sequoia and then stay just south of the park in Three rivers, Exeter or Porterville for example. You could head as far as Bakersfield or Lake Isabella and then you would have the option of driving through Death valley to Las Vegas, they would all be long days though. If as I suggested you went from Vegas to GC you could quite easily get to San Diego with one overnight stop and have time to sight see. I think I would do that and add a day between Yosemite and Vegas.

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

    Default For the children.

    If you possibly can, I would agree with reversing the trip.

    As Dave mentioned, flights from LV over the Grand Canyon do not go over the national park, which after all is the scene with which you will be familiar from pictures. There is nothing like standing on the rim or seeing a sunset/sunrise over the canyon. (It's also tons cheaper!)

    If you are really set on taking a flight, there are flights over the NP from Tusayan .

    At every National Park you visit, be sure to enrol the children in the Junior Ranger program. This is an age specific program of activities to complete, at the end of which they are rewarded with a small souvenir to take home. Meanwhile they (and you) will have learned a great deal about the park and its history. Greatly enhancing the trip.

    Have you read this page? It is well worth noting.

    Lifey

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