We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Route Planning - Help!!!

4 posts
Save Topic
Route Planning - Help!!!

I would be so grateful if someone could give us some advice on planning our route!

We are flying into San Fran on 7th October and collecting our car on the 12th & will be driving to Vegas & then finishing our trip off in L.A. (15 nights to do this in)

We had planned to drive down the coast from San Fran to Big Sur (Hearst Castle etc) and then head inland towards Death Valley (heading to Vegas) as have been told that past the point of Big Sur, the Coast line is pretty much the same (is this correct?).

We have just discovered Yosemite & really don’t want to miss it out of our trip, but cant see how we can visit Yosemite and do the scenic route down the coast without doubling back on ourselves? I would be grateful for any suggestions on what would be the best routes to take!


Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
853 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Route Planning - Help!!!

When you're in San Francisco, there's maybe a 1 day tour to see Yosemite you may want to check out.

I think the coastline of California via PCH 1 is really beautiful. There are times that you are just going to stop to take a look at the incredible views. There is a large elephant seal colony right on Piedras Blancas before you hit San Simeon-Hearst Castle(if driving south from San Francisco). I suggest you stop by, they are very interesting to watch, lying on the beach in the wild. We've done the PCH 1 route a couple times now and never get tired ot it.

Pacific Grove...
Level Contributor
871 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Route Planning - Help!!!

15 days with a car correct?

It would be good to take Hwy 1 from SF to Big Sur, then south on Hwy 1 to Hwy 46, which goes east all the way to Hwy 99, then get some other highways to Vegas. I think that Hwy 46 is the wine route and it is a nice backroad Hwy. The coast is still pretty south of Big Sur.

Then North to Yosemite, then a little double back to Lemore. From Vegas to Yosemite I would take 95 in Nevada.

Then from Yosemite to Lemore a varied route would be partially through the county roads from Coarsegold to Chowchilla. You will need a Madera County map. It is out there, but so much better than going down 99, and rancher style views.

Keep an eye out for snow in Yosemite. Chains may be required, and passes closed. Snow came early last year.