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  1. Default San Fransisco to Las Vegas in the Spring

    Hi we're coming stateside from Australia at the end of April spending a few days in San Francisco then hiring a car to get us to Las Vegas. we were hoping to take 2/3 days to get there driving though Yosemite, then the Tioga Pass then through Death valley. However, having read several posts I see that the roads will still be closed :( can you suggest an alternative INTERESTING route? should we go north or south to avoid the snow? would appreciate your expert advice and anyone's experience. After a couple of days in LV we're heading for Dallas but I'll put that in a new post. thanks everyone. Susan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Correct.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Yes Tioga pass will be closed and you will have to go around the mountains, either heading north or south. If you are not planning an overnight stop then heading south via Bakersfield would be your best option. If you can make time to stop overnight you could detour into Sequoia NP or Death valley, possibly both. Heading north means you could possibly visit South Lake Tahoe but either way you really need 2 nights in Yosemite to experience at least one full day.

    After a couple of days in LV we're heading for Dallas but I'll put that in a new post. thanks everyone.
    Please keep that post in this thread as we have a 'One trip, one thread' policy which makes your travel plans easier to follow and makes sure you get the best possible advice. If your itinerary is not set in stone as yet, then posting it up and letting us see the full picture rather than bits and pieces would enable us to offer suggestions and tweaks that get the best from the whole trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Get some good maps to help- you.

    Susan, have you been able to get some good maps of the US States you plan to travel? If not, I highly recommend that you get yourself a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store via the link at the bottom of this page. If you order it now you will have it in a couple of weeks, with lots of time to still have it help plan your trip, and to see in detail the suggestions made on this forum.

    Good detailed maps such as this make the planning of a road trip so much easier, and good maps are needed when you are on the road. Don't be tempted to rely solely on electronics. Many have done so at their peril - some fatal.

    If you are a member of RACV or similar, be sure to take your membership with you. It will give you access to tourism information from the AAA anywhere in the US.


  4. Default

    Thanks Lifey
    Will definitely look at getting the map now option, I knew we'd need one but had been debating waiting to get one in the U.S. as wasn't sure how good one would be from over here, will now order one. Also thanks for the RACV advice, yes we are members, didn't know about the link with AAA.

  5. Default

    Thanks Dave for confirming that, guess we'll have to come back again another day to do that trip. But for this trip any advice would be gratefully received.
    We have 9 days to do the trip from San Francisco to Dallas. want to do the grand canyon with hopefully some walks too. Have been looking at the Kaibab trail. What do you think about doing this in early May?
    We also plan to explore some of the other national parks as I've an interest in landscape and geology. However, we're also very interested in the culture and history of the area both indigenous and that of the explorers and settlers. So National historic sites en route are definitely an inclusion.
    I've been so impressed with this site, sooo good to get the local, experienced knowledge. when you have such a short time it's great to think that you wont be wasting time going the wrong way. thank you

  6. Default

    I took your advice and purchased a Rand McNally road map and have researched some more though this website and would now like your feedback on my plans so far and some advice on the final leg of our trip, keeping it all in this post as also recommended.
    We leave San Francisco on 1st April and have 9 days t get to Fort Worth/Dallas
    Day 1 – San Francisco to Yosemite National park, some walks exploration of the park if trails are open.
    Day 2 – Yosemite to Death Valley - Since we can’t go through Tioga Pass we will head south and go via Bakersfield unless someone has a better/more interesting idea? Overnight en route to Death Valley (e.g. Ridgecrest?) or at Panamint Springs resort
    Day 3 – Drive through Death Valley to Las Vegas – overnight Las Vegas. We do want to experience LV but figure one night will probably do us, sorry folks.
    Day 4 – Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park – overnight in the village or somewhere near, suggestions welcome. We want to do the south rim as recommended by everyone on this site (we have no inclination to do the Sky Walk). We’d like to walk some of the South Kaibab Trail (weather permitting) has anyone done this, it looks great? Whether we do it on this afternoon or early on day 5 is to be decided.
    Day 5 – Grand Canyon NP to Monument Valley via Marble Canyon now I come unstuck as I think we need to head south from here and am looking for advice.
    We have 4 more days to get to Fort Worth and don’t have to be there until the afternoon of day 9. We’d really like to see some of the historical, cultural, indigenous side of things as well as some of the Old Wild West. For example is Tombstone worth a visit?
    So is this all feasible? As you will note apart from the drive to Death Valley we prefer shorter distances each day as we like to get out and explore things.

  7. #7
    doly Guest


    You could get navigation help through google maps to navigate and reach a hotel or restaurant during nights on you way. Take proper rest to enjoy your journey. Google Maps is the best option for getting information about any visiting place. Try Google Virtual Tour of Google street view that is also useful for visiting a hotel/restaurant or other destination virtually. This would provide you an idea and services that you look forward during your visit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Thank you.

    Hi doly, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    It is appreciated to see you jump in with your first post, and pass on a hint. Yes, electronics are handy to find addresses, restaurants, etc. But for navigation on the open road, it is highly recommend that roadtrippers carry good quality paper maps, and are aware of the big picture at all times.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Accommodation at/near the GC.

    Susan, there are several places near the Grand Canyon, and if you can't get accommodation within the park - check the site - the closest outside the park is Tusayan (a bit pricey). Kayenta, Williams and Flagstaff, are more resonabkly pariced, but are progressively further outside the canyen. Cameron Trading Post near the east entrance is another option. It will allow you to enter the park next day, along with the Colorado River, and stop at the many view points along Desert View Drive.

    The best way to decide which tracks you would like to walk, at the time you visit the GC, is to ask the Rangers at the gate. They are very knowledgeable and will have up to date information on the condition of all the trails and tracks.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    With the South Kaibab Trail, one hint comes to mind: What goes down, must come up. You'll hear the rangers at GC tell people that all the time. The going down appears easy. There are too many stories of folks who have difficulty making the climb back up, though. Also, wear good footwear that isn't brand new but isn't 20 years old, either. You don't want blisters nor do you want your footwear to break when you're on the trail. (That happened to a friend of my brother's. That young man had to come up the Kaibab in flip-flops when his old hiking boots fell apart!)


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