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Vegas to Yosemite, and on somewhere else?

(20 Posts)
IHeartHoumous Wed 02-Nov-16 16:05:26

Going to Vegas for 5 nights in April 2017 with a big group including DP. Then we’re all going off and doing our own thing – DP and I planning to visit Yosemite afterwards, have a couple of queries if anyone’s been to that part of the world before!

Was going to fly from Vegas to Fresno and then hire a car rather than doing the 8 hour drive all the way; apparently from Fresno it’s roughly 3 hours’ drive (we’re hoping to stay in the park). Anyone else done it this way?

Is it wiser to stay in the park rather than outside and avoid the queues to enter?

How many nights in Yosemite? I was thinking 3 depending on time we would arrive i.e. to get at least 2 whole days there.

We’re going to take 2 weeks annual leave from work, the Vegas trip and Yosemite (imagining 3 nights there) would mean we would be back home with 4 working days off still so now considering going on somewhere else after Yosemite to make the most of it. No DC yet so may as well. Suggestions?

No flights or accommodation booked yet except the Vegas hotel with the rest of the group.


thekingfisher Wed 02-Nov-16 16:17:26

I would allow another night in Yosemite. We stayed in the park and that is a def bonus but the distances are still huge and 2 days doesn't give you a whole heap of time

As part of a wider trip we did 2 days of guided hikes and it took us about an hr+ every (early morning) to drive to the valley floor where the central facilities are and meeting points - we stayed in the The redwoods in Yosemite although there are hotels on the valley floor which may be more accessible.

Also check with weather there may still be significant snow on Ysemite at that time of year.... (put it this way we were there in July which was boiling for the most part but there was still now on some of the peaks in the park)

I can't advise on journey as we drove from San fransisco (having flown to vegas from chicago then flew to SF) which wasn't too bad

ArcticMumkey Wed 02-Nov-16 16:22:45

Me and DH did this on our honeymoon in 2013. 3 nights in Vegas then drove through the desert with 2 overnight stops on our way to Yosemite. The drive was fun and there were plenty of interesting places to stop on the way. I think we spent 4 nights in Yosemite, we stayed at camp curry which was expensive for what was (basically half tent/half shed) but it was definitely worth staying in the park rather than travelling in. From Yosemite we drove to San Francisco which was amazing then drown down the west coast to LA which I wouldn't bother with!

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 03-Nov-16 07:13:54

Its all narrow roads as well from Fresno to Yosemite, I seem to recall it took around 3 hours to arrive there.

You will need to book accommodation asap; Yosemite is massively popular and hotels get full very quickly. If you do go there, organise accommodation asap.

80sWaistcoat Thu 03-Nov-16 07:26:46

Book yosemite as soon as possible, I've stayed just outside the park and inside ta camp curry. Both were absolutely fine but I think the experience of being inside does edge it and cuts out a lot of driving. Check what's open and closed, hiking is more limited due to snow but I've been there once in April and it snowed on the valley floor and it was so beautiful.

Some passes in the park don't open till may so check your route too.

I'd echo those who say 3 days. Even in winter there's enough hiking to keep your interest for that long. They sell crampon type chains for your shoes to help on ice if you are going up the falls to walk.

Id go to San Francisco afterwards, and maybe a trip to napa or Sonoma if wine is your thing.

Yourface Thu 03-Nov-16 07:32:49

We've just done this but the other way round. We did San Fran to mammoth lakes to Yosemite to Las Vegas. All in car. Def drive from Vegas to Yosemite. It's an amazing drive through Death Valley.

Agiraffeisnotacat Thu 03-Nov-16 07:50:05

Another one who drove from San Francisco through Yosemite and death valley to Vegas. It was amazing and definitely a nice and interesting drive.
We stayed in Lee Vining in a small hotel/motel just outside Yosemite, mainly for budget reasons. It ended up being one of the best nights in our 5 week trip but that was because of the fascinating people we ended up talking to in the bar. It was several years ago now though.

TSSDNCOP Sat 26-Nov-16 18:27:34

Santa Monica much better than LA itself, better still San Francisco which is my favourite of all US cities.

We stayed 2 nights in Yosemite. Great cycling.

singme Mon 28-Nov-16 20:03:50

Yosemite is brilliant! We stayed just outside in Evergreen Lodge for 3 nights. Would have loved longer. Was a really nice hotel with things to do and probably about 45 mins drive in. Favourite walk was Sentinel Dome, quite short though!

To go on somewhere else you could try Napa Valley or San Francisco.

The last bit of the drive in from Fresno was windy mountain roads, try to do it before dark. There was a road closure and a storm when we did it, not fun!

greynunu Mon 28-Nov-16 22:05:48

We did a similar road trip a few years ago, Vegas to SF via most of the above.

If you like wine then I definitely echo the suggestion of Sonoma, it was one of the best bits of our trip! Lovely town arranged around a grassy square and you can hire bikes to cycle around the vineyards (many of them are within a couple of miles of town).

singme Mon 28-Nov-16 22:52:32

Yes hire the bikes in wine country ❤️

bojorojo Mon 05-Dec-16 22:03:36

LA is brilliant if you avoid the tacky areas! Who on earth can think it is not worth bothering with? The Getty Cente and driving along Mulholland Drive is what it's all about! Plus Marilyn Monroe's dress in the Hollywood 'Max Factor' Costume museum.

From Yosemite I would go to San Fran and also drive down Highway 1 to Carmel then to Santa Monica or Santa Barbara then home from LA.

5 nights in Vegas?? What for? It is a real s--t-hole!

I would also consider Zion, Grand Canyon, Bryce and Monument Valley or Tucson or Pheonix once I had escaped LV. One night was more than enough for us! It is also easy to get to LA and then go up Highway 1 and fly home from San Fran. A supberb city.

DixieWishbone Mon 05-Dec-16 22:10:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

specialsubject Thu 08-Dec-16 10:02:39

I would also say that unless you gamble or like the shows, one night in Vegas is plenty. It is a long way from the natural wonders so isn't a good base for those.

walshvet Sun 11-Dec-16 18:30:48

We are thinking of flying to Phoenix and then staying on a dude ranch , Grand Canyon , Las Vegas ( not overly keen !? ) , Santa Monica , San Diego in July for 17d with teenage boys ; any tips or comments? We did the whole coast thing two years ago smile

Hamsolo Sun 11-Dec-16 18:36:29

San Diego is awesome. I'd go back in a heartbeat. Agree with the pp who said 5 days in Vegas is too many. I hate gambling and Vegas was dull without it.

defineme Sun 11-Dec-16 18:42:21

We got an open jaw flight: flew to san francisco,drove to yosemite and then to las vegas, took a day trip on small plane to grand canyon from las vegas and then flew home via a few days in new york. The drive through death valley was one of my favourite parts of the trip! I wouldn't miss the grand canyon, wonder of the world, and new york is a fab place to spend several days.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 11-Dec-16 19:09:25


BA (and I think Virgin as well now) fly direct to PHX.

I like Phoenix as a city very much but its too hot there in summer. Its a dry desert heat. Vegas will be almost as hot then too. You may want to revise those two destinations for visiting earlier in the year (Easter is a good time for instance to visit Phoenix).

July in Phoenix is their hottest month; average daytime temperature ranges from 104 to 107 degrees F.

HeCantBeSerious Sun 11-Dec-16 19:22:11

We did SF then down highway 1 to LA (didn't stay, just saw the Hollywood sign then off. Across to Vegas (utter shithole) then through Death Valley to Yosemite and then back to SF. Drove 2000 miles in 13 days. Epic holiday.

Hulababy Sun 11-Dec-16 19:27:24

We went to Vegas and California in the summer. We didn't do the parks as it was far too hot in mid summer. Vegas was bad enough re heat!

We did 4 nights Vegas
Drove to Santa Monica, approx 4 hours easy driving
Santa Monica for a week (exploring the coast and into LA one day too, and a day at Universal Studios
Then 3 nights at Disneyland
Then back to Vegas for a night before flying home.

Loved our holiday. smile
Santa Monica and the coast was fabulous!

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