|Quoting Airtrainer (Reply 17):|
You didn't mention Death Valley between Yosemite and Las Vegas, maybe you should add a few hours to the driving time, it's really worth a stop.
I second that.
With a RV
at hand, there is a RV
park at Furnace Creek, CA
located below sea level.
However, seeing that you intend to go in September it might be too hot down there - and IIRC, the RV
park actually closes in summer.
Be reminded: Even when driving through Death Valley NP
, the entrance fee applies (good for 7 days).
And as you will visit a lot of NP
's, go to http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm
and check out the passes they offer. The one for $80 should be the one to look into.
Might save you a couple of USD and the hassle to buy new tickets at each park (just show your pass and you get your tickets).
The pass shall be possible to obtain at the first park you visit.
Re "driving between Yosemite and Las Vegas":
1. US-395 south to Lone Pine, CA
, then CA
-136 & CA
-190 through Death Valley.
Before descending down into Panamint Valley, 22.5 miles after CA
-136 turned into CA
-190 there is a rest area to the north of the road. This one is called Father Crawley point. If you follow that rough road to its end (about half a mile, but check if your RV
is suitable) you get to a scenic overlook. From here you have a view of the Panamint Valley and at times will be able to watch fighter aircraft flying low level (= below your position) through the Panamint Valley (these a/c usually are from China Lake Naval Weapons Center) where there are several installations to follow performance of a/c.
As you will have to go to Furnace Creek anyhow (the visitor center is there; you get your window sticker there), there are two options (for those in a hurry) to continue to Las Vegas:
-190 to Death Valley Junction, then continue to Pahrump, NV
. Alternative from DV Junction is CA
-127 north to Amargosa Valley, NV
and US-95 south to LV
. A few miles after the junction of US-95 with NV
-160 there is a Historical Marker on the left (north) side of the road dedicated to nuclear testing in that area (this all is before the turnoff for "Mercury, NV
2. US395 south to Big Pine, CA
, then CA
-168/NV-266 to Lida Junction, NV
and US-95 south to Las Vegas. Not much to sse on CA
3. Even further north than option #2 is US-6 and US-95 via Tonopah, NV
(not used yet).
Anything further south than option #1 will be a serious detour:
From Ridgecrest, CA
your only option east will be through Panamit Valley and Death Valley, so it is a detour from option #1.
If you go further south on US-395 all the way to Kramer Junction, CA
, then turn east on CA
-58 towards Barstow, it will be a massive detour. It only could be an option to continue south on US395 to Adelanto, CA
where there is VCV
with lots of a/c parked. But such a detour would mandate 2 days for the drive from Yosemite to LV
Might be worth to use different routes outbound than on the return ... ?
Do not expect too much from Hooverdam. Views are limited, central parking is for $$$ only, tours are said to sellout quick.
Alternative to US-93 from Kingman via Hoover Dam to Las Vegas could be to use AZ
-68 from Kingman via Laughlin, NV
(with a short stop there ?) and then NV
-163 to US-93.
(US-93 is a 4-lane Highway in this stretch while US-95 is a busy 2+1 lane road).
At Kingman it might be worth to check out Kingman Airport located northeast of the city on route AZ
If you are tired of using Interstates, you might turn off from I-40 at Seligman, AZ
and use AZ
-66 (part of historic Route 66) all the way to Kingman. This route offers more scenery and is less traveled, but overall driving time is only marginally longer.
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !