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Can somebody help plan my route??

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Can somebody help plan my route??


I'm planning a trip to California starting on the 3rd Feb 09

We're flying to LA then travelling the costal route and finally ending up in Las Vegas on the 13th Feb 09 for our wedding at the Bellagio.

During the trip i want to include:


Santa Barbara

Big Sur



Death Vally

San Francisco

Lake Tahoe

Las Vegas

I was wondering the best route to include all of these places and also driving time between them.

I would also love to hear any reccomendations for stop overs between them?

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Can somebody help plan my route??

Congrats Christy and welcome to the forum.

Keep an eye on snowy conditions in Yosemite NP and you can't drive the shortest route to Death Valley/Las Vegas from there because Tioga Pass between Yosemite and us395 will be closed.

Maybe you could follow this route:

2/3: Drive from LA via Santa Barbara to Cambria.

2/4: Visit to Hearst Castle, drive along hw1 to Big Sur, Point Lobos SR, Carmel and Monterey to San Francisco

2/5: San Francisco

2/6: San Francisco

2/7: San Francisco-Yosemite

2/8: Yosemite

2/9: Yosemite-Bakersfield-Ridgecrest (around the southern Sierras)

2/10: Ridgecrest-Death Valley NP

2/11: Death Valley NP

2/12: Death Valley-Las Vegas

2/13: Wedding

I would visit Lake Tahoe on another occasion. It's a detour and you might encounter lots of snow.

If your wedding is after 2/13 you'll have another day left. Maybe take that extra day for the drive between LA and SF or spend it in Yosemite NP. Or an extra day in Los Angeles of course.


Berkeley, California
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2. Re: Can somebody help plan my route??

Because you will be here in February, visiting Lake Tahoe *and* Yosemite will be a challenge due to your time frame and snow-related seasonal road closures.

I would modify the above itinerary to subtract a day out of Death Valley and add an overnight in Carmel/Monterey. As a result, you should modify the location of your first overnight. Thus, you end up with this:

2/3: Drive from LA to Santa Barbara.

2/4: Drive from Santa Barbara to Cambria via Solvang and San Luis Obispo.

2/5: Drive from Cambria to Carmel/Monterey via Hearst Castle and Big Sur.

2/6: Drive from Carmel/Monterey to San Francisco via Santa Cruz.

2/7: San Francisco

2/8: Drive from San Francisco to Yosemite.

2/9: Yosemite

2/10: Drive from Yosemite to Ridgecrest around the west/south side of the Sierras. You will not be able to cross through Yosemite and travel down the Eastern Sierras--as anyone would normally recommend--due to road closures.

2/11: Drive from Ridgecrest to Death Valley NP via Lone Pine or another route, as described in the Death Valley section of Trip Advisor.

2/12: Drive from Death Valley NP to Las Vegas.

2/13: Wedding

In most instances, you will want to get your driving started in the morning so you can catch the sights along the way and have daylight time to spend at your destination. The only exceptions would be leaving Cambria, where you would want to leave in the morning but schedule a tour in Hearst Castle before heading too far out of town, and Ridgecrest, where there is nothing to see/do in town and you should just plan on making a full day of your drive.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Can somebody help plan my route??

Keep in mind that some roads will be closed in February on the way from SF to Vegas via Yosemite and Death Valley, like the Tioga Pass. So you'll have to work around it. Also, make sure you're ok driving in snow as you'll likely experience in Tahoe and Yosemite.

Otherwise, your route is easy. Go north from LA to SF along the coast, then to Yosemite, and then Death Valley on the way to Vegas.



Big Sur





Death Valley


Take a look at the map at www.mapquest.com which will map out the distances. Make sure to map the coastal road from LA to SF since it's longer than the inland route.

For stopovers, you need to stop at every one of the places mentioned above.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Can somebody help plan my route??

By the way, do those 10 days include time in all of these places? In that case, you're trying to do way too much and will spend all your time in the car. 10 days is really only enough for LA, coastal drive, and SF.

5. Re: Can somebody help plan my route??

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