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Driving from Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park

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The Scenic Drive From Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park
Half Dome Yosemite National Park

Half Dome From Yosemite Valley

Zeke Quezada
When you fly into Las Vegas you get a bird’s eye view of the American Southwest. You look across the desert and you can imagine yourself out there, lost, looking for direction. Take it easy, that rental car of yours probably has a GPS system and the highways are pretty easy to find. So if you feel like you want to see America, Las Vegas is the perfect place to base your adventurous journey.

You’ll check into your posh hotel and then embark on a few days of exploring.

Grab a map, some energy bars and plenty of water because with so many National Parks to see you will find it hard to pick just one.

Yosemite National Park from Las Vegas
447 miles – 7 hours of driving
Driving directions via Google maps

Yosemite Valley is so often photographed it is almost as if half dome and Yosemite Valley have been seen by everyone. In the summer this National Park gets a lot of visitors and frankly that is why I love this place. One of my greatest joys is getting on my bike in the middle of summer, amidst the crowds at the visitors centers and bus stops and riding through a meadow with only the sound of my bike and the wind. Yosemite Valley is so vast that you'll find a spot for yourself along the Merced River, in the shadow of El Capitan or within view of a waterfall and you’ll appreciate nature the way the rest of us city slickers do.

Get more details about Yosemite National Park from About.com's Guide to National and State Parks, Lauren Himiak

The hikes are numerous, rafting down the river is fun and if you feel really energetic you can either rock climb or try getting to the top of half dome.

How is the drive from Las Vegas to Yosemite?
You'll think it is a little long especially if you thought you would make it back in one day, you won't, this is a 2 day excursion or one really long day that is spent doing plenty of driving. I say 2 days simply because there is so much to see. You’ll be entering Yosemite National Park via the East entrance and Tioga Pass (unfortunately this route only works in late spring, summer and early fall). Make sure to stop at the Tioga Gas Mart, Whoa Nellie Deli is a very good surprise when looking for food on this route. Another must is on highway 395 in Bishop, Mahogany Smoked Meats for some exceptional beef jerky.

Things To See Driving from Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park
Death Valley National Park
Manzanar National Historic Site
Alabama Hills
Mammoth Lakes
Mono Lake
Tuolumne Meadows

Need Las Vegas updates? Follow me on Twitter @ZekeQuezada

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