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September Driving Holiday from Los Angeles to Yosemite to Las Vegas

September Driving Holiday from Los Angeles to Yosemite to Las Vegas

Old May 31st, 2014, 10:10 PM
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September Driving Holiday from Los Angeles to Yosemite to Las Vegas

Hello from South Australia!
We are planning a driving holiday in September, and would really appreciate any help we can get. We'd really like to take the most scenic route possible. We are starting in Los Angeles and heading towards Yosemite. From Yosemite we will be travelling to Las Vegas and then back to Los Angeles. We've been to the States before, but it will be our first time driving. Ive done a bit of research, and not sure whether to take the highway 1 and 101 up the coast or whether to go via highway 99 through Bakersfield and Fresno. From Yosemite to Las Vegas, I've heard that the Alpine region via highway 395, 6 and 95 through Bishop and Tonopah is the best way to go. As September is cooler weather, will these Routes be passable?
From Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Ive heard that the quickest way to get back is via highway 15, but apparently much of it is desert and there's not much to see, is there an alternate route to 15?
Thanks in advance for your help
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 03:39 AM
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I would recommend you go up the beautiful California Coast and overnight at say Cambria (4 hours driving from LA) - and then another night at Carmel/Monterrey passing through the super scenic Big Sur area en-route - and from there head over to Yosemite.

Once you leave the eastern end of Yosemite - through Tuoloumne Meadows and down the Tioga pass - the Sierras on your left (West of 395) are scenic - but in Sep - will have lost much of their snowpack over the summer - and usually there are not early snowstorms in Sep.

Once you have headed east from 395 toward Death Valley - it's mostly scorched rock until you get to Vegas.

Coming back - not much of an alternative to the straightest line/route to LA - and while it's not unusually scenic for the four hour drive - you are still seeing new territory.

Have fun.
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 05:01 AM
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Thanks Tomsd!
Im flexible with the travel month, would you suggest mixing aug/sep or sep/oct? Cambria and Monterey sound like a great idea
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 08:44 AM
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Sept/Oct would be better. Milder weather and kids are back in school. I agree with the above. Travel up the coast and spend time in Cambria. Drive up Hwy. 1 thru Big Sur to Carmel/Pacific Grove/ Monterey. You could then drive up to SF, or not. From there head to Yosemite, or if you have time, spend a few days before heading to Yosemite.
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 08:55 AM
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For a better view of the Mojave Desert, turn off Interstate 15 at exit 272 and go south through the Shadow Valley through Cima and Kelso and come out on Interstate 10.
There are plenty of Joshua Trees to see without going to Joshua Tree National Park.
Baker and Barstow are not places you want to visit.
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 09:06 AM
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These are great suggestions.

In addition, you may enjoy visiting one of our best preserved ghost towns, just north of Mono Lake: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=509

Also, the Valley of Fire and Zion National Park are both worth a visit. They are 50 and 150 miles from Las Vegas, respectively.

HTtY
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 09:38 AM
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>> Ive heard that the quickest way to get back is via highway 15, but apparently much of it is desert and there's not much to see, is there an alternate route to 15?everything between LV and LA is desert

I would not detour anywhere really -- just get through the desert as quickly as you can. September will be very hot in the desert (I know you are from Oz and are used to hot -- but September in the Mohave Desert can be hellish)

If you are doing this as late as October though - then maybe Joshua Tree would be a good detour.

Up the coast as far as Carmel/Monterey, then to Yosemite, then over the Sierra and down 395, to LV and finally back to LA would be a wonderful trip. You definitely want to avoid the Fresno/Bakersfield route -- not nice at all.

Book your Yosemite Valley accommodations first (like ASAP) and then build the rest of your itinerary around those dates. If you can't get into Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, then book Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal and then keep trying for a cancellation at Yosemite Lodge.
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 12:11 PM
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Sep/Oct are great, as mentioned kids are back in school and prices drop. Agree with the suggestions for stops along the coast. You'll want a night along 395 as well, Lone Pine is nice. Too far to drive from Yosemite to Las Vegas and enjoy yourself.
Look into renting from rentalcars.com, they are a parent company to traveljigsaw and will include all the insurance you need and can often waive oneway dropoff fees. They only rent from the major car companies. Avoid Dollar at LAX too many horror stories.
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 12:26 PM
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re rentalcars.com -- jamie99 is right. Our overseas visitors get terrific deals -- including insurance, and no one way drop off fees (Though it sounds like you are collecting the car and dropping it off at LAX so that may not be an issue).
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 12:28 PM
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re rentalcars.com -- jamie99 is right. Our overseas visitors get terrific deals -- including insurance, and no one way drop off fees (Though it sounds like you are collecting the car and dropping it off at LAX so that may not be an issue).
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 12:31 PM
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sorry for the double post . . . .
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 11:13 PM
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Thank you so much for your suggestions. They really are going to be a great help in planning our holiday. Much appreciated.
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