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Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

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Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

Hello,

Please could someone help me. I got some brilliant advice from the Cal forum but could do some more specific info. This is where we got up to on the Cal forum -->

£"Aug 6: leave SF. Stay IN Yosemite.

Aug 7: leave Yosemite Valley. Exit Tioga Pass. Stay along Hwy 395.

Aug 8: Continue South on 395, then head east through DVNP. Arrive Las Vegas.

Yosemite forum page: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g61000-i315 When you open this page, look on the right side for the relevant Top Questions & Trip Ideas. Read. Then repost. There are some folks who only help on the Yosemite forum; they won't see any Yosemite questions here on your California state driving itinerary thread. So please repost there. I don't want you to miss out on their valuable advice! In your new thread on that forum, let folks know that your driving from SF in the morning and that you're heading out the next morning. Share who is in the group and more about your travel style (a short hike, a romantic stroll, a great photo op, love nature, looking forward to seeing HUGE trees, views are ideal, whatever.)

Las Vegas to Yosemite drive (you'll do the reverse order) tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361"

Is it bad if I stay near mammouth on 6th and then go to Yosemite park bits to do stuff? And on my final day before driving to DV stay near Lone pine or something?

Washington State
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1. Re: Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

Hi. Me again. Glad you think my advice is brilliant. :)

The big problem is that Mammoth Lakes is 2.5 hours from Yosemite Valley. Yes, it's less than an hour to the Tioga Pass entrance to the Park, but it's too far for 'effective' tourism in Yosemite. However, some folks prefer to "spend" their time driving rather than to "spend" their money on a better location.

Which places in Yosemite NP appeal to you the most? Do you want to see Yosemite Valley? Is a walk among Giant Sequoias essential to you? Is the high country of Tuolumne Meadows your dream?

It's possible to skip Yosemite Valley entirely and just drive directly to Tuolumne Meadows. Then enjoy this area of Yosemite NP. At the end of the day, exit the Park via Tioga Pass Entrance and drive to Mammoth Lakes. On the 7th, head south on Hwy 395.

It's possible to drive directly to Yosemite Valley, park your car at Curry Village (tent cabins available!), and begin your Valley tourism. Stay the night. The next morning you'd head up to Tuolumne Meadows (some tourism) and then out Tioga Pass to Hwy 395. Continue south to ... Lone Pine?

It's possible to drive from SF all the way to Glacier Point (maybe 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 hrs without stops) to take in the views, walk around, snap photos. You could even hike/walk up Sentinel Dome. Then drive down to the Valley (1 hr), stopping at Tunnel View & Bridalveil Fall and check into Curry Village. Walk around in the evening. The next morning head out.

It's possible to drive 4+ hrs from SF to the Valley Visitor Parking (hope you find a spot!) and to enjoy Yosemite Valley for 2-3 hrs. If you haven't yet had lunch, get in a long line instead of walking around. Then drive up to Tuolumne Meadows. Stop a bit. Exit the Park and finally get some dinner in Lee Vining. Continue to Mammoth Lakes. That's a long day with lots of driving and just a few Yosemite "experiences" but it might be just what you want.

What do you want? How do you want to experience Yosemite?

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2. Re: Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

Thank you once again for this! My wife is really not keen on camping or tents so I would have to miss out curry village option. However we really want to see Glacier Point! Also some 'tourism' and getting lost around Tuolumne Meadows sounds good too.

I was reading some of the FAQ bits and looking what was available for staying, I think your right it makes sense to stay near hwy 395 on the second night setting me up for the drive through DV to get Las Vegas. But what seems to make sense is staying near Groveland from SF? Although I seen some decent accommodation at Sonora (says 1 hour 40 mins on Google) which I guess is doable right as I would be able to get onto Hwy 120 and get to see Yosemite Valley. Then could I still fit in Tuolumne Meadows? Either way we can not miss Glasier point, the more I read the more I want to do haha... Then drive over to the other side entrance near hwy 395 where I can stop off at mammouth lake.

Would that work at all?

Washington State
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3. Re: Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

Sonora is almost 2 hrs from Yosemite Valley. Groveland is almost 1.5 hrs, depending on where 'in' Groveland you start.

Is the Evergreen Lodge too rustic? You could drive there in an hour from Yosemite Valley and then up to Tuolumne Meadows the next day in just 1.5 hrs. (Stop at Olmsted Point for views & at Tenaya Lake for a 'water' experience.)

Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal is closer to Yosemite Valley (25 min) for the end of Aug 6, but it is also about 1.5 hrs to Tuolumne Meadows for the 7th. This is a regular nice motel and is popular with lots of Yosemite visitors.

You will at least see Tuolumne Meadows when you drive across Yosemite NP to the Tioga Pass Entrance and Hwy 395, even if you don't spend time stopping there.

Are you saying you really want to include Glacier Point?

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4. Re: Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

Evergreen was the one I wanted but not available for 6th.. Although I just found hotel Charlotte, that looks a good option, reviews are saying its easy access to Valley (50 mins).

So could I do Olmstad Point this way too? If it is possible we would like to see Glacier Point, my wifes friend had told her about this magical place in yosemite where the sun makes the rocks shine and change colours, I presume this is the place? She wanted to see this :p

(btw the other lodge for its location would have been ideal but is slightly over budget at moment, foolishly I left this part of bookings last)

If I stayed here for 6th could I still do what you said view "Tuolumne Meadows when you drive across Yosemite NP to the Tioga Pass Entrance and Hwy 395?"

If so this looks a good option. I presume I would stay still near Hwy 395 on 7th.

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5. Re: Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

Olmstead Point is on Highway 120, Tioga Pass road on the way to Tuolumne Meadows.

You drive through the Tuolumne Meadows area on Highway 120 on your way to Tioga Pass and on to Highway 395.

There's only one road. Once you get on 120 heading east from the Crane Flat junction, you go past Olmstead Point, Tuolume Meadows, eastern entrance to park, Tioga Pass and down to Highway 395 where you turn right.

Edited: 03 May 2014, 22:37
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6. Re: Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

who, if you go to www.nps.gov/yose there's a pretty good map of the park - that might help you a bit. (If you're only looking at a big state map, or something like Google maps, you'll have trouble finding all these places.)

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7. Re: Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

Thank you all for this. Yes that map definitely is easier to view. I will sort my bookings tomorrow.

I think I will drive from SF and stay near Groveland giving me a decent base on 6th to see some of the main sites that PacificNW (thank you again for this!!!) was telling me about. Will stay near Hwy 395 on 7th Aug to allow drive to LV on 8th.

I will just need to be really organised for evening of 6th and whole day on 7th Aug to make the most of Yosemite! (7th is actually my wifes birthday so wondering if there is anywhere a little romantic we could pop by in Yosemite :p).

Thank you all, as always thoughts welcome.. ill sort bookings tomorrow so please do let me know if I am missing anything.

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8. Re: Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

A fabulous birthday splurge would be dinner at the Ahwanee Hotel. Not cheap, but very very good and memorable. You need to make reservations.

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9. Re: Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

That sounds good!

Also just booking accommodation if I got into Groveland accommodation around 4pm from San Fran I can head out that afternoon. Would it be possible for me to see glacier point sunset or anything nice inbetween on that afternoon session, as I read its around 8pm? Or is it a bad drive back to groveland after? If that works I can drive through and do all the valley and parts the whole next day?

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10. Re: Help please -drive San Fran to Yosemite then drive DV to LV

Groveland to Glacier Point is over 2 hours. That's a long drive to add to the end of the day, plus the slightly longer drive back (one way roads.) And this is assuming no traffic. Hopefully most of the traffic will be exiting the Park and there will be parking available at Glacier Point. Bring food as the snack stand / gift shop will be closed.

You won't be able to do "all" the Valley parts in just one morning. Some folks spend a week in Yosemite every year and still don't "do" it all. You can see the parts of the Valley that interest you in your short timeframe, but there will be more available to you to see & enjoy on future visits.