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Thread: Pushed for time

  1. Default Pushed for time

    Hello everyone
    I am visiting the States in November and we are driving from SF to Vegas.
    We have only hired a car for 2 full days (staying over one night en-route).
    All we know at the moment is that we want to go to Yosemite along the way and drive through Death Valley.
    I know there are plenty of threads on here about the route, but most of the ones I can find are for people with time on their hands.
    Can anyone suggest a good route we could take that would be interesting and perhaps take in some of the sights outside of Death Valley & Yosemite. Would we be able to fit in Sequoia or Kings Canyon along the way too just for some scenic views/photo opps?
    And where would be a good place to spend the evening (without costing the earth)?
    Thanks for all your help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    It all depends on exactly when in November it is. *IF* Tioga Pass is still open and *IF* there are no tire chain restrictions in Yosemite, you can do a quick "drivethrough" and spend the night in Bishop.

    If the pass is closed and/or there are chain restrictions in place, you will have to go to Bakersfield to get across the Sierras, and that would be a good place to spend the night.

    Either way, 2 days is only enough time to sightsee out the windshield.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Only (Just) Possible - If

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Even assuming that you have two full days (48 hours), such a drive is only possible if Tioga Pass (CA-120) is open over the Sierra Nevada. Then you can just do a drive through of Yosemite National Park, exiting to the west and getting on US-395 south at Lee Vining and then going through Death Valley on CA-136/CA-190 and then Ash Meadows Road to Parhump and Las Vegas. Note that even such an optimal route allows very little time for actually stopping in and enjoying the two parks, but at least you could get a few pictures. If Tioga Pass is closed (a distinct possibility in November), then you'd have to go into Yosemite, completely backtrack out to Fresno, circle the mountains to the south through Bakersfield, and come back north on US-395 to enter Death Valley from the west. There is simply no way you can do all that on o two day drive to Las Vegas.


  4. Default

    Thanks for your input.
    My two options now seem to be the following I think.
    1) Early drive to Yosemite, spend some time in the park, leave the park to the West and then drive as far south as we can for the rest of the evening. Stay overnight wherever we end up. Early start the next morning and head East through Death Valley and then get to Vegas at night.

    2) Visit Yosemite as part of an organised bus trip from SF at some point prior to our drive. Early start on day 1 of the drive and head down coastal highway and just drive as far as we can in a full day of driving. Early start on day two to drive through Death Valley to Vegas.

    I'd love to have more time in which to do the drive as it would be great to really see these places properly. Another time maybe



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Both are Out of the Question

    Well, as noted in my last response, your first option is simply impossible. Such an itinerary would require more than 20 hours of driving over two days, even without stopping for food, fuel and biological necessities. I just don't see how you expect to fit in any time in the park or enjoying such a grueling pace.

    Option two is equally impossible, The Pacific Coast Highway is a two lane, twisting, low speed limit road with limited passing opportunities and even fewer options for heading inland while on it. It is a two day drive all by itself. Again, what you propose is 19-20 hours of driving.

    The fact is, as you yourself noted originally, that you are pressed for time. That places restrictions on what you can do. I don't see that you are facing up to those very real restrictions. You have posited several itineraries where you try to squeeze in two or three very time consuming side trips. At most you can pick one. Whichever one you choose is up to you, but you can only pick one.


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