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  1. #1

    Default A "Slow Route" to Las Vegas

    Hi - I am planning to drive this September the well documented loop San Fransisco - Big Sur / Route 1 - Las Vegas - back along the east side of the Sierras - Yosemite - Lake Taho - Nappa and back to San Fran. Being retired we plan on taking 3 weeks to do this and whilst I have read most of the posts on this great site regarding this route, most people seem to be in a hurry! My problem is ensuring I don't reach Las Vegas (LV) at a weekend and I would love to take a slow but interesting route from San Simeon (Hurst Castle) to LV taking 4 days. My initial thoughts were to stick to the coast stopping at say Alvila Beach area then Santa Barbara then cutting inland to Barstow (I have been to LA before and have no desire to get any closer to it than Santa Barbara unless its well worth the effort) and then taking half a day or so to finish off the leg to LV arriving early afternoon. I even wondered if taking the windy Angeles national forest road but can't see any accommodation stops on this mountain road.
    So if anyone has any ideas on a very pretty / decent attractions / interesting places to stay the night, slow route to LV I would love to hear about it.
    Many thanks
    Richard

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

    Default

    Have you visited Sequoia NP and the National forest ? A beautiful park and wonderful slow mountain drive through the southern end of the Sierra's would be quite rewarding. Of course if you just want to fill time and not go too slow, you could head to the south rim of Grand canyon NP.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi Dave
    I had put the Sequoia NP on the radar at one point and then it seemed a bit out of the way but maybe I will take a closer look. Is there anywhere that stands out as a great place to visit / stay without it being too much off the loop route?
    We intend visiting the Grand Canyon once we are settled into Las Vegas.
    Thanks, Richard

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    We intend visiting the Grand Canyon once we are settled into Las Vegas.
    Be warned that the National park is not a place that can be enjoyed with a day trip from Vegas and really does require an overnight stop. Also note that tours from Vegas mainly go to the west rim which is not part of the National park and is nowhere near as spectacular. It's also a bit of a 'tourist trap' which can be expensive and very limiting, no camera's allowed on 'Skywalk' for example.

  5. #5

    Default Best scenic route West Yosemite to Lake Tahoe

    I am interested in hearing readers views on routes from West Yosemite to Lake Tahoe taking a couple of days. As we will have dropped down to West Yosemite from Lee Vining I don't want to go back that way up the Tioga Pass so it seems to me that the options for crossing back over the Sierras are either highway108 via the Senora Pass OR highway 4 or highway 88. As we will stay overnight somewhere I would love to hear about the best scenic option and also any recommendations for a place to stay the night on this section of my holiday. Thanks

    Mod note. Please keep all questions regarding this trip in one thread. Thank you.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 04-20-2016 at 01:39 PM. Reason: Merged threads.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    All 3 of those routes are very scenic. 88 (Carson Pass) is the most traveled and least extreme, 4 (Ebbetts Pass) is very lightly traveled and can be scary as it's not a full 2 lanes wide. Both 4 and 108 are very steep and winding going down the east side of the pass. There is a good selection of hotels in Sonora, but Yosemite to Tahoe can easily be driven in one day. If you leave Yosemite in mid-morning, you will be in Sonora for lunch and Tahoe for dinner.

    North of Sonora on 49 and on 108, 4, and 88 there is some lodging but Sonora is the largest town with the best selection.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    162

    Default

    Hello!

    A quick comment on the Grand Canyon (a subject quite near and dear to my heart): if you're going there from Vegas, strongly consider checking out the North Rim, rather than the South. From Vegas, the drive is about the same time and distance, but it's a far more scenic route to the North Rim, up through Hurricane Utah and back down past the Vermilion Cliffs. There's less infrastructure at the North Rim, fewer hotels, fewer camp sites, but it's far less crowded, and the views are every bit as spectacular.

    As Dave said, the tours from Vegas to Grand Canyon West are likely to be a disappointment. It's expensive, and it's not the REAL Grand Canyon. (Not by a long shot).

    Kudos for not being in a hurry. Ain't it grand, being retired?

    Rick

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default My preference by a long shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Quinn View Post
    There's less infrastructure at the North Rim, fewer hotels, fewer camp sites, but it's far less crowded, and the views are every bit as spectacular.
    Not to mention the ease of parking, not having to wait for a shuttle, being able to drive to all the view points and historic sites.

    It's great to get a photo of the Colorado river through Angels window.

    On the other hand, it is worth seeing the Grand Canyon movie in the IMAX theatre in Tusayan. Really helps you appreciate the park.

    Lifey

  9. #9

    Default Highway 88 Accomodations

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Knight View Post
    ...highway 88. As we will stay overnight somewhere I would love to hear about the best scenic option and also any recommendations for a place to stay the night on this section of my holiday. Thanks[/I]
    Highway 88 across the Sierras is a great route. A great place to stay is Sorenson's Resort in Hope Valley, just south of Lake Tahoe.
    Pat

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    All 3 of those routes are very scenic. 88 (Carson Pass) is the most traveled and least extreme, 4 (Ebbetts Pass) is very lightly traveled and can be scary as it's not a full 2 lanes wide. Both 4 and 108 are very steep and winding going down the east side of the pass. There is a good selection of hotels in Sonora, but Yosemite to Tahoe can easily be driven in one day. If you leave Yosemite in mid-morning, you will be in Sonora for lunch and Tahoe for dinner.

    North of Sonora on 49 and on 108, 4, and 88 there is some lodging but Sonora is the largest town with the best selection.
    Hi glc - now at the final planning stage and after reading reviews of the various Sierra passes I think I will drive east from Sonora up the 108 and across the Sonora pass. My only concern is that I will be driving a Nissan Versa Sedan rental car (automatic) which only has 109 hp and a 1.6 ltr engine. I understand the grades can be up to 25% for around 15 miles over the actual pass and whilst this doesn't phase me it might be a struggle for the car ! Has anyone driven this route in a Nissan Versa and did it handle it OK ?
    Thanks
    Richard

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