a VirtualTourist member from California
Fiancee and I are consdiring last-minute changes to our plans, leaving the Sacramento area for LA via 49/99 instead of 5. So...
1) What is the most scenic part of 49?
2) Should we start in Placerville, or in Auburn? ( Auburn requires about 15 miles backtracking for us )
3 ) At what point should we leave 49 and cross over to 99? Mariposa? Oakhurst?
Any advice is welcome. We'll leave Monday morning. Thanks.
My wife and I drove from Mariposa to Columbia(State Historic Park) and back on Highway 49. The drive was very scenic but also a bit nerve-wracking and time consuming thanks to the narrow winding mountain roads full of hairpin turns etc.
When going to Mariposa we first drove from Fresno to Merced via 99 which was a very easy and fast highway. From Merced to Mariposa we took Hwy140 which was a very beautiful road which curved through fields of long golden grass (we made the trip in late July)
When leaving Yosemite we went south on Hwy 41 through Oakhurst to Fresno. I found that drive somewhat less interesting than the others however.
I live in the area and the area is pretty dry and brown this time of the year. Not really worth the time or effort. However, if you really want to I would go to Auburn and then south from there. Depending on your time you could head west to hit Hwy 99 at Hwy 120 (Jamestown) or Hwy 132 (Coulterville) after that you are pretty well stuck to Mariposa and then you might as well take Hwy 41 into Fresno and hit Hwy 99 there. Hwy 41 is probably the best route because it doesn't entail any wasted time going directly west to hit Hwy 99, which would not gain you any distance toward LA.