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Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

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Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

Hi - we are 2 couples mid 60's from Australia driving the USA for 21/2 months. After our stay in Las Vegas we would like to drive to Death Valley(1 or 2 nights) on our way to Yosemite(2 nights) then on to Napa.

We will be leaving Las Vegas around July 18/19. Suggestions for the best route to DV from there would be appreciated. Can we get there in a day? Reading the forum there appears to be so much to see which unfortunately we won't be able to take in. Highlites on route to Yosemite also appreciated. Is this a busy time of year?

I am sure we wil come back with other questions when we get some of your ideas.

Many thanks

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

Yes, it''s a busy time of year and Yosemite reservations are needed. Here''s a travel article that describes the route between Las Vegas and Yosemite.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361/Califo…

Tet

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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

Hi Roadmaster31

The Top Questions has some ideas for you. Here is a basic map of 'attractions' in Death Valley NP that I found helpful to plan my visit: americansouthwest.net/california/death_valle…

I suggest the Shortest Route on this map: nps.gov/deva/…20Vegas.pdf Then take the detour to Dante's View, a quick drive on Twenty Mule Team Canyon, and stop for the view at Zabriskie Point. Drive down to Badwater (such an odd place) and back up to do the Artist Drive loop. Stop for a late lunch at the Furnace Creek area (or stop earlier, before you head down to Badwater.) Continue north, stopping at the places that appeal to you. By now it's getting incredibly hot, maybe 115° F / 46° C. If you want walk in that heat, visit Mosaic Canyon. Exit via Panamint, stopping for views. Continue to Lone Pine. (Now follow ideas from that article Tet linked for you. If you need more route assistance, post on the California state forum.)

I hope you have lodging reservations for Yosemite. If not, pop over to the Yosemite forum and read the Top Questions ... lodging ideas and trip reports. Then post a new question there.

San Diego...
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3. Re: Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

You will have a better trip if you can stay overnight one night in between Death Valley and Yosemite, such as at either Lone Pine, Independence, Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake or Lee Vining. Which one depends on what you want to see - stay near what you want to see and do. It will be much cooler at Mammoth Lakes than it will be in Death Valley. Take a look at this travelogue of that area to see what some of the sights are: travelswithbillandnancy.com/eastern_sierras.…

Fortaleza, CE
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4. Re: Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

I agree as to staying along Hwy. 395, rather than rushing (though you may want to drive through DV in the early morning due to the heat). You may want to top at the Alabama Hills (site of may Hollywood films, including Westerns), Manzanar National Historic Site, Ancient Bristlecone Forest, Mono Lake and/or Bodie State Park (ghost town). It may already be tough to get reservations in Yosemite for July, so look right away. If push comes to shove you may need to stay outside the park, maybe one night in Lee Vining or nearby, to the east, and one night to the west or south.

Houston, TX
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5. Re: Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

I would suggest an overnight stay at Death Valley National Park. DVNP is in a remote location and it would be difficult to get there, see the sights and drive somewhere else for the night, all in one day. We just stayed at Furnace Creek Ranch, and it was fine. Central location for DVNP, several options for eating, a swimming pool, small store. Very close to the visitor's center as well. There is also Furnace Creek Inn in the same area (also two other areas with lodging within DVNP) but it is much more expensive.

If you do decide to book here, make sure you are on the Xanterra website--they are the official booking site for this national park, as well as several others. There are some that pop up in a google search that seem official (something like nps reservations or some such) but they are third party vendors and have extra fees. Make sure you read the Xanterra cancellation policy if you do decide to book.

Edmonton, Canada
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6. Re: Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

we stayed at the furnace creek ranch and enjoyed it. they are basic rooms and pricey but not a lot of options when staying in the park. loved their pool. it will be very, very hot at that time of year so i wouldn't plan on any long walking/hiking trips. i do recommend the tour at scotty's castle. make sure you have lots and lots of fluids in your vehicle and watch your car temperature on the hills. as hot as it will be, you may need to shut of the ac during some of the drive so that the car doesn't overheat.

Uden, The...
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7. Re: Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

I'm afraid Furnace Creek Inn will be closed in summer TxOffWeGo. The other centrally located place in DV is Stovepipe Wells. Cheapest option is Panamint Springs resort at the far western end of DV but no pool there.

Fuel in DV is very expensive so fill up in Las Vegas and maybe again in Pahrump.

South Australia...
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8. Re: Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

Thanks so much for this fabulous information. We will be able to plan a lot more easily thanks to that. Sounds like it gonna be hot!!

Houston, TX
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9. Re: Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

Tet--in my post I referenced Furnace Creek Ranch from our recent stay, not the Inn. While the Inn may be closed in July, the Ranch is not. I searched a few random dates in July around the OP's travel dates and there seems to be availability.

Uden, The...
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10. Re: Aussies Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite

Yes, Furnace Creek Ranch is open. The Inn only between mid october and may.