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Drive from Las Vegas to California

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Drive from Las Vegas to California

My husband and I are planning on driving from Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes in July, stopping on the way in Death Valley.

The hotels in Death Valley haven't got very good write ups - is it better to just drive straight through and then stay an extra night in Mammoth instead? Or would you recommend anywhere else to stay on the way to Mammoth?

We are then planning to drive on to Yosemite, so once again if anyone has any recommendations about this, they would be gratefully received!

After Yosemite we are planning on driving over to the coast (possibly Monterey or Carmel) before finishing our trip in San Francisco.

Once again - any recommendations gratefully received!

Little Sutton...
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1. Re: Drive from Las Vegas to California

Death Valley is a stunning place to visit(even in July/August when it will be very hot),the scenery is amazing,we have stayed at Furnace Creek Ranch a couple of times & really enjoyed it,others prefer Stovepipe Wells,whichever you choose you are right there in the centre of it,handy to see some spectacular sights,including an incredible display of stars in the night sky due to the limited light pollution.

Yosemite is equally spectacular in a totally different way but accomodation tends to book up very early there so get on to that soonest.

In San Francisco if you want to see Alcatraz you will need to book in advance,also take layers of clothing as it can get pretty chilly there,one other thing parking your car at your hotel in San Francisco tends to be very expensive,it is a compact city with good public transport so the usual advice is that the car is not required there,enjoy!

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Drive from Las Vegas to California

Hi Sueian and welcome to the Cal. forum.

Death Valley will be hot and hot. 120+F Still many people visit it in july and stay in the valley. Nothing wrong with the 2 locations in the center of DV. Furnace Creek Ranch and Stovepipe Wells Village.

You won't do much hiking that time of year in DV. If you go out of the car always wear a hat and slop on sunscreen. Always bring water in the car.

You can drive in one day from Las Vegas to Mammoth easily but that won't give you much time for DV. Count on 8 hours with stops on your way like Zabriskie Point, Devils Golfcourse, Badwater, Artist drive and the Dunes.

Us 395 along the eastern sierras is gorgeous. You easily can spend longer time here. If you don't want to stay inside DV another option is to drive Las Vegas-Lone Pine at the foot of Mount Whitney, highest point in the 48 states. Ample lodging and some nice places to visit like Alabama Hills within the Lone Pine bounderies and Whitney Portal Rd up in the mountains. If you do that next morning. Take your time and drive to Mammoth for a stay after that or make it to Lee Vining and visit Mono Lake. Don't miss the nice June Lake Loop drive between mammoth and Lee Vining. Driving Tioga Pass is best in the morning with the sun behind you.

For your drive up the coast, I would drive from Yosemite to Cambria (or San Luis Obispo) first, see Hearst Castle and drive the most beautiful stretch of hw1 between Cambria and Monterey next day visiting places like Big Sur, Point Lobos SR, Carmel and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

San Diego
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3. Re: Drive from Las Vegas to California

HI sueian50, Welcome to the forums.

Death Valley is a national park and so you won't find tons of hotels with great reviews. People stop there for the natural experience of the area. If that is not of interest to you then drive on through.

If you are thinking of Yosemite for THIS July you may find that there are little/no choices available as spots inside the park start booking one year in advance. I'd see what's available and just take something.

You may find more specific suggestions if you post questions in the Yosemite,Death Valley, and Monterey forums.

Here are the links.




San Francisco
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4. Re: Drive from Las Vegas to California

The hotels in Death Valley are not dumps. They are national park resorts where people go because they want to experience the park, the outdoors, nature, the unique vegetation, clear night skies, wildlife, peace and quiet. They may not be the Bellagio, but that isn't why people go there.

To really experience a national park, particularly one of the grand Western parks, it's best to stay at least one night. Death Valley is definitely worth more than that, and it is the size of Lebanon and Luxembourg combined, so you don't want to just breeze through. A couple of days will give you time to see more of the scenery and the various unique natural wonders and historic sites.

After leaving for Yosemite, you can see much of the Eastern Sierra (Mt. Whitney, Mammoth Lakes, Devil's Postpile, June Lakes, and Mono Lake) and spend the night in Lee Vining. That's the town by Mono Lake, which is another must-see. Once again, you will not find Bellagio-level lodgings, but that's not why you're there.

5. Re: Drive from Las Vegas to California

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