My wife and I are planning a 2 weeks roadtrip in the 2nd half of February 2015.
We're from The Netherlands and we live in Houston, TX. We would obviously fly into LA and drive and spent our days as follows;
1/ LA - 2 days
2/ Kings Canyon/ Sequoia - 2 days
3/ W Yosemite (Groveland area) - 1 day
4/ Mammoth Lakes - 2 days
5/ South Lake Tahoe - 2 days
6/ San Fransisco - 2 days
7/ Big Sur - 1 day
8/ Santa Barbara - 2 days
9/ Los Angeles - end of trip, return flight
Apart from the kind invitation to please leave us your overall comments on the above trip-planning there is a few questions in particular that we hope to get answered through here;
Q1/ We had hoped to stay West of the mountains whilst driving up north from Sequoia, then take 120 through Sierra Nevada (W to E) to end-up at Mammoth Lakes. I doubt however if this is possible at all around Feb. 23 due to road conditions.
Could anyone advise here?
Q2/ If 120 is not accessible, what would be our best suggestion; from Sequoia, drive south to Bakersfield, then go east and take 395 north, all the way up to Mammoth? This would mean we'd have to skip this leg of the trip and build in a nice alternative. (Note; we'd like to get to Mammoth for some winter fun as we like skiing/snowboarding. Any other/better suggestion to include such in our intended trip is very welcome).
Q3/ What car is advisable for the intended trip as outlined above? We're huge convertible-drivers (yes, even in the harsh Houston summers we strange Dutchies like this!) and as such we were thinking to drive a convertible, at least for the leg SF back to LA since I guess that leg of our trip is likely to have some sunny skies, right?
Having said that, would it be a problem to drive, say a Mustang, for the entire trip, from beginning to end? Doing so is much cheaper than changing cars in SF which would be the most obvious alternative. Really, I have no idea if rentals sit on winter-tires or all-seasons over there and how a RWD would hold-up in the snow? I'm being used to Audi's AWD Quattro system which is great in colder (European) conditions. Any tips here would be very much appreciated!
Thank y'all in advance for your kind replies! Trust those are gonna help us big time!
Ed & Nien