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  1. Default las vegas to san francisco

    I am traveling with my husband from Las Vegas to San Francisco Dec. 2 - 7. He wants to see Death Valley, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia. I have never been to the western US (we live in the mountains of western North Carolina). I am concerned about which route we should take and how long it will take. Is it reasonable to have only one overnight on the way, and if so where should we stay? I know this is a short trip, but our budget is tight and we only have these few days to travel. Thanks, everyone!

  2. Default It's a very doable trip..

    Hello lisseej,

    It's a very doable trip in that amount of time. December is probably one of the best months to visit the desert and places like Death Valley. The time you have allocated is enough to do the drive as well.

    From Las Vegas to Death Valley is from 2-4 hours, depending upon the route you might take. You can spend from a half day to a full day just sightseeing the major sites in Death Valley.

    To get from Death Valley to Sequoia Kings Canyon you need to go around the Sierras on the south, through Bakersfield. The main southern route into Sequoia is east of the small town of Visalia, which is usually reachable by coming up the 99 freeway from Bakersfield and then heading east on California 198.

    The one concern I would have about this route is if you get winter snowy weather. The road up into Sequoia National Park via this route winds up the steep western side of the Sierras, and can be closed if there is a significant snow storm. It's plowed out quickly, but it is something to note. This route takes you into the Giant's Village and Presidental Grove of the giant redwoods. There's a hotel in the park here, that is open through the winter (it has discounted rates some months, I've noted). if you're looking for lower hotel rates, one of the towns in the Central valley (Visalia, Bakersfield, etc) could give you some options.

    If you want to continue to Kings Canyon, the General's Highway (named for the giant sequoia trees named for civil war generals) can take you on to Kings Canyon. However, this road can be closed in the winter, and may not be quickly plowed out. But early December may be before any major snow falls this year, and the road is currently open I believe.

    Sequoia National Park to San Francisco is very doable in a day's drive This can be done in as short as 5 hours, but typically takes 6-7 or so hours.

    If you're looking to do this with one overnight, and arriving in SF late in the evening (avoid rush hour traffic, if nothing else) -- you might consider driving through Death Valley the first day and then pushing on to the Visalia area that evening. An early start will get you into Sequoia mid morning and you'll have most of the day to explore and walk through the groves of trees. Then you can head to SF, arriving in the evening.

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