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Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

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Harpers Ferry, West...
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Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

Hello,

Does anyone have an opinion on which is the best route to take? According to Google maps, the time is about the same between a northern route (880/205/102/108/120) or southern route (152/99/41). We'll need a grocery store along the way.

Thanks!

Washington State
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1. Re: Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

I think marmot (a Yosemite DE) knows the best answer to this one. I'll PM her, in case she doesn't see your message.

Oakdale (120) has Raley's & Save Mart, both big stores with Raley's a little bit 'higher end.' Oakhurst (41) has Von's & Raley's, about comparable quality & price. I prefer Von's and use the free club card for discounted groceries & gasoline.

Mariposa, California
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2. Re: Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

Hmmm...this is a little tough to tell since it's Yosemite West you're headed to. I'd have a more definite answer if you were going to Yosemite Valley.

I can tell you that my friend that lives in Yosemite West takes the southern route....so 101 south through Gilroy, 152 east through Los Banos, hwy 59 into Merced, hwy 99 south briefly to hwy 140 east to Mariposa. From Mariposa, my friend says it's not going to make much difference which way you go....continuing east to the edge of the Valley and catch hwy 41 south from ther OR from Mariposa take hwy 49 south to Oakhurst, and then north on hwy 41. Friend never takes hwy 120, though I suspect if a person was coming in from San Francisco that would be a good route.

The advantage of heading south to Oakhurst is that you will drive through those two big grocery stores mentioned above...Vons and Raleys.

In Merced there is a Costco and a Walmart if you are so inclined, as well as a SaveMart grocery and Raleys...but it will take you off the freeway for a bit.

Happy planning!

Harpers Ferry, West...
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3. Re: Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

Thank you for the helpful insider tips!

Long Barn...
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4. Re: Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

Yes, it is a pretty much a toss up upon routes. However, I would favor coming in via route 41 for only one reason--- the tunnel view. It is a great introduction to Yosemite. There are also large grocery stores in Los Banos if you decide to go that route.

San Jose, California
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5. Re: Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

I am with CaSwede - Hwy 41 would be my choice for the Tunnel View entrance to Yosemite Valley. We took this route on our first trip to Yosemite and it was amazing. We've all seen pictures of Yosemite Valley from all angles, but to actually get there and see the valley in all it's splendor with your own eye - amazing, unforgetable.

Palm Springs...
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6. Re: Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

The quickest route is 680 to 580 to 205, then 120 north to Oakdale, east on 120/108 to 120/49. Then 120 all the way into the Valley. When you get into the Valley, take the turnoff towards 41 and Bridalveil Falls. Within a mile you will get to the tunnel viewpoint. This route will save you considerably in time traveled. If you are willing, have a car in good shape you can take Old Priest Grade on 120 between Mocassin and Big Oak Flat. It will save you another 20-30 minutes.

Harpers Ferry, West...
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7. Re: Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

Hi All, Just reporting back with a thank you. We drove in via 120 past Valley View and Tunnel View. Great advice on how to enter the park for the first time. Drove out via 41 in the dark but appreciated scenery after dawn. We'd probably do this in/out route again next time.

Washington State
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8. Re: Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

Since Valley View is about 1/4 mile UP Northside Drive (on the one way section headed toward you), did you drive the loop around (across the Pohono Bridge, to Southside, back across El Capitan Bridge, to Northside), or did you park at the intersection and walk? It's a great view, but it's a bit challenging to access. I'm wondering if you found a sneak-route.

Map nps.gov/yose/…yosevalley2008.pdf

Harpers Ferry, West...
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9. Re: Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

I misnamed our stop, looking back at the Yosemite map. We stopped on the way down Big Oak Flat Road, just after the two short tunnels at a pull off with a great view (not the actual "Valley View," so no, didn't discover the secret back way!)

Palm Springs...
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10. Re: Which driving route from San Jose to Yosemite West?

You know, it really doesn't matter. You saw some great scenery, had a great time and enjoyed yourselves. Thanks for coming to our neck of the woods!