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mjd1964 Apr 15th, 2012 06:13 AM

Travelling from Las Vegas to Yosemite
I'm planning a family touring trip this July / August and our itinerary (at the moment) takes us from Vegas with next stop Yosemite. I see that we need approx 8 hrs for this however is it advisable to cross Death Valley in one hit? We'd obviously leave Vegas very early but just wanted to get some ideas from anyone who has taken this route. We're travelling from the UK and are used to long drives across Europe but not so used to the desert!

tomfuller Apr 15th, 2012 06:55 AM

If you wanted to avoid driving through Death Valley, you could go by way of Oasis CA over to Big Pine (US 395) then going north to stay at Mammoth Lakes.
You might even take a minor detour to see the ancient Bristlecone Pines.

Placename Apr 15th, 2012 09:15 AM

I would say it's more than 8 hours to the Valley Floor. You are traveling through some of the most beautiful scenery in the US and you will want to allow time to stop. Especially in the Tuolumne Meadows area of the park, just after you enter via Tioga Pass.

I think it's worth giving yourself a better trip by staying overnight along the route- someplace like Bishop or Mammoth. That would also allow you to stop in at least the Death Valley Visitor Center. Death Valley is an amazing place and it would be a shame not to get to learn something about it.

mjd1964 Apr 15th, 2012 09:19 AM

Thank you for that Tom. We'd like to try to make the journey in 1 day if we can as we have some nice accommodation lined up and the kids are keen to get there. I'm just looking for some 'local knowledge' to assess whether that journey is practical. Would you advise Vegas to Yosemite in a day as a sensible option?

tomfuller Apr 15th, 2012 10:05 AM

It depends a little on how much time you are spending in Las Vegas. If you leave LV very early in the morning, you will have a good drive through the desert in the dark before getting into Death Valley.
We have been to Yosemite. We have been to Death Valley from LV.
We have driven all the way north on US 395 from Adelanto CA to north of Lakeview Oregon. We have never considered driving from LV to Yosemite in a single day. Driving through Death Valley or Oasis sure beats the alternative of driving through Barstow and Bakersfield.
I would not be in favor of driving over the Tioga Pass at sunset in any case.
Where are you going after Yosemite? Are you returning your rental car in LV? Many of the rental car companies do not like one way rentals.

mjd1964 Apr 15th, 2012 03:29 PM

Thanks again Tom,
Basically we're doing a 3 week round trip from San Fancisco to LA --> Palm Springs--> G Canyon / Vegas --> Yosemite --> Lake Tahoe and back to San Francisco. Most of the the travel days are quite civilised but I do remember doing this trip as a kid and remember the warning signs about travelling Death Valley during the day.
Thanks again for your advice

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