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  1. #1

    Default San Francisco to Vegas via Yosemite

    Hi All

    I am arriving in SF from Australia and will have a hire car. My plan is to drive to vegas taking 3 or 4 stopovers. I have planned the back end of the trip, that was the easy part. I have booked accomodation at Bishop (Holiday Inn) for the 13 September 2011 and then staying at Stovepipe Wells the following evening And then on to Vegas.

    My problem is the first part. I will leave SF on either the 11th or 12th (I can leave as early as I want as I will have had the car for 4 days prior. I cannot work out on the maps if I can drive through Yosemite Valley and onto Bishop or is it just a loop. If it is a loop how long does it take to complete.?

    I would then like to drive this Tioga Pass I have read about to get to Bishop. Should I leave SF and complete the yosemite loop and bunk down in Sonora or Jamestown for the night then leave early for the passage over this Tioga pass to go to Bishop, I really dont know any of the driving times, sorry, or do I stay at the other end of Tioga pass for the night and then on to Bishop.

    Any help would be appreciated. I have been allocated a Dodge Charger, is this a decent travellling vehicle?

    Thankyou in advance,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Wonderful journey!

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Yosemite valley has a loop road that takes you in and out, but not through. Tioga pass is the way to get across the mountains to Bishop. I would not try to get from SF across the Tioga pass [CA120] the same day, it just won't leave you enough time to enjoy this natural wonder. [One of my favourites]. I wouldn't be thinking of going all the way to Jamestown or Sonora for the night either. I would recommend staying in the NP, but lodgings are more expensive. If this doesn't suit your budget there are lodgings in nearby towns like Groveland, Mariposa and El Portal. A little further South is the town of Oakhurst that will have reasonable rates. If you left SF early you should be able to visit the valley floor on arrival day, and by finding lodgings to the South of the park would put you in a good place to visit Glacier point next day [spectacular !] before starting the journey over Tioga, another big part of the 'Yosemite experience'. If you decide to spend 2 nights in/around Yosemite, you won't be disappointed !

    If you don't mind 'rustic lodgings', we continually hear good things about the Yosemite bug.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default The Bug.... and other hostels

    If you don't mind 'rustic lodgings', we continually hear good things about the Yosemite bug.
    It is a decade ago now, since I stayed there, but it was a friendly place, clean with good facilities in a really nice bush setting. You can read more about it here. (You'll need to scroll down.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Here is another where I stayed in 2007. It is a little further, but still quite close, and is anything but rustic. Lovely couple who share their home, share all they know about Yosemite, and make sure that you enjoy Yosemite and not miss anything. A truly home away from home.

    Lifey in Melbourne

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for all the advice so far, but still a little confused with the driving times. I thought that Sonora was very close to the start of the Tioga pass? Mariposa on the map looks a long way away. I think I need to have accomodation after I do the Yosemite Valley close to the road to Tioga so I can get an early start.

    Any opinions yet on this Dodge Charger. Friends tell me it is a sports car and not a family sedan as I wanted?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Why the rush ?

    Tioga pass is CA120 and Sonora is on the 108. Groveland or El Portal would be nearer for the start of Tioga pass, and Mariposa and Sonora are about the same distance to Tioga. Sonora will do fine if that's what you have in mind, although I must admit I am unsure as to why you would want to be so keen to leave Yosemite early in the day when there is so much to see. For example, Glacier point is almost 30 miles further from Sonora than from Mariposa, and it's 50 miles further to the Mariposa grove of Giant Sequoia tress, but as I mentioned there are nearer options than either of those.

    I have no first hand experience of the Dodge charger, but it's classed as a full size sedan on the Enterprise site. It has 4 doors, seats five and is also known as a sport sedan. I am surprised you have been allocated a particular model as normally they list the rental by class and use the term 'Or similar'. A Chevy Impala and Nissan Altima are 2 such vehicles listed in this class.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Your friends are probably thinking about the original Dodge Charger, which was an American "muscle car". Today's Charger is in fact a mainstream sedan, probably very similar to your Holden Calais, Toyota Camry, or Ford Falcon. There are "sports" models but the ones in the rental fleets are pretty basic with V-6 engines and automatic transmissions.

    It's only about a 4 hour drive with minimal stops from Yosemite Village to Bishop via Tioga Pass.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies. It may seem like I am rushing but I want everything booked and paid for well in advance so I only have to save some spending money. Reading other threads I am concerned that I have already booked a night at Bishop and then a further night at stovepipe Wells which I think now are too close together and I will struggle to fill the day as it appears to be only a few hours drive between them. Should I cancel Stovewell and continue on to Vegas?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default It depends

    Quote Originally Posted by andyablett View Post
    ... Should I cancel Stovewell and continue on to Vegas?
    Well, you could easily spend 30 days looking at places between Bishop and Stovepipe Wells, but it can also be a nice leisurely drive between Bishop and Las Vegas. It really comes down to how much time you can spend in the Sierra Nevada west range around Bishop and how much in Death Valley. It will likely be quite warm in September at Stovepipe Wells.

    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    My reference to "Why the rush" was actually referring to you wanting to get over Tioga pass early when you could see more of Yosemite NP in the morning. You could get from Bishop to Las Vegas in the same day, but you won't struggle to fill the day either with much to see in DV. Another option would be to change the Bishop lodging for nearer to Yosemite, like Lee Vining or Mammoth lakes to maximise your time in Yosemite and over Tioga, but to be honest you are in pretty good shape.

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