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  1. Default San Francisco - Yosemite - Death Valley - Las Vegas

    Hi everyone!

    Looking for some help planning the above trip. Having trouble what choosing the best month to do it - weighing up the Heat in Death Valley/Tioga Pass being open/Waterfalls etc in Yosemite. Did orginally choose May until I read about Tioga Pass opening dates. Now looking at either mid to Late June or September. Was thinking September would be best for San Francisco and Death Valley will be a little cooler, but then June would be better for Yosemite. What does everyone think?

    1 Fly San Francisco arrive 19:00ish

    2 San Francisco

    3 San Francisco

    4 San Francisco

    5 Drive to Yosemite (Groveland maybe)

    6 Yosemite

    7 Yosemite

    8 Drive to ?? Lone Pine maybe

    9 Drive to Furnace Creek Death Valley

    10 Drive to Vegas

    11 Vegas

    12 Vegas

    13 Vegas

    14 Fly home

    Any tips or suggestions would be great thanks! :)

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

    Default Weighed up nicely.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have a very relaxed itinerary with a good amount of time in each place you visit. You have done your home work and weighed up the pros and cons about when to travel and there is no 'right' answer, just options. My personal favorite time of year to travel is late Sept into October when the temps are nice, colours are bright and the main crowds have gone. If only the waterfalls were flowing in Yosemite !!

  3. Default Wonderful trip

    Couldn’t recommend this trip more! We did it in reverse last year and loved every minute. We went in mid September and while Vegas (where we spent 3 nights) was still very hot, San Francisco was actually quite cool.
    My recommendations are:

    - Leave Vegas for a night and drive over the Hoover dam and along part of old route 66 and spend the night in Williams. From there its just an hours drive to the Grand Canyon. This was my favourite part of the whole trip.
    - Death Valley is a very cool place. I’d recommend you get there early or late though as Im told its lovely then with the shadows cast on the rock formations and sand dunes. Due to a miss calculation we ended up there in the middle of the day and it was very hot even in September!
    - The Yosemite falls were little more than a trickle but Yosemite is Yosemite! Still a wonderful place to visit. We stayed an hour outside of the park in a place called the bug. (Not sure of the actual link) The place was fantastic.
    - Lone Pine looked a lovely place. We stayed at Mammoth lakes but I think any of those little towns along the 395? are fine.

    We were in the U.S. for 15 nights and did all of your itinerary plus 3 nights in New York and it felt a little rushed so yours seems very good.

    Hope at least some of that helped. Have fun!


  4. Default

    Many thanks for the replies and info :)

    Could anyone please tell me the roughly how long it will take for me to drive between the destinations Ive chosen?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default 'Ballpark' figures.

    SF to Yosemite > 4-5 hours
    Yosemite to Lone Pine > 4-5 hours [Allow longer to enjoy stops along Tioga pass]
    Lone Pine to Furnace creek 2.5 hours + stops
    FC to Las Vegas > 3 hours +stops.

    You could choose to stop a bit before Lone Pine around Mammoth or Bishop if you wanted to.

  6. Default

    Thanks Dave :)

  7. Default

    One more question, if tioga pass is shut how much extra time does it add to the journey to death valley?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Going via Bakersfield adds about 2 to 3 hours. Going via Lake Tahoe adds 5 to 6 hours.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    If you are still planning on [very] late June or September, it would be unlikely to be closed but a possibility in June.

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