We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

San Fran to Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas

London, England...
4 posts
1 review
Save Topic
San Fran to Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas

Hi, planning to spend 2 nights in Yosemite and 1 night in Death Valley. Or would 1 night in Yosemite suffice as we are pushed for time.

Any suggestions on best places to stay and visit on route would be greatly appreciated. Are the conditions fine for driving? leaving tomorrow! Thanks in advance.

Oakland, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
6,325 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: San Fran to Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas

Conditions are great for driving- as you can see, we are having summer weather here right now (hopefully it's not summer-hot in Death Valley, though.)

However, do you have any reservations for a place to stay in Yosemite? You are unlikely to find anything in the park at this moment, unless there are last minute cancellations.

Can't really help you with the driving directions, although they are pretty straight forward (I just haven't driven that route.) However, I can tell you that, despite the warm weather, the mountain passes like Tioga Road are not yet open, so you'll have to take the long way to Las Vegas.

It should be spectacular in Yosemite this weekend, with great waterfalls and spring flowers. This time of year, it's nice to drive into the park along 140 because of the wildflowers and trees in bloom along the way.

London, United...
Level Contributor
17,208 posts
255 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: San Fran to Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas

Wow, you've left it late!

Honestly, I know information is king, and I expect this might not be a popular thing to say, but I might considering winging it now. Get there and work things out. Filling your head with too much information at this stage might just scare the hell out of you. Would me!

What I will say is probably look to El Portal for your Yosemite accommodation. Almost no chance you'll get in the park unless you're happy to, and set up to, camp.

Stay two nights in Yosemite and one in Death Valley. My thought. No particular basis.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
62,497 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: San Fran to Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas

Tomorrow night in Yosemite Valley (if you're lucky.) On Sunday, end your tourism day with Glacier Point and then Mariposa Grove, and exit via the South Entrance. Drive as far as you can ... Oakhurst, Fresno, Visalia, Bakersfield. Monday sleep in Death Valley; Stovepipe Wells is more rustic & quiet, Furnace Creek is busier w/ higher quality rooms.

Do your very best to get reservations inside the National Parks.

Yosemite: yosemitepark.com/lodging.aspx Curry Village has some unheated tent cabins available ... excellent location, very rustic.

Death Valley: nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/lodging.htm Stovepipe Wells has availability.

Conditions for driving are fine. Distances are big.

London, England...
4 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: San Fran to Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas

Thanks all, great help. I've booked the non heated tent (brrrr!) for 1 night (Saturday) in Yosemite, then i think I'll need to stop somewhere on way to death valley to give us more time and break things up.

Is South the best way or what about going up round the 108 and then joining the 395 south to Death Valley?

Any suggestions for where to stop on the Sunday night?

Somewhere near Lake Isobella?

Edited: 2:39 pm, April 20, 2012
London, England...
4 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: San Fran to Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas

Actually don't worry got it sorted now. booked into both Death Valley and yosemite, then onto Vegas for a couple of nights. Then probably on to Grand Canyon? Happy days. Thanks for your advice.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
62,497 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: San Fran to Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas

>> Is South the best way or what about going up round the 108 and then joining the 395 south to Death Valley?<<

The Southern route is the fastest way this weekend. Or you can take a much longer route via Carson Pass.

Here is a description of the routes: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c158581 Right now, the three 'middle' seasonal routes are closed.

Carson Pass , State Route 88: open year round

Ebbetts Pass , SR 4: seasonal

Sonora Pass , SR 108: seasonal

Tioga Pass , SR 120: seasonal

Southern end of the Sierra, SR 178 or I-15 & SR 58: open year round

Here is the page with CalTrans road info: dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/clsdlst.htm

Have a great trip! (Be sure to read the Top Questions & Itineraries on each of the destination forum pages for tips about your short visits.)

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
15,312 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: San Fran to Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas

I’m late getting here, but it seems you got lucky with the lodgings, since you apparently didn’t have reservations for either park. That can be risky in the spring when people like to visit parks. Wherever you ended up, I hope you’ll be happy with the surroundings and the facilities, but really, the most important thing when visiting a place like Yosemite or Death Valley is the surroundings.

The Lake Isabella area is very nice. It’s usually pretty relaxed, although it attracts a lot of water recreation seekers on warm weekends. The lake is artificial, created by the damming of the Kern River for flood control, and there are various visitor services like lodgings, restaurants, and marinas. There are no big towns or ritzy hotels, but that isn’t why folks go there. The other route, Hwy 58 (Tehachapi Pass) is about the same distance but quicker because it is freeway, while 178 (Kern Canyon/Lake Isabella) is largely undivided rural roads. However, Hwy 178 comes out on 395 farther north, so all in all, there’s probably little difference.

Let us know how everything turned out. :)

8. Re: San Fran to Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 6:42 pm, June 18, 2013
Get answers to your questions about Death Valley National...