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Fitting Yosemite into Los Angeles - San Fran Highway 1 drive

Fitting Yosemite into Los Angeles - San Fran Highway 1 drive

Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:44 AM
  #1  
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Fitting Yosemite into Los Angeles - San Fran Highway 1 drive

Hi All,
I have started planning a 7 day trip driving up highway 1 from Los Angeles - San Francisco in October and are slowly getting my head around everything. I am wondering if you think we would be squeezing too much into our time if we tried to also do Yosemite on this trip. Here is a vague outline of what where we are at:
Day 1. Sunday - Arrive into LA in the arfternoon. Stay the night.
Day 2. Monday - Leave LA and head up Highway 1 spending the night somewhere between LA and Carmel (any suggestions)?
Day 3. Tuesday - Continue up Highway 1 to Carmel area. Spend the night.
Day 4. Wed - Leave Carmel and head to Yosemite NP. Spend 2 nights in Yosemite Valley.
Day 5. Thur - Yosemite NP.
Day 6. Fri - Leave Yosemite drive to San Fran
Day 7. Sat - San Fran
Day 8. Sun - Fly out

Do you think we would be over doing it by doing Yosemite on this itinerary?

Thanks in advance.
Mege is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:50 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Your itinerary is doable, but if you have never made this trip before, I believe you would have a better time exploring more of what is on the coast.

Cambria would be the place to stay, on Day 2 of your current itinerary.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 08:02 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for your reply.
Do you think we would spend too much time driving if we tried to do Yosemite? What would be the best driving route to get to Yosemite after seeing the main sights in Highway 1 and then back to San Francisco.
I am leaning towards scrapping Yosemite from the itinerary but need to convince my husband who now has a bit of an obsession with Yosemite since I mentioned maybe going there on this trip.
Mege is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 08:37 AM
  #4  
 
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Don't miss Yosemite. Take US 101 north to CA 152(Pacheco Pass Highway), then Ca 59 to Merced. From Merced, take CA 140 to Mariposa. By the time you go, there may be access to Yosemite via 140 again, but given your limited time, I suggest entering the Park via Oakhurst and Fish Camp. That way, you can see the giant Sequoias right when you enter the Park and you don't have to make a drive back out there(if you want to see them, that is!). We did this drive a few weeks ago from Monterey. It took about 4hrs to get to the valley floor, leaving plenty of time to see things on the way. If you leave Carmel early enough (we left at 9am, not terribly early!), you'd even have time to drive to Glacier Point on your way to the Valley.

Do you have reservations in Yosemite yet? You may be lucky in October, but I'd nail them down asap. You can always cancel if you change your mind.

You'll be packing a lot into a short time, but sometimes you just have to do that.
Barbara is online now  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 08:44 AM
  #5  
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Hi Barbara. Since we would be heading straight across to San Francisco after Yosemite, Would we be missing out on alot by cutting out the Carmel to San Francisco part of Highway 1 (Santa Cruz etc)?
Thanks again. This is very helpful information.
Mege is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 09:12 AM
  #6  
 
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If your choice were between Santa Cruz and Yosemite, I would definitely take Yosemite.

The problem, as I see it, is that you are passing or rushing much worthwhile on Highway 1--Solvang, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, and Monterey, for starters. We also hate to miss the stretch of Highway 1 that goes through Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco.

However, as I said, the itinerary you outline is doable. It adds at least 400 miles of driving--200 between Carmel and Yosemite Village and another 200 to San Francisco. Most of the drive is not scenic, and much of it is hard freeway driving.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 09:14 AM
  #7  
 
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Not really...you'll have seen enough by then. Do Yosemite. If you have extra time, then do coast some more, out of SF.
RESORT2ME is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 11:02 AM
  #8  
 
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You might consider a different route flying inot Fresno instead. You could go directly to Yosemite, then over to San Franciso, and then drive down the coast, leaving from LA. That would save you from having cross over the state from Carmel to Yosemite and then back again from Yosemite to San Francisco. Or you could start in LA, drive all the way up the coast to SF, then cut over to Yosemite and fly home out of Fresno rather than having to go back to SF. Just an idea.
dbaker is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 01:57 PM
  #9  
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Thanks everyone. You have all given me some great ideas. back to the drawing board!!
Mege is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 02:16 PM
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If you cut over from the central coast to go to Yosemite you should not count on using 140 to get into the park until they make further progress on the road. Right now ther is only 2 one way guided trips per day allowed on 140. These trips are more for workers living west of the rock slide who need ot get into teh park. The first one way escorted trip is at 5:30 am. It goes east into the park. In the after noon the other trip is westbound at 6:00 pm. Other than that there is no travel on 140 from mariposa into the park. Here's a link to the info:

http://inciweb.org/incident/announce...ticle/236/821/

This means you should plan to enter via Fish Camp in the south or Big Oak Flat in the north. If using the south go South on 99 to 145 out of Madera. This will hook up with 41 into the park. Carmel to valley 4.5 hours

If using the north you can go to Mariposa and then take 49 north to 120 east into the park. 5 hours from Carmel to the valley.


Suzie is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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I agree with dbaker about arriving in Fresno instead.

It doesnít appear you are intending to do anything but land in LA. You might be better off and more positioned to take off to Yosemite from Fresno.

I was raised in Fresno (gulp), and would make some additional trip modifications, all of course just suggestions and my preference for such a trip. These are not days, just the sequence I would progress through, and you can follow a map to see if it makes sense to you.

Iím typing from my Mapquest directions that I still have in hand. We just did the Fresno to Carmel to Santa Cruz to SF trip last week. Only reason for starting from Fresno was to see a CSNY concert there and enduring 113 deg temps! Arrive in Fresno and get the heck out unless you get there really late. Otherwise head for the hills and spend the night.

1. From Fresno, drive north on Hiway 41, a newer highway through Fresno, until you reach the outskirts where you meet the hills and it gets a bit smaller. Oakhurst and Bass Lake are about an hour, and an hour and a half outside of Fresno on the way up to Yosemite. They would provide more scenic stays and are good take-off points to Yosemite Valley.
2. Drive into Yosemite stopping at the entrance gate from 41 to see the Mariposa Grove (giant redwoods) then drive down into Yosemite Valley.
3. Exit Yosemite at the 140 exit from the valley and follow the Merced River through Mariposa and down to Merced hooking up to hiway 99 North.
4. Take 99 North and merge onto CA-152 toward Los Banos.
5. Turn LEFT onto CA-156/Pacheco Pass Hwy.
6. Merge onto US-101 S / CA-156 West.
7. Merge onto CA-156 W via Exit 336 toward Monterey Peninsula. CA-156 will become CA-1 South. Carmel is just a few minutes south of Monterey. From Carmel, you can venture more on hiway 1 south a bit seeing Point Lobos and other sights along hiway 1. If youíre slick enough, you can even head to Big Sur and back.
8. From Monterey, take CA-1 North, through Capitola (very scenic), Santa Cruz, and Half Moon Bay.
9. From Half-Moon Bay, we opted to take CA-92 East, hooking up to 101 North into South SF. We stood at The Hyatt in Burlingame and drove into the City which took no more then 15-20 minutes. It was also next to the SF airport. The trade-off in SF parking fees verses what I got Hyatt for on Priceline made it worthwhile.
10. Fly out of SF airport.

We had a great trip and hope you do as well!

~ Ben
bear900 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 12:21 PM
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My bad....

My directions to Monterey were based out of Fresno. From Yosemite....

Skip #4, and instead connect from the 140, to CA-59 for about 15 miles. That will connect you to CA-152, etc.
bear900 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 07:17 PM
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we just got back form 10 days in california- san fran to yosemite to monterey to san fran. do not miss yosemite- rather miss some of the coast. remember, distances in the park are huge- don't miss the redwoods in the south of the park (take the tram ride- it is terriffic- and don't miss some of the hikes to falls in the valley! we in retrospect would have spent an extra day in yosemite, and less time on the monterey coast enjoy!
4bams is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 07:50 PM
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Not knowing your travel style and purpose for going to Yosemite (hiking? just seeing?) I will jump right in with my two cents worth. We planned a similar trip, but 10 days. Yosemite was added to the adjenda as an afterthought..."while we are there from the east coast" type of thing. It was the highlight of our trip and that's saying a lot since we drove the entire coastal highway from LA, spent time in SF, in wine country, saw Muir Woods and Sequoia NF among others. We are not hikers. We are drive-by and stop-and-soak-up-the-view type tourists. We stayed overnight in Mariposa and arrived at the park just as the visitors centers opened. Then we did everything we wanted to do in one day leaving via the southern entrance on way to Fresno. We took the tram tour of the valley; returned in our auto to our favorite spots; and drove to Glacier Point seeing Mariposa Grove on the way out. I'm sure you can reverse this and still see it all in one day, if seeing is your goal. It is a 'not to be missed' experience.
pollyvw is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 10:10 PM
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Polly - Isn't Glacier Point spectacular? So many people don't realize the payoff for the extra drive. I hope you are able to see it also Mege!
dbaker is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 03:31 AM
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We did a very similar trip in March, 3 years ago. We had a wonderful trip, but flew in/out SF and went south only to Big Sur. We did whale watching trip out of Monterrey- wished we had planned more time in Monterrey. We had reservations to see the elephants seals at Año Nuevo. That was a National Geographic experience. We loved Yosemite even though some sections were still closed due to snow. Actually, it snowed lightly while we were there. Have a great trip!
SpeedBuggy is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 09:39 AM
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dbaker,
Yosemite and Glacier Point were day 8 of a 10 day trip; a trip filled with fantastic sights and experiences. And Glacier Point was second to last of the things we saw/did that day. I'm telling you...standing at the highest point at GP at about 3 PM, my brain kept saying to me "Out of Memory"!
pollyvw is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Someone once told me this story....

Long ago, as a kid we used to camp out on the valley floor and looked forward each evening to a spectacular firefall from the top of Glacier Point. They would build a huge bonfire at the top and bulldoze it off the cliff.

They obviously found good reason to stop ths practice long ago.

You can see pictures of this at the museum and maybe evn see a video of it while you are there.
bear900 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 06:00 PM
  #19  
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Thanks everyone for your input - v.helpful. With a few calls I was able to change my Yosemite reservation for after San Francisco so now we can see the coast all the way to San Fran AND go to Yosemite. So now my plans are:
08 Oct - Arrive into LAX stay 1 night - have to start in LAX as I am returning from a trip to New Zealand and this is where the flight comes into
09 Oct - LA - Cambria
10 Oct - Cambria - Carmel/Monteray
11/12 Oct San Fran
13/14 Oct Yosemite
15 Oct - drive back to San Fran for late flight back to NYC.

Now I am dissecting the boards to plan the LA - San Fran drive - don't want to miss a thing!
Thx again.
Mege is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 06:29 PM
  #20  
 
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Mege, here's a site I found helpful.

http://www.bigsurcalifornia.org/map.html
Barbara is online now  

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