from Monterey to Yosemite

Old Apr 4th, 2012, 06:37 PM
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from Monterey to Yosemite

We are planning on driving from LA as far as Monterey and then to Yosemite. There seems to be different routes to take and different entrances from the map I am looking at.
Any advice on which is the best route to take. As we are for Australia and we are not sure how many days it will take us driving up the coast I haven't booked accomodation for the park. We will be there around the week of May 21. Will we have a problem getting accomodation at the last minute and as it is close to summer are we likely to have any problem with the road closures.
We were originally planning on going to Yosemite at the end of our holiday but that would be towards the end of June but have decided to see Yosemite first and then continue on with our trip. I will get maps when we arrive but what is the best areas to see over 2 days.
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 06:52 PM
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"I haven't booked accomodation for the park. We will be there around the week of May 21. Will we have a problem getting accomodation at the last minute and as it is close to summer are we likely to have any problem with the road closures."

Road conditions won't be a problem. However Yosemite is NOT a book at the last minute sort of place. Most of the accommodations book up months in advance. And staying outside the park is inconvenient.

Get on booking in YNP ASAP -- like this minute. If you are very VERY lucky there might be a cancellation and you can get in.

At the moment -forget about which route to take and concentrate on finding a room. If nothing is available at Yosemite Lodge or Camp Curry (or the Ahwahnee if budget is not an issue), the try for one of the two motels in El Portal. They are the closest outside-the-park accommodations, but they may be booked up as well.

Good Luck . . .
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 4th, 2012, 07:01 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I would drive via Los Banos, Merced, and Mariposa. It is about 200 miles and takes four hours behind the wheel.

We like to stay at Lodge at the Falls. The location is perfect and the restaurant is just fine. We have always been able to get a room by calling until somebody cancels just before we call:

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Depending on where in L.A., and the time and traffic, I'd allow about 7 hours to Monterey, if you're going along Highway 1 along the coast.

It's another 4 hours to Yosemite, through Merced and up Highway 140.

However, finding a lodgind in Yosemite will be a major problem. The roads should all be open.

Use a Yahoo map, or something like that and you can see the routes. If you're not interested in Monterey and the coast, it's around 6 hours from LA.

Factor in rest stops, gas, food, sites.

Here's the National Park website.

You can find this link in the above website on lodging. You will have to nudge this site to get answers, currently there is availablity in Curry Village and that's about all.

The problem is that one can get reservations up to a year in advance, and it's an international target. Move quickly if you want a room. Trust me, it's a beautiful place, and spend more than one night there.

Everything else is outside the park and a ways to get to.
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 08:13 PM
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Thanks for your replies and info

We arrive in LA on may 16 and are having a couple of nights in Santa Barbara and then making our way up the coast to Monterey before heading to Yosemite. Depending on what there is to see along the way will decide on what day we actually head to Yosemite.As we have 6 weeks to see what we want to see we are not in any hurry to rush the first part of the trip. We intend heading up as far as portland then across to Glacier N.P. and then to Yellowstone Mt Rushmore and making our way back to S.F where we will fly out.
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 08:34 PM
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You don't say where you go after Yosemite, but if you are going to Tahoe or Death Valley consider taking Highway 120, IF Tioga Pass is open, to US 395 and then north or south depending on the destination.
From Monterey to Yosemite I'd to Highway 1 to 156 to 101 to Gilroy then acorss on 152 through Los Banos to 99 into Merced and then 140 into the Park. The Los Banos to Merced drive is pretty boring, but the rest is interesting.
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 11:47 PM
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Follow boom_boom's route except don't go up to Gilroy. Once on US 101, take 156 thru San Juan Bautista, Hollister, then hit 152. You may also want to stop off in SJB and check out the town and mission. Yes, Los Banos to Merced is pretty boring - I grew up in the area
MichelleY is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2012, 12:05 AM
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"Depending on what there is to see along the way will decide on what day we actually head to Yosemite."

Sorry, but staying in Yosemite doesn't work that way. One must pre-book as far in advance as possible. You really REALLY do need to decide exactly when you will visit Yosemite . . . and it possibly is already too late.

Note: I just did a couple of dummy reservations - two nighters from May 21 and from May 23 and there seems to be availability at Curry Village but nowhere else in the park. Those are the unheated tent cabins. Like we said -- get on this ASAP!
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 5th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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Give yourself an extra day up the coast and in Monterey Book Curry for 3 nights or 4 you will want them. Then when you get to the park via 156-152-140 as early as possible. check for cancellations at the Lodge or Ahawahnee which is worth the spurge for at least one day. This is the best part of your trip don't short it.

Don't miss the Avenue of the Giants and Crater Lake on your way to Portland.
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Old Apr 5th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Going to the Sun Road in Glacier will most likely not be open in May and some years doesn't open in June at all either.

I do hope you have your other lodging in the national parks decided on. All of them book a year to six months in advance is often the case
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Old Apr 5th, 2012, 12:01 PM
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Your desire for schedule flexibility may have just "flexed" you out of your ability to do the Yosemite portion of your trip. You might get lucky and find something available outside the park, but be prepared for traffic jams driving in. The perimeter gates are all a long way from the Valley, and there's nothing like sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for an hour to spoil the start to your visit (not to mention full parking lots once you get there). Don't say you weren't warned.
hazel1 is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2012, 12:08 PM
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If Yosemite doesn't work out, there are a lot of other really great places to visit. Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks aren't nearly as heavily visited as Yosemite, so you should be able to get reservations there. Lassen National Park is another really great place to go. Then there are the redwoods along the north coast... Lots of other options if you can't make Yosemite work.
november_moon is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 07:51 PM
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(Instead of starting a new thread on the same discussion, I will add in a question here.) We are doing the same route (Monterey to Yosemite)on a Tuesday, the last week in June. Can anyone tell us how much time to add for standstill traffic getting into the gate? Should we just aim to get to the gate after 2pm as opposed to 11am to get in with less traffic? If we go all the way to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, can we leave that area and go to Yosemite or will we be going back up to Monterey anyway before cutting across? I am just trying to figure out our Monday night hotel the night before as we will be in the Big Sur area Monday. Good luck on your trip OBIE31; welcome to the USA!
richmond706 is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 08:53 PM
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You should also try to book some place to stay inside Yellowstone. I don't know about Glacier, but Yellowstone definitely fills up during the summer.

You might consider dropping down to Denver on your way back and flying back to SFO. You could take a day and go see Trail Ridge Road and Rocky Mountain National Park instead of driving thru Wyoming and all the way back to CA.
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