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  1. #1

    Default Boise to Yosemite to San Francisco to Boise

    Hello - Time to start late planning for October Road trip. We are heading out to Yosemite for the 1/2 marathon on 10/8 and spending 3.5 days in the area and then traveling to San Francisco for a few days the following week. Any suggestions on route, things to do along the way or at the destinations would be appreciated. Original plan is to head from Boise to Winnemucca to pick up i80, south down 95 then west after Hawthorn to the park via Tioga Pass. We are staying in Oakhurst and then leaving Monday for San Francisco via 140. Stay for a few days and head back to Boise via i80.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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


    Hello and welcome back to the RTA forums !

    If you are driving to Yosemite in one day then you don't really have time for any alternative routes. You should have no problems with Tioga Pass that early in October but it's always wise to check that it's open before travelling in case of an early winter storm. The scenery is beautiful so try and get an early start or consider staying in Lee Vining and enjoy the pass the following morning. SF to Boise is a long day on the road so you could consider leaving the day before you plan on arriving home and get a few miles under your belt. You could take US50 and maybe overnight at Lake Tahoe to make the journey home a bit more relaxed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    There is no guarantee that Tioga Pass will be open in October, so have an alternate plan to enter the park. You would have to take I-80 to CA-49 and either enter the park on CA-120 or stay on 49 to Oakhurst.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Timing Will Be Critical

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Boise to Yosemite is right around 600 miles. San Francisco to Boise is well over 600. Both involve significant portions driving on two-lane roads. So neither can really be done safely in a single day. That can work to your advantage, especially if you can devote two full days to each major leg, allowing the time to stop and 'smell the roses' on the drives.

    Specifically, on the way to Yosemite, using US-95 to Winnemucca and I-80 west would take you by Rye Patch State Recreation Area and Fallon National Wildlife Refuge, but also take a look at continuing a bit farther on I-80 to Fernley NV and Alt-US-50/US-50 to Virginia City and Carson City before heading south on US-395 to Lee Vining CA and CA-120 over Tioga Pass. Note, however, that there is no guarantee that Tioga Pass will be open! It has closed for the season as early as October 17th as recently as 2004. So be sure to check Yosemite's website before you leave.

    On the way back, you can take an entirely different route to maximize the number of new places you get to see. You can start by just crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and visiting Point Reyes National Seashore, then continuing around the north side of the Bay to Vallejo and I-80 to I-5 up through the Central Valley past a trio of wildlife refuges: Colusa, Delevan, and Sacramento. You can then either go all the way to the northern end of the valley (Redding) and pick up CA-299 through the Big Valley Mountains, or take a modest detour starting at Red Bluff CA and using CZ-36/CA-89 through url= Volcanic National Park and back onto CA-299, the Emigrant Trails Scenic Byway. You'd then finish up on US-395 north to Burns OR and US-20 east to I-84 and home.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 09-03-2016 at 05:26 PM.

  5. #5


    Thank you everyone for the suggestions and will definitely have to check out Point Reyes. Good ideas on spending an extra night on the drive back to see more of the valley. Any thoughts on things, not touristy, to do within San Fran?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Never quite sure I understand when tourists say "not touristy" as those are the things that are the highlights of a visit. For example, all of Yosemite is "Touristy". Sure you can walk around local districts and parks in SF to see where the Locals go, but while there do you really want to miss out on Fisherman's Wharf, China Town, Coit Tower, Lombard Street, the Golden Gate bridge and Alcatraz Island because they are tourist attractions ?

    If you head out of SF over the Golden Gate bridge it's worth turning off on the North side on Conzelman drive up to the Marin Headlands for great views of the Bay area, good visibility dependant of course.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Sure........

    Quote Originally Posted by rharjo View Post
    Any thoughts on things, not touristy, to do within San Fran?
    You could drive south on El Camino Real and note the architecture of the area. Also experience the supermarkets, the technology stores of silicon valley, and check out the fashions of the day.

    But as Dave states, they are not the reason why you go to San Francisco. They are things you can check out in any city, at any time.

    Consider the night time tour of Alcatraz. The old prison is so much more realistic at night, and it is wonderful to see the lights come on all over SF as the sun sinks into the Pacific behind the GG bridge.


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