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Best route from Yosemite to Sonora

Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
109 posts
9 reviews
Best route from Yosemite to Sonora

I have booked 2 nights at Tenaya Lodge while visiting Yosemite. We will then head to Sonora and spend time seeing all the sights on our way to Sutter Creek. Does it make sense to spend just 1 night at Tenaya and then stay at Mariposa for the second night after leaving Yosemite to save driving time to Sonora? I don't know if we'll miss some nice scenery between Oakhurst and Mariposa.

8 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71,353 posts
132 reviews
1. Re: Best route from Yosemite to Sonora

This is your May visit, right? Which part of the month?

Tenaya Lodge is in Fish Camp, just outside the South Entrance. Drive time to Mariposa Grove is about ten minutes. Drive time to Glacier Point (IF, and it's a big IF, the Glacier Point Road is open) is at least an hour. Drive time to Yosemite Valley or between Yosemite Valley & Glacier Point is about an hour.

How much time do you have for Yosemite tourism? Will you be visiting Mariposa Grove on the first day you arrive at the Tenaya Lodge? Or are you arriving late in the day and planning only one day for Yosemite NP?

I think it makes the most sense to drive back into Yosemite NP and then out via Hwy 120 / Big Oak Flat. That's a longer drive than via Oakhurst & Mariposa, but getting to spend some more time in Yosemite NP is definitely "worth it."

The drive on Hwy 49 between Oakhurst and Mariposa is rolling foothills. It's nice, but it's not worth a detour.

If you want to change lodgings often, then go ahead and stay in Mariposa on Night 2. It's a bit further from Yosemite Valley than Fish Camp, but the drive along the Merced River / Hwy 140 is pretty. Then drive curving Hwy 49 to Sonora on Day 3.

==============

With so little time available, it would be nice if you could stay in Yosemite Valley one night. But May is a very popular time to visit.

Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
109 posts
9 reviews
2. Re: Best route from Yosemite to Sonora

We are arriving at Yosemite from Sequoia (Wuksacchi Lodge) May 7. I'm not sure how long a drive that will be, but I am hoping we can spend at least a day and a half at Yosemite. I figured that Glacier Point will probably be closed, I was planning on heading directly to Yosemite Valley right away. That means driving back to Fish Camp for the night and back to the valley the next morning. I think it probably makes sense to stay as long as possible the second day and spend the night closer to the park on either Hwy 120 or 140. Any suggestions of a reasonably priced place to stay?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71,353 posts
132 reviews
3. Re: Best route from Yosemite to Sonora

I don't think there is any other hotel closer to the Park than Tenaya Lodge. There are private condos & cabins inside the Park and some hotels in the Park, but no hotels are closer to the boundary.

Or do you mean you want a hotel closer to Yosemite Valley?

All the lodging options are described in the Top Questions on the right side of the page. There is a map included. Is Yosemite Lodge at the Falls not available? Nothing in El Portal?

If you want a full service hotel, then Tenaya Lodge might be your best bet.

It's about 4 hours (without stops) from Wuksachi Lodge to the heart of Yosemite Valley.

4. Re: Best route from Yosemite to Sonora

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Removed on: 06 February 2014, 08:33
 
5. Re: Best route from Yosemite to Sonora

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Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
109 posts
9 reviews
6. Re: Best route from Yosemite to Sonora

Thanks everyone for your advice. I will consider taking Highway 120 even though it will take longer. Does it make sense then to keep my reservation for 2 nights at Tenaya?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71,353 posts
132 reviews
7. Re: Best route from Yosemite to Sonora

It makes sense if you want to spend two nights in one place, if the quality of lodging at Tenaya Lodge is what you want, and if it fits your travel style. But staying there will make a longer drive on Day 3.

Staying in Yosemite Valley usually makes the most "sense" for first time visitors. But everyone doesn't have the same travel style, budget, or travel plan.

Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
109 posts
9 reviews
8. Re: Best route from Yosemite to Sonora

Thanks, I will be looking at staying 1 night in the Valley.

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