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  1. #1
    imported_John G Guest

    Default Las Vegas / Canyons and on to San Fran

    My wife and I are planning a trip to NV, UT and CA in late May / early June. "Plan A" is to fly in and out of San Fran (mainly so that I can redeem a lot of BA Miles that I accrued in those far off days when I was a hardworking international jet-setter (!)). We would spend 2 or 3 days in San Fran and then fly to Vegas, have a day there and then drive to (for example) Grand Canyon via Hoover Dam - Monument Valley - Lake Powell - Bryce Canyon - Zion NP - Vegas - Death Valley - Mammoth Lakes - Yosemite and back to SF. Is end May / early June the right time to do this. i.e. will Death Valley be not too hot? Will Tioga pass be open? I hadn't really thought about it until I read some of the messages in this forum but would there be any advantage, weatherwise, in delaying the trip until autumn? (sorry, fall - forgive me, I'm a Brit!)

  2. Default Spring or Fall

    I don't know what the typical opening date for Tioga Pass is, but I believe it will be open by end of May. Death Valley will be hot by then, but it will not likely be as hot in early June as it will be a month later. I would not shy away from doing this trip in late May/early June -- but the heat doesn't bother me much -- I live in it. That said, early October is almost a PERFECT time anywhere in the west (although there can always be an early storm that could close the Tioga Rd). Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Not this year!

    It is pretty unlikely that Tioga Pass will be opened much before the middle of June -- there is a lot of snow up there this year.

    It will be low triple digits (F) in Death Valley in June. While you are there, be sure to check out the lilly pads at the Furnace Creek Inn.

    I agree with Bob - October is just about the perfect month anywhere in North America for roadtripping!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-11-2006 at 12:18 PM. Reason: fixed link

  4. Default A good year for snow?

    It's about time!

  5. #5
    Dstar Guest

    Default

    I'm a Brit too :) I've crossed from Yosemite to Mammoth and then to Vegas before, then on to Zion, Bryce, Valley of Fire, and it's a superb trip, The pass is beautiful. That was in July... I agree that the tioga pass might be closed until June...when you condiser that people will likely still be skiing in Mammoth then. I haven't done it in May, but when it's hot out there, it's really hot (for us Brits ;) I would not want to break down in Death Valley, and worse still in VOF. Of all the NP's around there by the way, Bryce is the most spectacular in that it's a very alien sight for a Brit.

    If you do Mammoth - Vegas, on route, be sure to look at Mono Lake, and also near Mammoth (but a little in the wrong direction) Bodie Ghost town. By the way, arriving in Vegas by car from Mammoth is an amazing sight...

    I have to say, if you can go any time, the trip from Vegas to Mammoth to Tahoe and back to Vegas (8 hours straight from Tahoe to Vegas including the extraterrestrial highway) is just awsome in winter... If you fancy skiing, and have the stamina :). Not only because Mammoth and Tahoe are so beautiful in winter, but also because of the contrast between the cold mountains and warm (sometimes hot) Vegas and Death Valley. You have no chance of the Tioga though in winter of course.

    D.

  6. #6
    Aucky Guest

    Default Sacramento to Phoenix

    We're from New Zealand and my wife and I and three kids under 6 are travelling from Sacramento to Phoenix in September.

    I was just wondering what is the easiest way to get there... that is the least hassle with the children... so that'd probably mean the quickest route.

    I see there seem to be two main routes... via California down towards Los Angeles or up to Reno and down through Las Vegas.

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated... including how long it is likely to take.

    Thanks.

  7. Default I-5 and I-10 is quicker

    The route down toward Los Angeles is about 91 miles shorter and 5.5 hours faster, according to MS Streets and Trips 2005.

    Driving time alone is 10.5 hours at 75 mph -- it'll probably take you about 13 hours with your family.

  8. #8
    Aucky Guest

    Default

    Thanks for your help... I'll have to look up I - 5 and I - 10 in the Lonely Planet tonight to get my bearings.

  9. #9
    Aucky Guest

    Default

    Just a few questions regarding I - 5 and I - 10.

    Firstly, is the speed limit 75 miles per hour on the Interstate Highways?

    Secondly, where the I - 5 meets the I - 10 seems to be near to the middle of Los Angeles... will we have problems with traffic congestion there and if so should we be taking an alternative route to connect between these two Interstate Highways?

    Finally, if we want to break up the trip and stay somewhere between Sacramento and Phoenix... taking the I - 5 and I - 10 route... can you recommend a nice town or city and/or a place of accommodation to stay enroute.

    Thanks.

  10. Default

    Firstly, is the speed limit 75 miles per hour on the Interstate Highways?
    The information I am finding, including the California DMV handbook which is posted online, states the max speed limit in CA is 65, but in certain areas they can raise it to 70. The flow of traffic will be much higher than these limits -- but keep in mind that "flow of traffic" is NOT a defense and law enforcement may still cite. If you remain within a very few miles per hour of a posted limit (I typically go no faster than 7 or 8 over), you will probably not be stopped -- especially if the rest of the traffic is going faster than you. But that is not a guarantee.
    Secondly, where the I - 5 meets the I - 10 seems to be near to the middle of Los Angeles... will we have problems with traffic congestion there and if so should we be taking an alternative route to connect between these two Interstate Highways?
    Yes, it is within the LA traffic "area." Mark may have better information than I about whether it is worth it to deviate around to the north and east -- or perhaps someone who lives in the LA area. I'd probably divert on SR138 at Gorman and take that all the way over to I-15 and pick I-10 up at San Bernardino -- but this may not be necessary and may even take more time. Mark?
    Finally, if we want to break up the trip and stay somewhere between Sacramento and Phoenix...
    If I were looking for an overnight, somewhere around Lancaster or Apple Valley (Victorville) might work. There are several choices in each of those towns for lodging.

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