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mammoth lakes to yosemit

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brazil
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mammoth lakes to yosemit

We live in Brazil, in a town that is always summer,very hot.

This year we are going to spend our vocacion driving throuth California, Nevada and so...

We are going to spend the new year in Las Vegas and from there we would like very much to go to Mammoth lakes and yosemit,but we don't know if it would be possible because of our inexperience of driving in ice and snow. Please, if you can, help us telling the best roads to take .

Tanks in advance, Silvana and Rogerio

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1. Re: mammoth lakes to yosemit

New Year's in the Eastern Sierra Nevada is definitely snow season. It is going to happen.

From Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes, the best way to go is through Death Valley, and January is a beautiful and mild time of year to enjoy the desert. We can give you more detailed information on the DVNP and DVJ forums.

To get from DV to Mammoth, you would take Highway 395. Once you get north of Big Pine, it can snow any time, along with high winds. This is a major road, part of the network of highways that go from the Canadian to Mexican borders, and the highway authorities make every effort to keep it cleared. But it can still be closed when conditions require, and it can be challenging even for Californians. You must have tire chains or 4WD, since there can be icy conditions any time. There are places where the Highway Patrol, Department of Transportation, or park rangers will actually have checkpoints to see your chains; Yosemite is one of them.

You cannot get into Yosemite from the east (from the town of Lee Vining) in winter because the pass is snowed in. The summit is nearly 10,000'(3,000m) above sea level. The road (Tioga Pass) is closed from the first major winter snow until the spring thaw. That can be anywhere from late October onward, to May or June.

IOW, you cannot get from Las Vegas to Yosemite via Mammoth. If you want to go to Mammoth, you would have to then go back down 395 and take a southern route over the Sierra Nevada, then back north to Yosemite.

This would be my suggestion. I know you have your heart set on Mammoth, but it would be fairly impractical to include it unless you have a couple of days to be flexible. Go to Las Vegas and Death Valley, then leave DV to the west toward Ridgecrest. Then take either Hwy 178 or 58 toward Bakersfield (178 is more scenic; it occasionally has snow but not as much as in the high Sierra). Go north toward Fresno and enter Yosemite from the southwest entrance.

brazil
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2. Re: mammoth lakes to yosemit

Thank you very much for your answer. You change our minds. Do you have any sugestion for us to stop in anywhere between Las Vegas and Yosemite? A road with no ice and snow? Is it possible? Thank you.Silvana e Rogerio

San Diego...
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3. Re: mammoth lakes to yosemit

Is there a way to get from Mammoth to Yosemite by going north from Mammoth to Lake Tahoe, and then south on some road, then going into Yosemite on the 140? Or would that be longer than going south from Mammoth and around through Tehachapi then north to Yosemite?

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4. Re: mammoth lakes to yosemit

A person could continue up 395 to the 50 and over to the 99 - or if weather permitted, cut south a little earlier. The 50 is usually kept open - we've driven it in winter (I didn't like it much, it was late afternoon/early evening when we left Tahoe and it was icy).

But earlier in the day, with planning, and allowing an extra night - in South Lake Tahoe, I guess, one could it that way - then down the 99 and over the 140 to Yosemite.

I don't know how much longer that would take than skipping Mammoth - but ski-people do this kind of thing a lot - so if skiing is your thing, and you really want Mammoth allow an extra day or two to make it over to Yosemite (allow for weather conditions on the 395 north of Death Valley in general - there *will* be snow/wetness/possible ice).

Park City, Utah
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5. Re: mammoth lakes to yosemit

If you are uncomfortable with ice and snow, I would not recommend you head up to Mammoth of anywhere close. You for sure can't get into Yosemite there in the winter. While you won't hit snow in Death Valley, you'll hit it just about anywhere else on the way up through Nevada or California.

If you really want to go to Yosemite, just head south on I-15 from Vegas to Barstow, then 58 to Bakersfield and then north to Fresno on 99.

That also positions you well to drive up to San Fran, which would be recommended.

Have fun.

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6. Re: mammoth lakes to yosemit

Roger - just saw your next post. You got the Death Valley suggestion - you can stop there, then make it to Yosemite the next day by Ridgecrest with little chance of encountering much snow or ice.

It snows in Vegas sometimes - rarely - but it does (I wouldn't expect it if I were you - but my point is that you can't entirely plan your trip around the possibility of snow - the DV/Ridgecrest/Bakersfield route is a good one).

If you need an extra night on the road, Bakersfield has motels and restaurants, so does Visalia (not as many as Bakersfield) and Fresno would place you closest to Yosemite for the next day - it also has the best choice of hotels and restaurants, apparently.

I would just book a place in Yosemite and try to get from Death Valley to Yosemite in one day.

San Francisco
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7. Re: mammoth lakes to yosemit

** "If you really want to go to Yosemite, just head south on I-15 from Vegas to Barstow, then 58 to Bakersfield and then north to Fresno on 99." **

Tumbleweed, this would mean the OPs wouldn't get to see Death Valley. Since they are coming all the way from Brazil, we want them to see as many of the unique sights that they have time for (especially since they may have to scratch Mammoth Lakes).

I stick by my suggestion of going through Death Valley, and spending a night there. Las Vegas to Barstow to Bakersfield has its scenic value, but it is nothing like the parks. Driving along I-15 at freeway speed will not show the variety of colors, shapes, plants, and animals that can be seen by taking a day to enjoy Death Valley.

San Diego...
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8. Re: mammoth lakes to yosemit

If you want to go skiing, there is a small ski resort in Yosemite called Badger Pass. It's nothing compared to Mammoth Mountain, but if you want to ski, it's there and if you are a beginning skier it is certainly good enough for your first time skiing. There is also cross-country skiing and snowshoe hiking available in that area, and there is an ice skating rink in Curry Village in Yosemite Valley during the winter. Driving in the park at that time you may be required to have snow chains for your tires even if you are not required to use them on the roads. Yosemite is beautiful at any time of year but is even more beautiful when there is an overlay of snow on the tops of the granite cliffs and other features. New Year's Eve is fun in Las Vegas because there's kind of an outdoor party on the "Strip" (Las Vegas Blvd.) similar to that held at Times Square in New York City, and at midnight they do a large fireworks show fired from the rooftops of several of the hotels.

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9. Re: mammoth lakes to yosemit

** "Is there a way to get from Mammoth to Yosemite by going north from Mammoth to Lake Tahoe, and then south on some road, then going into Yosemite on the 140" **

By continuing up 395 from Mammoth, our guests would be prolonging the prospect of encountering heavy storms, which they say they don't want. From Bishop northward is where 395 gets the brunt of the wintry weather, with 10-25 miles stretches sometimes temporarily closed or under chain restrictions. The Tahoe area is lovely in winter, but from what OPs are saying, I'd hesitate to send them onto the curvy, undivided part of Hwy 50 in January.

Roger, as Cookie said, if you feel up to leaving Death Valley in the morning and driving directly to Yosemite (via Bakersfield), it is possible. It is about 400 mi/ 650 km. There are only a few places with the likelihood of snow or ice: Wildrose-Trona Road in Death Valley (a very pretty mountain route); Walker Pass on Hwy 178; and once in awhile, Tehachapi Summit on Hwy 58. These areas OCCASIONALLY get snow, and not huge amounts.

Along this route, there are not that many places you will be strongly tempted to stop. It is scenic, but not as spectacular as what you will see in Death Valley or Yosemite. So if you are up to that kind of drive, try to maximize your time in the parks instead of behind the windshield/windscreen.

brazil
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10. Re: mammoth lakes to yosemit

Rogerio and I are very greatfull for all the help you gave us. Now we have some solids information that will guide our planes to this trip. We are looking forward to do it.Once again thanks to all of you, and if you need same guide in any trip to Brazil will have a great pleasure in help.