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Driving in to Yosemite/El Portal from San Fran

Stafford UK
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21 posts
71 reviews
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Driving in to Yosemite/El Portal from San Fran

Hi all,

We are staying at the Blue butterfly inn at the end of april for 2 nights.

We are crossing in to Yosemite from Pleasenton near SF!

We had originally looked at coming across to Chinese Camp, drop in via the 49 and then 120, Big Oak Flat, Buck Meadows and drop in to Yosemite, then back track a few miles in to El Portal? Is this a nice Scenic route?

We have been suggested that it might be better to come from Merced, Mariposa via the 140 Midpines and in to El Portal that way?

I believe this might be a quicker route but maybe not as scenic!

Any pointers guys? After Yosemite we are heading to Kernville so will be heading outwards of Yosemite via Fish Camp etc..

Rich

California
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1. Re: Driving in to Yosemite/El Portal from San Fran

I think they are all scenic. On 140 you are driving a very gradual incline along the Merced River. The rolling hills of the foothills are very nice in the spring.

Driving 49 to 120 is scenic as well. Going via 120 you will arrive in Yosemite Valley before exiting the park to El Portal to sleep.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: Driving in to Yosemite/El Portal from San Fran

All the routes are scenic! You can't go wrong which ever you choose. Coming in 120 and backtracking to El Portal on 140 will allow you to see areas you might not get to.

Be sure to visit Glacier Point and the Mariposa Grove.

Might I be allowed to make a quick observation? You will be flying over 6,000 miles to get to San Francisco from your home. Is saving the few miles and an hour by coming in through Merced really worth missing the exceptional scenery you'd see by taking a less direect route?

Stafford UK
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3. Re: Driving in to Yosemite/El Portal from San Fran

Thanks for all the advice, it was really just to see what might be the most scenic and nicest! Looks like its the 120 thru chinese camp then!!!

As i say we will be exiting via fish camp down to bakersfield and across to exeter and kernville which will be a very long drive i think!

Thanks all for the help, these boards are amazing for help and I am very grateful!

Rich

Salt Lake City, Utah
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640 posts
9 reviews
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4. Re: Driving in to Yosemite/El Portal from San Fran

You're welcome! Glad to help.

Drving down to Fresno will be a joy. I love the rolling hills toward the city from Oakhurst and the changing trees above it. The drive from Fresno to Bakerfield can be a bit tedious/boring ... but not too bad. Bakerfield/Exeter/Kernville is nothing. Try separating it into three small trips like that.

Not sure if the road to the Mariposa Grove will be open while you are there, but check and allow time for a visit on your way out of Yosemite ... you'll be talking about it all the way to Kernville.

My family might actually be passing you on the road at some point. We're visiting family in LA and decided to take the scenic route from the San Fernando Valley to San Jose on April 29 (through Visalia and Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park, overnighting in Fresno and driving through Yosemite on our way to the bay area).

5. Re: Driving in to Yosemite/El Portal from San Fran

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