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Driving from Vegas to Death Valley ( Furnace Creek)

leicester england
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Driving from Vegas to Death Valley ( Furnace Creek)

Hi all

Next year we're doing a fly drive for our honeymoon. And one of the stops is Vegas then we are heading over to Death Valley for a night and to break the drive up to Yosemite.

We will be staying at Furnace Creek inn i think it is.

I'm wonderinf whats the best route to take from Vegas and also how far is Furnace Creek in Death valley from the best way i'll be driving through?

I'm panicing now that it will be over one side and it will give us less time to explore and a even longer drive the next day to Yosemite.

Thanks

Scott...

London, United...
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1. Re: Driving from Vegas to Death Valley ( Furnace Creek)

Hi,

Sorry Scott I do not have an answer to your question but I also am doing a fly drive for my honeymoon in December 2006, however we are going in the opposite direction i.e. Yosemite to Death Valley to Vegas. Anyone with any advice on directions, where to stay etc would also help us out! Also, is Death Valley worth doing in winter?

Thanks

Linzy

Santa Clarita...
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2. Re: Driving from Vegas to Death Valley ( Furnace Creek)

Rollsy81: Because you will be traveling in December, Tioga Pass (Hwy 120) will be closed and your trip will not be the same as the above poster, matrixsc. You will need to take the southern route around the Sierra -- perhaps starting your own thread will be helpful and specific for your trip.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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3. Re: Driving from Vegas to Death Valley ( Furnace Creek)

There are several routes between LV and DV. The most direct is State Highway 160 from the south LV to Pahrump, NV, then NV 372 which turns into CA 178 through Shoshone CA.

I personally hate Highway 160. It is ugly and scary (undivided two-lane road used as a commuter highway with lots of head-on collisions). It is not the most enjoyable, but it is quick.

This route is about 150 miles.

I prefer US 95 north from LV to Beatty NV, then NV 374 which takes you into DV north of Furnace Creek. The distance is similar, I feel the road is safer, and the entire ride is much more scenic. You'll go by the old mining ghost town of Rhyolite--definitely worth seeing.

Either way, it is about 2 hours from LV to Furnace Creek.

The next part of my directions is for all year except winter, which in the Sierra Nevada means sometime in November to early or mid June.

To get to Yosemite, you leave Furnace Creek, and follow the directions to Lone Pine CA. This is on US 395, which you'll take for about 120 miles to Tioga Pass road, the east entrance to Yosemite park (this road is closed in winter, so let us know if your trip is in winter so we can give you revised directions). This section of 395 is one of the most spectacular, beautiful areas in all of the Western US. There is lots to see, places to stop and look around, and visitor amenities. You'll have access to Mt. Whitney or Mammoth Lakes, and not starve to death or be bored.

From Furnace Creek to Yosemite Valley by this route is about 300 miles. With stops for sightseeing, meals, etc., I would allow most of a day to enjoy it.

London, United...
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4. Re: Driving from Vegas to Death Valley ( Furnace Creek)

Mere:

Thanks for your advice. Do you think it is worth us doing Death Valley at that time of year (December) or just driving straight to Vegas from Yosemite? Do we have to pass through Death Valley anyway?

San Francisco
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5. Re: Driving from Vegas to Death Valley ( Furnace Creek)

Ooops, I didn't read carefully enough. You are coming in winter. OK, you'll miss a lot, but you can still enjoy a lot.

You cannot enter Yosemite from the east in winter. So you need to head for Ridgecrest when you leave DV. You can either take 190 west to Olancha and down 395, or turn off 190 for Trona. Both these routes will take you to CA Route 14, which you take south until CA 58. CA 58 goes west to Tehachapi and Bakersfield. There, you head north on Highway 99, which will take you to Fresno and Highway 41 into Yosemite.

The scenery is different, but still interesting. Depending on how you exit DV, you can see real forests and snow on the way to the Wildrose exit. Or you can see the bare mountains of the Argus, Slate, and Panamint ranges with snow on them. Highway 99 is an old road--I think of it as like Route 66 turned on end. It passes a myriad of farming towns, older motels, industrial areas, etc., and gives you a more varied perspective of what California is like. This route is much longer, about 400 miles, but it is the only way to get into Yosemite from Death Valley in winter.

San Francisco
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6. Re: Driving from Vegas to Death Valley ( Furnace Creek)

P.S. It's possible, but totally impractical, to go to Yosemite direct from LV and bypass DV. But it is very boring and you miss the best scenery. You would take US Interstate 15 west out of Las Vegas, switch to CA Route 58 at Barstow, to CA Route 99 at Bakersfield, and on to Fresno as noted above. This route is over 500 miles. And if you have the opportunity to travel across the ocean and you are an hour away from Death Valley, why would you want to miss it? It is one of the most extraordinary, magnificent places on earth.

London, United...
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7. Re: Driving from Vegas to Death Valley ( Furnace Creek)

thanks for that. We will actually be going the opposite way. From Yosemite to Vegas via Death Valley but I assume in that case we just reverse the directions you gave us?

8. Re: Driving from Vegas to Death Valley ( Furnace Creek)

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