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Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

Houston, Texas
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Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

Hi,

We will arrive Reno airport and stay one at South Lake Tahoe and then 2 nights outside Yosemite and 2 nights Monterrey, then up to San Jose for outbound flight. The trip is mainly for photography and seeking advice for most scenic route with stop along the way for photo opt. The trip is mid June.

Thanks

11 replies to this topic
Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

Hi

This forum is about Yosemite, so the topics in the forum and the Things to Do at the top and the Top Questions on the right are just about Yosemite.

Where are you staying? Some lodgings are very deceptive in their location description. "Minutes from the entrance" might be 30 minutes plus another 45 minutes to the Valley or "Near the boundary" might be very far from an entrance gate. As the park is 1200 square miles, location is important.

For your mid-June visit, I recommend getting to parking lots early. Yosemite will be crowded. I hope you can manage some time in Yosemite Valley for waterfalls and at Glacier Point for lovely views. If it's after Jun 15th, you can visit Mariposa Grove. But it might be too crowded to make a stop "worth it" on your fast paced visit.

For your overall driving route, I recommend using the California state forum. You'll want to read the Top Q on the California page to learn more about the Hwy 1 closure and options from Monterey (only one "r" in this city; the one with two r's is in Mexico.)

The Top Questions are only visible on the full TA website, definitely not on the app.

Houston, Texas
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2. Re: Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

Thank for your prompt reply!

We will miss the June 15 by few days.

We are well aware of the lodging location. Will stay at Mariposa, nearly 2 hrs to some viewpoints. But we have no other choice due to no refundable policy inside the park.

Assuming we leave South Lake Tahoe at 9am, what will be the most recommend scenic drive to Yosemite with stop along the way?

Washington State
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3. Re: Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

Hi

Lodgings within the park are fully refundable within 7 days. But reservations open a year in advance, and popular lodgings & room configurations book up early.

"Cancellations or changes in reservations must be received 7 days prior to reservation arrival date to assure refund of deposit. Refunds on cancellations made less that 7 days in advance will be forfeited." https:/…

Enter via Tioga Pass to Tioga Road. Read more in the Top Questions. "What can I do along Tioga Road?" There may still be some mud or slush on some trails, but this dry winter means that mostly it will be dry. Bring mosquito repellent.

You might want to stop at Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias just before the end of Tioga Road. Then continue down and out Hwy 140 to Mariposa.

On Day 2, get into the Valley early & park in the Yosemite Falls parking lot just west of Yosemite Valley Lodge. use the shuttle to get around. Toward the late afternoon, drive an hour (plus?) up to Glacier Point, maybe hiking Sentinel Dome. Enjoy a picnic dinner, then drive 2+ hours down to Mariposa.

Reno, Nevada
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4. Re: Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

Most scenic route from Reno to South Tahoe: Mt. Rose highway over the hill then the east shore of the lake to SLT. Most scenic route from SLT to Yosemite: 50 to 89 through Markleeville to 395 then over Tioga Pass through Tuolumne Meadows to the valley. Just my opinion, of course.

Seattle
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5. Re: Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

My opinion as well!

A photographer would do well to spend the first of two "Yosemite" nights in Lee Vining, the town on the route described above which is closest to Yosemite. It is right on Mono Lake which is rich in photo opportunities, especially around sunset.

Try to book lodging inside Yosemite Park for the next night. As PacificNW Family stated, lodging booked through the official,website can be cancelled upmto 7!days ahead of the reservation. Cancellations show up on the website frequently as people change their plans. We were able to book nice lodging inside the park just last month. Use this website:

Www.travelyosemite.com

Edited: 25 February 2018, 16:12
LA
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6. Re: Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

If you are interested in photography, I would not miss sunrise or sunset at Mono Lake. Truly unique.

May be difficult to get reservations in Lee Vining, as this is their busy season

Seattle
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7. Re: Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

Reservations in Lee Vining in summer are a must! Each time we have been there, the No Vacancy light was on in every motel or lodge by early afternoon.

I checked two places for availability mid-June. I could find nothing at Murphey's, but Lakeview Lodge had good availability for the dates I checked. We like to stay there and enjoy the gardens.

Houston, Texas
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8. Re: Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

Thank you all for your suggestions!

We are not photographer, we are just camera addict and like to capute nature landscape.

The current availability inside the park for our date is at Canvas Tent. Our travel companion prefer regular hotel room with private bath.

There is also availability at Big Tree Lodge, we can give up private bath, but still 50+minutes drive to Yosemite Valley.

There are few vacancies near El Portal but all non refundable

Rusk Creek Lodge is nice but 40+ minutes drive at $400+ per night at non refundable.

There a 2 vacancies at Lee Vining, but due the winter road closure, I am not able to see the driving distance to most of Yosemite attractions. Mono lake is a must stop on the way to Yosemite, it would be perfect stop if we arrive around the area around 5pm, giving the wind condition is calm for good sunset shot. Up early the next day for sunrise and head to the park. But more likely, we arrive Lee Vining around 1pm, what else to explore in the area until sunset?

Elk Grove...
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9. Re: Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

>> There a 2 vacancies at Lee Vining, but due the winter road closure, I am not able to see the driving distance to most of Yosemite attractions. <<

On Google Map, you can get around this by changing the "Leave Now" setting (default) to "Depart At" and set a future date in June. It will let you pass through Tioga Pass. But the limitation of using "Depart At" is you can only do point-to-point and no more ability to set a multi-leg itinerary. You can use it to check on one key-leg's distance.

Houston, Texas
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10. Re: Scenic drive from South Lake Tahoe-Yosemite-Monterrey

Thank everyone for your help!

Just reserved one night at Lakeview Lodge, will monitor if there is cancellation inside the park the next night. If not, we will stay at Mariposa.

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