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  1. Default Grand Canyon South Rim to Death Valley - NOT via Vegas!

    Hi All! My husband and I are travelling to US for two weeks on 24th March and plan to stay in Vegas for 3 nights before driving to Grand Canyon, staying there for a night and then making our way to Death Valley. I have read through the threads and whilst there is lots of info about similar itineraries, my question is what is the best way to go to Death Valley if we DON'T want to go back via Vegas, and bearing in mind time of year/road closures?

    Our total itinerary at present looks like this:
    Tuesday 24 Afternoon, arrive Vegas, evening in Vegas
    Wed 25 Vegas
    Thursday 26 Vegas
    Friday 27 Vegas
    Saturday 28 AM, Drive to Grand Canyon & Overnight
    Sunday 29 Travel from Grand Canyon - route TBC
    Monday 30 TBC
    Tuesday 31 TBC
    Wed 1 Arrive Yosemite
    Thursday 2 Yosemite
    Friday 3 Yosemite / Travel to SF
    Saturday 4 San Francisco
    Sunday 5 San Francisco
    Monday 6 Fly home

    As you can see, I'm just a bit stuck about routes/times when travelling from Grand Canyon through Death Valley to Yosemite as we're trying to avoid more than 6-7 hours driving per day. Any advice greatfully appreciated!!!

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

    Default priority

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The most direct route from the South Rim to Death Valley actually is to go through Las Vegas, and that is already a solid 7-8 hour drive. If you really don't want to go back through Vegas, then you're going to be adding more time to your trip. A couple of alternatives would be to take I-40 back to California and then go north through the Mojave National Preserve, and then approach Death Valley via CA-127 from Baker. This would be a nice scenic route, but I'd guess you'd be looking at closer to 10 hours on the road. The other option would be to cut over from Kingman, AZ through Laughlin to US-95, take that north to NV-164 at Searchlight, and then take I-15 back to Baker. This is still about 70 miles longer than going direct through Las Vegas. I guess it depends on your priority here. If not traveling the same route twice is important, then I'd go through the Mojave Preserve, but if you really don't want to drive more than 6-7 hours a day, then I think backtracking through Vegas would be your best bet.

    In March, you'll you won't be able to use Tioga Pass to get from Death Valley to Yosemite, so you'll have to go around via the Bakersfield area. This again would take more time than the 6-7 hours you'd prefer, so you may want to break this trip up by staying either in the Central Valley (Bakersfield, Fresno, etc) or a scenic detour/stop would be around the Lake Isabella/Kernville area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Day trip ?

    As Michael pointed out, the Tioga pass [120] into Yosemite will be closed at this time. Because you need to go around the Southern end of the Sierra's and the fact you would prefer not to go back through Vegas I would consider taking a daytrip to Death Valley while you are in Vegas and head from the Grand Canyon through Barstow to Bakersfield and onto Yosemite. When returning from the G/C you could hop onto part of the original route '66 through Seligman to Kingman and on to Oatman for a change of scenery.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would go Kingman - Laughlin - Searchlight - Baker to avoid the delays at the dam.

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