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Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

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Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

My wife and I are planning to do the above drive next April.

What would be the best route and estimated distance and time please?

Thanks

Terence B

Norwich, United...
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1. Re: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

Hi Terence, I'm going to guess you want to go from South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Valley - sorry if I've guessed wrong.

In April the California state highways over the Sierra Nevada Mountains almost certainly won't have been re-opened after the winter, in which case you'll have to take US50 West and then CA49 South on the west side of the Sierras, finally going into Yosemite on CA120: http://goo.gl/FJqnwP

Add about 25% to Google's driving time estimates to get realistic estimates including stoppages and delays.

Just out of interest here's the closure dates in recent years for the Sierra Nevada passes (US date format mm/dd): www.caltrans.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/clsdlst.htm

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

I have a different route to suggest to you, but I also need to make assumptions. I'm thinking South Lake Tahoe to Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp.

I just put it into Google Maps and their suggestion was exactly what I was going to suggest! http://goo.gl/maps/kDx5x It's Hwy 89 to Hwy 88 to Hwy 49 to Hwy 41. This is a winding road route, but it's actually pretty nice.

If you have more time and want to visit some of Yosemite NP on this travel day, then enter at Hwy 120 via Big Oak Flat Entrance and drive to Yosemite Valley. This will add extra miles & time. The speed limit inside Yosemite NP is mostly 35 mph. http://goo.gl/maps/GL7bk

The Google Maps drive time estimates for Yosemite have really improved in recent years. However, the estimates do not allow for any time to stop for gasoline, food, scenic views, or anything!

Hwy 49 is the Gold Rush route (named after the 1849 Gold Rush) and is worth stopping, if it interests you. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28926-i29-k4475035 Wineries, gold rush history, lovely spring blooming trees, .....

Please read the relevant info in the Top Questions on the right about When to Visit (there is an article about visiting in Spring) and about winter driving. It's possible that it will snow in April. Generally spring storms don't leave much snow behind, but you need to be prepared.

Long Barn...
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3. Re: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

I too am confused as to why you want to enter Yosemite using the southern entrance (hwy 41) as this is a big detour from Lake Tahoe? In addition the correct route will be different if you are starting from the North Lake Tahoe area or the South Lake Tahoe area. Anyway, I use the hwy 88 route when I travel to the south Tahoe area. It is a scenic drive and shorter than the route in post #1. However, the additional time on Hwy 49 is a nice drive in April as the hills will be green with lots of California poppies in bloom and the gold rush era towns are interesting to exlplore.

Another route that might be faster but less scenic is to use Hwy 50 to Sacramento and then south on Hwy 99 to Madera. You can cut over at Madera to Hwy 41 and on to the entrance gate. This is a higher speed route and will be more miles but maybe less time. I take this route when there is a winter type storm as Hwy 88 is higher elevation and more chain controls pop up.

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4. Re: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

Many thanks for the helpful replies.

I acknowledge that I should have been more specific and said that the reason for driving to the southern entrance was to see the giant sequoias and we were planning to stay at the Wawona hotel. Also I probably should have added that we were planning to start our itinerary in San Francisco so in view of what has been said is going via Lake Tahoe a good idea?

Thanks.

5. Re: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

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Removed on: 27 August 2014, 08:21
Washington State
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6. Re: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

Do you mean traveling from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, staying at least one night but hopefully two nights or even three, then driving on to Yosemite NP?

Or do you mean driving from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe and then to the South Entrance to see Giant Sequoias and to sleep at the Wawona Hotel that night?

How many nights will you be staying at the Wawona Hotel?

Long Barn...
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7. Re: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

Yes, I am confused (again). It sounds like you are driving from San Francisco to Yosemite, but want to drive by Lake Tahoe on the way.......in one day? This is just not really possible and not recommended. You are looking at near 9 hours of driving and with the hours of daylight, you will not have time to see Lake Tahoe other than to be able to say - I saw the Lake. It will be dark by the time you arrive at Yosemite and will miss some great views driving in.

LA
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8. Re: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

Driving from San Francisco to Yosemite via Lake Tahoe in one day in April is not feasible.

9. Re: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

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Removed on: 27 August 2014, 08:21
United Kingdom
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10. Re: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite southern entrance

Thanks again to all for taking the time to respond which suggest we obviously need to rethink our plans!

It reads as though we either need a stopover at Lake Tahoe,or alternatively, as we have already been there,go direct from SF to Yosemite, where we have not been, and spend more time in there.