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Driving in January from Grand Canyon South or North Rim to Lake Tahoe?

Driving in January from Grand Canyon South or North Rim to Lake Tahoe?

Old Aug 13, 17, 9:08 pm
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Smile Driving in January from Grand Canyon South or North Rim to Lake Tahoe?

I;m travelinig in january 2018 to the west coast .
Im interested in doing LAX LAS VEGAS GRAND CANYON LAKE TAHOE YOSEMITE SFO . Is it possible to drive from the North Rim to Lake Tahoe directly without going south to Las vegas??? or from las Vegas to Lake Tahoe which would be the most direct route??? so that then from tahoe I go south to Yosemite and enter the park from the west... and from there to sfo.
Is there a good stop to do from las vegas to tahoe except the Death Valley??
Another possibility would be going from Lax to Grand C directly and then stopping in Vegas ...But I would like to know if there is a good way of going from the north rim directly to tahoe and doing las vegas on the way from lax to grand canyon.
I hope I am clear enough, I;m not a native speaker
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Old Aug 13, 17, 10:17 pm
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Welcome to FT!

Since your trip will be in january, it is very likely that you will be dealing with some winter weather and road closures. Not many road closures, but enough to pre-determine your routing.

You can expect the Grand Canyon north rim to be closed. It is at an elevation of 8300' (2500m). You should on plan on visiting the south rim elevation 6800' (2100m); it is possible that the south rim could have snow on its roads but will be open.

The other winter problem could be crossing the Sierra Nevada. The east entrance to Yosemite will be closed for the winter. Even leaving Lake Tahoe could require chains on tires if there is a recent storm.

So your optimal route would be LAX- GCN south rim- LAS- TVL- Yosemite west entrance- SFO. If there is a possibility of winter weather it could be necessary to use roads at lower elevations, or Interstate highways. (Interstate 80 vs. U.S. 50)

You are correct about Death Valley being a good stop. It is definitely worth seeing. LAS-TVL will be a very long drive. Plan on 8 hours + stop time. There are 10 hours of daylight in january.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 10:56 pm
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Also welcome to FlyerTalk!

And don't forget to bring extra friends in case you get stuck on some snowy pass in the Sierras

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Old Aug 13, 17, 11:16 pm
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OP, please check distances and driving times carefully. You sound overly optimistic.
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Old Aug 14, 17, 6:40 pm
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How many days do you have to do your trip? To do everything you suggest I would advise at least 3 weeks.

The Grand Canyon north rim and the highway leading to it is closed during the winter (usually December to May), so that won't be an option.

I would add some short haul flights into your itinerary so you're not driving for the whole trip.

Also, the Consumer Electronics Show is in Las Vegas the second week of January. Expect massive crowds and sky high prices during this time.
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Old Aug 14, 17, 8:55 pm
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Exclamation Moderator's Action

Since the thread title and the OP's question and the ensuing discussion seem to be more about the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Lake Tahoe which is on the Nevada/California border, than about locations which are entirely within California, I'll move this thread to the West forum.

California moderator
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Old Aug 15, 17, 12:28 pm
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An itinerary you may want to consider (I am assuming you've booked flights home-LAX and SFO-home):

Arrive LAX. Spend a few days visiting Los Angeles.

Fly Los Angeles-Las Vegas.

Spend several days exploring Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon south rim, and Death Valley by car.

Return to Las Vegas. Fly Las Vegas-Sacramento.

Spend several days visiting Lake Tahoe and Yosemite by car.

Drive to San Francisco (or take train/bus from Sacramento to San Francisco).

Visit San Francisco bay area for a few days, the fly home.

Why would I recommend flying into Sacramento over Reno? Major snow storms are possible in the Sierra Nevada, which could prevent you from driving to Lake Tahoe. If you fly into Sacramento and a storm hits, you could alter your trip to spend time in the lower elevations of California, such as the Napa wine country or more time in San Francisco. You could also possibly still make it to Yosemite Valley depending on how low the snow level is. If you fly into Reno and storms hit the Sierras, well, you'll be spending time in Reno.

To give you an idea how much snow the Sierra Nevada can get, I went skiing at Squaw Valley on July 3rd of this year
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Old Aug 16, 17, 10:52 pm
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Something to keep in mind about Nevada--there is a major military area in the heart of Nevada. You're not getting through that area. All in all there are only four roads across the state. The northern one is way too far north for you. The other three are almost a wash--Google puts the travel time (North Rim to Lake Tahoe) for each of them within a 30 minute range.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 1:47 pm
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North rim is closed from mid October-Mid May

Tioga Pass in Yosemite and other roads in yosemite are closed in winter

How many days for this trip?
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Old Aug 24, 17, 1:56 pm
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Tanic mentions tire chains and you should be aware that you will probably be required by law to carry them on parts of the trip and, at least in CA, they really mean it. Car rental agencies outside ski areas are often not keen on you actually using them. That said, it is an excellent time of year to visit some of the places even if you don't make your full list.
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