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Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas

Auckland, New...
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Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas
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Hiya everyone :)

Thanks for your help in advance!! Hubby and I are doing an awesome trip to Alaska/Canada/US next May. First the first 23 days we are on a tour of Canada/Alaska. On 1st June we fly into San Fran. The first few days will be doing touristy things, e.g. 3-day camping trip to Yosemite, Alcatraz/HOHO buss etc. From there we are looking at hiring a car and driving to South Lake Tahoe (staying) then going through the Eastern Sierras down to LA (following 395 and 14 through Topaz Lake, Bridgeport, Lee Vining, Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, Lone Pine, Cartago, Mojave, Lancaster, Santa Clarita). We have six days to get from SLT to LA and play in LA, then onto Vegas (following 15) where we will be staying for a week then flying out to Hawaii.

I have acrophobia, but generally only with regards to driving (or passenger) on the road. I am fine with flying/helicopter/rides, well not fine but doable. However driving along cliffsides/steep drop-offs etc has me completely going to pieces. I am going to be trying hypotherapy to help before I go, in fact I have my first session in a few weeks where I will be testing it out the following week in Queenstown, NZ :D. I am really hoping it at least lessens my fear. I will likely also have backup sedation next year to take as well lol.

I have found that preparing for the "bad bits" slightly helps, as opposed to driving around the corner and seeing instant death lol. Looking at the road-trip and highways, where could I possibly pass out? The only one I know is Echo Summit just before we get to South Lake Tahoe, then apparently leaving SLT on 88/89, which is why I am going up 50 to Carson then down 395.

Any and ALL help is much appreciated!!

Here is the path we are taking visually....

https://ibb.co/TRD3GND

Edited: 12 August 2022, 03:23
24 replies to this topic
Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas
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Hi

Note that San Francisco is easily abbreviated SF. Locals don't seem to recommend HOHO tours, but maybe that one fits your budget. There are other tours recommended on the SF forum.

Not interested in Hwy 1, Monterey, Big Sur, etc?

>>The first few days will be doing touristy things, e.g. 3-day camping trip to Yosemite<<

As you know how to drive, I recommend driving yourselves to Yosemite. But of course you'd need lodging or campsite reservations, and it's late to look for lodging. And getting campsite reservations on the appointed day is incredibly challenging. Or maybe you are not taking a tour, but it's not entirely clear to me.

Then continue north to South Lake Tahoe via Hwy 49 & the California Gold Rush Country.

Auckland, New...
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2. Re: Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas
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Hi there, given my fear of heights, definitely not Big Sur! We havent decided on the Alcatraz/HOHO yet so may not decide on that. Given there may be a lot of driving height issues going into Yosemite we have booked a 3-day Yosemite tour (hubby not driving) and we get to camp INSIDE Yosemite rather than on the outskirts.

This post is more about the roads and my fear of heights, not really what activities we will be doing :D

Fremont, California
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3. Re: Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas
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I would do San Francisco and then rent the car. Do Yosemite next and then Lake Tahoe.

the only difficult part will be crossing the Sierras. Rest is pretty easy open road driving.

If you decide you want to do Hop On and Off tour in San Francisco, most of us who live in the bay area recommend it for first time visitors to the city. There is a couple who live there a long time who know all the bus routes by memory.

Enjoy your trip.

Dublin, California
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4. Re: Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas
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There are roads around Lake Tahoe that can be scary. For example, Hwy 89 along the west side of the lake. So I would not recommend driving to Emerald Bay.

Auckland, New...
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5. Re: Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas
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Yes we are doing SF first, a week there (and doing Yosemite within that time), then at the end of our time there we are renting the car and going to Lake Tahoe. I have read that Hwy 89 isnt good but luckily wasnt planning on going there, getting through that Echo Summit is going to be bad enough, but if I really want to go to Lake Tahoe then I need to do it. I know there is the longer way around apparently, but that would be a much longer trip so I will just suffer through Echo summit. Mini, you say the Sierras are bad, which part in particular?

Washington State
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6. Re: Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas
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Hi again

Just one Sierra Nevada mountain range.

No cliff edges or scary roads in Monterey and at Point Lobos.

I am curious how a tour can promise camping in Yosemite. What if they are unsuccessful in the mad scramble for campsiye reservations? Just curious...no problems.

I am also height - averse (exaggerated sense of falling) but I can't remember scary parts on these drives. Sorry.

Tacoma, Washington
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7. Re: Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas
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You are going to have issues with towne out of tahoe.

395 on the east side of the mountain runs a valley.

Getting to LA involves driving over mountain passes.

Auckland, New...
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8. Re: Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas
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Dan - Are there pinpoints along 395 east side that you can be more specific with? Also, can you be more specific about mountain passes on the way to LA? Are they along the route I have descibed (and pictured attachment)?

Pacific - this is what we have booked - https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductReview-g60713-d11449056-3_Day_Yosemite_Camping_Adventure_from_San_Francisco-San_Francisco_California.html

Also, we arent going to Monterey or Point Lobos.

Washington State
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9. Re: Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas
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Incredible Adventures has a good reputation. I hope you booked directly with the company.

Monterey....I just meant that the Monterey Peninsula including Point Lobos could be a great addition to your itinerary. Don't drive all the way down Hwy 1 through Big Sur. But you may not have time.

Auckland, New...
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10. Re: Road trip from SanFran-SLT-LA-Vegas
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I have contacted Incredible Adventures directly, and booked through TripAdvisor as I want everything through them.

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