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Old 04-24-2015, 08:11 AM   #1
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Arizona to Yosemite to Monterey and south

We are taking a trip from Phoenix, Arizona to Yosemite with stops planned at Death Valley and Kings Canyon. We have plans to camp a few places with Harvest Hosts on the route to Yosemite.
After that we have another week to spend on the road and were thinking about going over to Monterey and then down the coast before cutting back east to Phoenix.
It will be my husband and I, who both get around well, and my in-laws who are older but who want to take in all of the sights as well, whenever possible.
Any suggestions as to routes to take or avoid and things we must see (the aquarium in Monterey and elephant seal colony are already in that list) as well as things to skip would be appreciated.
We have a 35 foot class A and will bringing a non-4WD toad.
Thanks!
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:24 AM   #2
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We did this exact trip a few years ago in January. There were no crowds. We went in the north entrance of yosemite, stayed at the last town just before that entrance. we stayed at a rv park in Monterey by the beach. Beautiful but spendy $80/night. We did not care for the aquarium but there was a great restaurant next door on the pier. the best place we stayed was a national or state rv park just below Hurst castle. Unbelievable views and it was $7/night. You will need to get busy with reservations, If you need more info, PM me and i can look some stuff up that I have forgotten.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:27 AM   #3
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Here is the campground near the castle.
Hearst San Simeon SP
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:12 AM   #4
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Thanks!
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Old 04-25-2015, 01:48 AM   #5
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What time of the year are you coming our way?
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:33 AM   #6
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You have not specifically provided your route or date of travel but it appears maybe you are coming from Death Valley over Tioga Pass (120), into the park? If so, Tioga is likely closed until mid-May, and remember there are RV roadway height restrictions between Crane Flats and the Yosemite Valley floor (inside the park), southbound only. If you are coming north from Kings Canyon to Yosemite, then exiting the park via Tioga Pass, the height restriction should not be an issue.

Also, I would not travel Highway 1 between Carmel and San Simeon, in an RV (or car, for that matter). It is a spectacularly scenic road with the ocean crashing against the cliffs, but those same cliffs make for a tortured, windy drive on an often very narrow roadway. Although I believe the route can be driven in most RVs, it is not enjoyable for the driver and not enjoyable for anyone who suffers motion sickness. As an alternate route from Carmel/Monterey to San Simeon, I would take 101 from Monterey/Salinas to Paso Robles, then 146 from Paso Robles to San Simeon.

If coming/going to Yosemite via 120, don't forget Mono Lake. Consider a visit to Solvang if you continue south from San Simeon. And although getting a little tired, Madonna Inn (San Luis Obispo) is always an amusing stop (unrelated to the current pop music singer).

Safe travels.
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:58 PM   #7
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Nothing like last minute requests! We are in Pahrump tonight heading to Death Valley tomorrow for 1-2 nights.
We have reservations in Yosemite Weds-Fri.
We will certainly check a map before taking off down highway 1.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:18 PM   #8
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I suggest Big Sur south of Monterey, once you're on the central coast go to Morro bay there's a few campground to stay there and enjoy Hearst castle, Cayucos. Another great place is Avila Beach its first come, down south there Huntington by the sea campground to see Huntington/Newport beach and last one is mission bay in San Diego good luck!!
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:43 PM   #9
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I would recommend 101 south of Monterey too. If you are a wine lover you will be going through IMHO the best wine country we have. Stop in Passo Robles and stay at the Wine Country RV Resort. Then in the toad take Hwy 46 west and go into wine country from there. You will be on a two lane country road weaving through tons of wineries and olive oil producers. If you don't want to drive you can hire a driver to drive your car for you and enjoy wall of the great wines. I tell everyone that this area is what Napa used to be before the put in the four lane!
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Old 05-01-2015, 01:36 AM   #10
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If you're going from death valley to yosemite, logic would send you out of death valley through the Panamint valkey and to the 395. That route is no joke. Doable but will work your rig and the driver. Use your gears. Tiago pass is also no joke. No problem going up but scarry coming down. You shouldn't have to come back down thought if your going to yosemite valley. Guaranteed one of the most beautiful drives you will ever encounter.
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Old 05-01-2015, 11:00 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Coulter View Post

Also, I would not travel Highway 1 between Carmel and San Simeon, in an RV. It is a spectacularly scenic road with the ocean crashing against the cliffs, but those same cliffs make for a tortured, windy drive on an often very narrow roadway. Although I believe the route can be driven in most RVs, it is not enjoyable for the driver and not enjoyable for anyone who suffers motion sickness. As an alternate route from Carmel/Monterey to San Simeon, I would take 101 from Monterey/Salinas to Paso Robles, then 146 from Paso Robles to San Simeon.

Safe travels.

X2. There is pretty much nowhere to pull over and you will hold up auto traffic for miles.
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Old 05-06-2015, 02:40 PM   #12
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Thanks for the suggestions. We (actually the driver) decided that we did not want to miss the beauty of the coast so we took highway 1 down from Monterey. It was intimidating but there were plenty of places to pull over and let people pass.

It was not nearly as treacherous as whatever road we took from Sequoia National Park to Yosemite.

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Getting out of Yosemite did take us through 2 mountain ranges - including the Panamint. Tiring for the driver but he's been enjoying the drive.

The Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery was a five star stop for all of us.

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We also stayed the night in San Simeon and Morro Bay State Parks. Both were beautiful although I think they were each $25 a night.

We did pass through Cayucos and bought some fantastic cookies there. Certainly a cute little town.

Today we are headed to the south rim of GC, and then back home.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RVLola View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. We (actually the driver) decided that we did not want to miss the beauty of the coast so we took highway 1 down from Monterey. It was intimidating but there were plenty of places to pull over and let people pass.

It was not nearly as treacherous as whatever road we took from Sequoia National Park to Yosemite.
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Getting out of Yosemite did take us through 2 mountain ranges - including the Panamint. Tiring for the driver but he's been enjoying the drive.

The Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery was a five star stop for all of us.
Attachment 93561

We also stayed the night in San Simeon and Morro Bay State Parks. Both were beautiful although I think they were each $25 a night.

We did pass through Cayucos and bought some fantastic cookies there. Certainly a cute little town.

Today we are headed to the south rim of GC, and then back home.
Piedras Blancas....boy does that bring back memories. Patty and I would drive over from Fresno on Friday evening and arrive at the old motel just north of the rookery. We would pull into the grass lot and park for the night. Then get up in the morning and claim our spot ....boondocking right on the Pacific. Sad to say the state bought the old motel and property and they promptly closed it to RV'ers. $8 bucks a night, no water no electricity, no sewer, but a 10 million dollar view AND our own private Elephant Seal rookery.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:08 PM   #14
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A few more picks of our boondocking views. Here is the link to the old motel that talked about the RV"park" Piedras Blancas Motel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The state bought it and it was all downhill from there!
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