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  1. Default December Honeymoon LV>DV>Yose>SF - Help from UK!

    Hi - amazing site, loads of info and some really patient members/admins that reply even if the question has been asked before (which i'm probably about to do!) Thanks in advance for the patience.

    Short version :-

    We're coming from the UK on Honeymoon, trip is pretty set but would like some advice on driving or sights to see on the route we have penciled in. I'm ok on big drives - have been all over Europe tho advice on how bad weather can be appriciated.

    We fly to LV late Nov and drive straight out that PM to the Cayon, stay a few days then back to Vegas for a few nights then its to DV via the Scenic drive to Furnace Creek (swing south via Pahrump?)

    From there is to Yosemite. I know we have the long drive via Fresno / Bakersfield ahead. ive rulled out the North trip on the 395 due to weather risk (we're in a Ford Mustang - highlight of the trip for us as we love these in the UK - but not the best for bad weather driving)

    My question is whats on route that would be worth seeing? Is it better to take the 190, 395 onto 14 then 58 - or cut across the 178 past isobella? Is red rock canyon a better visit considering we have to make Yose in a day?

    Also how bad would the Generals Highway road be? If we took the detour to try and see the Sherman tree etc either the full loop or out, see the trees then back the way we came - or would that be crazy considering we have the day to get to Fish Camp Yosemite?

    There we have two nights, then over to San Fran. I was planning via Mariposa on the 140 but lots of sites / people seem to say the 120 over the top is better - what route would you suggest for scenary?

    From 2 nights in SF we're going down the coast for 2 nights before back to SF to fly home. I think we have that bit sorted - Highway 1, 17 mile drive, Carmel , Montarrey etc. But again in the Winter is too much beach a bad thing - any suggested parks?

    Thanks a heap for replying, sorry if i've tested your patience I have looked through the other threads but wanted to give my exact route over. Any top tips on good 60's style breakfast diners on the route also appriciated!

    If you need help in the UK in return let me know!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Flying into Vegas from the UK and then planning to drive to Grand canyon isn't the best way to start your trip after an International flight. Once you have cleared customs and collected your rental etc you have a 5 -6 hour drive ahead of you while being jet lagged. As you have a "few" days at the Canyon I would spend your first night in Vegas and start out fresh the next day.

    The drive to Yosemite is doable in a day, but Sequoia and the Generals highway is slow going and a little too much to do same day. You can see the giant Sequoia tree's in Mariposa grove near to the South entrance of Yosemite though. The drive past Lake Isabella is quite pleasant, but you could also drive down the Trona Wildrose rd in Death valley past Ballarat ghost town to 178 at Ridgecrest. Not done the 140 out of Yosemite but the 120 is scenic, especially around the 'Priests grade'.

  3. #3
    Eaglebait Ranch Guest


    I worked in Yosemite for years. Let me know how many days you will be there, and about when you will be there, and I can give you directions and places to go to which will give you the max experience there, see things others don't see, and you will really enjoy your stay. If you can send me a private message on this forum, please do so as I am going to be traveling and may not look here for 4-6 weeks.


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

    Default please share

    You know, Eaglebait, The SF-Yosemite-Vegas trip is the single most popular topic on this forum.

    If you've got some great inside tips, we'd appreciate it if you'd share with everyone here, rather than just a few individuals. That is the whole point of this community after all!

  5. Default Update

    Hi there thanks for the updates, sorry in delayed response lots on at work. So the trip is drawing near and i'm starting to revisit the driving plan.

    Sorry to say we have the GC booked for first night, so I am guna have to make the drive from LV to GC on day 1. We land near early afternoon so hoping it wont be too late to GC, bit of a culture shock and I totally get what you are saying southwest dave, we just didnt want to go LV then GC then LV again etc so booked GC up quite early on. I appricate your other feedback.

    So we are GC for a few days then back to LV then DV for a few then the big drive to Yosemite which I will do straight and take your advise and see the trees elsewhere.

    I know its hard to guess but how bad will winter driving be up thru bakersfield / fresno into Yosemite? i've done a fair bit of winter driving in the Europe Alps but wanted to check. We're with Dollar car rental from vegas - will they do Snow Chains for hire or best buy on route (I hear they are mandatory in Yosemite over winter?)

    We then go to SF for two days thendown the Big Sur, looking at highway 1, 17mile drive - is there any other recomendations for December down the Big Sur?

    Thanks all - appricated!

  6. Default

    Sorry couple more questions!

    1. In DV for 2 nights - Furnace. What things should we go see? we like exploring etc
    2. In Yosemite - I guess in Dec we just go see the valley / falls etc and that will be enough?
    3. GC - seems the only mule trips are the one with an overnight stay in the Canyon (thats too pricey for usand we have accomodation booked anyway) or one along the RIM - are there any options going into the Canyon and back out either horse / mule?

    Sorry to be such a pain - thanks v much

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default rebook

    I will never understand the concept of allowing a hotel reservation to dictate how a trip is done.

    I completely agree with Dave that its is a very bad idea to try to drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon after a transatlantic flight. Not only is it going to make it hard to enjoy your trip for days afterwards, its frankly unsafe.

    Think about it, you've got an 11 hour flight, plus 2 hours for security, plus we'll say an hour just to get to the airport, plus another hour to get your bags and car and get on the road. So at this point you will have been traveling for 15 hours - plus you've got an 8 hour time difference - so that early afternoon will actually be like late evening for your body. And at that point you're going to hit the road for a 5-6 hour drive (on the opposite side of the road)?

    Please reconsider and modify your reservation. Changing it at this point really should not be difficult, and keeping a reservation is not worth risking your safety and the safety of others on the road.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Bit's and bob's.

    As you say, any comments on the weather would be a complete guess at this point, but other than a heavy winter storm when you travel [in which case just pull off the road and let it pass] you will be OK. As for chains, you would have to ask your rental company about the availability should they be needed.

    With a couple of nights down the coast you could stay a night in the Carmel area and one in the Cambria area and then head back to SF on the 101. There are a few State parks on route such as Julia Pfieffer Burns and you might fancy a Hearst castle tour near to San Simeon.

    You will find a visitor centre at Furnace creek [albeit a temporary one] but to see your options, check out the NPS DV Website.

    Mule rides are available but they recommend booking up to 9 months in advance. Travelling out of season you might be able to book something, you will have to check it out. If you fancy a real treat you can get a 50min Helicopter ride over the canyon from the Grand canyon airport in Tusayan, it's a wonderful experience ! Mule or not, there will be plenty to keep you interested from the rim viewpoint areas.

  9. Default Peach springs

    Thanks for the advice.

    Just a quick question, when we drive back from GC to LV is it worth taking route 66 up past peach springs? coming from the UK i've heard of 66 but in early Dec could it be bad traffic / is it worth it. looks like only adds under an hour on the travel time?

    Thanks in advance!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Play it by ear.

    It's a nostalgic little detour and you can stop in Seligman to look around the touristy/memorabilia shops. It's a quiet 2 lane highway that runs alongside I40 that absorbs most of the traffic. Worth it ? Some would say Yes, some No. Me ? I'm glad I did, just to be able to say I did, and got the tacky tourist memorabilia cup to prove it. If you got the time there is nothing to lose !

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