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  1. Default Monterey to Yosemite (Oakhurst)

    Hi, i'm new to this forum - i've had a good look around - so helpful, thank you!

    My boyfriend and I are visiting the States (from the UK) for the first time in April - we've planned a 4 week road-trip starting in Las Vegas and ending up in New York (although we fly across country for the last leg!!).

    We've planned most of our trip, but would appreciate some suggestions for the leg between Monterey and Oakhurst (our base for visiting Yosemite). I've calculate a 4 hours, 200 mile trip - but have the day to explore anything worth seeing in between.

    Any suggestions? Many thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default farm country

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There are some parks and other sites that you could stop at to break up this pretty short trip, but for the most part, you're driving through farm country. Compared to the stunning views of the Pacific Coast and the Yosemite Valley, its going to seem quite plain. Since this is a short half day drive, I think I'd just use the other half to spend more time either in Monterey or Yosemite. If Sequoia isn't in your plans, then that might be a good use of your time too, but it would be a bit much to go from Monterey to Sequoia and then all the way back to Oakhurst in one day. You could stay closer to Sequoia and then drive into Yosemite the next day. Its kind of hard to say without knowing what else you've got planned for your trip.

    I will also let you know if you are going to be spending a few days in Yosemite, it might be worth it to actually find a place in the park. Its about an hour trip from Oakhurst to the Yosemite Valley, so you'll want to keep that in mind as you are planning your days.

  3. Default

    Hey, thanks for your reply.

    Our month road trip is;

    Las Vegas 3 nights (inc'g day trip to GC)
    Drive to San Diego via Mojave & Joshua Tree NP - 3 nites SD
    SD to LA - 4 nites LA
    LA to Monterey - 3 nites Monterey
    Monterey to Yosemite - 3 nites Oakhurst
    Oakhurst to San Fran - 5 nites San Fran
    After San Fran, it's public transport to Denver, Seattle then NY

    Based on your comments, I think the best option would be extra time around the Monterey area or even have a lie-in!. As mostly farm country, could you recommend any places to stop for breaks?

    Re Oakhurst, we booked accommodation there as considerably cheaper than staying in Yosemite. I've found a bus (YARTS) that picks up at Mariposa & take us directly to the NP. As we've got a hire car, I didn't want to play with chains (!) and risk the drive ourselves!! I assume we'll be able to get to Oakhurst without chains in Mid April?

    Thanks for help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default tweeks

    Looking at your overall plan, I think there are some small changes that I'd recommend.

    First, the Grand Canyon is really too far to do as a daytrip from Vegas. Once you factor in the 10-12 hour round trip, it just doesn't leave much time to see the canyon. I'd plan to spend the night either at the canyon or in Williams south of the park. It would probably make sense to drive from Vegas to the Canyon, spend the night at Williams, and then continue onto San Diego instead of backtracking all the way to Vegas.

    I'd also say that you should consider staying somewhere around Palm Springs for a night, instead of trying to make it all the way to San Diego while fitting in Joshua Tree.

    You might also think about spending one night between LA and Monterey in another coastal town. That will give you more time to enjoy and explore the coast, rather than feeling rushed trying to get to Monterey, and then having to backtrack if for things you might have missed.

    Getting to Oakhurst shouldn't require chains - in fact, you'll find at least a couple places in town that rent chains for people who want to drive into the park. I will also say that by mid-april, its fairly unlikely (although not impossible) you'd need them in any situation. The Yosemite Website says they should be carried from November to March, so it wouldn't even be a requirement by the time you travel.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Agreed.

    I totally agree with Michael regarding staying at,or near to the G/C. It really is a natural wonder and you really should witness a sunset/sunrise there and it makes more sense going towards S/D afterwards instead of returning to Vegas.

    Monterey to Oakhurst is a straight forward run but if you wanted somewhere to have a break and stretch your legs you will be passing San Luis reservoir state park.
    If you had a bit of time to spare when you arrive at Oakhurst you could also take a short drive to Bass lake.

    Have a great trip.

  6. Default Thanks - couple more q's....

    Thanks both MWM, and SWD!

    Re the GC, we've actually booked an organised tour - flying from LV airport - 7 hr round trip with ground tour to the South Rim. Would have loved to have spent a night there and explored under our own steam, but time doesn't permit. Heh, and excuse to visit the States again! Luckily we fly out late morn, so hopefully we'll catch the famous sunset on the way back.

    Re the Mojave & Joshua Tree NP's - can we literally drive thro them to get to our destination points? I assume we'll have to pay? - I've read you can get a 'pass' for all parks, but I think the GC is covered by the airtour company, and Yosemite is covered by the bus company. Not sure if worth getting an annual pass on that basis?

    thanks :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not exactly.


    If the cost of the other parks are covered then I wouldn't bother with the pass the Mojave preserve is free and Joshua tree is $15 [I Think], the pass is $80.
    As for "literally drive through to your destination points", they are of course both detours that will consume time, but if you have the time to stop and take some of it in then it's worth it as they are close by to your route. Joshua tree is less of a detour and less time consuming as Mojave is more to the North of your route.
    Heres the info on Joshua tree and Mojave preserve.

    I am pleased you have the ground tour going to the South rim, you will get fantastic views of the canyon.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 03-06-2009 at 10:55 AM. Reason: Clarification

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