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Road Trip from San Francisco

Wirral, United...
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Road Trip from San Francisco

I'm planning a road trip from San .Francisco.3 nights to Yosemite 3 nights- Furnace Creek 1 night- San Diego 2 nights - L.A. 4 nights I then have 3 spare nights to get back up highway 1 to S.F. I don't to wish spend every minute on the road on a freeway any suggestion's on back roads certainly from Yosemite to Death Valley. Also any ideas for my 3 spare nights from L.A.to S.F. My accommodation is booked except for the last 3 nights.

London, United...
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1. Re: Road Trip from San Francisco

I'll give you the places along some suggested routes and you can look them up on Google Maps.

San Francisco to Yosemite - Via Napa, Fiarfield, Stockton, Copperopolis and Groveland

Yosemite to Death Valley - This depends entirely on when you are taking your journey and whether the mountain passes are open. If they are the only route to take is Tioga Pass, south down the 395 to Lone Pine and east to Death Valley. A wonderful drive. If the mountain passes are closed you're going to have to go north to cross the mountains then pick up the 395 or head south around them which I haven't done but am aware it's not the most interesting journey.

L.A. to San Francisco - It's all about Highway 1, the coastal highway. But detours via the mountains above Malibu, Santa Ynez and Gaudalupe are all interesting.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Road Trip from San Francisco

I would not recommend back roads from Yosemite to Death Valley. Just take scenic Hwy 395: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361 I am assuming this is a summer or early fall trip.

The scenic drive from L.A. to SF is thoroughly described in articles linked to the Top Questions in the upper right of this page. Consider 1 night in Cambria and 2 nights in Monterey.

London, United...
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3. Re: Road Trip from San Francisco

Digging into your previous thread I see you are travelling at the beginning of May. There is very little chance, almost no chance, that Tioga Pass, the most direct and picturesque mountain pass, will be open.

This means your route from Yosemite to Death Valley will have to go much further north before crossing and heading south or heading much further south under the range and back up to Death Valley.

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Road Trip from San Francisco

Going north from Yosemite with Tioga Pass closed to Death Valley NP is not a one day trip. So if don't have an extra night between Yosemite and DV start very early from Yosemite and drive south of the sierras (via Bakersfield).

San Jose, California
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5. Re: Road Trip from San Francisco

For your 3 nights enroute between LA and SF, I would spend 1 in the area of Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, Cambria, and then 2 in the Monterey area (Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel).

San Francisco, Ca
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6. Re: Road Trip from San Francisco

Hwy. 395 is not to be missed (it's not a "highway" in the boring freeway sense of the word... in its essence, it is the quintessential back road). So bite the bullet, drive north to Tahoe and east then south toward Mammoth Lakes (good overnight spot), then enjoy 395. Places worth detouring on 395 include Mono Lake, the Alabama Hills, the Manzanar Japanese internment camp... it was all beautiful (especially in early spring with the snow-capped mountains behind the stark desert scenery).

Edited: 12:35 pm, February 17, 2013
Wirral, United...
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7. Re: Road Trip from San Francisco

Thanks people I will keep a close check on the weather for Yosemite and decide from there. Monterey & Pismo Beach look good spots

London, United...
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8. Re: Road Trip from San Francisco

You're welcome.

What weather in Yosemite are you keeping an eye on and to what end?

Wirral, United...
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9. Re: Road Trip from San Francisco

I spoke to the people we are hiring a cabin from in Yosemite and they stated that all the passes would be open in May if so I would take Tioga pass.

I hope ! ! !

San Francisco
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10. Re: Road Trip from San Francisco

It's understandable that people in the hospitality business would think on the optimistic side, but May is a "shoulder" period for Tioga Pass. You cannot count with certainty on the road being open on any specific date.

The usual goal for the highway department is to have it open by Memorial Day, which is the last week in May. But the actual opening date depends entirely on how much snow has accumulated and how much road damage may need to be repaired.

If it's a light late winter and early spring, it could open sooner. OTOH, if we get some late storms, it may not, and Tioga has been known to stay closed well into June. Mother Nature has the last word.