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SF to Yosemite,to Vegas,to the Canyon, Tips?

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I'll be arriving in SF about noon and leaving for Yosemite on a Wed. How long should I expect the trip to take. Any info on Wawoma campgrounds would be also helpful. Then we are off to Vegas. Whats' the best way, how are the roads. Via 395 in Nv or Down thru CA and over to I15? Any tips on visiting andcamping in Yosemite and south rim in the canyon. What's it like/ sites. Too crowded? TIA

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    I assume that you are planning this trip in the very near future. First, don't get your hopes up about camping in and around Yosemite. Unless you have a reservation, your chances of finding a vacancy are pretty poor. People make their campground reservations a year in advance for the summer. Yosemite is not nearly as crowded this year so you should be OK as far as crowds go. Midweek is much better. I can think of three routes you can take from San Francisco to Yosemite. The most scenic is to go to Sacramento and follow Hwy 50 east towards Lake Tahoe. Turn south on 49 ( Gold rush trail ) at Placerville and it will take you to the park. Very beautiful and historic route. You can take 580 east from the Bay area and connect to 132 east to 49. Another route is to go from San Francisco to Fresno and straight to the park. This is the least scenic route in fact it is pretty boring. There are other ways but these ones pop into mind. Fresno route should take about 4-5 hours. The other ones a little longer. Actually the 132 route is probably just as quick. Unless you are in a big rush, I would go the 50/49 way because of the scenery and historic towns you will see.

    I would go from Yosemite to Las Vegas via 395. Take the Tioga pass in Yosemite over to 395 and then head south to Hwy 6 and then cut over to 95 in Nevada. Tioga pass is not open all year but I have assumed that we are talking summer or early fall. All of the highways are pretty good. You will reach some pretty high elevations on the Tioga pass and 395. 80 and 580 out of the Bay area are freeways. The rest are decent.

    Have a great trip and enjoy yourself in our great state of California.

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    The good news is that you're coming on a Wednesday! I would agree with Yosemite Sam about taking 80 to 50 to 49 because of the scenery. Depends on when you arrive in SF because it will take about 6 hours, particularly if you stop and you probably will as it's pretty country and worth a visit. Now, about Yosemite, it's probably booked fully at this point, however, All accomodations within the park are operated from a central telephone number: (209) 252-4848. Reservations are accepted one year and one day prior to arrival and that day is usually fully booked within 48 hours. However, they have a very liberal cancellation policy. Therefore, start calling every evening from now until you leave home to see what you might get if someone cancels (and they do cancel) The other alternative is to call Yosemite Motels at (800) 321-5261---this is a reservation service for motels, not in the park, but near to it. The attendance at the park is down this year--probably because people were scared by the damage El Nino did, but all roads are open and it's beautiful now. If nothing in the park, try in Mariposa (where 49 joins with 140, Fish Camp, Oakhurst. Places you could stop along the Rt. 49 for lunch and or to explore quaint towns are Placersville (which used to be Hangtown--as in the famous Hangtown fry), Poor Red's Barbeque in Eldorado just south of Placersville, Angels Camp and Murphys. Murphys is a particularly pretty little town with the Murphys Historic Hotel and Lodge at (209) 728-3444. I think if I couldn't get anything at Yosemite I would just plan to see the Gold Country and stay at Murphys. The next day it should be a very short ride to Yosemite. This is the Gold Rush Country, the land of the jumping frogs and Black Bart and Kit Carson-- Mark Twain had a lot to say about it--a very interesting part of Calilfornia. Keep in mind also, that if you could fly into Oakland, you wouldn't have the hassle of getting across the Bay and could save yourself a lot of time, but you've probably already made your reservations. And, in my humble opiniion, I would be tempted to ditch Las Vegas(especially in summer) and stay in the Gold Rush, Yosemite,Sequoia area, but many will disagree, and if you've never been to Vegas you probably should go. Good luck and let me know if you need any more info.

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    Since attendance is down this year in Yosemite, then *IF* you arrive FIRST thing in the morning at WAWONA in MID-WEEK, you may well find an empty camp site. If not, check out the national forest campgrounds just outside the park. The only facilities here are pit toilets and a faucet for water; but they're nice for tenting. Unless staying in the Valley is an absolute must, I wouldn't bother to try, the odds are too small and your camp site won't be that great for the trouble you went through to get it.

    The same goes for Grand Canyon; arrive first thing in the morning at mid-week and you may well get a camp site. Again, if not, try just outside the Canyon and you should find SOMETHING.

    I ABSOLUTELY recommend going over Tioga Pass and down Hiway 395; Tenaya Lake, Tuolome Meadows, and Tioga Pass are themselves worthy of a visit! This route will also allow you to see Mono Lake, Manzanar Nat Historic Site, Mount Whitney (well, you'll see it, anyway), and 5000-year-old trees.

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