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Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

Nashville, Tennessee
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Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

I'd like to know the best day trip (with one overnight) to Gold Country. We've been to Sutter's Mill and would like to go south. Thanks!

Newbury Park...
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1. Re: Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

We really enjoy the town of Murphy. Close enough to Calaveras Big Tree Park, cavern exploration and an easy drive to Columbia State Park.

Nashville, Tennessee
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2. Re: Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

Thanks so much - I will check that out. If at all possible, it would be nice to get to the western end of Yosemite. We'll see.

Sacramento, CA
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3. Re: Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

Check out the town of Columbia and Sonora.

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Sonora
Sonora
California
Nashville, Tennessee
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4. Re: Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

Thanks for the tip. What can you tell me about the drive to the Western Entrance to Yosemite? It's not far, but the roads obviously deterimine how long it will take to get there.

Oakland, California
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5. Re: Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

From Sonora the Northern Entrance to Yosemite is about an hour away, especially if you take the shortcut on Old Priest Grade. From there it's about another 45 minutes to the valley (all times contingent on traffic and road conditions.)

Nashville, Tennessee
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6. Re: Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

Thanks macjack. So, you're saying that it is about 1 hr 45 minutes to get into the park from Sonora? What about if we are in Columbia? Once there, what can you tell me about inexpensive lodging? (you're the desitnation expert)I've done a lot of research, but some advise will help. Unfortunately we won't be spending much time in the park. That will have to be another trip. If there are specific cites or links you use that you would like to pass on, that would be great.

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Sonora
Sonora
California
Oakland, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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7. Re: Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

When are you planning on traveling? Summer reservations may be tricky, although cancellations do happen and weekdays are more possible than weekends.

Folks usually start at yosemitepark.com which has all the accommodations within the park itself. Even a tent cabin at Curry Village isn't bad for a night, if you don't mind walking to the bathroom. Staying within Yosemite Valley gets you closest to the most famous sights of the park, but also the most visited. It's a huge park and there is a lot to see, but on a short trip most people will focus on the many things to see in Yosemite Valley as well as a drive up to Glacier Point to catch a glimpse of the high country and the view down into the valley.

There are good overviews of what to see and where to stay in the "before you go" section at the Yosemite forum.

Nashville, Tennessee
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8. Re: Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

I will check out the forum - thanks.

We are going next Saturday/Sunday or Sunday/Monday. (not Memorial Day weekend - next weekend) Will know more tonight. It's mainly a drive on Hwy 49 - with a detour to the park. There is a loop of sort on the map that I figure we will drive with a stop for photo-ops, then start working our way back to San Francisco.

Oakland, California
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9. Re: Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

Well, if you can get a place to stay in or around Columbia/Sonora, you could just make it a day trip from there into the park, then head out of the park on 140. To give yourself as much time as possible in the park, you could opt to stay in a motel in Mariposa or Merced on the way back to SF.

Another possibility would be to visit the gold country during the day, then head up to Groveland on 120 and stay there a night (see staynearyosemite.com or check out our favorite Hotel Charlotte.)

This would get you even nearer to Yosemite for a day trip, then you could leave out of 140 as mentioned above.

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Sonora
Sonora
California
Mariposa
Mariposa
California
Merced
Merced
California
Groveland
Groveland
California
Nashville, Tennessee
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10. Re: Best Day/Overnight to Gold Country

Thanks for your recommedations. We're going to spend two nights now. (yay!)One near Colma, Sutter's Mill, etc., doing the gold country thing, and one at Yosemite. I read somewhere online that there are little deserted towns/settlements along 49 in addition to those advertised. What do you know about this?