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Thread: LV to SF

  1. Default LV to SF

    Hi there, been reading up on the various routes from Las Vegas to San Francisco and want some opinion on the best scenic route. We aren't in a hurry as we have 3 or 4 days to do the trip. Would like some advice on good places for overnight stops, things to see etc.
    We pick the rental up from the airport on 27th November, so I guess snow is going to be the big issue.

    Option 1.
    Highway 160 from LV, then onto the 190 through Death Valley and eventually onto the 395. North all the way to just past some place called Topaz, then left onto the 89, then the 88 down to Stockton. Then there are loads of routes to SF, maybe we'll go around the north of the bay to enter over the Golden Gate bridge.

    Option 2.
    Highway 160 from LV to Pahrump, onto the 178 through Death Valley, then the 190, back onto the 178 until it crosses the 395 and goesover the Walker Pass and onto Bakersfield. then it is basically up route 99 with a couple of loops to the Sequoia National Park, and Yosemite (up route 41 and back to Merced) Then the same as option 1 to SF.


    The return trip will be down the coast on Highway 1, which I'm also allowing 3 or 4 days for. Which is the nicer route? should I spend the spare days on the route north (mountains) or the route south (coast)?

    Thanks for your advice.

    Colin W
    (visiting USA for the first time!)

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

    Default Hmmm, could be iffy

    Quote Originally Posted by boyse7en
    Option 1.
    Highway 160 from LV, then onto the 190 through Death Valley and eventually onto the 395. North all the way to just past some place called Topaz, then left onto the 89, then the 88 down to Stockton. Then there are loads of routes to SF, maybe we'll go around the north of the bay to enter over the Golden Gate bridge.
    Colin, Welcome to America!
    Hmmm. I am not sure that Monitor Pass (SR-89) will still be open then. It is a gorgeous drive, but Monitor is at 8314 feet and it tends to close at first snowfall.
    Option 2.
    Highway 160 from LV to Pahrump, onto the 178 through Death Valley, then the 190, back onto the 178 until it crosses the 395 and goes over the Walker Pass and onto Bakersfield. then it is basically up route 99 with a couple of loops to the Sequoia National Park, and Yosemite (up route 41 and back to Merced) Then the same as option 1 to SF.
    Well, SR-178 is nice route, since it goes through Shoshone, but us locals use the State Line Road. It is well-marked -- on the north side of Pahrump, turn left (west) on Bell Vista Road and follow the signs to Death Valley Junction and then west on CA SR-190 to Furnace Creek. SR-178 is really pretty with good views of Lake Isabella and the amazing Kern River. But if you are going to go to Sequoia then I would look and see if Sherman Pass is still open (rather than going all the way to Bakersfield). Kennedy Meadows/Sherman Pass road is paved and in good shape and takes you right into the southern edge of Sequoia National Park.
    The return trip will be down the coast on Highway 1, which I'm also allowing 3 or 4 days for. Which is the nicer route? should I spend the spare days on the route north (mountains) or the route south (coast)?
    Hmmm. That is a tough toss-up. They are both wonderful. Which do you prefer more? Coastal or Mountain views?

    Mark

  3. Default

    Hi Mark, Thanks for the info..

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    Hmmm. I am not sure that Monitor Pass (SR-89) will still be open then. It is a gorgeous drive, but Monitor is at 8314 feet and it tends to close at first snowfall.
    When is first snowfall usually, are our chances of SR-89 being open 50/50 or is snow virtually certain then?


    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    But if you are going to go to Sequoia then I would look and see if Sherman Pass is still open (rather than going all the way to Bakersfield). Kennedy Meadows/Sherman Pass road is paved and in good shape and takes you right into the southern edge of Sequoia National Park.
    How do I find out which passes are open? Is there a highways website which gives this information?



    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    Hmmm. That is a tough toss-up. They are both wonderful. Which do you prefer more? Coastal or Mountain views?
    I live by the coast, so mountains would be a new thing for me, but if all the best places in the mountains are not accessible that time of year....

  4. Default Highway conditions

    Here's our page with links to highway department sites all over the US. You can find up-to-the-minute information here. Weather in the west, and therefore road conditions, varies week by week, day by day -- we won't know specifics until they happen, except for those roads that are virtually certain to close every year like SR120 over Tioga Pass (Yosemite).

    Since winter conditions can reach our high country within the next few weeks, it's also a great time to brush up on winter driving techniques -- we have an essay on that too! Bob

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