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San Francisco to Death Valley: suggested overnight stop on the way?

Discussion in 'California' started by e-FTW, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Hey folks! This time it is for real: we have three nights booked at Stovepipe Village in Death Valley National Park (Sunday through Wed). First week of April, hopefully there are still flowers blooming in the park!

    The drive over there (via the 5 or 99, Supercharger coverage looks fine) is too long to do in a day, so we figured we'd stop somewhere on the way. Fresno? Bakersfield? Some Airbnb near Lake Isabella? Some awesome spot you know about?

    We will probably take the same path on the way back (since some roads may still be iffy over the Sierra), not sure what we'll do then.
     
  2. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    We stayed here about 10 years ago and thought it was great. Not as far as you probably want to go as it's in Hanford. After charging at Harris Ranch it's on the cut off road over to 99.

    The Irwin Street Inn
     
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  3. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

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    We actually had a great experience staying at Harris Ranch. Not exactly halfway. But very workable to leave in the afternoon, get there by dinner time and leave early the next morning for Death Valley. Comfortable rooms, nice amenities and I hope you are not a vegetarian.

    Enjoy your trip.
     
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  4. Ken395

    Ken395 Member

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    Kernville would be more interesting than Lake Isabella but is likely to be overrun with white water rafters on the weekend. A bit farther is Ridgecrest with a good selection of motels from Hampton Inn to Econo Lodge. There will be plenty of vacancies on that weekend. It's just 9 miles from the Inyokern supercharger so it'll be easy to leave for Death Valley with a 90% charge. The drive through Panamint Valley beyond Trona has dramatic mountains on either side of the road, but if it's windy there can be zero visibility (been there for that, total white out).

    Incidentally, getting from I-5 through Bakersfield to Hwy 58 is best on Stockdale Hwy ("Bakersfield" SC) rather than Rosedale Hwy (Buttonwillow SC). However, the Buttonwillow stop has much better selection of eating establishments, and Rosedale Hwy is a straight shot thru Bakersfield to Hwy 178 if that's the way you want to go.

    For wildflowers in Death Valley, the first week in April was prime time 40 years ago, but the last few super-blooms have been early to mid-March. Now you'll want to look around 2000' elevation, such as the road to Beatty NV.

    I can give some recommendations for your return trip if you want to take the scenic route home.
     
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  5. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    If you wish to be a contrarian, take the scenic route over the Sierra Nevada Range. Either US50 to Meyers, south on SR89 to SR88 or SR88 east from Stockton to Minden NV, south on US395 to the Gardnerville (Topaz Lake) SC. Then south on US395 to Mammoth for the night. Supercharge in Mammoth followed by Lone Pine to access DVNP.

    I have not checked on the maps that calculate time and distance for driving. But personally, I would rather drive an hour or two longer and have a nice, pleasant drive with mountains, deserts and valleys than suffering the ins and outs of negotiating Interstate 5 and SR58 with all the semis and 85MPH drivers. The deciduous fruit trees will be out of bloom by March 20, so nothing really to see here in the Valley.
     
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  6. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    I have charged there once, so I did notice the lack of non-animal protein! Haha! Not a problem, will see how far we want to go.

    This is fantastic information! Thank you very much! Will work that in to my research!


    I like contrarians, this is why I come here: for the multiplicity of ideas and suggestions.
    I am not disappoint! :)
    Will definitely check out those routes. We don't want to go to Yosemite without really going to Yosemite, so I had assumed a southern route made sense.
    Also, driving 85 MPH is the best way to optimize driving and charge time versus the charging taper. Not saying I've ever considered doing that, as this is my "friend" speaking...
     
  7. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    The rule of thumb is to never drive faster than you can charge. MPH in both cases but with different meanings. So if you are at the top of the charging curve, you may not get 85 mph. And let's not talk about some of the superchargers that are not giving all of their love.:eek:
     
  8. dmode

    dmode Member

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    Highly recommend this route. I did this route last year in my ICE car (didn't own my Tesla then) and was an unbelievable experience. US 395 is my favorite highway in California. The diversity of landscapes was mind blowing, with the Nevada desert on your left and snowy peaks on your right. I drove from Bay Area to Tahoe and then took the Monitor Pass to hop over to eastern side of the mountain. Took 395 down to Mammoth and stayed overnight there. Next morning drove down to San Diego, with multiple stops along the way, including at Lone Pine to check out Mt. Whitney up close. This is such an underrated drive.
     
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  9. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    Unfortunately, Monitor Pass is closed for the winter. With all the snow that we have received this year, I will be surprised if it is open by June 1. My guess is that June 15 is more likely.
     
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  10. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    That is my concern in planning the northern approach. Will dig into it later tonight. Gotta go cook dinner as my lame token of appreciation for Women's day. You guys do something better...
    To all the women around here, you rock, and can you please take over running the world already?
     
  11. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    The drive over Luther pass to 88 is pretty nice. A bit tricky to get over to 395 but no big deal. Probably faster than Monitor and you don't really miss a whole lot. Comes out near the same place, at least eventually. :)
     
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  12. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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  13. JasonA-EV

    JasonA-EV Member

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    We just did Death Valley 2 weeks ago (Furnace Creek area, Badwater, etc) but came up from the south (we live in SoCal) but DV is very doable with a 70. A 60 will be iffy but you'll need to stop at Panamint Springs with the 14-50 ;)

    Check the status of the road because I know that the road was washed out, Scotty's Castle is closed, etc..

    Take ext cords JiC, but it's beautiful right now on the eastern Sierra's!

    From the lowest to almost the highest! -178 bsl to 8589+ feet! almost to Sabrina but the road was cut off!

    Just put it in Range mode and set the cruise and let it go!
     

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  14. JasonA-EV

    JasonA-EV Member

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    I guess I forgot to read the title! LOL... you wanted stops? If you are stopping in Bishop then The Creekside Inn is awesome! and the whole place is filled with 120v/20a outlets all over the place! Just pull up and plug in. VERY EV friendly.

    If you are heading down 395, Ray's in Independence is THE place to crash at for the night, Linda is great and has a dedicated 14-50 just us! ;) There's also a great CO-OP in town to eat at! And that town has TONS of history as well! Manzanar is right down the road too.

    Then there's Lone Pine.. Get your juice on while you visit the museum then hit the 136 to DV!

    Good luck!
     
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  15. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Just be aware you won't have any cell signal staying at Stovepipe Wells. They claim to have internet, but its a satellite uplink and pretty much unusable. There are only payphones available on site, no phones in the rooms.

    So bring paper maps, paper guide books, etc. Dont rely on your cell phone maps unless they are offline capable. Furnace Creek Ranch is the nearest cell tower, so I prefer to stay there just for that reason even though they are similar amenities wise. Stovepipe is a great hotel with a wonderful view of the mountains and dunes.

    Plan your outings carefully, mileage from one end of the park to the other is significant. We get range anxiety even in an ICE, especially since the gas station at Stovepipe has run out of gas the past two times I have been.

    For a little extra fun, you can rent an offroad Jeep from Farabees across from the Furnace Creek Inn and explore the off the beaten path portions of the park. I have been out to Racetrack three times and it's a great trip every time.


    I second Creekside Inn in Bishop if you find a way over the Sierras. Great hotel.

    If you take the 58, Tehachapi might be an OK stop. Cute little town with a train history and a great BBQ joint called Red House. We drive from Palmdale to eat dinner there sometimes, its that good.
     
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  16. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    If you are going to do that then Titus canyon is a must. And the flowers might be better too because it's protected and you start out way above the valley floor.
     
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  17. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    You guys are awesome. Just awesome.
    If I figure out a way over the Sierras, this stuff will be priceless!
     
  18. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Great info, thanks. Not terribly concerned (I think) as we want to disconnect... :)

    Good point! Will plan to use the RV plugs every night. I also dropped by Tesla yesterday to grab their last 5-20 on hand. Just in case.
     
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  19. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    I just remembered another Must Do that you can actually do in the Tesla and it's to die for.

    Take Artists drive (it's just south of Furnace Creek). It's a one way road with great views. But the killer part is a roller coaster like ride about 2/3 of the way in. I has about 5 dramatic up and downs that you and your passengers will love.

    Artist's Drive (Death Valley National Park, CA): Top Tips Before You Go - TripAdvisor
     
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  20. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    OMG that is so happening.
     

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