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-   -   Las Vegas to San Diego up tp San Fran and back to Vegas!!!! (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/las-vegas-to-san-diego-up-tp-san-fran-and-back-to-vegas-925291/)

merrymaid582013 Feb 25th, 2012 08:31 AM

Las Vegas to San Diego up tp San Fran and back to Vegas!!!!
 
We're an east coast couple here planning an end of March 2013 16 day trip starting in Vegas and want to encompass Death Valley, Yosemite, and the California coast San Diego to San Fran back to Vegas. Best route? Thanks!!'

Tomsd Feb 25th, 2012 10:00 AM

You can drive from Vegas through Death Valley to the eastern approach/Tioga Pass into Yosemite, about an 8? plus hour trip if you are pushing through. From there - it's about 4 hours to San Francisco - and then a pleasant few days driving down the Coast (see other posts in here) to LA/San Diego.

Tomsd Feb 25th, 2012 10:00 AM

Oh yes, SD back to Vegas is about 5 hours.

Tomsd Feb 25th, 2012 10:02 AM

And here is a fairly good blog about driving from Vegas to Yo, etc. http://www.hotelcharlotte.com/lasvegas.html

tomfuller Feb 25th, 2012 11:13 AM

In March of any year it is unlikely that you can drive Tioga Pass to the east from Yosemite Valley.
If you fly to Las Vegas and rent a car to see Death Valley and other local attractions, think about flying to Fresno or Monterey on Allegiant. http://www.allegiantair.com/
Driving from Las Vegas to Yosemite by way of Bakersfield and then having to return the car to LV is not fun.
I have rented a car at the Fresno airport to go see Yosemite.

janisj Feb 25th, 2012 11:14 AM

"<i>You can drive from Vegas through Death Valley to the eastern approach/Tioga Pass into Yosemite, about an 8? plus hour trip if you are pushing through.</i>"

Actually -- in March one <u>cannot</u> normally do that. Tioga Pass seldom opens until late May, and often not til June. This year is a huge exception.

Unfortunately, no matter how you slice it, if you want to start/end in Vegas, you will have a Gawd awful (REALLY awful) drive from Death Valley through Bakersfield and around to Yosemite from the west. It is basically an all day drive - like 10 hours. The 8 hour drive Tomsd suggests is gorgeous, unfortunately almost certainly not doable in March. The difference between that and the 10 hour drive you can take - it isn't gorgeous -- it is mostly ugly as sin.

Car drop off fees can be high, but I'd still consider a one way rental and not do a loop itinerary. Fly into either SF or LV and fly home from the other. At that time of year, it is MUCH easier to reach Yosemite from the west (either from Monetery or SF)

ansh Feb 25th, 2012 12:29 PM

We did similar trip in 2011...and we saw snow in yosemite in mid-JUNE!!! Yes, it was an exceptional case, but as other ppl said, tioga pass road would be closed in March for sure.
Even as you go north of cambrai on PCH-1, you will feel the cold in March. (may be someone local can advice better on this.)
But one thing is sure, PCH-1 and yosemite are really beautiful places to visit - in summer ;-)
(We did Vegas-Zion-Page, AZ-Grand canyon-Vegas loop and then fly to LA for LA-Cambrai-Monterey-Merced-Yosemite-sequoia national park-LA loop.)

janisj Feb 25th, 2012 04:23 PM

"<i>we saw snow in yosemite in mid-JUNE!!! Yes, it was an exceptional case,</i>"

Not that exceptional at all really . . .

But snow or no snow, March is a GREAT time to visit Yosemite <u>Valley</u>, just not the high country/Tioga Pass.

here is one of my trip reports about a March visit to YNPhttp://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/yosemite-and-hwy-49-short-getaway.cfm

Tomsd Feb 25th, 2012 04:59 PM

This - repeat - "This" year has been a very light snowfall - so they might have Tioga pass open earlier than usual. If not - suggest you drive from Vegas to LA - take a north turn at Baker (about 100 miles from Vegas) to see some of Death Valley - and then back to the 10 is it - onto LA for your Southern Cal Portion. Here's some info: http://www.vegas.com/traveltips/ladrivetips.html

From there, drive up the Coast to SF - and turn in your rental car there when finished using it - and fly the leg back to Vegas, via Southwest or some low cost carrier.

Tomsd Feb 25th, 2012 05:00 PM

BTW - I think Death Valley is way over-rated. Mainly just some scorched rock, but some find a certain beauty in that.

janisj Feb 25th, 2012 05:09 PM

Tom: They are talking about <u>next</u> year, 2013.

They can bet the farm the road won't be open. Maybe a 1% or 2% chance . . . at best.

Tomsd Feb 25th, 2012 05:28 PM

OOPS - it is for 2013? Holy Cow - that far ahead - but I still stand corrected. Assuming "normal" snowfall next year -agree with you - Tioga pass will not open till later in the year.

So - I would go as I later suggested - from Vegas to LA (bagging Death Valley unless it's an absolute must see) - or even into San Diego (5 hrs from Vegas) - and then work your wayup the Coast. In SF - you can decide if you want to see Yo (which I heartily recommend) - which is easy to get to from SF (4 hrs) - and from there - decide to either drive the long way back to Vegas - via the southern route - thru Bakersfield - or go back to SF and catch a hop to Vegas. :)

Fair enough?

merrymaid582013 Feb 26th, 2012 04:08 AM

Wow am I glad I tossed this question out there! Thanks to all....


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