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  1. #1
    maxjunk Guest

    Default My Cali Summer trip

    Hello,

    Forgive me for sounding a little vague, I am starting to plan my trip/road trip and I'm trying to figure out if I am being realistic. Being from the UK where the other end of the country is only about 8hrs away, it is hard to gauge how long it takes to get places in the US!

    I am planning to go from the 4th July to the 22nd, flying into San Francisco and staying there for a few days, then driving down to Big Sur and on to LA, staying there for a few days and then out to Las Vegas.

    This is where I need a little help. I would like to (after a few days of enjoying the LV hospitality) drive through Death Valley up to Yosemite before heading back to SF for the flight home.

    How long should I allow for going from LV to SF. I was thinking of staying over night in Yosemite before driving to SFO for a 7pm flight. Is is reasonable to do LV to Yo in a day, bearing in mind I am a photographer and will probably be stopping the car every 30mins to the delight of my girlfriend ;)

    I have 19 days for all this, allowing for 3-4 day stops in the major parts.

    Is there anything else people can recommend I visit. (Obviously I will be visiting the Grand Canyon!)

    Thanks for any advice, routes etc. Even some links to sites that may be of interest.

    THANKS!!!

    Max

  2. #2

    Default Route ideas

    Max,

    Its well over 700 miles from Vegas to Yosemite so I would definitely break that journey into two especially if you intend stopping and photographing everything.

    Actually, it is about 350 miles from Las Vegas to the eastern park boundary of Yosemite along CA-Route 120 -- Editor

    The route outlined below covers the ground you suggest and more in 14 days so it maybe useful to you as a reference.
    http://www.uk-2-usa.com/routes.html#complete

    UK
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-18-2005 at 10:26 AM. Reason: Mileage Correction

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default 700 miles?

    Actually you can get from Las Vegas to Yosemite in about 500 miles even traveling through Death Valley and the trip can easily be made in one fairly long day.

    However, if you want to stop and take lots of pictures and spend some time exploring Death Valley and Yosemite, and still make it to SFO in time for your flight, I would plan at least 2 1/2 days for the trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco. The first day, I'd leave vegas in the early afternoon, take in Death Valley for a few hours, eventually continuing on towards Yosemite. Take the 2nd day to drive into, explore and spend the night in Yosemite. That would let you make the 4 hour or so trip back to SFO at an easy picture taking pace, and spend 2 hours in security before your 7 pm flight.

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

    Default The shortest route is ~ 350 miles

    Actually you can get from Las Vegas to Yosemite in about 500 miles even traveling through Death Valley and the trip can easily be made in one fairly long day.
    Actually, the shortest route generally follows this one and is about 350 miles from Las Vegas. It is also very scenic and one of our favorite approach roads to Yosemite.

    I would concur with the recommendations of "imported_Midwesterner" and suggest that the 2-1/2 days would be a reasonable period of time to see this incredible stetch of western highway. With the caveat that I would leave Las Vegas EARLY in the morning (if going through Death Valley) and spend most of the first day making my way to Bishop or Mammoth Lakes and stay overnight. Again, leave early and spend all day in Yosemite and stay in Mariposa or Sonora. Get up the next day and enjoy a leisurely drive to San Francisco...
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-18-2005 at 10:25 AM. Reason: left out a word

  5. #5

    Default OOps

    Sorry about the mileage misquote. I just thrashed it into my Rand Macnally route planner and thats what it spat out. It still does it when I recheck but for some bizzarre software reasoning the best route it quotes does a lot of doubling back on itself round death valley.

    To recheck I've just gone back to a map book and added up all the segments which gives me a distance from Las Vegas through Death Valley right into Yosemite valley of 430 miles which just about matches the Editors numbers if you subtract the miles in the park. Still much too much to do in one day if you plan on seeing and photographing everything.

    UK

  6. #6
    maxjunk Guest

    Default

    Thanks guys, this has been helpful!

    But.. What about accomodation in death valley and yosemite. I was hoping to just driver there and 'wing it' but I have read that it can be quite full in July?

    Is the best option to stay in Bishop the first night from Las Vegas?

    Thanks

    Max

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Accomodations

    But.. What about accomodation in death valley and yosemite. I was hoping to just driver there and 'wing it' but I have read that it can be quite full in July? Is the best option to stay in Bishop the first night from Las Vegas?
    Are you planning on staying overnight in Death Valley? If so, the no-hookup campgrounds will be generally empty in july (the hook-up ones will always be full) and the Ranch is open. It is not inexpensive to stay in the Valley, but the light is great at dawn.

    The liklihood of finding any accomodation available in July in Yosemite is small, but I have found it -- have to be willing to be risky. But given the distances you want to travel, I would stay in Bishop, Mammoth or Lee Vining and then you can enter Yosemite early enough to get that morning light.

    Mark

  8. Default

    It looks like there is major road construction going on at Death Valley.

    http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm

    If you want to camp, there are national forest campgrounds on Hwy 120 not far from Lee Vining and we've never seen these campgrounds fill up...even in the summer. It would be a good place to spend the night.

    You mentioned the Grand Canyon. Do you plan to visit Lake Powell, Bryce National Park and Zion National Park? If not, then I would drop Death Valley for Zion in a heartbeat!

    Utahtea

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    234

    Default have fun

    I would totally agree with Utahtea. Zion, Bryce is any day worthy.
    I will be in Zion in less than 2 weeks. Will share it when I come back.

    Wherever u go, you are going to have a memorable vacation.
    If your vacation is in July, they might close Zion "narrows" due to flash flood warning.

    If you are worrying abt accomodation in Yosemite, you can book ahead online.

    njoy.

    Cool
    Last edited by cool; 05-19-2005 at 10:51 AM.

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

    Default Not really, its almost over...

    Quote Originally Posted by Utahtea
    It looks like there is major road construction going on at Death Valley.
    Actually, most of the major work is already completed. We attended the ribbon cutton ceremony for this road in April.

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