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  1. #1

    Default Southwest roadtrip

    Hello all, this is my first post so please be gentle. This forum has been really helpful, we are visiting America in October 2010, staying in San Franciso for 4 nights before moving on to Monterey for 4 nights, we then move to Yosemite for 2 nights, Furnace Creek for 2 nights and Vegas for 6 nights. 4 years ago we drove from S.F down to San Diego. Is there anything to look out for between Monterey and Yosemite? We are staing in El Portal in YP if that helps. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 03-19-2010 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Moved to own thread

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Keep an eye on Tioga pass.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    This is a much discussed area on the forums and you will find lots of ideas and suggestions by looking around some more and using the search function to the top right of the page. Also look down this page and you will find "similar threads" as well.

    Monterey to Yosemite is quite a straight forward run of around 5 hours passing San Luis reservoir and you could enter Yosemite on CA120/140 or 41. If you took a direct drive with an early start you could go through Oakhurst and visit the Mariposa grove of Giant Sequoia trees at Wawona and/or Glacier point depending on time of arrival and then head towards the valley and out to El Portal. [It will offer an alternative entry point.]

    Did you explore the PCH coast road on your last visit, even so I would consider spending less time in Monterey and perhaps heading down the coast for a night around Cambria and then head to Yosemite from there.

    One thing you will have to keep an eye on is the Tioga Pass conditions [CA120] that crosses the Sierra mountain range, it can close in October with the first ice and snow storms of the season, sometimes temporarily but the first major storm can close it [and at some time will] until May or June. If this was the case you can head North or South around the mountains to Death valley but it will add drive time.

    Any other questions just ask !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Loop up into some Gold Country?

    One option, if you're willing to throw in about a 300-mile day between Monterey and Yosemite, would be to loop up into some of the gold rush towns along CA49; Columbia for instance is a state park now, preserved (somewhat) as it was during the 1850s. This would be a fun place to spend a couple hours, including maybe lunch. There are numerous shops and restaurants inside the park itself. My wife, an avid quilter, loves one shop there that sells reproductions of vintage fabric. As a possible bonus, there MIGHT be some fall color in the Gold Country in October.

    There are other towns along CA49 both north and south of Columbia; the ones to the south would be easier for you to hit, and include Sonora (somewhat biggish and not as atmospheric) and Jamestown (smaller and more redolent of the olden days, but still not as preserved as Columbia).

    If you do this, you'd enter Yosemite on CA120.

  4. #4


    Thanks for this, the last time we were in California we did drive down PCH. It was everything that we had read about and more. Unfortunately we have already booked our accomodation for next fall. We are staying 4 days in Monterey as my son loved the aquarium and whale watching etc and he asked to go back. We intend to drive down I1 from SF taking in Half Moon Bay and stopping in Santa Cruz. Also hope to go to Roaring Camp and do 17 mile drive as we didn't do it last time.

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