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How’s the drive from Vegas to Kings Canyon/Sequoia

Angola, New York
Level Contributor
12 posts
86 reviews
How’s the drive from Vegas to Kings Canyon/Sequoia

We have many questions-will be visiting Sequoia NP for the first time. Is it possible to drive from Vegas? We hope to come in May-early June. Are any areas affected by the aftermath of wildfires or would that be a concern in the area? Also what’s the best area to stay a few nights? In or out of the park?

7 replies to this topic
Sunnyvale...
Level Contributor
7,019 posts
57 reviews
1. Re: How’s the drive from Vegas to Kings Canyon/Sequoia

In theory, yes, but not directly. Please read up about Mount Whitney. It’s ridiculously expensive to build a highway over a mountain that big, which is why there’s no access from the eastern side of the park. You’ll have to circle around through Tehachapi to access the park via Three Rivers or Fresno and either way it will be very time-consuming.

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
14,088 posts
120 reviews
2. Re: How’s the drive from Vegas to Kings Canyon/Sequoia

Of course it's possible to drive from Las Vegas to Sequoia. And you could do it in one day if you like longer drivers. It's about 7 hours wheels turning via the 15 and the 58 (then to the 99 and the 198). Get gas in Three Rivers, as there's no gas in the park.

It's not just the cost that keeps roads from being built over the high Sierra, it's also the fact that the entire area is protected wilderness and the environmental impact would be enormous (it's not technically possible to do without cutting switchbacks, using explosives, into the face of the Eastern Sierra).

There are no after effects from fires near Sequoia (there really weren't major fires in or near the park this year).

It's 400 miles from LV to the General Sherman Tree.

If you don't stay in the park, you have to make a round trip journey of 3-4 hours daily to stay in a hot, dry nearby foothill town. If you can't stay in the park, you will make things difficult for yourself and see much less of the parks.

There are not many places to stay in the parks. Sequoia has but one (Wuksachi, it's a hotel with regular amenities). Kings Canyon has cabins (small, rustic, shared baths IIRC, not sure), and a lodge (rustic, but private baths). Actually, Kings Canyon has two inns/lodges.

Roads should be open between the two parks by your travel dates. Wuksachi is in a less traveled/touristed area than the lodgings in Kings Canyon. There's also Montecito-Sequoia (between the two parks) and Stoney Creek Lodge. There are sometimes cabins at Hume Lake, but it's a bit further back into the parks from there.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
16,877 posts
52 reviews
3. Re: How’s the drive from Vegas to Kings Canyon/Sequoia

Plan to take several days and go to Death Valley on the way. It's a popular visitor destination between Las Vegas and Sequoia. Spend a day or two enjoying DV and take it easy; the park is as big as Luxembourg and Lebanon combined, and it is 6-7 hours from Sequoia-Kings Canyon.

Angola, New York
Level Contributor
12 posts
86 reviews
4. Re: How’s the drive from Vegas to Kings Canyon/Sequoia

Thank you for the great info!

Level Contributor
12 posts
68 reviews
5. Re: How’s the drive from Vegas to Kings Canyon/Sequoia

I did this trip 2 years ago from Sequoia National Park to Las Vegas. Due to traffic on the interstate going towards Nevada on I-15 by the Mojave Desert our trip was nearly 12 hours. It's a great scenic drive but I suggest you stopping somewhere in between.

I originally flew to Las Vegas for my trip, rented a car and went to Death Valley first and then Yosemite/Sequoia. The trip from Las Vegas to Yosemite was a lot more manageable thanks to our overnight in Death Valley. We were there in no time. I highly recommend staying somewhere in between. Death Valley is the perfect place. Seems like it's right in the middle.

Enjoy your trip!

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
14,088 posts
120 reviews
6. Re: How’s the drive from Vegas to Kings Canyon/Sequoia

It's unusual for it to take that long. The 58 was built to shorten the route from Bakersfield to Vegas (to about 4 hours, sometimes a little less). General Sherman tree to Bakersfield is (usually) another 3 hours, sometimes a little less. So six hours is a typical time, via 99 and 58 to I-15.

12 hours is really really long and it had to have been some major accident to cause that. There's really no need to stay in Barstow (which is halfway). Death Valley is considerably out of the way. You'd have to go out to Mojave (4 hours from General Sherman Tree) then 2.5-3 hours to Stovepipe wells. That's 6 hours just getting to DV (and there's no predicting traffic incidents).

DV to Vegas would then be another 4 hours or so, so that on average is a 4 hour longer route.

Angola, New York
Level Contributor
12 posts
86 reviews
7. Re: How’s the drive from Vegas to Kings Canyon/Sequoia

Whew-I’m so glad to hear drive to Vegas is not always 12 hrs! Visiting Sequoia has always been a dream so thank you for the Encouraging news.

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