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Driving from Death Valley to Yosemite... question

Driving from Death Valley to Yosemite... question

Jul 19th, 2008, 01:00 PM
  #1  
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Driving from Death Valley to Yosemite... question

I've allowed one overnight stop , while driving from Death Valley ( Stovepipe Wells) to Yosemite Village. First of all is this necessary or could we easily do it in one day?
If we do stay overnight along the way,where could we stay and what is there to see along the way?


Ok, ok, I know there is always so much beauty to see, but I hope you know what I mean.
Thanks for any advice.
kodi is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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when is your trip - much of the year it really isn't possible to drive from DV into YNP w/o going through Bakersfield and up the central valley.

If your trip is in the summer or very early Fall then you can easily do the drive in one day. Or you can stay overnight somewhere like Lee Vining.
janisj is online now  
Jul 19th, 2008, 01:50 PM
  #3  
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Thanks Janis. I had no idea that it we would possibly have to back track to Bakersfield.
We will be doing the drive on Sept 29th.

If we do have to backtrack, could it still be done in one day?

I've allowed an overnight in my planning, so I'll check out Lee Vining.

Thanks again.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 02:46 PM
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You should have no problem crossing Tioga Pass during Sept. It's a ctually still pretty warm then. Should be a really pretty drive seeing the eastern Sierra.

You could stay anywhere from LOne PIne, Bishop, Toms Place, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake or Lee Vinig. At teh end of Sept should be poretty easy to get accomodations. Ramada Inn and Best Western Creekside in Bishop are decent. LOts of accomodations in Mammoth.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 02:48 PM
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Thanks Suzie. It sounds like we won't have to bother making reservations. That will be nice, since we had to book Yosemite so far in advance.
It will be nice to wing it for a change.

kodi is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Sept should be just fine. There are exceptions - but the road doesn't usually close until late Oct/Early Nov.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 04:54 PM
  #7  
lvk
 
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I'm not sure what your budget is, but you can get off-season rates at some pretty nice properties, such as the new Westin Monache in Mammoth Lakes or the Double Eagle Resort in June Lake. www.doubleeagle.com

There are other lower-budget options as well.

On your drive you will be leaving the lowest point in the contiguous US and passing in view (if visibility allows) of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous US.

An interesting stop might be Manzanar, one of the WWII internment camps, which is now an National Historic Site: www.nps.gov/manz/

If you would like to take a bit of a detour, you could also see Bodie, a former gold rush town. (Not a cheesy reproduction of one) The original buildings are being maintained in a state of "arrested decay". www.bodie.com/

For us, no trip up the 395 is complete without a stop at Erik Schat's Bakery or Mahogany Smoked Meats www.smokedmeats.com/ (for the jerky), both in Bishop.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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It is an easy day's drive as long as Tioga Pass is open (it should be).
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Jul 20th, 2008, 04:27 AM
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Easy to be done if you are just wanting to drive thru DV. If you are wanting to experience DV you would want to spend the night in the park somewhere. I would imagine it would still be very warm in DV at that time of year, probably making for a miserable time of exploring. Be sure and have plenty of gas, not much to be found along the way. Scotty's Castle area didn't have gas as indicated on the park map, when we were there last year. You will want to see Artist Point, Zabriskie Point, Salt Flats, Sand Dunes.

If you feel adventurous drive Titus Canyon. This is a 27 mile back country drive that is one heck of a drive. Very unique. I have never driven anything like it. Allow a couple of hours for this.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 05:04 AM
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Thanks very much.
lvk, that's just the type of stops we're looking for. Especially the bakery!!

Spiro, we are spending 2 nights at Furnace Creek Ranch before driving up to Yosemite.
Titus Canyon sounds great.

I was trying to be careful not to rush this trip too much, and now it seems we have a bit of time on our hands, so these detours will be great.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 10:39 AM
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We spent 2 nights at the ranch. We then drove on to Sequoia NP, so similar to what you are doing, but we were there in Jan. I looked on the NPS website and it looks like the weather is usually- low around 70 and highs around 100 for Sep/Oct. You should be able to see and do plenty early and late to beat the heat. Do Scotty's Castle in the afternoon so you will be out of the sun. One thing we didn't do that I sure would have like to have seen is the "moving rocks". I just didn't want that big of a risk to rental car. Titus Canyon is slightly risky, but it was worth it. If you could have a car in front or behind you I would have felt better. We never saw a single car or person while we were on the enitre 27 miles. It would be very bad if you had car trouble or a flat. We were suprised how much we liked DV. I don't know what we were expecting, but it was really much nicer than what I thought it would be.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 11:14 AM
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There's also a Schat's Bakery in Mammoth Lakes.

Remember that Yosemite Village is at least 1-1 1/2 hour drive from Lee Vining, maybe 2 hour. And, the scenery in the Tioga Pass/Tuolumne Meadows area is just spectacular. Save enough time to dawdle and enjoy that area.

You should plan an overnight between DV and YV. Mammoth Lakes has the most accomodation options, then Bishop, then Lee Vining. Just outside of Lee Vining is Mono Lake, which is a spectacular alkaline lake. The visitor center there is really good and has beautiful views of this really unique place.

Tioga Pass will be open, but it will be getting cold at night in that region.

spirobulg, (poster above) is not taking the Highway 395 route that we are discussing. Skip Titus canyon and use the time for Tuolumne Meadows.
Marginal is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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Schats bakery in Mammoth is nothing like the Schats bakery in Bishop.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 01:07 PM
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Titus Canyon is in DV and is not in route to Yosemite. If you are going to be in DV for two days, Titus is a GREAT drive and would be a good thing to do in your car in the heat of the day.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 02:07 PM
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Except if anything happens, your rental car insurance is void. Most contracts forbid taking the car on un-paved roads.

Skip Titus Canyon
janisj is online now  
Jul 20th, 2008, 02:37 PM
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Yes, but the Schat's Bakery in Mammoth will provide you with enough provisions to tide you over 'till Bishop.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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Thought OP was going north. They'll hit Bishop before Mammoth.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Frankly, I can't imagine anyone paying for the extra insurance that the rental cars provide. Almost all insurance policies cover Car Rentals.

The "bad" would be a flat or having to be towed out. Towing would be costly. We would certainly do Titus again, but if you are in doubt, then don't do it. We didn't get any horror stories when we asked a ranger about Titus. He was quick to point out that Playa Area where the moving rocks are have very sharp type rocks that pierce tires. Keep in mind that many of the roads in DV are not paved. Even the short road to Devils Golf Course is not paved. I can't imagine that happening.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 06:47 PM
  #19  
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Thank you all for the great ideas. We will definately stay somewhere between DV and Yosemite overnight. We really don't want to rush such spectacular scenery.

I have not heard of the moving rocks. I'll have to do more research..
Yes we are heading north, and look forward to the bakery.

I don't even want to think about getting a flat tire or breaking down. But we'll have our suggested 3 gallons of water each.

We once 'rescued' two men who had a flat in a very remote , sharp gravel road here in Canada. They were VERY happy to see us. We drove them to the nearest town.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 07:14 PM
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Race Track Playa

area in DV where rocks weighing several tons mysteriously move, but noone has ever seen them move. This is something that I hate to have missed while I was there. the theory is that when it is a certain mud condition (basically slick like when you have soap on you) and the wind is blowing hard as it usually does in this particular area of DV. these aren't my photos google and you can find more info

http://www.flickr.com/photos/melastmohican/70768999/
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