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San Fran-Yosemite-Death Valley-Vegas

Which Death Valley Junction hotels are on sale?
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London, United...
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San Fran-Yosemite-Death Valley-Vegas

Hi there,

I have posted a couple of other messages under other related topics but thought I would start a fresh one as Im getting confused.

My husband and I will be travelling these areas in December this year (2006). We will be hiring a car in San Francisco and our plan is to drive to Yosemite for one night then onto Death Valley for a night then on to Vegas.

I understand that at that time of year certain roads & areas of the national parks are closed. Could anyone help me with ideas on the best route, whether Death Valley is worth doing that time of year, and approximate travel times etc. Also any advice on accomodation would be great.

Thanks heaps for your help.


San Francisco
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11. Re: San Fran-Yosemite-Death Valley-Vegas

For those hoping to stay in Lone Pine, it has many choices--independents and a few chain hotels, e.g. Best Western or Comfort Inn.

I have stayed in several lodgings and my personal favorite is the historic part of the Dow Villa.


The Dow Villa is really two facilities: a modern motel AND a historic hotel. In the 1930s, Hollywood did a lot of filming in the Alabama Hills,in the Sierra Nevada foothills below Mt. Whitney. The Dow was like a headquarters for the actors and other personnel. Today, the lobby is a Western movie mini-museum. The rooms are furnished in period style and are very comfortable. You can choose private or shared baths.

The motel is modern and has a pool and hot tub--but hotel guests can use them and have the best of both worlds. BTW, although the historic hotel is more fun, it costs less than the motel.

In the website photo, the mountains in the background are not the Sierra. The hotel is on the east side of the street and you're seeing the Inyo range, one several that form the boundaries of Death Valley. You'll see the Sierra looking out from the front of the hotel.

Lone Pine has all the amenities for visitors: outdoor supplies, fuel, good food, souvenirs, and a fine visitor center at the junction to Death Valley (Hwy 136).

For people prepared to camp, Diaz Lake county park is off Hwy 395 just south of the Hwy 136 junction. It is a natural lake formed by seismic activity. There are some really nice shaded campsites near the water and the area feels safe.

I mentioned "seismic." Yes, this is earthquake country. In 1872, Lone Pine was hit by one of the biggest quakes in U.S. history, which may have equalled San Francisco's in 1906 but killed only a few dozen people because of the sparse population. John Muir felt it in Yosemite Valley, as did folks all over Nevada and as far as Salt Lake. If you come in from the north, stop and see the gravesite of the 1872 victims just north of town.

If you wanted to stop before Lone Pine, Big Pine and Independence also have some good places. After Lone Pine, you're on your own until you get into DV. Enjoy! :)

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12. Re: San Fran-Yosemite-Death Valley-Vegas

Hi there.

We traveled from San Fransisco to Yosmite to Las Vegas this year the first week in January and yes we were told you needed chains. However we didnt have any and although it snowed the two nights in Yosmite valley that we were there we managed to get out okay. We just waited till the afternoon then took our time. All was good.

Uden, The...
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13. Re: San Fran-Yosemite-Death Valley-Vegas

I saw some pictures from Christchurch this winter and it looked like you needed chains over there haha. Are you already hitting the road Rollsy? We just returned from Perth (31 C and sunny) now it's 5 and raining cats and dogs whoooeee.


14. Re: San Fran-Yosemite-Death Valley-Vegas

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