Me and some mates r goin RTW in Jan 06, finishing off in the states
We r flying to LA then we want to travel to Vegas, Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite and fly out from SF to Vancouver
Can any one give us any tips, costs etc...
We want to spend approx 3 days in each.
Try and also visit Sequoia National Park, the GIANT trees are amazing! Google it and check out some pictures. It's not really that far out of the way between Death Valley and Yosemite.
Also, you probably don't need 3 days in Death Valley, so you could use the extra time to visit Sequoia, if you decide to do so.
Well, the one thing you need to be aware of if you are traveling in January is that the road that goes through Yosemite National Park will be closed due to the heavy snow. That means the only way to get to the park will be from the west side--and entails a long trip around the south side of the mountain range. You'll have to go to Death Valley then head back south to the city of Mojave(state highway 395), west to Bakersfield (state highway 58), then back north to Fresno(state highway 99), and then north up state highway 41 to Sequoia and/or Yosemite National Parks.
The only other option is to go north to Lake Tahoe on highway 395 and then take US Highway 50 west to Placerville, and cut south on state highway 49 to Yosemite.
In either case, this will lengthen your trip by at least 5-6 hours driving time over what you probably planned originally--and it could be a lot longer if its snowing when you get there. The reason you have to go far north or south to go around is that most of the mountains in this Sierra Nevada range are the biggest in the country outside of Alaska (even bigger than the Rockies in Colorado). For example, Mount Whitney is 14,495 feet high (4418 meters)--and many of the other peaks are almost as high.
What is kind of weird about this is that the lowest spot in the US is in Death Valley at a point called Badwater (-282 feet) (-86 meters)--and the two spots--Mount Whitney and Badwater are only around 90 miles (145 kilometres) from each other.