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Route 101 or 5 for Crater Lake to Yosemite & stopover ideas?

Singapore, Singapore
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Route 101 or 5 for Crater Lake to Yosemite & stopover ideas?

I'll be driving from Crater Lake to Yosemite this coming June and was wondering whether I should take route 101 or 5. We have two days one night to travel and I'm not sure how scenic 101 is and whether it would be worth the extra miles. Do you guys have any advice?

Also, I am trying to find a good place to stay for the night along the route as well as anything that's nice to see along the way. Any ideas?

Thanks for all your help and advice in advanced!

Napa, CA
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1. Re: Route 101 or 5 for Crater Lake to Yosemite & stopover ideas?

If you go over to 101, you will be adding about 4 hours to your driving time. Going down I-5 is much quicker. Take 97 though from Crater Lake through Klamath Falls and join I-5 in Weed.

If you want to avoid the boring interstate drive, you could take 89 via Portola through the mountains. You could even drive through Lassen National Park if the road is open at the time of your visit. You could also visit Lake Tahoe. If you decide on the Tahoe route, that's where I would spend the night, in King's Beach or Tahoe City.

If you decide to take I-5, you could spend the night in our state capital, Sacramento and then get an early start to beat the heat and get to Yosemite as early as possible in the morning.

Washington State
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2. Re: Route 101 or 5 for Crater Lake to Yosemite & stopover ideas?

How many days do you have to visit Yosemite? If this were my drive, I'd try to get as close to Yosemite as possible to maximize tourism time. The I-5 route is around 550 miles to Yosemite Valley. http://goo.gl/maps/I5Rvl

I assume you have investigated the early season options at Crater Lake. I know that some roads open in June and some in July.

Nevada
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3. Re: Route 101 or 5 for Crater Lake to Yosemite & stopover ideas?

Paul,

< I have been over the highways you mention in your post -- and more, in the land between Crater Lake National Park and Yosemite. >

In a nutshell, scenic means slow. Boring means fast. Also, it is a long drive between Crater Lake and Yosemite even if using the fast routes. I think highway 101 is just too far out of the way, especially when you say you have only 1 night for a stopover. There are other scenic roadways you can take.

For the quickest and most scenic route, I would combine some I-5 freeway driving with some scenic mountain highway driving.

I would leave Crater Lake and get over to I-5 the shortest way possible - probably Highway 62 WEST and pick up I-5 in Medford, OR. I-5 would be scenic until I get to Redding, CA. (One of the prettiest, if not THE prettiest California Roadside Rest Areas that I know of is on I-5 very close to the state line of Oregon and California. It's in a small canyon with beautiful trees, grass and a splashing creek!)

Next, decide where I would spend my 1 night stopover -- either in Chester, CA or in Tahoe City, CA -- depending upon my time and how tired I felt.

If highway 89 through Lassen Volcanic National Park is open for the summer - it will probably be open by June, I would do that and stay in Chester, CA. There is a Best Western in Chester but I like The Bidwell House in Chester, CA www.bidwellhouse.com which is a 14 room bed and breakfast. If I did not feel tired, I would continue on highway 89 SOUTH to Tahoe City, CA for my 1 night sdtopover. (In June it gets dark around 8:00

PM.)

If I stayed in Chester, on my second day I would leave Chester, CA and take highway 89 SOUTH to Quincy, CA and continue SOUTH to Truckee, CA and stay on 89 to Tahoe City, CA. Take 89 SOUTH to South Lake Tahoe, continue on 89 SOUTH to highway 395 via Markleeville, CA and over Monitor Pass. Then, highway 395 SOUTH to highway 120 and enter Yosemite Park via 120 and the Tioga Pass Road.

If you do not like mountain driving over very good highways, then forget everything I just wrote and just take Interstate 5 all the way to Stockton, CA where you will crossover to highway 99 and then south on 99 to Merced, CA where you will follow the road signs to Yosemite.

Have fun!

(Sorry to rant. I don't mean to rant.)

Edited: 24 January 2013, 17:33
Nevada
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4. Re: Route 101 or 5 for Crater Lake to Yosemite & stopover ideas?

Paul, I should have said Manteca, CA, not Merced, CA.

So . . . Highway 99 from Stockton, CA south to Manteca, CA -- where you will follow the signs to Yosemite.

Have fun!

Napa, CA
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5. Re: Route 101 or 5 for Crater Lake to Yosemite & stopover ideas?

And I should have said Quincy, not Portola. Had Clint Eastwood on the brain. Where's travelingrunner to correct me?

Anyway, it's about 20 minutes quicker to take Hwy 97 to Weed than go through Medford and Ashland and you can run into traffic delays there. Check it out on google maps. 97 is more scenic too overall.

So Cal
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6. Re: Route 101 or 5 for Crater Lake to Yosemite & stopover ideas?

We drove up the 101 to Crescent City, and left Crater Lake via the 97 to 5 route. The 97 was pretty; also faster than you might think, even though it's highway, not freeway. Nice farmlands, forest, Klamath Lake, plus the route along lava flow areas was unexpected. Then you have a good long view of Mt Shasta as you head toward Weed. Redding is a good lunch spot.

After Redding, the scenery on the 5 is pretty boring. But I think if you head over to the coast, you're just going to make a great big detour without any time to really get out and enjoy it. In short, no, I don't think the scenery is worth the detour.

7. Re: Route 101 or 5 for Crater Lake to Yosemite & stopover ideas?

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