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Old 11-14-2012, 08:37 AM   #1
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Travel to Yosemite

We are traveling to San Francisco this march and wonder if we can travel through Yosemite N.P. along route 120 (Tioga Pass) to route 395(Mono Lake) in a 40' pusher
Thank you
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:49 AM   #2
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Only if the pass is open and navigable. In March I would look for an alternative route, truthfully.

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Old 11-14-2012, 09:13 AM   #3
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Agree with alternate route, doubtful that Tioga pass would be open in March, and unless you really like miles and miles of narrow winding mountain roads you are better off crossing the Sierra range somewhere else.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:27 AM   #4
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Are we better off taking route 80 from Sacramento to Reno and then take 395 to Echo lake and take a day trip to the park in our toad
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:08 AM   #5
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Tioga Pass generally doesn't open until mid-May at the earliest. Last year, it didn't open until late June due to very heavy snow. March is a very, very unpredictable time in and near the Sierras re weather....it's still Winter there after all. And that includes south down 395 where temps at night can drop like stones at the higher elevations along that route and the weather can get nasty in a heartbeat. One needs to be very, very cautious here, especially in an RV. There is a nice RV park in Lee Vining which is a few miles from Rt. 120 (Tioga Pass), but I don't think the place is open in March. But there is no way you will be able to take any kind of trip, day or otherwise, going west into Yosemite in March via Rt. 120 since the Pass will not be open in March. The local CHP can provide you with up to date weather info if you choose to go at that time. Hope this is helpful....
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:17 PM   #6
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Another thing is that even if the pass is open (doubtful in March) you should know you will effectively just be driving through -- there's almost no place to stop and park a 40' DP by the side of the road. It's not like, say, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, or the Grand Canyon's South Rim road where there are a number of places where you can pull over, stop, and have lunch whilst looking out the windows at the natural beauty.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:20 PM   #7
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The general consensus, forget about it. You might want to think about taking your desired route on your return trip; if it's later in the spring or early summer.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:18 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input. Very informative. We think of California as being beaches and surf. Looks like its Sacramento to Bakersfield . Plan B. is Buck Owans bar still open in Bakersfield.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:34 AM   #9
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If you have a toad stop around Merced with the DP and take a day trip into Yosemite. Yosemite Valley is 85-90 miles from Merced.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:42 PM   #10
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Yosemite is an ABSOLUTE must see if that close. In March the falls will be roaring. Take the toad and spend the night at the Awanhee Hotel. Just put the RV in a campground, not just at a Wal-Mart, unless you don't value it or the contents.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:23 PM   #11
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We are planing our next trip heading west from Dallas. South Rim, San Diego, LA, coastal to San Francisco, Napa Valley, Yosemite, Salt Lake, Rocky Mt NP, home to Dallas - 8 weeks and back to Australia
I had planned South Tahoe but having read here about 120 that's out
how about say 3 days at or close to the West Entrance like Groveland.
We can drive into the park. this will be mid April.
then hwy 50 or 80 all the way to Salt Lake
is this a plan or am I going to come unstuck.
We have a Monaco Signature towing a Subaru
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:01 PM   #12
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There are places to pull off the road going over Tioga, but if you we're to do it in the summer those places would be filled with four wheelers. There are wide shoulders around Tenaya Lake. Great spot for a stop and enjoy a snack.
Here is a spot (below)we have used just west of Tenaya Lake
If you are adventurous and don't mind narrow, winding and steep roads, it is a beautiful trip to do in the rig. We have been over Tioga many times in the coach, but off season is the best. For Tioga Pass, off season would normally be in the fall.
JMHO:-)
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom and Patty
There are places to pull off the road going over Tioga, but if you we're to do it in the summer those places would be filled with four wheelers. There are wide shoulders around Tenaya Lake. Great spot for a stop and enjoy a snack.
Here is a spot (below)we have used just west of Tenaya Lake
If you are adventurous and don't mind narrow, winding and steep roads, it is a beautiful trip to do in the rig. We have been over Tioga many times in the coach, but off season is the best. For Tioga Pass, off season would normally be in the fall.
JMHO:-)
I don't think Tioga pass is a good idea in mid April, it will almost certainly be closed. Merced would be a good choice to visit Yosemite in April.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:06 AM   #14
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Word to the wise from a SF cop (10 years) and Fresno cop (22 years - Fresno is close to Yosmite) The City (SF) is no place for a '40 anything. Stay in one of the outlying areas in either Marin Co. to the north or Pacifica/Half Moon Bay area to the south and use the toad to drive into The City. Stay out the East Bay altogether, i.e. Oakland, Richmond, Alameda, Hayward, Pittsburg, Antioch, Martinez, Concord, etc....well...you have to go thru Hayward to get to Pacifica area, but other than that stay out. Bad news. Tioga will be closed I'm sure. Usually doesnt' open until Mem. Day at the earliest. The water falls in the spring are cool to see, but Yosimite traffic is brutal with a capital "B". Best time to hit Y is in the fall after school is back in. You miss the waterfalls but you also miss the mass of humanity and cars that make is a miserable place to visit during peak season. If you must visit during peak, stay outside the park, like in Coursegold or Oakhurst, and drive the toad. Hwy 120 is curvy and slow on the West side, and long, curvy and steep on the east side between Lee Vining and the East park. Hwy 41 out of Fresno is the better route on the West side for RV travel, but still slow. Now for 395. I've driven 395 a lot, from both Reno North all the way to Spokane, and Carson City all the way to San Bern. It's good hwy from but is two lanes from much of the way, and the 395/I-80 interchange in Reno is a major pain...confusing to newcomers and VERY heavy traffic. Crossing Mojave on 58 East to or from Bakersfield is the same...fair hightway but two lanes, lots of trucks. As for traveling in the valley iteself, from SF down to Bakerfield, there's really only two choices, SR 99 or I-5....both suck. Rough and packed with trucks but not much choice. If you go down I-5 and cross over to Bakerfield on 58 West, be very carefull. That section of 58 is called "blood alley" for a reason. SR 99 goes right through Bakersfield and you can cross over several places from Stockton, Patterson, Tracy, etc, and head south on 99 from there...six of one half doezen of the other. SR 99 might save you some time....might. Sunday mornings up are the time to drive in the San Juaqin Valley, otherwise be prepared for heay truck and car traffic on both major N/S freeways. One last note. Be very careful when using the rest stops anywhere in CA but particularly in the SJV. Keep you eyes open. I don't reccommend staying ovenight. Pull into a Flying J/Pilot or Love's and hang with the trucks if you're going to boondock for the night. Same with visiting the Buck Owens bar at night (it was still open when we bailed out or CA). All the valley cities now have violent gang problems, with Stockton, Fresno, Modesto, Bakersfield being the worst in that order, but they ALL have problems, even the small towns. If you want to RV park overnight, there' a pretty fair park in Kingsburg on the river called Riverland. That area hasn't been taken over by the mutants yet. There are NO decent RV parks in Fresno.Also, if possible, use the major truck stops for fuel. Many of the regular gas stations you see along 99 in the valley are in high crime areas, but you don't realize it until you pull in. Kaleefornia is a beautiful state....has everything, but the overcrowded population, high prices, bad traffic and high crime from Sacramento south has made it a pretty lousy place anymore. Hope your trip goes well though.
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