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Las Vegas - August

cheesey_toastiecheesey_toastie Posts: 20
edited March 2008 in Tour & expedition
Hi,

I'm in Vegas in August for a wedding and was looking for a 10 day(ish) tour that I can do. I was thinking about Death Valley. Am I sucidal to attempt this in August - or if I do my cycling 5am - Midday can I get away with it?

I've been to the States before and know that public transport (where available) is not too bike friendly but what are my options for getting to the West Coast where it might be cooler?

I'll be taking my Dawes tourer and panniers etc. I'm looking to fly into Vegas but wouldnt rule out the idea of an internal flight.

Anybody got any tips / ideas - I'm googling but I know this forum has some very experienced people!

Any help much appreciated!
====================
NZ tour pics at
http://www.stevemorgan.me.uk

Posts

  • rayboraybo Posts: 86
    Death Valley in August would be foolish. How do you think it got its name? I would recommend winter for touring in Death Valley. Even then, you have to plan carefully.

    August is vacation time in the US. With the value of the dollar in the toilet, it is likely that Americans will stay in the US and travel around (and lots of foreign tourists will come, as well) so it might be crowded on the roads and at campgrounds.

    Instead of going west, you might think about going east to Utah and riding around the Canyons (Bryce, Zion), which will still be hot but much more attractive. You could also ride along the West Coast, which in August will be warm (even hot further south) but gets those cooling ocean breezes. You could fly to San Francisco (driving would take one very long or two longish days and you can drive through Death Valley!) and ride down to San Diego.

    Keep in mind that Las Vegas has air connections to virtually every place in the US. Here is a list of the 10 "best" places to tour in the US. Here is a thread at www.bikeforums.net that discusses the best place to tour in the US.

    Ray
  • jc4labjc4lab Posts: 1,055
    Have no experience of cycling in the area myself but there are more scenic parts than Death Valley within reach of Las Vegas....Byrce Canyon in particular is stunning....Met a Japanese Girl cyclist touring alone in that area in August a few years ago..
    jc
  • mark1956mark1956 Posts: 221
    Another option would be to rent a car and do a series of short tours, leaving the car in a campground or motel parking lot for a few days while you cycle around, then move on. There are a lot of dull, empty stretches in the western US in between the scenic parts that are best traversed by car.

    Las Vegas has lots of good air connections, but taking your bike on a plane in the US gets expensive, and you would have to get from the airport to wherever you wanted to tour, and back.

    Bryce Canyon is beautiful, Zion is beautiful, but US National Parks will be very, very crowded in August. The north rim of the Grand Canyon is another good option, cooler and not as crowded as the south rim.
    mark
  • craigentycraigenty Posts: 960
    We drove through Death Valley in August. There are signs at the side of the road that say "Don't stop, your tires could melt!"
    We stopped at a motel with a pool, I was so hot I ran from the car and dived in the pool. The water was red hot and nearly burnt me. Other than that it's great. :lol:

    Craig
  • Stick to the casinos, their air conditioned.
  • tatanabtatanab Posts: 1,283
    Get them to postpone the wedding until October so you can ride the Death Valley Double Century http://www.adventurecorps.com/dvfall/

    I used to live the other side of the mountains, still a fair way inland from LA. Club rides would start at 7 am to finish not long after 12. Even then the temperature would be 120F. I drove through Death Valley in very early April one year. It was positively balmy; the hottest point was only 100F.

    I'd second the rent a car and stay in each place a couple of days. The problem is you will not find anywhere to stay near Grand Canyon or Yosemite. Perhaps head SW instead. The mountains over by Big Bear lake are nice, you'd be travelling from desert to greenery, and then perhaps head down to San Diego which is a very pleasant and relaxed city.
  • mark1956mark1956 Posts: 221
    tatanab wrote:
    I'd second the rent a car and stay in each place a couple of days. The problem is you will not find anywhere to stay near Grand Canyon or Yosemite. Perhaps head SW instead. The mountains over by Big Bear lake are nice, you'd be travelling from desert to greenery, and then perhaps head down to San Diego which is a very pleasant and relaxed city.

    There are (or were) US Forest Service campgrounds and I believe one or two private campgrounds east of Yosemite National Park along CA State Highway 120, the Tioga Pass Road. Approaching Yosemite from Las Vegas one would pass through Mammoth Lakes, which has plenty of hotel rooms and campsites, being a large ski resort. Yosemite Valley is too hot and crowded in August, but the high country of Yosemite National Park is still worth a visit.
    mark
  • KeithGKeithG Posts: 1,010
    Hi Cheesey
    I'd recommend hiring a car and heading North East into Utah (the whole state could be a National Park-it's very spectacular) where the highlights would be Zion and the smaller but prettier Bryce Nat. Parks. You could leave a car at St George or Cedar City and do day rides into the Parks or do a mini tour (or even just hike) but you might need to camp as accomodation is difficult during this busy (and hot) time of year.
    You'd have a great trip if you focused on these 2 areas only and saw them over a minimum couple of days in each.
    Enjoy it, we did. They are better (but smaller and quieter) than the Grand canyon.
    If you wanted to do day rides out from Vegas, visiting Red Rocks canyon would also be a great day trip or tootalling around Lake Mead and the Hoover dam would be doable but I haven't cycled these areas and you'd need to check out distances from town.
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