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Posted: 7/1/2012 2:40:39 PM EDT
Going to visit some folks in the Central Valley. Was just going to take the 99, but I hate the Grapevine/99 so I thought about going the long way up 395 then cutting across through Yosemite.  Never done it.  I might camp a night or two along the way and I'm also a photographer, so I'd like to stop for pictures along the way.  






This would be in July, so I'm not worried about snow, just what the drive is like.  

 
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 2:58:29 PM EDT
[#1]
Should be scenic.  Sorry if that doesn't help.  
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 2:59:31 PM EDT
[#2]
It's a fantastic drive, one of the best anywhere. I think it's $20 to get into YNP at the summit coming up from the 395 side. Stop by Glacier Point if you possibly can.

Google Street view gives you a taste,
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 3:03:51 PM EDT
[#3]
Paved road, one lane each way, steep, granite on one side and blue sky on the other, scenic in the extreme.

Have fun.
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 3:05:55 PM EDT
[#4]
Done that numerous times.  It's spectacular.  You will pay park entry fees as someone has mentioned.

Do it if you can.
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 3:07:50 PM EDT
[#5]
Thanks all.  Looks like I'll take the long way.  Appreciate the responses.
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 3:08:56 PM EDT
[#6]
You can probably go one pass further north too and save the park fees.  That comes out in Sonara iirc.  If you want a quick, fun twisty twisty drive, exit Yosemite north to Groveland and drive Old Priest Grade.  You don't have to go very fast to have alot of fun on that.
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 3:15:32 PM EDT
[#7]
You lucky bastard.  Epic drive.  Spend an extra hour and head up to glacier pt as mentioned above.  It's worth $20 and a three minute hike.
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 3:17:10 PM EDT
[#8]
Have done a few of the passes - not Tioga though -  on the motorcycle and they are great scenic routes.  I'd drop the $20 on Tioga in a heart beat.

Brian
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 3:18:36 PM EDT
[#9]
Nice drive, it gets up pretty high.  As long as you have a good vehicle you will enjoy it.
 
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 3:26:46 PM EDT
[#10]
The speed limit is like 25 mph the entire way.  It sucks.  I did it one time, I will never do it again.

Link Posted: 7/1/2012 3:55:52 PM EDT
[#11]
Its an awesome beautiful ride. I've been over that route a couple dozen times in either direction.
 
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 3:56:49 PM EDT
[#12]
Quoted:
The speed limit is like 25 mph the entire way.  It sucks.  I did it one time, I will never do it again.



 Not sure if serious!
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 4:02:36 PM EDT
[#13]



Quoted:



Quoted:

The speed limit is like 25 mph the entire way.  It sucks.  I did it one time, I will never do it again.







 Not sure if serious!


I hate slow drives at times...but since this is a pleasure trip and the whole point of going through Yosemite is to do photography and take in the scenery, I think I can put up with a few hours of 25mph.  

 
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 4:19:12 PM EDT
[#14]
Quoted:

Quoted:
Quoted:
The speed limit is like 25 mph the entire way.  It sucks.  I did it one time, I will never do it again.



 Not sure if serious!

I hate slow drives at times...but since this is a pleasure trip and the whole point of going through Yosemite is to do photography and take in the scenery, I think I can put up with a few hours of 25mph.    


There is one stretch, closer to the valley, where its mostly trees and winding.  Small price to pay for the views in Tuolumne Meadows and Tenaya Lake!
JMO
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 4:26:36 PM EDT
[#15]



Quoted:



Quoted:




Quoted:


Quoted:

The speed limit is like 25 mph the entire way.  It sucks.  I did it one time, I will never do it again.







 Not sure if serious!


I hate slow drives at times...but since this is a pleasure trip and the whole point of going through Yosemite is to do photography and take in the scenery, I think I can put up with a few hours of 25mph.    




There is one stretch, closer to the valley, where its mostly trees and winding.  Small price to pay for the views in Tuolumne Meadows and Tenaya Lake!

JMO


I've driven to Big Bear probably a dozen times and just did highway 1 up through Big Sur to Monterrey.  The winding parts usually don't bother me.  The only real downside is I drive a manual transmission Tacoma.  But I'm sure it'll be fine.

 
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 4:27:17 PM EDT
[#16]



Quoted:


Should be scenic.  Sorry if that doesn't help.  


It's very scenic, and if you have time stop in Toulamne Meadows.  This is the Yosemite high country



 
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 4:33:14 PM EDT
[#17]
Check to see if it is open.  They were closing part of it down at the beginning of June for rock slide repair work.
 
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 4:34:07 PM EDT
[#18]
Gonna be hard to find a campsite anywhere in that area during July.
I've lived in June Lake and driven Tioga many times. Once on my Sportster in November.{cold}
Beautiful drive.
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 4:35:09 PM EDT
[#19]
May Lake is a fairly short hike (a mile or so, definitely up) with good views.

Tioga Rd. is not too bad during the week and off holidays.  We've driven in just to have lunch at the historic Awahnee Hotel sometimes and where it is, the Valley floor is the busiest area with the Falls and big rocks

Early (the golden hour...dusk or dawn) is best for pictures.

Getting a place to stay can involve early reservations...lottery style, but some cancellations or walk––in campgrounds might offer a chance or option.

Several beautiful lakes on the way in from 395, as well as Lake Tenaya, in the park proper.

Shell station (Whoa Nelly Deli) just off 395 on 120 has some pretty good food if you hit there at lunch or dinner...music too ....   Just can't remember if the guy was going to keep it going or what....very popular.

http://www.whoanelliedeli.com/
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 4:42:27 PM EDT
[#20]



Quoted:


Check to see if it is open.  They were closing part of it down at the beginning of June for rock slide repair work.  


Good idea.  Will check that out now.  Didn't think of that due to it being summer.

 
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 4:44:36 PM EDT
[#21]
We drove it back in June of 2007 and it was awesome.  Beautiful, beautiful scenery and the towns along the way are really cool.
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 4:44:46 PM EDT
[#22]



Quoted:


Gonna be hard to find a campsite anywhere in that area during July.

I've lived in June Lake and driven Tioga many times. Once on my Sportster in November.{cold}

Beautiful drive.


I forgot that popular spots get so booked up.  My first stop after the park is Merced, so I if I have to drive it in one day, it won't kill me.

 
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 4:56:13 PM EDT
[#23]
Thanks again all for the suggestions.  I'll look up Glacier Pt. online and I'll see if I can hit up that Deli.  I love non-chain places with good food.  
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 5:02:28 PM EDT
[#24]
Quoted:

Quoted:
Gonna be hard to find a campsite anywhere in that area during July.
I've lived in June Lake and driven Tioga many times. Once on my Sportster in November.{cold}
Beautiful drive.

I forgot that popular spots get so booked up.  My first stop after the park is Merced, so I if I have to drive it in one day, it won't kill me.  


That's a lot of driving!  I've done that kind of drive and haven't regretted it.  

If camping is in your plans, camp sites in the valley will likely be non-existent.  You can try Housekeeping Camp (little pricey at like $95 per night, but I've had luck getting in there when there was no other place in the valley.  Concrete walls with canvas roofs and mattresses/bunks.  Not exactly camping, but not a hotel by any stretch.  The views from the beach areas at Housekeeping Camp are amazing...Yosemite Falls, Half Dome.

The are also US National Forest Camps outside the park.  Not sure exactly where, but I'm sure you could Google up some campgrounds in the area.  Good Luck, I wish I was going!
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 5:04:28 PM EDT
[#25]
I've driven it more times than I can count.  I grew up in Merced.  Hell, I've ridden my bicycle up and down Tioga Pass  It's an AWESOME drive.  Make sure you check out the Tufa Towers, it's like being on a Star Trek set.   Make sure you hit Bodie and check out the boot hill.  Spend a few days in Tuolomne Meadows if you can.  If CA would unfuck it's gun laws, I'd be back in that general area tomorrow!
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 5:05:57 PM EDT
[#26]
Quoted:
Going to visit some folks in the Central Valley. Was just going to take the 99, but I hate the Grapevine/99 so I thought about going the long way up 395 then cutting across through Yosemite.  Never done it.  I might camp a night or two along the way and I'm also a photographer, so I'd like to stop for pictures along the way.  

This would be in July, so I'm not worried about snow, just what the drive is like.  
 


One of the best drives in America.  Once your in the mountains, expect to travel at 1/2 or 1/3 the pace as on flat highways.
p.s.  there are no monkeys at the lake
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 5:07:06 PM EDT
[#27]
Go see Knights Ferry off the highway. One of the oldest covered bridges still stands.
Quiet little town on the Stanislaus River.

Maybe you will get to smell the sugar beet factory in Manteca.  
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 5:14:19 PM EDT
[#28]
Many years ago we hiked into Yosemite from the Nevada side. Incredible place. Got toasted lots around tolueme meadows store. One of the highlights of my life.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 5:15:41 PM EDT
[#29]
Quoted:

That's a lot of driving!  I've done that kind of drive and haven't regretted it.  

If camping is in your plans, camp sites in the valley will likely be non-existent.  You can try Housekeeping Camp (little pricey at like $95 per night, but I've had luck getting in there when there was no other place in the valley.  Concrete walls with canvas roofs and mattresses/bunks.  Not exactly camping, but not a hotel by any stretch.  The views from the beach areas at Housekeeping Camp are amazing...Yosemite Falls, Half Dome.

The are also US National Forest Camps outside the park.  Not sure exactly where, but I'm sure you could Google up some campgrounds in the area.  Good Luck, I wish I was going!


I'll take one day to drive from Southern California and stay anywhere from Bishop to Lee Vining just depending on price/accommodations.  Then second day will be from there to Merced.  6-8 hours from the Mono Lake area to Merced should be a pretty non-rushed trip right?

Quoted:
I've driven it more times than I can count.  I grew up in Merced.  Hell, I've ridden my bicycle up and down Tioga Pass  It's an AWESOME drive.  Make sure you check out the Tufa Towers, it's like being on a Star Trek set.   Make sure you hit Bodie and check out the boot hill.  Spend a few days in Tuolomne Meadows if you can.  If CA would unfuck it's gun laws, I'd be back in that general area tomorrow!


Appreciate the info.  I gotta dig out my old "Photographer's Guide to Yosemite" so I can start making a map of stops.  I'll check out those places.  Been to Bodie a few times.  Always a great trip.

Quoted:
Go see Knights Ferry off the highway. One of the oldest covered bridges still stands.
Quiet little town on the Stanislaus River.


Will look that up.  Thanks.
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 5:16:19 PM EDT
[#30]
Quoted:
Many years ago we hiked into Yosemite from the Nevada side. Incredible place. Got toasted lots around tolueme meadows store. One of the highlights of my life.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


Its a fine place for that.

I was there during the July 4th weekend 1968 riots. Good times.
Link Posted: 7/1/2012 5:27:38 PM EDT
[#31]
Yes, it is awesome.
Link Posted: 7/2/2012 11:18:59 AM EDT
[#32]
Quoted:
The speed limit is like 25 mph the entire way.  It sucks.  I did it one time, I will never do it again.



Not sure about Tioga but on Sonora pass the speed limits weren't a problem - even on a motorcycle.  Some sections on Sonora were 1st gear corners .............

Brian
Link Posted: 7/2/2012 11:22:23 AM EDT
[#33]
It is a nice drive, but I like 108 and 4 better. 4 is crazy. Single lane wagon trail covered in asphalt. Sonora has got to be the steepest grades ever invented, yet that does not stop rtards towing trailers from driving on it.
Link Posted: 7/2/2012 11:25:51 AM EDT
[#34]
Quoted:
It is a nice drive, but I like 108 and 4 better. 4 is crazy. Single lane wagon trail covered in asphalt. Sonora has got to be the steepest grades ever invented, yet that does not stop rtards towing trailers from driving on it.


What's the speeds like on 108?  About the same as 120?
Link Posted: 7/2/2012 11:34:18 AM EDT
[#35]



Quoted:



Quoted:

It is a nice drive, but I like 108 and 4 better. 4 is crazy. Single lane wagon trail covered in asphalt. Sonora has got to be the steepest grades ever invented, yet that does not stop rtards towing trailers from driving on it.




What's the speeds like on 108?  About the same as 120?


Open highway. Most of it is 55, except in the twisties and the crazy grades.

 
Link Posted: 7/2/2012 12:21:56 PM EDT
[#36]
Quoted:
Quoted:
It is a nice drive, but I like 108 and 4 better. 4 is crazy. Single lane wagon trail covered in asphalt. Sonora has got to be the steepest grades ever invented, yet that does not stop rtards towing trailers from driving on it.


What's the speeds like on 108?  About the same as 120?


Sonora Pass is Hwy 108 -  it's the one with 1st gear corners (on a motorcycle).  Hwy 4 is Monitor Pass - beautiful but not nearly as tight as Sonora Pass.  The Marine Corp mountain warfare training center is on the eastern side of Sonora Pass - seen those poor bastards humping packs:)

You may want to take Sonora Pass instead of Tioga.

+1 on the retards towing trailers on Sonora Pass - seriously stupid MoFo's.  I've driven Sonora West > East in my Honda Civic (5spd) and I wouldn't want to tow anything across it.

Brian

Link Posted: 7/2/2012 12:27:44 PM EDT
[#37]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
It is a nice drive, but I like 108 and 4 better. 4 is crazy. Single lane wagon trail covered in asphalt. Sonora has got to be the steepest grades ever invented, yet that does not stop rtards towing trailers from driving on it.


What's the speeds like on 108?  About the same as 120?


Sonora Pass is Hwy 108 -  it's the one with 1st gear corners (on a motorcycle).  Hwy 4 is Monitor Pass - beautiful but not nearly as tight as Sonora Pass.  The Marine Corp mountain warfare training center is on the eastern side of Sonora Pass - seen those poor bastards humping packs:)

You may want to take Sonora Pass instead of Tioga.

+1 on the retards towing trailers on Sonora Pass - seriously stupid MoFo's.  I've driven Sonora West > East in my Honda Civic (5spd) and I wouldn't want to tow anything across it.

Brian





If I'm not mistaken, Hwy 4 is Ebbets Pass not Monitor.

One of my favorite has always been Hwy 88 Carson Pass. I've done it in the winter when there is snow
on the ground and the road is clear. At night during a full moon, turn off your headlights, its beautiful.
Link Posted: 7/2/2012 12:28:33 PM EDT
[#38]
Quoted:
May Lake is a fairly short hike (a mile or so, definitely up) with good views.

Tioga Rd. is not too bad during the week and off holidays.  We've driven in just to have lunch at the historic Awahnee Hotel sometimes and where it is, the Valley floor is the busiest area with the Falls and big rocks

Early (the golden hour...dusk or dawn) is best for pictures.

Getting a place to stay can involve early reservations...lottery style, but some cancellations or walk––in campgrounds might offer a chance or option.

Several beautiful lakes on the way in from 395, as well as Lake Tenaya, in the park proper.

Shell station  Mobile station (Whoa Nelly Deli) just off 395 on 120 has some pretty good food if you hit there at lunch or dinner...music too ....   Just can't remember if the guy was going to keep it going or what....very popular.

http://www.whoanelliedeli.com/



Fixed it.  And, yeah, that's a great place to grab a sandwich.  It's right at the corner of 395 and 120.  Tioga Pass is an awesome drive and I'd love to be doing it this time of year.  


Link Posted: 7/2/2012 12:34:12 PM EDT
[#39]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
It is a nice drive, but I like 108 and 4 better. 4 is crazy. Single lane wagon trail covered in asphalt. Sonora has got to be the steepest grades ever invented, yet that does not stop rtards towing trailers from driving on it.


What's the speeds like on 108?  About the same as 120?


Sonora Pass is Hwy 108 -  it's the one with 1st gear corners (on a motorcycle).  Hwy 4 is Monitor Pass - beautiful but not nearly as tight as Sonora Pass.  The Marine Corp mountain warfare training center is on the eastern side of Sonora Pass - seen those poor bastards humping packs:)

You may want to take Sonora Pass instead of Tioga.

+1 on the retards towing trailers on Sonora Pass - seriously stupid MoFo's.  I've driven Sonora West > East in my Honda Civic (5spd) and I wouldn't want to tow anything across it.

Brian





If I'm not mistaken, Hwy 4 is Ebbets Pass not Monitor.  You're probably correct - I'm relying on memory............

One of my favorite has always been Hwy 88 Carson Pass. I've done it in the winter when there is snow
on the ground and the road is clear. At night during a full moon, turn off your headlights, its beautiful.


Frankly, any of the passes are awesome - and you can't go wrong.

Brian
Link Posted: 7/2/2012 7:03:16 PM EDT
[#40]



Quoted:





Quoted:

Gonna be hard to find a campsite anywhere in that area during July.

I've lived in June Lake and driven Tioga many times. Once on my Sportster in November.{cold}

Beautiful drive.


I forgot that popular spots get so booked up.  My first stop after the park is Merced, so I if I have to drive it in one day, it won't kill me.  


Yeah, I went from Tonopah NV to the Bay Area, over that pass and through the park, in a day. Even stopped at Harris Ranch in Coalinga for dinner.



 
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