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Best drive route from South Lake Tahoe to Coulterville?

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Brent Knoll, United...
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Best drive route from South Lake Tahoe to Coulterville?

My husband and I are travelling from South Lake tahoe the second week in June 2012. Which would be the best drive to take?

We will then be visiting Yosemite for two whole days. Please can you advise on an itinery to see the best places the park has to offer.

We are both early 30's and fit but from the UK so need as much help as possible. We would like this to be magical as it is our honeymoon.

Please help?

Washington State
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1. Re: Best drive route from South Lake Tahoe to Coulterville?

Hi Karyn G

The most scenic route to cross the Sierra Nevada mountain range is Tioga Pass & Tioga Road / Hwy 120. But there are so many great places to stop along this route that you'll have to be selective. The 'best' options on this route are Bodie State Historical Park (ghost town), Mono Lake (tufa spires), and Tuolumne Meadows (inside the Park.) Google maps shows this drive to be about 4.5 hours without stops.

As far as what to do when you drive into Yosemite each day, take a look at the Top Questions (Trip Reports) and the Itineraries in the upper right. Just about every 'best place' is described at some point, but one person's list of 'best places' will not be the same as someone else's. For example, a quiet picnic for two in a view spot or along the river appeals to me much more than a lunch for two in the Ahwahnee Hotel or less expensive Ahwahnee Bar. But both could be considered a 'best' lunch.

Hopefully you'll spend some time driving up to Glacier Point. Hike to Sentinel Dome (2.2 mile round trip) or even Taft Point - Pohono Trail - Sentinel Dome (4+ mile loop.) Stop at Washburn Point for views and Glacier Point for views.

Last tip, as your lodging is so far from the Park, be sure to get in early in the morning and to carry water and snacks with you.

Read over those Top Questions and Itineraries, and let us know what questions you have.

Happy Honeymoon Planning!

California
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2. Re: Best drive route from South Lake Tahoe to Coulterville?

Hi Karyn ~

Your title says you will be going to Coulterville from South Lake Tahoe. Coulterville, as you know, is on California Highway 49. It sounds as though you wll be headquartered in Coulterville for visiting Yosemite Nat Park.

The above post has made an excellent choice for traveling. However, may I suggest another route for you (I personally know it quite well).

Take Highway 89 south from South Lake Tahoe to Highway 88 (about 26 miles). Then Highway 88 west to Jackson California. This highway is very good and you will enjoy some beautiful scenery. At Jackson, travel south on Highway 49 to Coulterville, about 2 hours drive time. This is part of what is called The Mother Lode, or The Gold Country, aptly named for the gold discovery and ensuing gold rush of 1848/1849.

TRAVEL TIP: Once in Jackson, go north on Highway 49 about two miles to Sutter Creek (too cute) and one more mile north on Highway 49 to Amador City (way too cute).

* * * * * * *

P.S. One highway that I would not recommend is Highway 4 from near Markeleeville. Perhaps 30 miles are one lane with many curves until you get to Arnold, California. Those thirty miles can take an hour. (Been there, done that)

Have fun!

Edited: 29 April 2012, 16:26
Napa, CA
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3. Re: Best drive route from South Lake Tahoe to Coulterville?

Karyn - Everyone is assuming you are staying in Coulterville. That would be an unusual choice. So, where are you staying, exactly?

Long Barn...
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4. Re: Best drive route from South Lake Tahoe to Coulterville?

I am guessing you plan on spending the night at the Hotel Jeffery. Not much to see and do in Coulterville. The route I would take, would be to use 395 south to 120 over Tioga Pass and then turn north on 120 out of the park. Near Buck Meadows take the road to Greely Hill and down the hill to Coulterville.

Brent Knoll, United...
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5. Re: Best drive route from South Lake Tahoe to Coulterville?

Hi, everyone is correct to assume this. We will be staying here for the two nights. Thamks

Brent Knoll, United...
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6. Re: Best drive route from South Lake Tahoe to Coulterville?

Thank you very much for the advise.

Brent Knoll, United...
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7. Re: Best drive route from South Lake Tahoe to Coulterville?

Thanks for the advise. Very helpful

8. Re: Best drive route from South Lake Tahoe to Coulterville?

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