Using 59 is an interesting idea. That is a secondary road. While is is something of a shortcut, it meanders quite a bit. From Merced most people would take 140 to 49 and then go north to Sonora. From Fresno, 41 also runs into 49. See if the mileage differs much. You can check on google maps
Use J59. We moved to Sonora from Los Angeles.
From North Hollywood/Toluca Lake area, figure 5 hours. I have done it in 4.75 hours WITHOUT hitting 80 mph starting out from the McDonald's near Lankershim/Vineland and Riverside Drive.
Leaving LA, we use 5 to Hwy 99 and on up to Merced, CA. In Merced we Exit *G* Street (remember Gold Country). This exit lane swirls around for awhile as you are coming off of the freeway, and then you will come to a traffic signal where it intersects with I forget what letter of the alphabet it is. Turn RIGHT and follow it out of town north. This becomes Snelling Road. (The exit for the official J59 is something like *P* or *R* street but it tangles through Merced so badly that it is a real time waster.)
Ater you have been on J59 for about 40-45 minutes, you will come to a T intersection at Hwy 120/108. Turn RIGHT (east) and it is another 16 miles to the Sonora area. PLEASE, DO NOT SPEED on J59! or on Hwy 120/108 The limit is 55 all the way and yes, you *could* go faster, but it is not only unsafe but you will surely be stopped by the CHP.
J59 is a very good road (2-way traffic only) through some beautiful countryside -- at first it looks like the puckie brush of Wyoming, then you get into oak studded rolling hills.
Why don't you *Google* Merced, CA to Sonora , CA via Snelling Road. Just remember that immediately east of Snelling, CA about 500 feet east of the pretty little cemetary and the elementary school is where you make a LEFT (north) to follow J59. (It cold be easy to miss this turn -- it IS marked however.)
From Merced to Sonora using this route always takes us one hour.Edited: 30 May 2013, 19:46
I forget what letter of the alphabet??? OMG, it is *G* street!
. . . and that misspelled word *COLD* should be *COULD*Edited: 30 May 2013, 19:50
From Valencia, CA? More like 4 and a half hours drive time.