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Driving Las Vegas to San Francisco

Gold Coast Qld
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Driving Las Vegas to San Francisco

We are in Las Vegas in December and are considering driving to San Francisco via death valley and Yosemite. Being winter we are wondering will there be road closures and will we need snow chains???? What would be the best towns for staying the night along the way to break the trip up?

Also how long would the trip take???



Lewes, United...
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1. Re: Driving Las Vegas to San Francisco


Welcome to the Road Trips forum.

Just a quick response: Firstly you will not be able to drive from Death Valley to Yosemite NP via the Tioga Road in December as the Tioga Pass will be closed. Thus the only way to get from DVNP to YNP would be the slightly longer route, looping south via Bakersfield, etc. Secondly, while in certain conditions snow chains are mandated for access to certain roads in winter in Yosemite, few rental companies allow you to fit them to their cars, and you will have to pay for any damage caused by chains you use to the rental car, if you opt to ignore this.

For further info on winter access, conditions, shuttles, etc on Yosemite (which is worth visiting in winter) have a look on the Yosemite park forum, but perhaps PNWF may add a comment to this topic too.

Separately, please let us have a bit more info about your December trip like actual dates, how long you have for the drive and how long you want in Vegas and SF, and what you want to see/do so we can offer more suggestions.


Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Driving Las Vegas to San Francisco

Good morning!

Definitely check out the Top Questions on the right side of the Yosemite NP forum page. There are winter driving tips including the lowest elevation entry route, renting a 4WD or AWD car in addition to using tire chains, and itinerary suggestions for a winter visit.

I think a reasonable visit might be a night or two in Death Valley, maybe a night outside Yosemite, and another night inside Yosemite (probably in Yosemite Valley.) It sounds like you think the LV->SF drive might be done with just one overnight, but that isn't practical in winter. (It's feasible but not practical.)

If winter driving and a long trip doesn't appeal to you, consider taking a day trip to Death Valley NP from Las Vegas during your visit and then flying from LAS to SFO. Transfer to SF for your visit. Then take an overnight tour to Yosemite, take public transportation, or rent a car. (Yosemite Valley is about 4 hrs to drive from SF.) Info about visiting Yosemite from SF is on the SF forum page.

www.SunriseSunset.com will help determining the limited hours of daylight

3. Re: Driving Las Vegas to San Francisco

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