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Yosemite to Salt Lake City

Melbourne, Australia
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Yosemite to Salt Lake City

I am from Australia and this September I have hired a motor home with my wife, her parents and our four kids. I would like to know the best way to get from Yosemite to Salt Lake City where we might get to see a ghost town. I would like to stop overnight within four hours of Salt Lake City as we need to surprise my sister of our visit before 12:00 noon. I saw the Basin National Park and thought that could be a nice place to stay.

Redding, California
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1. Re: Yosemite to Salt Lake City

You might want to post this in the Road Trips forum.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Yosemite to Salt Lake City

Definitely the multi-state Road Trips forum: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri…

When you're ready to ask about camping in Yosemite (you'll need two campsites with so many people), this is the right forum to ask. Camping ideas on the right in the Top Questions. You MUST have campsite reservations.

Seattle
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: Yosemite to Salt Lake City

We do the drive from Yosemite to SLc in one day, but have thought about a stop to see Great Basin NP. There are five campgrounds in the park, none with hookups for the Rv. Campsites will accommodate 8.

www.nps.gov/grba/planyourvisit/camping.htm

Or you could try the Whispering Elms RV Park, which gets good reviews here on Tripadvisor.

As for ghost towns, Bodie north of Lee vining is one of the best! but I don't know about RV travel on the rough road in. If it is allowed, a stop here will add several (3-4) hours to your day's drive, so might be difficult to fit in.

Henderson, Nevada
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4. Re: Yosemite to Salt Lake City

You can leave Yosemite, over Tioga Pass (Hwy 120) to Lee Vining, visit Mono Lake.

You can try to squeese in Bodie, but may not have time.

From Lee Vining you have a couple routes...

If you skip Bodie, from Mono Lake (and Lee Vining and gas) head a few miles south on 395 to Hwy 120 east... It will take you along the south side of the lake, through a high desert yellow pine forest. eventually passing through the semi abandoned Benton Springs meeting Hwy 6 at Benton (sometimes called Benton Station (again, gas) You head north on Hwy 6 climbing out of the Owens Valley and slipping into Nevada at Montgomery Pass... You reach the Jct of Hwy 95 and Hwy 6, and continue north (right turn at the Jct) on 6 north to Tonopah... (gas) Tonopah is still ocupied, but is something of a ghost town... the mining museum is very nice (the entrance is a block behind the Mitzpah Hotel

At the top of the hill Hwy 95 continues while Hwy 6 turns left towards Ely... It is 186 miles from Tonopah to Ely without services... Ely is a still active copper mining town, with a particularly spectaular historic railroad, the Nevada Northern. Great Basin is about an hour beyond Ely...

Great Basin is a very interesting National Park... all about elevation change and the different plants and animals found as you climb... It is surprisingly green...

The second route to Big Basin would be north from Lee Vining (towards Bodie) then east to Hawthorn Nevada. At Hawthorn (gas) you have to either head north or south on Hwy 95... South an hour to the Jct with Hwy 6, then east on 6 to Tonopah, or North on 95 heading east on Hwy 50 (called the Loneliest Road, but anyone who knows Nevada knows that Hwy 6 is the real loneliest road) There is gas on this route at Hawthorn, Shirtz, Fallon, Austin (ghost town) and Eureka... before reaching Ely. This road follows the route of the Pony Express

According to Google it is 300 miles/5 hours from Lee Vining to Ely via Hwy 120 and Hwy 6, it is 333 miles and 5.5 hours via Hawthorn and Tonopah, and 388 and 6.25 hours via Hwy 50....

Randy

Hwy 50 rou

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Tioga Pass
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Lee Vining
Lee Vining
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Nevada
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Uden, The...
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5. Re: Yosemite to Salt Lake City

In the route Randy described there's a ghosttown on the way at Warm Springs. For other ghosttowns you'll have to wander off the main hw and Tonopah is not a ghosttown. THink you'll have a huge RV with 8 people travelling with you and for 300 miles you'll better count on 6-7 hours driving time between Lee Vining and Ely plus the time you'll need for slow Tioga pass from Yosemite. You also won't be driving fast on the rollercoaster stretch between lee Vining and Benton. Bodie is an excellent destination but 3 miles to it will be on a dirtroad and can be rough.

Tet

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Lee Vining
Lee Vining
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Henderson, Nevada
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6. Re: Yosemite to Salt Lake City

I wouldn't call warm springs a ghost town... its a one time road house with outbuildings... Abandoned road houses can be an problem if traveling with children... many are a one time place of an organized sex as business community...

Tonopah is close to a ghost town... once home to 10,000 plus, now 2,000 sometimes more... ghosts of the mines on the hills about... I spend some time in the rural western deserts... and am a historian of such... Tonopah speaks to me more than many publicized "ghost towns"

Randy Hees

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7. Re: Yosemite to Salt Lake City

Tonopah is not a ghost town. It is a town and a county seat, maybe the 2nd biggest thing on Hwy 95 between Fallon and Las Vegas (I think Hawthorne may be bigger, but Tonopah is more interesting). It was a silver mining settlement of the early 20th c. and you can see a lot of mining mills and headframes as you travel around town. There are two good historical museums, the one Randy mentioned and a regional history museum. The main drag is Hwy 95, but it has the feel of an old mining town.

One of Nevada's best preserved ghost towns is north of there. Belmont is a true ghost with dozens of old buildings: a fine courthouse, homes, stores, a church, one of the stateliest brick ore smelters I've ever seen, and more. The road is partly unpaved but good for any vehicle, but it's almost 50 miles from Tonopah.

Another almost ghost, Goldfield, is 30 miles south of Tonopah, right on 95. It is also a county seat, but it has only a couple hundred residents and dozens of old deserted buildings. I hope the high school is still standing; there was a fundraising campaign a few years ago to preserve it. The Goldfield Hotel is abandoned, but in the early 20th century it and the Mizpah in Tonopah were considered the finest lodgings between St. Louis and San Francisco. You could spend an hour or two wandering around Goldfield looking at the old buildings and a collection of old railroad artifacts (IIRC that is on 5th Street). There is even a bottle house (one with walls made of bottles laid down in mud, like the one in Rhyolite). The car-chase movie "Vanishing Point" with Barry Newman was filmed partly in Goldfield and Cleavon Little's character, the blind DJ, had his studio in the hotel.

Warm Springs is the ruins of a former hot springs resort. A few old stone foundations remain, and IIRC an old café and gas station building. I think derelicts have squatted there at various times, so heed Randy's advice in post #6. There’s no telling what paraphernalia you might find. This is the junction with NV Hwy 375, the Extraterrestrial Highway.

Around Ely, as Randy mentioned, the main ore was copper. Ely is an active town, as Tonopah is, but nearby are Ruth and McGill, once thriving towns that are not very lively now. Copper is not a glamorous metal, and a copper mining ghost town isn't a glamorous place. If you are expecting a cozy, spruced-up village like many California Mother Lode towns, these towns will fall short. I knew a couple who grew up in McGill because both their dads worked in the mines, and after they were married they escaped to clean and wholesome Bountiful UT, which is the exact antithesis of life in a bare-bones, grubby copper mining town. Ruth is the setting for the Stephen King horror novel "Desperation," the name of a fictitious town with a sheriff who is possessed by a demon that was released by mining excavations.

If you stay on Hwy 6 into Utah past the town of Delta, you have the choice of taking a state highway to Nephi ("nee-fie") or continuing north on 6 to a mining ghost town called Eureka. I usually go through Nephi because I have dear friends there. But either way eventually gets you to I-15. The Eureka route is a few miles shorter but takes more time because you're on rural roads longer, plus the time you spend seeing the mining ruins.

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Hawthorne
Hawthorne
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San Francisco
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Utah
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Uden, The...
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8. Re: Yosemite to Salt Lake City

All very interesting places but from Yosemite Valley to Salt Lake city already will take 2 days of driving with a big RV so I don't see how you can be in SLC by noon if you want to divert off the main road.

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Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Valley
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Yosemite National Park, CA
San Francisco
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9. Re: Yosemite to Salt Lake City

Quite true, Tet.

This is one of the “minuses” of a whirlwind 2-week California Grand Tour. Among the approximately 250 countries of the world, California would rank about 60th in size.

Everyone wants to see San Francisco, Napa, Monterey, Los Angeles, Disneyland, Death Valley, and Yosemite, with a quick nip over to Las Vegas and an aerial tour over the Grand Canyon. Yes, they’ll SEE them, but that is about all; enjoying, experiencing, and appreciating them is another matter. Then it’s back home to total collapse for three days!

We could simply give every inquirer the bare minimum info they ask for, but as TAs, we also have a duty to suggest alternatives that may enhance their trip. It’s up to people to decide if they have the time or interest to follow them. But if I were traveling halfway around the world to places I’d never seen, I would hope to have at least some flexibility, not every sightseeing stop, meal, or potty break planned down to the minute, so I could do things spontaneously or follow suggestions given by people who know the areas better than I do.

I hope Kendo and family have a great trip, no matter what they eventually decide to see or do. While a motor home does put some limitations on where you can go, between Yosemite and Salt Lake is beautiful natural territory with gorgeous scenery and lots of sights and activities to choose from.

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Oregon Coast
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10. Re: Yosemite to Salt Lake City

>>but as TAs, we also have a duty to suggest alternatives that may enhance their trip.<<

TA? I'm not a Travel Agent.

TA = Trip Advisor? That's the company and we are not staff.

TA= Travel Advisor? Bit pompous...

None of us get paid here - we are all volunteers - and really none of us have any "duties" whatsoever. IMO.

We are all just folks who are knowledgeable about one or many destinations. Most of us enjoy assisting others to help them plan their holidays in the areas we are familiar with :-)

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Kendo M, I am a long time RVer and please don't go driving on dirt roads in a rental motorhome.