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  1. #1

    Default Any Advice on driving from Las Vegas to southern California up to San Fransisco?

    I am new to this site! I am excited to find you and look forward to great advice from those of you who have had the chance to travel where I hope to go.

    I have been to Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, San Fransisco and Monterey. I love the beauty of the mountains and the coast. I will be moving to California in the next 4 years, but meanwhile need help seeing the best parts of southern California, so I can "find my place".

    I am visiting Las Vegas in October and thought to rent a car and drive for 8 days. I will fly back out of San Fran/Oakland Airport. I am looking for a route off the beaten path that will show me what California is all about. I am a country girl, so I don't want to travel on all the highways... but prefer the 2 lane roads, or even wagon trails! I dream of California's mountains, valleys, lakes and the ocean.

    I am really excited to see all the awesome things in southern CA hope to search for a beautiful country setting, near the mountains to start the next chapter of my life. PLEASE help have a wonderful trip! :) Tracie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Start with some good maps.

    Hi Tracie, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    By far the best thing you can do right now is get some detailed maps of CA. Some of the best are produced by AAA (free to members). Get maps of northern and southern CA. There are also many detailed maps of varies cities and counties in southern CA.

    Check out the many roads and routes you could possibly take. On the maps you will find that all scenic routes have a dotted line to indicate them as such. You will see which are the minor roads, and the small towns through which they pass.

    With 8 days you will have plenty of time to wander throughout southern CA and get a real feel for the place.

    Last year I had some business on the coast near Oceanside, and rather than take the interstates the whole way there, I took 76 from I-15. That went through a magnificent area. Time did not permit me to take 76 all the way to 78 and 86 on the way back. But I guess it would have been a most enjoyable drive.


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

    Default Desert, mountain and coast.

    October can be a wonderful time of year to travel although the later in the month the higher the risk of snow and ice in the mountains. That's quite a contrast to the desert that can see temps still reaching 100F in Death valley, which would be my first port of call on leaving Vegas. You can get there via the 'Locals route' by taking 160 to Pahrump and then Bell Vista Ave/State line road just north of town to Death valley junction and then turn right and immediate left onto 190 across the park. You could then head north on 395 on the east side of the Sierra Nevada through Bishop and Mammoth Lakes to Mono Lake. Form here you could take the spectacular Tioga Pass in to Yosemite NP [CA120] providing it's still open for the season. After spending some time in Yosemite you could head south to Sequoia NP before heading to the coast around Cambria and the take the coast road [CA1] around Big Sur towards SF. If the Tioga pass was closed you coud continue north and check out Lake Tahoe and then head south to Yosemite through some of the Gold rush towns on CA49. Alternatively you could head south around the mountains from DV via Lake Isabella to Sequoia and Yosemite. As above, do a little research and when you have a couple of dots on the map we can help fill the blanks.

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