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  1. Default Las Vegas to San Franciso - advice please


    i need a bit of advice....
    i'll be driving from vegas on 5th jan and plan only one night stop over to san francisco due to time constraints - i want to go via death valley and kings canyon ........ can anyone suggest a good midway town to stop the night? as an alternative would it be feasible to drive straight to yosemite nat park and stay there for a night before driving to san francisco?

    any help / advice3 would be most appreciated!

    PS - what will the road conditions be like in the winter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It is Winter Already

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    While winter doesn't officially arrive until the Solstice on the 21st (or so) the main passes over Sierra Nevada are already snow bound and will remain so until at least May. Unfortunately, this means that trying to do both Death Valley and Kings Canyon (or Yosemite) is probably out of the question. At the very least it would require some major detouring. Since this is the best time of the year to see Death Valley, I'd suggest that you take your time and do it right, then stay overnight either in the park or in Bishop just to the north, and then continue up scenic US-395 to Lake Tahoe (as a substitute for King's Canyon/Yosemite) and then take US-50/I-80 into San Francisco.


  3. Default Its possible to do a "drive thru" in 2 days, barely

    It's possible to do a drive through in 2 days, but its going to be a LONG two days drive. You'll be zooming through both parks without significant time other than to look out of the car windows. If you do this, you'll want to hit the road early both days, so its not going to be very restful.

    For a place to stay in between, it would probably be Bakersfield. But its a long day to from there, up into Sequoia/ Kings Canyon, and then back out and to SF.

    Plus, in the winter you may not be able to really get into Kings Canyon at all. Last time I was in Sequoia in the winter, you could make it to the Giants Grove and Lodgepole Visitors Center, but past the Wuksachi Village (we stayed there) the road was closed for the winter. You couldn't get into Kings Canyon. Now the weather may be different this year, but you might want to consider this (check the Park web site).

    If you want to consider doing Yosemite, it's also a drive thru visit. You can stay in Bakersfield or a hour or so north in Fresno, and continue to the park, and then on to SF.

    But these are both LONG driving days.

    If you pass on Death Valley, its about 400 miles to Yosemite from Las Vegas, and somewhere around 9-10 hrs drive (8 hours in the car, plus stops, gas stops, rest breaks etc.).

    Road conditions -- outside of the mountains, should be pretty good. You may see rain, and it'll be cool, even in the desert in the winter during the day. THere may be windy conditions in the desert, but should be quite pleasant.

    Once in the mountains, you can see snow and ice, and dependent upon the specific weather this time of year, it can be slowing or sleeting (or raining). The main roads are plowed and patrolled, and in general the roads are in good condition -- but weather conditions can make even the best road treacherous. Check the weather forecasts and watch the forecasted conditions on the roads.

  4. Default

    excellent - thanks for your help
    i reckon we will take the death valley route up to bishop (at least - maybe further north) for an overnight stay then on to lake tahoe and san francisco without stopping anywhere else - time is an issue and well just haqve to look at the view out of the window!
    thanks again

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