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Old 12-11-2004, 11:18 AM   #1
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CoPilot suggests:
US95(n) NV373(s) CA190(w)
(About 4 hours)
Stop at Death Valley NP
CA190(w) CA136(n) US395(n) CA120(w)
(About 8 hours)
Stop at Yosemite NP

There is one really twisted section of CA190 that looks bad on the west side for Death Valley. Also, CA120 in Yosemite looks bad also.

Any suggestions on route? (see tag line for rig sizes)
Also, any suggestions on which campsite at each NP?
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Old 12-11-2004, 11:18 AM   #2
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CoPilot suggests:
US95(n) NV373(s) CA190(w)
(About 4 hours)
Stop at Death Valley NP
CA190(w) CA136(n) US395(n) CA120(w)
(About 8 hours)
Stop at Yosemite NP

There is one really twisted section of CA190 that looks bad on the west side for Death Valley. Also, CA120 in Yosemite looks bad also.

Any suggestions on route? (see tag line for rig sizes)
Also, any suggestions on which campsite at each NP?
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Old 12-11-2004, 01:38 PM   #3
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Two campgrounds in Death Valley.....Furnace Creek and another one whose name escapes me. I got to Yosemite in November, they told me that I needed chains. They rent them at one gate and you drop them off at the other. Big problem there is that there are folks who are in the Park who have never driven in snow.....Beware!
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Old 12-11-2004, 05:37 PM   #4
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I should have mentioned that this trip is planed for late May.
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Old 12-11-2004, 06:47 PM   #5
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Tony,
Just be aware that the pass into Yosemite may not be open that early in the year. You may have to come up 99 or I-5 and come in from the west. Check road conditions before leaving Death Valley.
Loren
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Old 12-11-2004, 08:03 PM   #6
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How is the drive (assuming the weather has allowed the pass to be open) though the pass? Should I consider a western route? An hour extra to save having to go though some rough mountain passes might be worth it, but several hours extra would not.
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Old 12-12-2004, 05:00 AM   #7
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We were at Yosemite in the spring of '01, stayed at the Yosemite Pines RV Park which was about 45 miles west of Yosemite Village on CA State Road 120 in Groveland.

The drive into Yellowstone wasn't too bad, some twisty, hilly roads but I'm used to those being from the mountains of NC. We took CA140 from Merced into Yosemite NP and hooked up with CA120 in the park. I realize you're approaching from the east; have no experience from that direction. Just thought I'd share what I observed.

The campground wasn't anything spectacular but it was the closest one we could find to the west entrance and made a good base from which to tour Yosemite.
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Old 12-12-2004, 08:25 PM   #8
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Tony,
It has been quite a few years since we traveled that road; I remember a few steep places and some winding road, but nothing real bad, but then we are used to driving in the Sierra's. Hopefully someone else has traveled this route recently and will chime in here
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Old 12-17-2004, 07:16 PM   #9
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I took CA120 from Groveland into Yosemite from the west. I have a 1996 National 35ft motorhome. I would NOT take that route again. The roads were potted, narrow with sharp curves. I was told by the park ranger NOT to back track and take CA120 out through Tioga pass as I had orginally intended. Instead we took CA41 out of the park. This was not to bad a road but still in need of repair. We spent the night at the campground in Wanona. Very nice. Also very, very limited parking in Yosemite when we were their in Aug 04! If your towing I recomend you drive in! Hope this helps

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Old 12-18-2004, 03:20 AM   #10
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Hello folks, a couple of things. Death Valley will already be quite hot by late May and there are some long steep grades to climb going through there. Also, the stretch of Hwy 190 between Death Valley Junction and Furnace Creek was badly washed out last summer and I don't know when it will be repaired. You can take US 95 to NV 374 through Beatty and avoid that route. It's good road to Furnace Creek but you have a very long downhill from Daylight Pass. Furnace Creek Campground is very clean but there are no hookups and as I said it will be hot. Hwy 190 also goes over Towne Pass west of Stovepipe Wells and right after you leave Stovepipe you have to climb 20 miles of steady uphill grade and on the other side you descend 9 miles of 9% grade. Then you climb over the Inyo Mtns. with a steep windy road to negotiate on your way to US 395. Someone already mentioned that Hwy 120 over Tioga Pass may not be open and if it is it's 10 miles of steep uphill. These are all my favorite places to go but coming in from the east will take some patience. These are all the same obstacles that the 49ers had to overcome so you're in good company. There are a few alt. routes and I'm familiar with the southern ones if you want to know more. Good Luck, Kel.
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Old 12-21-2004, 10:43 PM   #11
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Hwy 190 between Death Valley Junction and Furnace Creek remains closed. It is the most popular and the shortest approach from Las Vegas to Death Valley. This road remains closed until crews complete repairs in a couple of months. You can check Caltrans website and NevDOT's website for when Hwy 190 is open.
Tioga Pass may not be open in May, sometimes it isn't open till June, depends on the snow, again check with Caltrans. Personally I would not attempt Tioga, it is a long, steep grade. We have only come down Tioga, returning to Vegas and that is enough for me to start saying the Hail Mary. Jaci
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Old 12-22-2004, 04:15 AM   #12
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So, should I rethink this part of my trip?
Yosemite is the most important stop of the two. Should I make Death Valley a day trip from Las Vegas, then tow the trailer from Las Vegus to Yosemite by way of Bakersfield?
About the Death Valley stop: I am a little concerned with the heat with no hookups. I do have two Honda 2000i generators that I planed on using during the day, but I understand that they can not be used at night. I also don't know how much time we need to see the park. We are not hikers, but instead are 'drive though and stop at each breath-taking spot' kind of people. (We have kids and this is a trip to give them an overview of what the US has to offer.) Also, it happens that the nights we would be in Death Valley are Sat and Sun night of Memorial Day (Not changeable due to everybodies schedules) and I expect the park to be crowded.
Thoughts?
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:08 AM   #13
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Tony, here is a link to a very informative website on Death Valley: http://www.ridgecrest.ca.us/~matmus/DeathV.html The lady who runs the website keeps it updated frequently.
The Mesquite Spring Campground is a few miles from Scotty's Castle, and it is at a higher elevation, which means it would be cooler than Furnace Creek or other campgrounds. You could run your generators from 7am-7pm, and since it is at a higher elevation it will be cooler at night so when you can't run the a/c it will be cooler anyway. The peak season for Death Valley is October- April.
Wherever you stay on Memorial Day plan on having reservations.
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Old 12-22-2004, 03:40 PM   #14
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Since SR190 is closed from Furnace Creek to junction 127 you may be able to bypass via SR178. Check with www.caltrans.ca/gov before your travel. SR 178 is narrow and winds. Its a good climb out of DV via SR 190 between Stovepipe Wells and Panamint Springs. Yosemite via SR120 from the east via Lee Vining has many switchbacks and winds. As others mentioned, it may not be open in May...usually mid to late June, again check with CalTrans.
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