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What to see on the way from Yosemite to Grand Canyon?

What to see on the way from Yosemite to Grand Canyon?

Old May 6th, 2003, 10:02 AM
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What to see on the way from Yosemite to Grand Canyon?

My parents are planning a trip out west this summer. Flying in to SF, driving down the CA coast, staying in Yosemite for a few nights, then on to the Grand Canyon, flying back from Las Vegas.

Mapquest times the trip from Yosemite to the Grand Canyon at about 10+ hours. Dad likes to drive, but that's too much for one day. We noticed that Death Valley and Mojave Preserve are on the way, so we thought they might want to break up the drive and spend a night seeing something around there. Anyone seen these places? Is it interesting for older people who can only walk a few miles or so? Anything else worth seeing on the way?

Thanks!
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Old May 6th, 2003, 11:12 AM
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m367
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First of all, how many days do your parents plan for this trip, and how far down the coast to they plan to travel. If "down the CA" coast is taking in Heart Castle, and from there going northeast to Yosemite - that is a long and boring drive across the central valley of CA.

Death Valley is 115+ in the shade (if you could find some) in the summer. It is very interesting, but again, it is a very hot and long drive from Yosemite-DV-LV. I'd say it depends on your parents' age and health.

Perhaps after leaving Yosemite by way of Tioga Pass, they might consider driving 2 1/2 hours to Lake Tahoe for a day or two. Zephyr Cove has a nice boat ride, the Dixie Queen, around the lake, there's beach to just sit and enjoy the view, etc. From there they could take Mt. Rose Hwy down to Reno. Then a 1 hour flight to Las Vegas (Southwest Airlines).

After reaching Las Vegas, they could decide if they wanted to drive to the south rim of Grand Canyon or possibly, the north. They could do a circle of Bryce, north rim of Grand Canyon, Zion and back to Las Vegas.
Enjoy the planning! I'm sure you will have many more questions.
 
Old May 6th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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I put Yosemite and Grand Canyon into my Microsoft Streets and Trip program and if they take Tioga Pass Hwy 120, Hwy 395, then I-40 it's 727 miles and my program says 13 hours going the speed limits.

Hwy 395 is a beautiful drive on the east side of the Sierra's and there is a lot to do in the area. They might look into this area for a hike and maybe spend the night at Lake Havasu City and see the London Bridge.

Death Valley is going to be SO HOT! I don't think they will be able to do any hiking there. One good thing about Death Valley, it's off season, so they should be able to get accommodations there if they want. Doing this route would be 720 miles and take a total of 16 hours.

They could also take a route through Nevada's Extraterristrial Hwy and Utah's Zion canyon that would be about 800 miles but take longer to drive.

Utahtea

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Old May 6th, 2003, 11:28 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I hadn't thought of the heat - that could be a problem. They're in their 50's, and not especially fit. That said, mom and dad just want to see the scenery and they're not the type to sit on a beach all day and hang out at tourist traps. Tahoe is a good suggestion, but I'm not sure they have the time. Right now the plan is one night in SF, one night in Monterey or Carmel, one night in Cambria, two nights in Fish Camp in Southeastern Yosemite, stopping somewhere on the way to GC, two nights in GC and then the last night near Vegas to catch their flight.

Yes, its is a lot of driving, but dad is strange that way - he's a very restless vacationer I've driven through cental CA from Yosemite to the coast - and I agree its a bit boring. But dad's never seen the area, and I know he'd get a kick out of all the ranches.
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Old May 6th, 2003, 12:31 PM
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Tioga Pass and Lake Tahoe will be beautiful then. After feeling how warm it can be in March, there's no way I'd go to Death Valley in the summer. Maybe they can make a special trip there one year in late winter.
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Old May 6th, 2003, 12:35 PM
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Jenny,

If they wanted to break the trip into two parts one place your dad might like to stay is Lone Pine. It's right near Mt. Whitney. That would give them a chance to look at Mono Lake after they come out of Yosemite.

I drove by a Best Western when I drove through there last fall. It looked cute, but I didn't stay there.

Staying in Lone pine would shave about 4 hours off the total drive time.
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Old May 6th, 2003, 01:27 PM
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In general, it's a long, hot, dull drive when taking the direct route from Fish Camp to GC.

I might think about leaving Yosemite via Tioga pass and staying somewhere on the east side of the Sierra (maybe Mammoth Lakes), then heading down to visit the Grand Canyon North Rim; if they are ambitious, they could try to fit in Zion as well. Note that lodging is pretty scarce around North Rim, though.
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Old May 6th, 2003, 04:34 PM
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m367
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BayArea had a good point about staying in Lone Pine.
It seems your parents plan to spend one day in Yosemite. First night in Fish Camp, next morning see the sights of Yosemite. Is that correct? Then instead of going back to Fish Camp, leave Yosemite Village about 5 p.m, and take Tioga Pass to 395 and stay in Mammoth Lakes (instead of Fish Camp) the 2nd night. Look around Mammoth Lakes, the Minerets, or even go down to the Devils Postpile, or head south to Lone Pine, about an hour and a half drive if you don't stop.

At Lone Pine - there's the road to Mt. Whitney Trailhead. The Visitor Center in Lone Pine can give you information regarding Death Valley and surrounding area.

Then head for Las Vegas through Death Valley the next day - probably 6 hours straight driving. It's going to be hot no matter where in the area -- just Death Valley is hotter. Furnace Creek has a restaurant, etc. Be sure you have plenty of gas and water. Looking at the landscape, makes you thirsty! That stretch is manageable. Then in Las Vegas they can get their bearings again!

In Lone Pine, The Alabama Hills Inn is a newer 2 story. The Frontier is also a Best Western, and has a newer and older section (from the looks of driving by).

Driving from Fish Camp around to Bakersfield, Mojave, Barstow to LV -- is also very hot, and not scenic.


 
Old May 6th, 2003, 04:43 PM
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Jennymarie,

DH and I are in our 50's and not in the best shape too. We also love to drive and consider it a big part of the adventure of the vacation.

Please, let us know which route your parents decide on....I'd be curious.

Utahtea
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Old May 6th, 2003, 05:01 PM
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Utahtea,

I'm curious about your mapping/driving program and it's estimated driving times. What speed limits are those based on. A flat 65?

Just curious.
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Old May 6th, 2003, 10:50 PM
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Thanks so much for the suggestions everyone - I really appreciate it. After reading this thread I have definitely ruled out Death Valley and Mojave - sounds like a long, hot, miserable detour. I really can't thank you enough for your advice - (and saving my parents vacation from certain disaster).

I think I'll rearrange their lodging at Yosemite so that they exit the park at Tioga Pass - that northern exit sounds much more convenient to various sights.

Thanks again!
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