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  1. Default Road trip San Fran, Vegas Dec/Jan

    Is it really truly possible to drive from San Fran to Vegas, Death Valley, Grand Canyon etc at this time of the year?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Mostly, Yes

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are, of course, some limitations, but the rewards for making such a journey at this time of year can be truly outstanding. There are really only two major limitations: You can't go through Yosemite and across Tioga Pass on your way between San Francisco and Death Valley, and you can't get to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Neither of those roads is maintained (plowed) over the winter. But other than having to skirt the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the south through Bakersfield, and having only the choice of going to the south rim of the Canyon, all roads are open. And more importantly, the parks, particularly the Grand Canyon, are free of the hordes of tourists which can detract from an otherwise transcendental experience. Just keep in mind that it does snow in all of the locations that you plan on visiting, and on any given day driving may be hazardous to impossible, and you will need to allow for such a possibility in your scheduling. But otherwise, there is no reason not to go see these places if this is the time of year when you can make the trip.


  3. Default The answer is.....

    Quote Originally Posted by aqua01 View Post
    Is it really truly possible to drive from San Fran to Vegas, Death Valley, Grand Canyon etc at this time of the year?

    California in general only sees snow in the mountains or at high elevation. Every several years you might see enough cold & wet weather to see a bit of snow in the upper deserts (where the elevation is several thousand feet), but its usually gone in a day.

    On the route you listed, San Francisco to Death Valley to Las Vegas you won't see snow unless it's that very rare occasion. I can't recall anytime that the roads through here have been closed. This is particularly true if you stick to the major routes, such as down through the southern part of the California Central Valley (where it never snows), and then east through the Mojave desert to Death Valley and then to Las Vegas.

    It is likely you will see snow at Grand Canyon -- the south rim for example, is at 7000' elevation, and the average day time temperature is 41 F, with an average night time low of 18 F. However, the road from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Village (taking I-40 and then north from Williams) is kept open year
    round -- but may see short term closures if a major storm comes through. . Depending when you go, there may be significant snow on the ground.

  4. Default

    Thank you - we are Ausssies wanting to travel for the first time and don't know much about the conditions this time of the year.

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