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  1. Default San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and Vegas

    I just booked a flight to San Francisco and a flight home out of Vegas at the start of September and would like your opinion on whether I can jam in all of the activities I would like to in 8 days...

    I'd like to see San Francisco, Napa, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and Las Vegas. I know it's about 900 miles in total if I map out the routes but am interested in the best places to stop en route and what the best sequence would be. I saw one person's thread that was a similar trip but they went to Tahoe from Yosemite rather than Tahoe to Yosemite and then on to Vegas....

    Any advice that you could share would be much appreciated.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default It is possible -- depends on the route!

    Quote Originally Posted by dublinnyc View Post
    I just booked a flight to San Francisco and a flight home out of Vegas at the start of September and would like your opinion on whether I can jam in all of the activities I would like to in 8 days...
    It might be possible, but you might also want to slow down a little and really enjoy the places you are driving through. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Here are some threads that address some, or most of your planned route.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default What's with Tahoe

    Hi Paul,

    I live less than two hours from Tahoe, been several times, but I still don't quite get the fascination. Yes, it is a nice lake, and big, but the mountain scenery isn't that fantastic in summer (winter is much better). The drive around it is nice, but long. I'd rather hang out along the coast.

    Or even better, I'd spend more time in Yosemite even though the waterfalls may be a disappointment in September. Hike the trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls, tour the valley, take a trail ride, drive to the Mariposa Big Trees and Glacier Point. Just enjoy the ambiance. This is truely one of America's jewels and not to be seen in a glance. Then take the drive across Tioga pass, enjoying the high country along the way. You can easily spend 2 or 3 days in Yosemite. Now is not too early to book reservations at the Yosemite Lodge, or at Curry Village (if you are OK with tent cabins on wooden platforms - very rustic, but classic, cheap Yosemite accommodations).

    Between Napa and Yosemite you might consider a scenic alternative to the Interstate, which is to drive down Hwy 49 from Auburn or Placerville to Sonora, then on to Yosemite. This will take you through my neighborhood of Sutter Creek, Jackson and Angels Camp (of Mark Twain jumping frogs fame) and many other gold country towns that still have a lot of mid-1800s flavor. Columbia (south of Angels Camp) is a preserved town from the period that is now a state park with lots of old-timey charm. Be aware that Hwy 49 is about 40mph average so allow some extra time.

    If you have time, the town of Sonoma is a more interesting community than the town of Napa (great pizza at my friend, Carol's, restaurant The Red Grape), and the Sonoma Valley is a wonderful wine region, too.

    The Siverado Winery in Napa Valley is one of the great spots.

    Be sure to stop at Mono Lake near where Hwy 120 intersects 395 (just after you leave Yosemite). Drive to south side of the lake to see the amazing tufa formations.

    So much to little time!

  4. Default

    Wow - thanks for the information.
    I feared that it might be ambitious to fit all of that in.
    The advice is great and I'll definitely check out Sonoma.

    Thanks again!!!


  5. Default It's a doable trip in 8 days..

    For a rough route on the trip, my opinion is your best route would roughly be...

    - SF to Napa
    - Napa through Sacramento to Tahoe.
    - Tahoe to Yosemite
    - Yosemite to Vegas

    Each of those locations are a day's drive apart, or less. SF to Napa for example, is typically 2-3 hours drive. Other's (Yosemite to Vegas) is a full day's drive.

    You also have multiple options on the detailed route. For example, Tahoe to Yosemite can be driven as coming back to the west side of the Sierras, and then down to Yosemite via California's Gold Country. Or you can go down the east side of the Sierras a ways, and come back over the Sierras on one of several passes north of Yosemite (such as the Tioga Pass).

    You have some time in 8 days to add some stops, to either visit a place in some more depth (an extra day in SF, Napa, Yosemite, for example) -- or to add a day in a new spot (such as Death Valley, Sequoia National Park, or Mammoth lakes) without straying from the basic route.

    Give some thought to what you would like to see, or what you would like to do and you can lay out a better, more detailed route.

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