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HELP!! Best route Yosemite to Las Vegas Via Death Valley.

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HELP!! Best route Yosemite to Las Vegas Via Death Valley.

Hi There

My Husband and I are coming to the states end of May starting in San Fran for 2 nights, then Monterey for 1 night, Yosemite for 2 nights, Las Vegas for 1 night, Grand Canyon for 2 nights and Bryce 1 night and flying out of Phoenix.

I know that this is a LOT of driving in a short amount of time but work commitments prevent us from staying longer and as this may be our only opportunity of visiting we want to fit as much in as poss! Sorry for the waffle!

Please can you tell me what is the best route to take from Yosemite through Death Valley to Vegas? We can leave as early as poss that morning to make the most of it? I was thinking of skipping Vegas alltogether and staying one night near Death Valley but then we would have a huge trek to get to Grand Canyon. We would still like to go through Death Valley taking the most scenic route if possible.

Is this itinerary doable or is it ludicrous?? Arggghhh help me!

Thank you

Hannah UK

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: HELP!! Best route Yosemite to Las Vegas Via Death Valley.

Hannah

The biggest issue is that Tioga Pass is closed in winter. Here is a list of historic opening dates: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tiogaopen.htm You could be lucky and the road will be plowed and clear at the conclusion of your Yosemite visit at the "end of May" or unlucky and have to go the long way down to Fresno and travel Highway 99 south. Take a look at Google Maps to get an idea of routes, but ignore the driving times unless you want a speeding ticket.

Do you already have reservations? Our Memorial Day holiday is May 25th, and all these destinations are popular in the late spring.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: HELP!! Best route Yosemite to Las Vegas Via Death Valley.

Sounds like the sort of driving I do!

Seriously, from Yosemite Valley, take CA120 over Tioga Pass, south on US 395 (passing Devil's Postpile National Monument and Manzanar National Historic site) to CA190, east through Death Valley to Death Valley Junction (passing the Sand Dunes,Devil's Cornfield, Stovepipe Wells, Salt Creek, Borax works, Furnace Creek, Zabriske Point and 20 Mule Team Drive), a quick right then left to Stateline Road/Bell Vista (changes names at the CA/NV border), right when you get to Pahrump and into Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is two hours from Furnace Creek. I'd take the night at Furnace Creek Ranch over Pahrump (the Best Western in Pahrump if you stay there) or the sensory overload known as Las Vegas!

From GC to Bryce, are you taking the eastern route or backtracking through LV? Either way, it would be easy to do a quick stop in Zion NP, as hwy 89 intersects with UT9 (the road through Zion). If Vegas, get to Bryce through Zion. If 89 on the east side of that big hole in the ground, take the 89A cutoff instead of driving through Page; it's a more scenic route and you still end up in Kanab.

Since you are headed toward Phoenix, I'd suggest backtracking through LV to get to Bryce and do 89A on the way to Phoenix.

With the national park sites you will be visiting/driving through, you might want to consider purchasing an interagency pass.

Food ... the Whoa Nelli Deli in Lee Vining, Schatt's Bakery in Bishop and the 49er Cafe in Death Valley.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: HELP!! Best route Yosemite to Las Vegas Via Death Valley.

Oops! In case Tioga is closed, Hwy58 outside of Bakerfield would be the only other route that could put you through Death Valley. When you get to 395, go north through Ridgecrest/Trona or up to 190. The other directions would remain the same.

UK
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4. Re: HELP!! Best route Yosemite to Las Vegas Via Death Valley.

Thanks for your posts guys, invaluable information!!

We fly to SFO on May 31st and fly out of Phoenix on June 9th. Thanks for the tips on Tioga pass, fingers crossed it will be clear by the time we get there which will be June 5th.

Got most reservations booked now apart from the Vegas one, thanks for the heads up on Furnace Creek will check that one out. How far would it be to drive from Furnace to Grand Canyon? Got 2 nights booked in a place outside the North Rim so hoping to so some great hiking!

Not sure which route we will take to get to Bryce. But would like to visit Zion if time allows.

Thanks again

Hannah

P.S Do you think it's worth visiting Hoover Dam?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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5. Re: HELP!! Best route Yosemite to Las Vegas Via Death Valley.

Let me do some checking on drive times, but to get to Grand Canyon south rim, you'd be driving over Hoover Dam anyway. A quick stop at the visitor center wouldn't be a problem.

I do know that it is two hours from Furnace Creek to Las Vegas, driving through Pahrump.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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6. Re: HELP!! Best route Yosemite to Las Vegas Via Death Valley.

Here's the best route for you to see everything you'd like ...

Yosemite to Death Valley is the same. From Death Valley, it's 6 3/4 hours to Bryce Canyon via Zion Canyon (370 miles). From Bryce Canyon to Grand Canyon it's 5 1/2 hours (285 miles) via the more scenic 89A route. From Grand Canyon to Phoenix is just a few hours; down to Williams, east on I-40 to Flagstaff and south (I believe I-17)into Phoenix.

By switching Grand Canyon and Bryce around, you'll be saving a day and a half driving (hundreds of miles) and won't have to backtrack.

UK
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7. Re: HELP!! Best route Yosemite to Las Vegas Via Death Valley.

Yeah I take your point about doing Bryce first, we have just been working out the mileage and thought oooops!!

We had originally booked to stay at Jacob Lake Inn which is 45 mins from the North rim, however I've just read that it can be inaccesible sometimes even in June so I'm now thinking should we be booking to go South rim instead? My main reason booking North was that its a lot quieter than the busy South Rim. But then if we were to go South rim it would probably rule out Bryce and Zion.............my head hurts now and I can't sleep!

8. Re: HELP!! Best route Yosemite to Las Vegas Via Death Valley.

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