What is the best route from Yosemite to Death Valley?

I’ve been doing some car camping in northern California and just finished exploring the majestic Yosemite Valley. My next stop is Death Valley, but I’ve heard there’s more than one way to get there from here. What would be the best route to travel from Yosemite to Death Valley?

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Answer provided by
Mary Cahill
Answered on May 20, 2022
Wow, if these valleys don’t take your breath away—nothing will. The best route from Yosemite to Death Valley is via highways US-395 South and CA-190 East. This is assuming that you’ve crossed Yosemite Valley and are at the east entrance in the town of Lee Vining, California. This route to Death Valley takes about 2 hours and 50 minutes.
If you’re at the west entrance of Yosemite in El Portal, California, you can cross the national park to the east entrance through Highway 120—but be advised that this road is only open from late May or early June until the late fall season due to weather. If the road is closed, you will need to travel by car up and around the northside of the valley via highway CA-88 West to make your way toward Death Valley. Unfortunately, this is a six-hour detour so you’ll want to check Yosemite’s website for road advisories.
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