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  1. Default Yellowstone to Yosemite - Mid October

    Hi all, I am hoping for your expert advise on navigating the terrain from Yellowstone to Yosemite in Mid-October in a 30' RV with no trailer. I am looking for the safest route possible that does not include excessive detours.

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,517

    Default Go earlier if you can.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    If you are looking for the quickest 'A' to 'B' route then you could do this with just one overnight stop by taking I-15/86/84 to exit 182 through Rock creek to US93 and south to Wells where you join 1-80 to Battle mountain. Take exit 231 and follow NV305/US50/NV361/US95/NV361/US95 to Hawthorne and SR359/US395 to Lee Vining. From Lee Vining take CA120 into Yosemite on the spectacular Tioga pass, it gets a bit twisty in places but I have driven it in a 30ft 'C' class RV.
    Another option would be to continue south from Wells on US93 to Ely and then take US6 through Tonopah. If you let us know how much time you have for this journey and if you would prefer to take more time then let us know and we can make further suggestions.

    One thing I would point out is that by October both of these parks are going into winter mode where you could see sub zero temperatures and possibly snow and ice. Yellowstone starts to close down visitor areas in September and by mid October your options are very limited, in fact I think only one campground is open until end of October. (Check the official Yellowstone site for accurate info.) Basically if you can bring this forward a month I think it would be wise, it can get get pretty chilly in an RV when the temps drop below freezing and not only that, if they do you will have to drain all your water tanks to avoid them freezing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,906

    Default

    Dave's route is more complicated than it needs to be.

    Exit Yellowstone through the West Entrance, take US-20 to Idaho Falls.
    I-15 to Pocatello
    I-86/I-84 to Twin Falls
    US-93 to Wells
    I-80 to Reno

    If Tioga Pass is open: I-580/US-395 to Lee Vining, CA-120 into the park.

    If Tioga Pass is closed: I-580/US-395 to US-50 to Placerville
    CA-49 to CA-120 into the park from the west

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,517

    Default

    Dave's route is more complicated than it needs to be.
    Two factors I was taking into consideration is cost and time. Going via Reno adds about 60 miles which in a 30ft RV is close to 8 gallons and staying on Interstate doesn't save as much time as it would in a car as I find if you go north of 65mph it's noisier and takes more effort. Having said that Reno is a viable option and if the OP has spare time they could spen a bit of time at Lake Tahoe.

  5. Default

    Thank you both for your replies! Our trip start date is not very flexible due to is attending a wedding and we are already getting to Yellowstone as early as possible.

    I am leaning towards glc’s route of avoiding Tioga’s Pass due to the uncertainty of potential closings. Money and time are both important but safety is first priority. Google maps estimates taking I80 to Sacramento and down to Yosemite’s west entrance as the fastest (16 hours 41 mins, 1025 miles).

    The route to Placerville is estimated at 16h 59m (995 miles). I do think this route sounds better with having the option of enjoying Tahoe (never been). What type of roadways is US 50 through the Sierra Nevadas?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,923

    Default A Word of Warning

    When you cite "The route to Placerville is estimated at 16h 59m (995 miles)", it seems clear that such an estimate is coming from an on-line mapping routine. These estimates are simply fantasies. They assume that you will be on the road, going at or above the speed limit for every second of those 17 hours. Such estimates do NOT include stops for food, fuel, sight-seeing, or even a two minute trip to the bathroom. In the real world, this trip needs to be measured in days not hours. Two days would be pushing it. Three days is recommended, particularly if you plan to detour to and stop in Tahoe or anywhere else along the way.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,906

    Default

    US-50 through the Sierras is a well-maintained US mountain highway. Some of it is 4 lanes, but the parts that aren't are generally 3 lanes - 1 lane downhill and 2 lanes uphill.

    No need to go all the way to Sacramento.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,517

    Default

    Of course you could leave the route choice decision until you are on the road and check the current conditions. Although Tioga pass can close temporarily at times the last time it was closed for the season before October 30th was back in 2004 so the odds would be in your favour. As Buck mentioned, forget about on line mapping time estimates they just aren't for the real world and especially in an RV. As I mentioned in my previous post you would need at least one overnight stop and that would just be 2 days of solid driving, nothing else. If you shared the details of your trip we could possibly help out some more. How long have you got for for the whole trip, where does it start and end and do you own an RV or are you renting ? If you are planning to rent an RV and do a one way trip it could get very costly and given the time of year you are travelling perhaps a car and Motels would be a better option.

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