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Planning route thru Death Valley in August

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Planning route thru Death Valley in August

Help with route required. Driving from Las vegas and intending spending 1 night in Death Valley at Furnace Ranch. Could someone indicate the most interesting sites in order from Las Vegas and approximate driving times between. It appears to be so hot here that 1 night is the best option. Also how long is the drive Las Vegas v Death Valley to Yosemite (Cedar Lodge). Thanks for your help - any is most appreciated.

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1. Re: Planning route thru Death Valley in August

Take a look at my posts on this thread, dated Mar 1 at 3:18 a.m. and 1:39 p.m., for some ideas about the trip from Las Vegas to Yosemite via Furnace Creek. Keep in mind one big difference: the referenced thread is for someone traveling in winter, when Tioga Pass over the Sierra Nevada will be closed. You will be traveling in summer when the pass will be open and you should take it.


Also look in the Death Valley and DV National Park forums, where I have several threads about itineraries for LV-DV trips. Some of them are day trips starting and ending in LV, so disregard the part about the return trip. But these threads will help you arrange your sightseeing to make the most of your time and driving. If you still need more info, come back and we'll fill in more details.

Death Valley to Yosemite is a long drive, either via Tehachapi-Bakersfield-Fresno or the Lone Pine-Bishop-Lee Vining route on Hwy 395. The Fresno route (the only way in winter) is much less diverse and scenically exciting. It is also far longer. 395 is one of the most spectacular and beautiful rides in all of California, and I strongly suggest giving yourself two days if you have that flexibility.

From Furnace Creek to Lone Pine is classic Mojave Desert scenery, and you will be climbing gradually from the lowest point in the Americas toward one of the highest. Lone Pine is the gateway town to both Death Valley and Mount Whitney, and you can drive a car to Whitney Portal and the Alabama Hills. You may recognize that as the location for many Western and Adventure movies; Lone Pine was a major filming area a few decades ago.

All along 395, you travel along the east side of the Sierra Nevada. It is stupendous to see. You will go through the towns of Independence, Big Pine, and Bishop, and can turn off for Mammoth Lakes and June Lakes (395 does not go into these resort towns). At Lee Vining, you turn off for Tioga Pass and Yosemite, but be sure to see Mono Lake. It is a very unusual natural phenomenon, a briny lake with tufa towers made of mineral deposits from the lakebed, a lush bird habitat and migratory area, and just a wonderful place.

All the towns mentioned have lodging, restaurants, groceries, and fuel. Lone Pine, Independence, Bishop, and Lee Vining have visitor centers or museums. From Furnace Creek to El Portal on this route is a little over 300 mi/490 km, not counting any side trips. Bishop, the biggest town in the area with the most amenities, is about halfway. Mammoth Lakes, about 40 miles farther, also has plenty of visitor services because it is a year-round resort area.

You can get to El Portal without going to Yosemite Valley. After the day's travel, this might be a good thing to do, so you can get a good rest in preparation to enjoy Yosemite Valley the next day.

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Planning route thru Death Valley in August


From Las Vegas to Furnace Creek Ranch I would follow this route:

Leave Las Vegas by exit 33 on I15 to nv 160 (Blue Diamond hw.) Drive to Pahrump and take nv 372 and ca178 to Soshone. Enter DVNP via ca178. Stop at Badwater, lowest point in the USA, continue on 178 to the exit to Devils Golfcourse (short dirtroad) on your left. Return 178 and take the exit to Artist drive on your right (one way). Then to Furnace Creek Visitor center. From there ca 190 to your right to Zabriskie Point. Continue on 190 and take the wonderful short one way drive on Twenty Mule Team Canyon drive (good gravelroad) on your right hand side. Then 190 to the turn off to Dante's View. Amazing spot. Drive from Dante's view back to 190 and back to Furnace Creek. Then, if you'll have the time, take 2 days for the drive to Yosemite as FR has said.


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3. Re: Planning route thru Death Valley in August

greenskiers said «any is most appreciated.»

Please visit the DRIVING DIRECTIONS page geocities.com/touringsfo/…DriveDir.html where some of your questions are answered. It's augmented by the report linked to the TouringSFO site at http://geocities.com/touringsfo/ entitled "A Trip to Las Vegas…" that includes many point-to-point times and distances.

You might also find the A BIT OF NON-GAMBLING LAS VEGAS page with a visit, too.

4. Re: Planning route thru Death Valley in August

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