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Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?

Baltimore, Maryland
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66 reviews
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Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?
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Ok, sort of a crazy question. Driving from LV early Sunday morning. Trying to 'save' a day, sort of. Can I realistically drive thru Death Valley, head North, Turn left at Lee Vining and drive into, thru and see anything in Yosemite, then pop out the other side late Sunday night? Or will it all just be a blurr...

16 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
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90,163 posts
188 reviews
151 helpful votes
1. Re: Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?
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Yes it will be a blur.

Yes it is feasible. https://goo.gl/maps/n3NieEw4nsoeuy1m6

You're the one who can determine if it's enjoyable. (I know I would be incredibly unhappy.)

Note that the NPS will be requiring a Day Use Entry Permit beginning May 21st, but they will allow you to drive straight through on Hwy 120 / Tioga Road if you don't stop. It's a timed entry that does not need a Day Use Permit to make. So if you want to get out of the car, you'd need a Day Use Permit. If you're just driving on Hwy 120 / Tioga Road, you will have many opportunities to "see anything in Yosemite" from your windshield & side window as this road goes through Yosemite. You would not be able to detour to Yosemite Valley without a permit.

Did you see the information in the Top Questions on the right? Full TripAdvisor Website

Baltimore, Maryland
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75 posts
66 reviews
33 helpful votes
2. Re: Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?
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So I bought the Day pass already. And the NPS yearly thing. My wife is arguing that we should stay overnight in Lee Vining or Mammoth Mountain overnight. Then drive in Monday morning. I wanted to cram it all into one day. I assumed it was at least an hour from Lee Vining to the entrance and maybe another hour to Mammoth? I have not idea how big Yosemite is, but I'm guessing HUGE.

Incline Village...
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3. Re: Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?
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It's 2.5 hours from Lee Vining, about 3 hours to the Yosemite Valley floor.

Unfortunately, you will driving that route in darkening, if not dark hours,

The posted speed within the park is 45 mph and that's so that you do not have potenially-fatal animal crashes with the wildlife.

Where is it you are staying in Yosemite? If not within the valley, you could be adding another 2 hours drive.

Edited: 03 May 2021, 23:10
4. Re: Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?

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5. Re: Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?

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Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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6. Re: Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?
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Hi

Lee Vining is about 15 minutes from the Tioga Pass Entrance. See the lodging topic to read more about drive times & mileages.

I "vote" with your wife. Spend more time enjoying. If you're really road warriors, travel to Tuolumne meadows on Day 1 (I assume the Day Use Permit starts that day) and then go back out to tiny Lee Vining. The next morning, stop briefly at Tenaya Lake and Olmsted Point, then go down to Yosemite Valley. Follow the Yosemite Valley tips in the Top Questions. I assume you cannot find lodging reservations in the Park; the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal is the lodging closest to the Valley.

Note that most of Tioga Road is 45 mph with some much slower sections. But the majority of Park roads are 35 mph speed limit.

Top Questions are visible on the full TripAdvisor website, not the app. Also look at the maps. Yosemite is almost 1200 square miles. (Death Valley is even bigger.)

Redlands, California
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7. Re: Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?
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Give yourself an overnight before driving to the Valley--there are multiple lodging options in June Lake as well (adds 10 minutes compared to Lee Vining) although some places do require a 2 night stay in high season. It is a fabulous drive and not one to be rushed.

Baltimore, Maryland
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75 posts
66 reviews
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8. Re: Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?
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Wow! Great and helpful responses! So, we'd be driving from Vegas around 7am, and heading towards Death Valley Junction...goal to just drive thru it so we can say we did it. Maybe take a pic or two. Drive to Lone Pine and then up 395 to somewhere for overnight. My pass gives me Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, so theoretically, we could go straight thru on Sunday afternoon and see some of the park, and then backtrack to Lee Vining. What I'd prefer not to do is go all the way there, spend 3 hours. Then drive 2 hours back to Lee Vining, then turn around and drive 2 more hours back to the park on Monday a.m. Again, mainly because I don't know the driving distances...

Atlanta area
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20 reviews
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9. Re: Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?
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>> "I don't know the driving distances"

Knowing the distances is helpful, but you are better to work with driving times rather than distances. Once you get up into the mountains you have lower speed limits, windy roads, traffic, etc -- you can't assume you'll make 70+mph for every mile of the trip.

Baltimore, Maryland
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75 posts
66 reviews
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10. Re: Las Vegas to Tioga Pass thru Yosemite in one day?
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Good point...

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