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Las Vegas to San Fran, via Death Valley, Yosemite and back.

Hong Kong, China
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Las Vegas to San Fran, via Death Valley, Yosemite and back.


I am planning to do this trip on a big Harley in the first week of November, and I have seen lots of threads detailing the snow in Yosemite... so my ques are........

- Will this block my way?

- What is the best route down to san fran from yosemite?

- will I have time to nip into Napa valley for a glug and still get back to LV along west coast in 7 days? (seems like 15 miles round trip so doable?).



Washington State
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1. Re: Las Vegas to San Fran, via Death Valley, Yosemite and back.

Steve ~ Tioga Pass will close for the season sometime in mid-October to mid-November, depending on the snow fall. Here is the historical data: www.monobasinresearch.org/data/tiogapass.htm It is possible that the Pass will be open in the first week of November, but don't count on it. This is the Yosemite link for road closures: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

If Tioga Pass is closed, this will definitely block your way. Continue north to the Tahoe area to cross the Sierra Nevada.

You'll have to decide if it is worth it to you to travel south on Highway 49 (Gold Rush country) to get to Yosemite. The road & area are lovely and would be fun on a big bike (I think), but in poor weather, I don't know that I'd continue on to Yosemite. Your time might be better spend heading down from Tahoe to the Bay Area, stopping at Napa and then heading into San Francisco.

There are many threads on the Yosemite forum with directions and ideas for trips just like yours (well, most are done by car rather than Harley!)

Have fun planning your trip.

Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: Las Vegas to San Fran, via Death Valley, Yosemite and back.

I would not go clear up to Lake Tahoe and then south again to visit Yosemite. If Tioga Pass is closed, then get to Yosemite from Death Valley by going through Barstow, Bakersfield and Fresno and entering the park at the south entrance via Hwy 41.

If you want to stop by Napa on your way to San Francisco, take 120 out of the park and follow it to Hwy 5. Then go north to Hwy 12. When you reach Interstate 80 at Fairfield you have to go south on that for a short distance and then pick up Hwy 12 again, which will lead you into Hwy 29 and on into Napa.

The wineries are in the Napa Valley, north of the city of Napa, but when in the city of Napa you are less than an hour from the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you won't have time for the Napa detour, then when you get to I5 go south 2 miles and get on 205 which leads you to 580. You will be coming into San Francisco over the Bay Bridge from Oakland.

It sounds like fun, but a Harley in November? Brrrr....stay warm. :~)

How much time do you have? If you meant you have 7 days for the round trip from LV and back that is cutting it pretty close if you intend to see anything of Yosemite. But good luck.

Topanga, California
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3. Re: Las Vegas to San Fran, via Death Valley, Yosemite and back.

I'd forget Yosemite in November on a motorcycle. If it Tioga Pass is open, it's likely to be bitterly cold.

Here's how I'd go from SF to LV on a H-D, and I've ridden all these roads:

I-280 south of of SF.

CA SR 35 south to CA SR 9 south to Santa Cruz. This is a must-not-miss classic motorcycling route.

Pick up CA SR 1 (the famous Cabrillo Highway) and take it south through Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur to Cambria. Again, this is a must-ride classic.

Take CA SR 46 east to US 101 south to CA SR 58 east. Both 46 and 58 (until you get to CA SR 33) are incredible on a motorcycle.

Just past Bakersfield on CA SR 58, take CA SR 184 north a short bit to CA SR 178 east.

CA SR 178 is epic! It will take you through the mountains (check the weather) then into the desert, going through the weirdness that is Trona.

Then left on Panamint Valley Road, and right on CA SR 190 which will take you into Death Valley NP (and eventually co-mingles with CA SR 178).

At Furnace Creek, take CA SR 178 south, through Shoshone to the Nevada border, where it becomes NV SR 372. In Parumph, turn right on NV SR 160 and you can figure out how to get to LV from there.

How long will this take? Well, it depends on how often you stop and how long you like to ride.

Check this all out on GoogleMaps. Again, if you're doing this on a bike, this is the route.

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Las Vegas to San Fran, via Death Valley, Yosemite and back.

You are doing it the other way around but Bu has given you a fantastic route I also highly can recommend. But you miss Yosemite. If you want to include Yosemite I suggest to take the route from Bakersfield up north to Yosemite and if you want to include the coastal stretch, drive from Yosemite to Cambria (app. 5 hours) and up the coast to San Francisco. Will be a lot of driving...One thing I would alter on your drive between Las Vegas and Death Valley. Drive to Pahrump and take State Line road to Death Valley junction. Visit Dante's View first, drive to Zabriskie Point, south on 178 to Devils Golf Course and Badwater. Return Furnace Creek via Artist Drive and stay for the night in either Furnace Creek or Stovepipe Wells. Next day via Panamint, Trona, Ridgecrest and along very scenic 178 to Bakersfield.


5. Re: Las Vegas to San Fran, via Death Valley, Yosemite and back.

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