Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Damon Guest

    Default San Fran to Las Vegas

    Hi,

    My girlfriend and I are going on a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas but we would like to catch Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park and Death Valley on the way there, was wondering if anyone out there had done this route and if anyone had any suggestions on the nicest route to take to these places without taking in any highways. Would appreciate the advice.

    Thanks

    Damon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default It will require some zigs and zags

    Damon,

    I hope you like to drive long distances -- During the winter months, the pass over the Sierras in Yosmite NP (Tioga) is closed due to snow. So, to reach all of those parks enroute to Las Vegas you would need to take I-580 to I-205, cross I-5 to Manteca. Pick-up CA-120 to Yosemite NP (Gorgeous in the Winter).

    Then you have the option of taking CA-49 (<a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/drives/ca49.htm">Gold Rush Trail</a>) along the famous California mother lode country north all the way to Placerville. From Placerville, go east on US-50 up to Lake Tahoe -- again a very nice drive -- it will be slow in the pass area!

    US-50 to US-395 (in Nevada) and then south on US-395 past Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, down to Lone Pine, California where you can pick up Route 136 to CA-190 and then over Emigrant Pass into Death Valley NP.

    After exploring Death Valley there are a couple of options to reach Las Vegas, but the fastest is CA-190 to Death Valley Junction and then proceed east on State Line Road, which becomes Ash Meadows Road (shortly after crossing into Nevada). Proceed into Pahrump, NV and turn south on NV-160 and follow it south and eastward all the way to I-15 in Las Vegas.

    I have driven all sections of this trip many, many times over the years. But never in one roadtrip. If all of the roads are relatively clear and dry and you were only to spend 2-3 hours (each) exploring Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Death Valley, this route would still require three full days of driving.

    Do you have that much time for this trip?

    Mark

  3. #3
    Damon Bedgood Guest

    Default Middle of April -- Road Trip

    Mark,

    Thank you very much for your reply. We have got a little over two weeks to do the trip, I came across a website which this Dutch couple set up detailing their road trip, they covered Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley etc etc and a lot more miles than I am going to cover but they went from San
    Francisco to Lake Tahoe then on to Yosemite NP then on to Death Valley then to Las Vegas, this is the part of the trip which I would like to cover, we will have enough time to stay 1-2 days in each place.

    We are also going to go on to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, spend a day or two there and then back to Las Vegas and the then drive back to San Francisco, obviously will
    take a lot shorter route back to San Francisco. We are going to do it in the middle of April so hopefully the roads should be clear. Do you have any suggestions on any other nice stops along the way?

    Really appreciate the info.

    Damon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Same Problem in April as January

    Damon,

    The pass going over the Sierras on the east side of Yosemite NP will stll be closed in April. It rarely opens before the end of May. This year, the expected opening date (based on current snow pack) is June 15th! So it will not be possible to cross the Sierras in the vicinity of Yosemite NP on your roadtrip. So, a visit to Yosemite should either be at the beginning of our adventure or on the return to San Francisco, but not in the middle as the Dutch couple did it.

    I and the other road gurus on this forum can provide lots of suggestions once we know which route you are planning to use. So, let us know when you can.

    Mark

  5. #5
    Damon Guest

    Default

    Hi Mark,

    The reason I was going to Lake Tahoe first and then Yosemite NP was because that was part of the trip that the Dutch couple took and as they were travelling from San Francisco to Las Vegas like we are going to do I thought that they took the natural route there.

    Looking at it I think I will take your original suggestion of going to Yosemite NP first and then up to Lake Tahoe from there, this seems to be the most economical route, any suggestions from yourself is greatly appreciated as this will be my first trip to America.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default OK, here are some suggestions

    Damon,

    Oh, I thought you were a San Francisco local. What country do you call home? You might also take a look at our <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/links/international.htm">International Visitor</a> page for some tips.

    The Dutch couple probably did it in the summer when the roads were open.

    In any case, I have a different route suggestion for you. Departing San Francisco -- Interstate 80 to Sacramento and then us US-Hwy 50 to Lake Tahoe. Stay over-night at Incline Village or another one of the resort towns on the Lake. Driving around the lake takes the better part of day.

    Use the Mt. Rose Highway (Route 341) north to Galena cross over US-395 and follow the Geiger Grade up to Virginia City. <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/lat/981018.htm">Virginia City</a> has lots of fun historical stuff and some great bars!

    Over-night in Carson City and then depart south on US-395 for nice drive along the Eastern Sierras to Mono City (be sure to check out the views of Mono Lake) and then take Route 167 to Hawthorne, NV where you will pick up US-95 southbound.

    Follow US-95 to Scotty' Junction and go explore Death Valley for a day or so. On to Las Vegas as previously posted Valley of Fire and Grand Canyon and then return to San Francisco via I-15 south past Las Vegas to Barstow and then west on CA-58 to Bakersfield and then north on CA-99 to Fresno where you can pick up Route 41 north to Yosemite NP. There are plenty of cool places to stay in and around Yosemite.

    Then I would retrace route 41 back to Oakhurst and then follow the Gold Rush trail (CA-49 as discussed in last thread) north up to Sonora, Angels Camp, and on up to Murphys -- very cool inns and b&bs here. From here you can choose a dozen routes to head west and back to San Francisco.

    Mark


  7. #7
    Damon Guest

    Default

    Mark,

    I live in Wales, UK. My girlfriend is travelling around the world at the moment and her last stop is San Francisco so I am going out there to meet her to go on this road trip. I really appreciate your help and suggestions, will make my life easier if I have a route to take as I will be doing all the driving. Thank you again for your help it was greatly appreciated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Drive USA

    Damon,

    Have you driven on the "wrong side" much? There is a very good travel guide written by a Brit about roadtripping in the USA. The book is not 100% factually accurate, but it gives a good perspective on the American road trip culture and it might be worth taking a look. My review of <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/read/uk.htm">Drive USA</a> addresses some of the quirks of Andrew Vincent's point of view.

    It is a lot of driving to attempt to go to all of the places on your specified route in two weeks. All of the places are really great and fun to see, but you might want to stop and R&R a bit.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Damon Guest

    Default

    Hi Mark,

    Have driven on the other side of the road when I drove to France last year to go camping, got on with it fine so shouldn't be a problem, will check out your review though as any tips will be useful.

    My main aim is to go and see the Grand Canyon to be honest, would like to take in as much as I can along the way but were going to be pretty flexible with what were going to do. Most of the trip will be travelling from San Fran to the Grand Canyon, I read on your forum that you can get back from Las Vegas to San Francisco in about two days so if the trip to the Grand Canyon takes too long then will do that trip on the way back to make sure we get back in time but would really like to catch Yosemite NP so am going to have to see how we go. Any more tips or suggestions are appreciated i.e nice places to visit for some R&R along the way.

    Thank you

    Damon

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default If time gets crunched

    Damon,

    If you find your time getting crunched -- you can easily drive from Las Vegas to San Francisco in nine hours. I have made that drive many times over the years. (Much slower if you go by Yosemite...)

    Plenty of great information about places to stay at the Grand Canyon -- use the red search buttons and look at Road Guru Bob's posts on this subject.

Bookmarks

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

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES