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  1. Default SF to Wawona - Best route?

    Hello everyone, many thanks to you all that have answered my previous queries. Seen as how you're all so good at doing so I thought I'd try another one for you all. We will be travelling to Wawona, Yosemite in September, coming from San Francisco. In order to enjoy the trip we've built in the option of an overnight stay between the two, so we're in no rush. Looking at the map I assumed we'd head almost directly East and enter the park around Toulomne then head south to Wawona where we have booked a cabin. However, when I put in SF to Wawona in a route finder, it kicks us South West through Modesto and Merced, then kicks up North through Fish Camp. When we leave Yosemite I intend to go North & up through the Tioga pass, and have built in another overnight stay between there and Death Valley, where we have another stop booked.

    Which is the nicest (prettiest?) route to Wawona, and any suggestions on where's best to stay beween Tioga pass & Death Valley?

    Thank you once more in anticipation.

    Charlie
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-12-2008 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Link to previous Las Vegas-related query

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default An example of machine versus human thinking

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieB View Post
    Looking at the map I assumed we'd head almost directly East and enter the park around Toulomne then head south to Wawona where we have booked a cabin
    Yes, that is what a human would think is reasonable -- to a computer, that would be illogical because the other route would be "faster". Since you have plenty of time, what I would suggest is taking I-80 (north and east) to Sacramento and then taking US-50 to Placerville (a historic town) and then south on CA-49. CA-49 is a meandering road along what has become to be known as "The Gold Rush Trail". That way you could stay overnight at Sonora -- Murphys would be my first choice -- lots of local history and color and then make your way on down to Wawona either via the park on CA-120 or stay on CA-49 to Mariposa (another fun little town) and then down to CA-41 and north to your cabin.

    I am pretty sure that the Mudwagon Stage will be closed when you visit -- but, if is still open -- don't miss it -- Burrel Maier is the ranger/stage driver and well worth the time! The other thing I would suggest is to have a meal at the "Cafe at the Bug" no reservations -- no dress code -- laid back and very fun!
    When we leave Yosemite I intend to go North & up through the Tioga pass, and have built in another overnight stay between there and Death Valley, where we have another stop booked.
    June Lakes or Mammoth Lakes will be GORGEOUS in September. I also like Bishop.

    One other thought -- if you like mountain driving and want to take one of the best mountain drives in the west (and it is only open 3-4 months each year, and it will be beautiful in September....)
    You might consider Ebbets/Monitor Pass instead of Tioga Pass (Tioga is really pretty great, but it well traveled) CA-4 over Ebbets Pass is much-less known and one of my all-time favorite drives in the west. After crossing Ebbets Pass, you would pick up CA-89 over Monitor Pass for the steep descent into the Walker River Valley where you would go south on US-395.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-12-2008 at 01:40 PM. Reason: another option

  3. #3

    Default

    Between Yosemite and DV, we stayed in Bishop. It's a really great little town...tons of places to stay / eat, and just a really nice smallt-town feel to it. Plus, if you're lucky you'll get a stunning sunset there.

  4. #4

    Default

    Have happy memories of Wawona from when I stayed at the Wawona Hotel, a historic building with character in Yosemite Park. The restaurant is worthy of an evening meal.

    The comment I would make about which way to take to Yosemite is to bear in mind Wawona is at the southern end of the Park on Route 41. Are you going to explore the Valley Floor before or after your night in Wawona because that should decide which route you take?

    The distance from Wawona to the visitor’s center is about 28 miles. The advantage of route 41 is you would not be doubling back on yourself. Also just off route 41 (near entrance gate) is Mariposa Grove and the home of Grizzly Giant if you have an interest in redwoods.

    Just a suggestion, from SF you could go via Santa Cruz (early lunch on the Pier) which is about a 3hr 30 min drive inland from Wawona via route 41.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default And if you do that.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Eris View Post
    Just a suggestion, from SF you could go via Santa Cruz (early lunch on the Pier) which is about a 3hr 30 min drive inland from Wawona via route 41.
    There is much to recommend a stop in Santa Cruz -- one of my favorite tide-pool beaches along the central coast can be found on the northern side of Santa Cruz. Natural Bridges State Park has lots of starfish like this one:


    Mark

  6. Default Thanks

    Dear all,

    As ever, a huge thank you to all who have contributed, so much better getting knowledgeable input as opposed to the cold logic employed by 'route finders'.

    Plenty of food for thought there I must admit. I'll print off & take your suggestions along and we'll make our choice 'on the hoof'.

    Many thanks.

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