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a VirtualTourist member from Dubai

Yosemite National Park

Preferable staying Location - Need help to decide ..

Me and family are going to Yosemite for 2 nights.
We are driving from SFO... and will drive down to LA fromhere.

I have presenly got 2 places booked and need to decide which one to keep:
They are at :
1. June Lake
2. Sonorra.

Based on the main viewing points:I need to work out which one would be a better place.
I understand Sonorra is a shorter route from SFO and into LA, but how far is it from Yosemite Park gates.
WIll it be closer to the main

Yosemite Falls
Bridalveil Fall
Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias
Tunnel View
Glacier Point Rd

Answers Appreciated....

11 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Los Angeles

Both of those are a long way out of the way for you to be heading to LA after you visit Yosemite. Sonora is northwest of the park and June Lake is over off the 395 near Mono Lake and Mammoth. I would think between these two choices it's really a toss up. If you pick either one you're in for a lot of driving. Something south of the park on the west side would be closer to LA but if you already have these booked, I'm not sure it matters a whole lot which one you keep. If you pick June Lake, dropping down the 395 wouldn't be too bad of a drive. It will take you right to the 15 and you can then get into LA pretty easily from there. The only problem is you'd be heading east when you leave Yosemite and then when you get down, closer to LA, you'll have to go way west again. With Sonora, after you spend the day in Yosemite, you'll have to leave the park and go north to get up to your hotel in Sonora and then the next day head south again to go to LA so it's maybe a little more out of your way. You could get over to the 99 fairly easily but, like I mentioned, you'd have to go north out of the park to get to your hotel and then the next day for your drive to LA you'll have to go back south again - seems like a waste of time.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Los Angeles

Sorry, forgot about the other half of your question!:-(
Sonora looks further than June Lake from the park but the way the roads are, you can't just drive in from that east side, you have to take a rather circuitous route along 120.

Also you don't say when you'll be going. Bear in mind that some roads are closed in Yosemite until around mid-May or so.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Dubai

Can we do the south section -MAriposa etc - on the day we leave for LA?
In that case , we can leave early morning ...check the south of the park and then drive down to LA?
Or do we stay at OAKHurst area somewhere or mariposa?

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Dubai

I am travelling in JUly 2013

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Los Angeles

Really anything south of the park would make leaving for LA the next day easier, IMO.
Mariposa, Oakhurst, Coarsegold - it would just eliminate the need for backtracking.

And in July you shouldn't have to worry at all about the roads from June Lake being closed if you decide to stay over there.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Westlake Village

If you need a lake, why not Bass Lake, so close to the South Entrance to Yosemite and the Tunnel View. Also Oakhurst has many motels to get a good rate for your stay. Yes, it is a bit of a drive to the Yosemite Visitors Center, but once inside. you can use the shuttlebus to get around to the entire Yosemite view points. See my VT reviews on Oakhurst which include Bass Lake and the fun train ride in Fish Camp, just before the South Entrance to Yosemite. This would be your quickest way to LA when leaving Yosemite. [original VT link]
Also my VT Yosemite pages have a review on the shuttle buses. [original VT link]

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Okinawa

I need to know the month that you are coming this way, it does matter if some roads are still not open due to snow.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Stockton

Forget June Lake, way on the other side of the Sierra's. Sonora is not a bad location it's a short drive to the valley floor. Much depends on when you plan to drive from SF. Do you plan to spend some time in SF prior to get over jet lag and then head toward YNP. Let me know and I can give you some better suggestions. I only live about 90 minutes from Sonora ride my motorcycle up that way often. As for getting to LA from Yosemite, your best bet is take Hwy 41 down to Fresno and then catch Hwy 99 on to LA. If you stay in Sonora you could go back into the park, do the south part and drive to LA via 41/99 all in a day. Also take a look at the part of the park that is around the Hetch Hetchy resevour. It's high ignored and way less crowded. It's off Hwy 120 on Evergreen Road in fact there are some really nice cabins called Evergreen Lodge on the road going in. I happened to find it by accident while up there for work. Also look around Groveland for places if you can find any.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Dubai

Hi James,
Thanks a lot for replying to my forum question in SFo- Yosemite:
Preferable staying Location - Need help to decide.
Just to mention I am travelling in July 2013

My situation is as:
I am staying i SFO for 2 full days and then picking up car from Downtown area at 9.30.
So on route:
Day 1 : Driving to Yosemite ;Night halt at Yosemite
Day 2 : Night halt at Yosemite
3rd day : Reaching Los Angeles-Anaheim by evening fr Night halt. Plan is to visit Disney next day

I have bookings at : June Lake,Sonorra and now also at Cherry Lakes Road ,,Groveland I need to releasee any two of these and keep on with the third one.Base on your suggestion can you also give me a rough estimate of the driving time to and from that location ?

Please advice... Thanks a lot for your interest.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Okinawa

I always advise for at least one full day for Yosemite Valley and half a day at the Glacier then head to LA. For photos you will have sunset and sunrise. It is better to stay in Groveland for the night and proceed to Yosemite early morning, 35 minutes drive to the gate and less traffic. The trip time during summer are wasted at the gate. Cherry Lakes Road is off HWY 120 this will take you longer to reach Yosemite. Staying in Groveland main street will be advisable for the night, access to WIFI, and historical buildings including old hotels which has history during the California Gold Rush in the 1840's. It will be also easier on your travel since you have already passed the "Priest Grade" obstacle zig zag roads in Groveland. Please learn the map on Priest Grade as the GPS confuse many tourists on this route and ends up driving around both of the New Priest Grade and Old Priest Grade. The New Priest Grade will lead you to the top of HWY 120 but longer route and the Old Priest Grade in shorter time but narrower road and closer to the cliffs. Prepare yourself with good photo memories by referencing to Ansel Adams photos and have a good trip.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Stockton

I would do Groveland for the overnight. SF to Groveland will be about three hours. YNP to Disneyland, via Hwy 41/Hwy 99/I-5 will be about six or more. A lot depends on LA area traffic. I recently did that route on a Friday and it took me as long to do the last 50 miles as it did the first 250 miles. I would not be in a hurry to reach LA. I wouldn't even plan to get there until 9:30 or later. If you do then you should sail right down I-5 to Disneyland. There is an app for your smartphone called "sigalert" that will help you see what the traffic is doing on the major roads.

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