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Las vegas to bishop

Australia
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Las vegas to bishop

Can we drive the quik way and avoid death valley? We are going in summer and are worried about the heat. Don't really want to go the long way via bakersfield if we can helpm it.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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1. Re: Las vegas to bishop

Sorry to disillusion you, but Death Valley IS the quik way. It's less than 500 km, not counting any sightseeing you may do. And there is no better sightseeing than Death Valley. I don't know where you live in Australia, but there are temperatures there that approach what DV has.

Bakersfield is not the way to get from Las Vegas to Bishop. It is all the way on the other side of the Sierra, hundreds of miles out of your way. Are you headed for Yosemite? If so, Death Valley and Bishop ARE your most scenic as well as most direct route.

To further disillusion you, the summer climate in Las Vegas is MUCH more uncomfortable than Death Valley. The reason is that it isn't a natural environment. They are both in the Mojave Desert, which is naturally arid most of the time. The exception is when thunderstorms are approaching. But Las Vegas has been built up with concrete, asphalt, steel, and glass that trap and reflect the heat. The naturally low humidity has been raised by irrigation for landscaping and golf courses, and by the ornamental fountains that evaporate enormous amounts of water. You've heard of the law of conservation of matter. Evaporated water doesn't just vanish; it becomes vapor and hangs in the air, making it more humid than God intended it to be. Add the crowds and congestion, noise, and pollution from vehicles, and you end up with a manmade hell in the summer. I seldom go there, but I feel so much better when I leave. The comfort level in DV is much higher.

OK, if you're still determined to skip DV and miss out on some of the grandest natural scenery anywhere in America, there is an alternative. It's actually a bit shorter than the DV route, 40-50 km, and it is scenic but nowhere near as varied and exciting as DV (in fact, Hwy 95 can feel monotonous to some people). You will still be bypassing DV close enough that you're going to experience hot weather. There isn't any getting around it in the summer. You would take Hwy 95 north, through Beatty, to Lida Junction (Nevada Hwy 267). Take Hwy 267 west; it becomes Hwy 168 when you cross into California. It goes to Big Pine, where you take Hwy 395 north to Bishop.

If you're coming all the way to California, you don't want to miss Death Valley. And if you can survive Las Vegas in the summer, Death Valley will be a "piece of cake" as we say in California.

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Bakersfield
Bakersfield
California
Bishop
Bishop
California
Sierra Lodge
Sierra Lodge
469 Reviews
Mammoth Lakes, CA
California
California
United States
Little Sutton...
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2. Re: Las vegas to bishop

Spot on from Frisco as usual,plenty of people drive Death Valley in the summer,the scenery is stunning,it would be criminal to miss it!

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Australia
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3. Re: Las vegas to bishop

Thanks for the great help so far. We are thinking of doing a big drive from Las Vegas to Yosemite. Would a good place to stop the night be Mammoth Lakes? Could we risk not booking accom on this route at the end of July?

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Little Sutton...
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4. Re: Las vegas to bishop

I managed to book a hotel at Mammoth Lakes about a week ago so,at the moment at least,it does appear that Mammoth is OK,I presume you have accomodation booked for Yosemite.

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Menlo Park...
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5. Re: Las vegas to bishop

I'm not a big fan of Mammoth Lake, too LA if you know what I mean. Plus it's at over 7000 feet elevation, a little hard to get used to quickly. Consider Bishop for overnight. It's set back from the mountains and offers great mountain views, possibly the best mountain viewing this country offers. And Bishop is around 4000 feet. I would imagine that Bishop is considerably cheaper to stay as well. Then in the morning the 3000 foot climb up to mammoth and then 3000 feet more to Tioga Pass

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Bishop
Bishop
California
las vegas
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6. Re: Las vegas to bishop

Perhaps since I'm from Las Vegas, I have a slightly different perspective from Frisco Roadrunner about Las Vegas in the summer, but it is undeniable that it is hot throughout our desert all through the summer. That is why I recommend the following route (which also happens to be the most direct and quickest route to Bishop):

http://tinyurl.com/kj43ew

This route will take you over beautiful mountains on quiet roads. You should take the detour to the bristlecone pine forest, where you can see the oldest trees on earth (add about an hour to your itinerary including a twenty minute drive each way to and from the visitor center, and twenty minutes for photo stops along the way and a short hike at the end). You will be at around 9,000 feet, so it will be much cooler:

www.fs.fed.us/r5/inyo/about/#bristlecone

As you descend from the bristlecone pine forest, you will rewarded with astounding views of the Sierras across on the other side of the Owens Valley, which will dip thousands of feet below you.

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Bishop
Bishop
California
Little Sutton...
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7. Re: Las vegas to bishop

kelev,that is the route I chose quite some years ago when doing the reverse journey,unfortunately just after leaving Bishop & turning East my Wife noticed the sign for Death Valley Road & as the mileage shown was less to Vegas insisited we went that way,a Mustang is not fun on that route!

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San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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8. Re: Las vegas to bishop

The route that Kelev gave you is the same as my alternative, from Lida Junction on Hwy 267 and 168.

It certainly is beautiful, and it will be cooler than Death Valley. But it ain't Death Valley.

Both of them are beautiful. Sometimes the choice isn't between good and bad, but good and good. Life is tough!

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Mission Viejo...
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9. Re: Las vegas to bishop

There are series of summer events in Mammoth such as Motocross, mountain bike championships, music festivals, etc. Weekends tend to get very busy and I'd reserve something in advance. Also be aware weekend bookings usually have a 2 or 3-night minimum. Sunday-Thursday night OTOH should not be a problem. Most rooms in MMH are rental condos with full kitchen and laundry facilities which may be helpful.

You can take the gondola to the top of the mountain, and Devil's Postpile is an interesting hike.

10. Re: Las vegas to bishop

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