road trip vegas - san francisco
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Apr 28, 2013 6:10 PM Last Post By: bzookaj
Mar 17, 2013 1:06 AM
road trip vegas - san franciscoHi!
I've been searching through the forums, and have found so much information but I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed with it all so thought I'd create my own post
Basically I'd love to hear any advise on travelling (via car) from Las Vegas to San Francisco. The details:
- Leaving Las Vegas 6th May, arriving San Fran 13th May. = one week driving.
- we want to include death valley and yosemite national park (any opinions on how long we should spend at each place? and what are your favourite things to do here?)
I've seen a lot of people ask about doing this trip in a much smaller amount of time, so if there are any other places we should stop off at? The car we have hired is not a van, so we can't sleep in it. Accommodation recommendations? (the cheaper the better!) I was also thinking of perhaps spending a night or two in the Sonoma region before getting to San Francisco.
Our backstory; we are a young couple (23&35) travelling for 6 months through USA. We have already purchased a van in Vancouver, which is waiting for our arrival, but we are spending a few weeks travelling the West coast before heading up there to collect it. We both love to be active, explore, interested in the history of the country - just the typical young travellers really!
Any advise would be much appreciated.
Mar 17, 2013 3:34 AM
1The Tioga Pass Road into Yosemite National Park from the east side (Death Valley side) is closed until after May 31st (Memorial Day holiday weekend) unless there is a drought and no snow. You could spend one night in Death Valley and a second night in Bishop or Mammoth Lakes (ski resort) before continuing the drive north on Highway #395 to either Highway #50 (South Lake Tahoe) or Interstate-80 (North Lake Tahoe). Take Highway #49 south to the entrance to Yosemite Valley (there are several entrance roads). Highway #49 will take you through Gold Rush historic scenery and towns. Choose a scenic town to spend the night. Make reservations for accommodation in Yosemite NP. Maybe Yosemite Bug Hostel, which is on the outskirts. There will still be snow at the higher elevations, so the trails out of the valley may be muddy. The waterfalls will be in their full splendor. Spend time exploring Yosemite.
From Yosemite, drive west to Monterey, and spend one or two nights there and explore Big Sur, the aquarium, Cannery Row, Carmel. Then, drive north along Highway #1 to Santa Cruz, turn east over the Coast Mountains to Silicon Valley, then drive north to San Francisco. Stay at the hostel at Fisherman's Wharf/Fort Mason, which has parking. On your drive north to Vancouver, take Highway #101 to Santa Rosa, then turn east on Highway #12 through Sonoma's wine country.
If you want to see the redwoods, return to Highway #1 as you drive north to Oregon.
Mar 17, 2013 6:11 AM
If the Tioga Pass is open, you can cut through that.
Of course, this assumes you can get lodging for Yosemite. BOOK NOW.
Mar 17, 2013 7:17 AM
3You've been given good advice.
About that van, what do you plan to do with it at the end of your trip? Please don't tell us that you plan to sell it in the U. S. because, as a matter of practicality, you cannot do that. Look here.
Mar 17, 2013 3:47 PM
4Thank you so much for this advice!
We already have accommodation booked in San Francisco, and then we are catching the train to Vancouver to get our van.. is it too much back tracking to go to Sonoma's wine country for a night or two before we stop at San Francisco? Obviously judging by google maps we drive through SF to get there, but if we have the time, I'm assuming we can fit it in.
Thanks for this advice, will get onto it ASAP
we will have :) going to our visa appointment tomorrow.
It's only recently I have realised I can't sell it in the U.S, bummer! I did do a bit of research and it seemed almost impossible for a tourist to purchase a car in the U.S, and my friend was selling her van in Canada so we went for it.
As we fly out of LA there is no point spending the money travelling back to Canada to sell it - I did read somewhere that if we travelled down to Mexico we could sell it there? I will have to look into that I guess.
If I have to cut my losses I will - we paid $4400 for the van, including insurance and road side assistance, to rent a van for the time period would have been more then double!
Mar 17, 2013 3:56 PM
Apr 28, 2013 9:38 AM
6Hey there guys,
We are planning a trip to Vegas, San Fran and LA in MArch 2014 and we are looking for any good advise on routes from Vegas to San Fran( the scenic route) then from there to LA. we are doing this over 3 weeks starting on 1st March.
Any advises would be much appreciated
Sam and GIll
Apr 28, 2013 6:10 PM
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