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  1. Default SF to Vegas, alternative roads

    Dear folks!

    I'm planning to do a road trip in December, and I'm planning to leave San Francisco on December 24th to Las Vegas. My first plan is leave San Francisco to Yosemite than go to Death Valley and sleep there. In the morning hit the road to Vegas, arriving on December 25th. Someone told me that Yosemite park will be closed, because it will be winter and probably will be snowing, and this is the only road to go to Lee Vining. So, I made a "plan B", leaving SF by middle CA, passing through Fresno and sleeping in Bakersfield or Barstow. Is there other shortcuts to do this trip? I
    I hope you can help me.

    ps.: sorry about my English!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Park Open, Pass Closed

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Yosemite Park is not closed in the winter, however Tioga Pass, which crosses the Sierra through Yosemite will be closed during your trip.

    So you can still visit the park, but you will have to go south through Fresno and Bakersfield for your trip onto Vegas.

    There are a few hundred different threads about traveling between SF and Las Vegas. Here are a few of our favorites, but you can search the forum to read many more ideas.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Via Lake Isabella


    An alternative to Bakersfield is to turn east at Delano (located north of Bakersfield on Hwy 99) and make your way to Lake Isabella and on east to Death Valley. This is a rather winding route, but it is much shorter and should be faster than looping south to Bakersfield, Tehachapi and Mojave.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Shorter Maybe, Faster No

    The route from Delano through Shirley Medows might be shorter, but its really not going to be a faster route.

    The road is a fairly narrow twisting road through the mountains, and while it does stay open all year round to service the ski resort, the area does get about 18 feet of snow a winter and chains are strongly recommended/required to make the journey in winter. I've seen more than a few times where the road is virtually impassable, and you would not even consider making the trip without chains.

    If you're looking to get to Lake Isabella, I think its still going to be quite a bit faster to go through the Kern River Canyon via Bakersfield. I'd also say that going over CA-58 past Techachapi and then going north on CA-14 is still going to be the fastest route to Death Valley.

  5. Default It really helps me

    Thank you guys!
    I think I'll leave SF, sleep in Barstow (8 hours from SF isn't correct?), and then going to Las Vegas (3 hours from Barstow, correct?).
    Do you recommend a place to sleep in Barstow, or nearby (I'm looking Days Inn, or similar)?
    By the way, anyone knows a good ski station near San Bernardino? I'm planning to stay in San Bernardino and visit one ski station, but wich one is the best?

    Thank you

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Route 66 options

    Since Barstow is also a key route 66 town, there a several old fashion "mom and pop" type motels. I've stayed at at least one of them, although I can't remember any names off hand. There are enough motels that you really shouldn't have problems finding a room, so if you're feeling adventurous, just go without reservations and find one that looks nice.

    I can't help with the skiing though...

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