We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Yosemite drive through

London, United...
4 posts
Save Topic
Yosemite drive through

Hi,

I'm driving around california with a group of friends in September. Half aren't keen to visit Yosemite and half are so we're splitting up between San Fran and Las Vegas. I'd really appreciate thoughts on our plan.

We hope to leave San Fran early on the Thursday morning for Yosemite. Do a walk/explore in the afternoon and then drive out of the park and stay in a town just to the east. Any suggestions on the town greatly appreciated!

We then hoped to drive to vegas on Friday, either via Death Valley or including a morning trip back into Yosemite.

Is any of that realistic??

Thanks very much.

San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
15,387 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Yosemite drive through

Once you are over onto the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, don't backtrack into Yosemite. Instead head into Death Valley (although a visit to Mono Lake is cool), then to Las Vegas. It's about a four hour drive from SF to Yosemite, so if you leave the city early, you'll have several daylight hours to explore Yosemite.

Someone else will have to give you info on what overnight stop might make sense east of Yosemite, as I can't think of anything along your likely route, Tioga Pass, until you are clear on the other side of the mountains.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Yosemite drive through

Welcome to the forum.

I agree not to drive back to Yosemite. You won't have the time. Places to stay east of the Sierra are Lee Vining, June Lake, Mammoth Lakes or Bishop. Lee Vining at Mono Lake will be the midway piont. Don't miss the drive through Death Valley NP.

Norwich, United...
Level Contributor
6,219 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Yosemite drive through

> Is any of that realistic?

You can plot possible routes on Google Maps and check the mileages. You can also use it to search for motels in each town.

There's some accommodation at Lee Vining but not much. Yosemite Valley to Lee Vining is about 75 miles via a relatively slow mountain road (CA120 over the Tioga Pass).

The next town heading south on US395 is Mammoth Lakes, about 30 miles from Lee Vining via a fast road. Mammoth is a skiing resort but open year round.

Then there's Bishop, about 40 miles south of Mammoth. Bishop has a wide range of accommodation at various prices. Yosemite Valley to Bishop is about 140 miles.

Another option would be to stay west of the mountains after visiting Yosemite, perhaps Oakhurst or Fresno (50 miles and 95 miles respectively from Yosemite Valley). Fresno to Las Vegas via Bakersfield is about 400 miles over fast roads. This option would leave out the scenic Tioga Pass road.

Edited: 12 July 2014, 11:10
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
59,244 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Yosemite drive through

Have you seen the Las Vegas to Yosemite article? (You'd visit the suggested destinations in the reverse order.)

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361

In September you'd definitely want to use Tioga Pass. Note that there is road work on Tioga Road in Yosemite, so your Google Maps driving estimate needs another 30 minutes. And of course you need to add time for scenic tourism; Google maps doesn't even allow time to stop for gasoline or a quick photo. And you'll need to do more than just jump out of the car for a photo in Yosemite!

http://goo.gl/maps/IJnw4

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
97 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Yosemite drive through

You will not want to be driving those mountain roads at night so plan accordingly. If you are determined to do Yosemite (and it is jaw dropping stunning), leave SF very early AM (before traffic and before it gets light) to give yourself more time in Yosemite and to avoid the gridlock.

London, United...
4 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Yosemite drive through

Thanks so much all of you. I think we'll set off very early from San Fran and spend the afternoon in Yosemite and the night in lee vinning. Before driving to vegas the following day.

London, United...
4 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Yosemite drive through

By the way, one final question- would these prices be per person, or for the whole room for three?

https:/…

Redlands, California
Level Contributor
5,436 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Yosemite drive through

What prices? but usually U.S. rooms are per room. Not that "30GBP per person B&B" way.

Look at June Lake as well as Lee Vining--only 11 miles down the road and plenty of lodiging options.

London, United...
4 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Yosemite drive through

Oh sorry. I put a links not sure if it works or not. Thanks though will look at June lakes now.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Yosemite drive through

Hotelprices in the USA are per room but some have a limited number of people to stay in. Usually 3 per room will be ok.