Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    Default SF to LA via Fresno in April

    Hi. I've looked at a bunch of threads here, thanks everyone for your advice. I've got a couple of questions still:

    I want to go through Yosemite on my way from SF to Fresno, it looks like this is the most sensible route but if not do tell me!

    Over the Bay Bridge, down the 880, east on the 580 then the 205, then the 120 through Escalon, Manteca, Oakdale, etc and entering the Park on Big Oak Flat Road. It seems like there'd be another route further South, coming in on the 140, but it's hard for me to tell what would be more scenic or a more interesting drive.

    The more questionable bit is this: from Fresno to LA I'm thinking about taking the 41 right across to where it meets the 101. Obviously I could save time taking the 5, but I'm guessing it's just a big concrete road, would it be worth the extra time to make it across to the coast and coming down the 101? I'm staying in Santa Monica so coming in on the Pacific Coast Highway makes some sense, but I get the impression it's at its most spectacular much further north, around Big Sur and above SF...

    Any help would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Zig & Zag

    Quote Originally Posted by dj toast
    Hi. I've looked at a bunch of threads here, thanks everyone for your advice. I've got a couple of questions still:
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    I want to go through Yosemite on my way from SF to Fresno, it looks like this is the most sensible route but if not do tell me!
    Sure, Yosemite valley in April is pretty awesome -- it can be a little exciting if the road is icy and so it will take some time.
    Over the Bay Bridge, down the 880, east on the 580 then the 205, then the 120 through Escalon, Manteca, Oakdale, etc and entering the Park on Big Oak Flat Road. It seems like there'd be another route further South, coming in on the 140, but it's hard for me to tell what would be more scenic or a more interesting drive.
    That route is fine, but if the roads are slick from ice, I would suggest using the approach on CA-140. To get an idea about the weather, go to this page and look at the Yosemite Web cams! After you leave Yosemite SR-41 is the route I would choose to go to Fresno.
    The more questionable bit is this: from Fresno to LA I'm thinking about taking the 41 right across to where it meets the 101. Obviously I could save time taking the 5, but I'm guessing it's just a big concrete road, would it be worth the extra time to make it across to the coast and coming down the 101? I'm staying in Santa Monica so coming in on the Pacific Coast Highway makes some sense, but I get the impression it's at its most spectacular much further north, around Big Sur and above SF...
    SR-41 is fine -- gives a good view of the central valley (especially the view from Cottonwood Pass) and the drive over the coast ranges to Paso Robles is great. US-101 is not the PCH and so I would actually stay on SR-41 and follow it past Atascadero (US-101 intersection) and all the way to PCH (SR-1) (if you have time). If not go south on US-101 and rejoin PCH in Oxnard for that very pretty drive along the coast into Santa Monica.

    How much time can you allow for this drive? PCH is slow.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-22-2006 at 01:57 PM. Reason: added a link to the web cams at Yosemite

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks!

    I'm not really in a hurry at this stage of my trip so a dawdle on the PCH sounds just fine. Mapquest is suggesting going to the coast would about double the time for the journey from ~3hrs to ~6hrs which seems fine if I'll get to see the pacific rather than just a bunch of cars.

    I'm also doing the whole Vegas - Grand Canyon thing but I gather there's pretty much only one sensible way to get to the south rim, although there seems to be a stretch where I could take the famous Route 66 (either from Kingman, or from a place I think is called Seligman, although it's small enough Google Maps doesn't identify it!) . Since every description I read of the trip to the Grand Canyon says "several hours through the featureless desert" I'm wondering if that detour would releave the monotony or simply add to it; I'm worried that despite the allure of that renowned road-name this might not be the place to experience it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default There are no boring places

    Quote Originally Posted by dj toast
    I could take the famous Route 66 (either from Kingman, or from a place I think is called Seligman, although it's small enough Google Maps doesn't identify it!) . Since every description I read of the trip to the Grand Canyon says "several hours through the featureless desert" I'm wondering if that detour would releave the monotony or simply add to it; I'm worried that despite the allure of that renowned road-name this might not be the place to experience it!
    I mean no disrespect but in our experience there are no boring places, just unaware and boring travelers. That stretch of desert has awesome views -- ignore all of that nonsense and enjoy the trip. Here is a field report from Seligman.

  5. #5

    Default

    Well quite, after living in Scotland for ten years I can't imagine the thrill of being in a desert will wear off as quickly as the crass writers of Lonely Planet guides assume!

    I suppose much of that attitude develops because for so many poeple it's only the opportunities to sell tourists something that are deemed worth remarking on; for example a pretty view or the virtue of historical significance doesn't in ITSELF pay for a web site, so I guess it's natural that companies offering helicopter tours from the Grand Canyon aren't interested in telling you about your trip TO their airfield, hence why so much of the information it's easy for a tourist to find is specifically about "once you get here" not "how you get here" — so thank goodness for sites like this!

    Thanks again, I'll let you know how I get on. (I can't help thinking that since the bulk of my experience of that kind of scenery is Warner Brothers cartoons it'll be quite surreal!)

    Alec

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I forgot you hailed from Scotland

    Quote Originally Posted by dj toast
    Well quite, after living in Scotland for ten years I can't imagine the thrill of being in a desert will wear off as quickly as the crass writers of Lonely Planet guides assume!
    I really like nearly all of the Lonely Planet scribes tribe -- who committed this boo-boo? I will send them another point of view.
    so I guess it's natural that companies offering helicopter tours from the Grand Canyon aren't interested in telling you about your trip TO their airfield, hence why so much of the information it's easy for a tourist to find is specifically about "once you get here"
    Well, that makes a little more sense -- because if you had found comments on this site about how boring the drive was -- heads were going to roll...
    Thanks again, I'll let you know how I get on. (I can't help thinking that since the bulk of my experience of that kind of scenery is Warner Brothers cartoons it'll be quite surreal!)
    It is still going to be surreal. One thing I urge you to do. Park your car, on the side of the road, where you think you see no obvious vegetation. Walk about 50 yards into the desert and close your eyes -- tell us what you hear. Then open your eyes and look at the desert floor and tell us how many flowers you saw in full bloom. The blooms will be tiny, last year we had so much rain that flowers were blooming in such profusion that they exceed all records since humans have been keeping track, but I have been out wandering in the desert this year and the tiny ones are out. This was Death Valley last year, and here is Arizona last year.

    Mark

  7. #7
    travel_monkeys Guest

    Default 120 vs. 140

    Highway 120 is nice and scenic but very windy and slow as you approach the park. The faster way from the Bay Area is to take 580 to 205 to 99 south and take 140 to Yosemite. This is more miles but actually less time. 120 is nicer though.
    You are right about the coast highway being more impressive north. Highway 41 is nice but if you really want a scenic treat, take 41 to the town of Cholame, then go left on Bitterwater Rd. which takes you to Hwy 58, then go right and take 58 to the 101. You won't be disappointed.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-30-2006, 07:26 PM
  2. Las Vegas --> San francisco / Family Trip April 06
    By Denis in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-28-2005, 08:00 AM
  3. baseball trip out west
    By dabum1 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-20-2005, 08:49 PM
  4. San Fran to New England in April... with cat & trailer
    By imported_Sarah in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-19-2005, 10:05 PM
  5. April road trip
    By imported_Will in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-09-2004, 01:03 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES