Question for Northern/Central Californians

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by exwhyzee, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. exwhyzee

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,578
    Likes Received:
    36
    Gender:
    Male
    This is self serving...but I am headed to Fresno in May. Is it totally unrealistic to plan to fly into San Fransisco and drive to Fresno, then drive by Yosemite to Reno, and then back to San Fransisco? I have to be in Fresno anyway, but I've always wanted to see Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada. I could even see spending a day in San fransisco if I can find a spare day. At the most, I have a week to do all this..if its even possible.

    How long would it tale to drive the triangle? Thanks for any helpful hints!
     
  2. tallshaft

    tallshaft New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Hey,
    sure. You could get to Fresno (why?) and then north to Yosemite, the east to 395, north to Reno (why again?) thence to Tahoe. It takes like 5 hours to get to SF from Tahoe. It would be a rush, but driving trips are fun. I find Reno is much more fun after watching Reno 911. 395 is nice and quiet, the eastern Sierras. Why not visit the Mendocino coast.. wink. Nice pics.
     
  3. B_Monster

    B_Monster New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    4,773
    Likes Received:
    9
    I live in the southbay but, I have no idea how long that would take. Maybe MapQuest it.
     
  4. Dave NoCal

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,994
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    246
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sacramento (CA, US)
    That would seem doable. San Francisco to Fresno is probably no more than three hours if you time yourself to traffic patterns. Personally, I would skip Reno and tour the Napa Valley instead. You could probably get to Napa from Fresno in no more than four hours.

    What time of year are you talking about. Mountain passes are subject to unexpected closure during winter due to snow. The central valley is incredibly hot during summer. In that case, I would try to spend my extra time on the northern coast. The climate here varies so much. My partner and I drove over the coast range to Ft. Bragg. It was 105 when we left and 60, or so with a stiff breeze when we arrived. We were freezing. Last year, during the winter we left the house in shirt sleeves to run an errand about ten miles up the road, to about 1000 additional feet of elevation. By the time we got there, we were slogging through six inches of snow in four wheel drive.

    This is just to say that the time of year and locations visited need to enter into your plans. Many parts of nothern California are incredibly beautiful. I hope you have a good trip. I've only lived here five years and others may have more useful information.

    Davd
     
  5. exwhyzee

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,578
    Likes Received:
    36
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks guys, it sounds doable time-wise. I'd like to see Reno-Tahoe just because Ive always heard of them, but never been there, plus I'd like to see the mountains and the Donner Summit, et al. The trip would be in early May...so weather could be problematic.

    Its hard to determine on a google map (or mapquest) whether the distances are doable (good roads, good drive). I appreciate the advice from the locals.
     
  6. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Messages:
    7,453
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mavs, NOR * CAL

    SF-->Tahoe = 4 hours
    Fresneck-->Yosemite = 2 hours

    Fly to Fresneck... drive to Yosemite... you can do the Valley in a day... a shame, but I've done it for a visitor. Yosemite to Tahoe is a drive (8,000 ft passes), but as mentioned here beautiful/serene... take 120 thru Yosemite, which dumps u onto US 395. ..check out the freak of nature that is Mono Lake, it's right there as 120/395 junction. http://bulgar.no-ip.info/downloads/snimki/wall/Twilight%20Over%20South%20Tufa%20Grove,%20Mono%20Lake,%20California.jpg

    Then I'm not why you are suggested to go all the way up to Reno.. then back down.... i think tall shaft assumes you are going to the North Shore of Tahoe. You can see here:
    100 main st, lee vining, ca - Google Maps

    Just cut over at Gardenerville...as I have done before...to the South Shore.

    Tahoe is fantastic, but it's big, and a pain to get around to check out stuff. But you can get up to some great views around there... plus gamble. ;-)

    I'd spend more time in Yosemite vs Tahoe, for the record... and if you've never been to SF... maybe skip Tahoe, since you'll have gotten some supreme alpine flavor in.
     
  7. exwhyzee

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,578
    Likes Received:
    36
    Gender:
    Male
    ...and thanks for the comps tallshaft!
     
  8. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Messages:
    7,453
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mavs, NOR * CAL
    North coast is an impossible drive at times... way too many one lane highways, and tons of construction that never seems to stop. You have to well research your way. Ft Bragg/Mendocino... a bit trashy these days... to get the quiet flavor of the Northern California coast you only need to go up through North Marin (Drake's Bay, up to Sea Ranch/Gualala)... no need to go way up Mendocino County, IMHO. You can easily daytrip it... or spend less driving (2 hrs+ each way)... leave SF, spend a night at one of a gazillion B&Bs on the coast, then back to SF.
     
  9. tallshaft

    tallshaft New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    May should be okay though, as far as snow is concerned. The roads certainly won't be closed, even if there is snow at the passes. I agree, skip Reno, see Yosemite, then take 140/99/152 and go to Monterey and Carmel, then north to SF. You'll see better stuff.
     
  10. exwhyzee

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,578
    Likes Received:
    36
    Gender:
    Male
    Very cool! Thanks faceking and tallshaft, your suggestions are exactly what I needed!

    Who ever said hung guys arent helpful??? hahaha
     
  11. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Messages:
    7,453
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mavs, NOR * CAL
    Not a bad idea there either... would be nice to even go south from Fresno 46/41/1 ...land in Cambria... hit Hearst Castle, Big Sur (http://www.mikelevin.com/BigSurBridge800.jpg )...then up the Central Coast, which for 75% of the way is like that picture, no kidding. However... I've done THAT a number of times, and again... some single lane roads (think RVs), with some construction here and there. I've driven 1 a ton of times, including from Mexico to SF... and it's a beautiful quaint drive at times... but just long.
     
  12. earllogjam

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,027
    Likes Received:
    21
    San Francisco to Fresno is about a 3.5 hour drive. Reno to San Francisco is about 4 hours. I think Fresno to Yosemite is about 2 hours if that. Never drove Yosemite to Reno. Your trip is certainly doable within a week.

    If you are going up to Yosemite in May just keep in mind the Tioga Pass Road that goes thru Yosemite Park over the Sierras to Lee Vining and Nevada is closed over winter and only opens up usually after Memorial Day when most of the snow is gone. Most of the highways over the Sierra that way are closed except I-80 and I-50 which are considerably north. Personally I'd skip Reno and stay in Lake Tahoe instead or if Tioga Pass is closed go to Kings Canyon National Park just south of Yosemite and see the giant Sequoias - Great hiking there too. Reserve a room now if you want to stay in Yosemite valley as they book up quickly. A stay at the Ahwanee is very memorable and worth a night.
     
  13. exwhyzee

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,578
    Likes Received:
    36
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks earllogjam, maybe in early May I am better off not going over the mountains, and staying on the west side due to snow/closed roads...
     
  14. SpeedoGuy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Messages:
    4,229
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    The drive on Hwy 120 through Yosemite over to US395 is one of the most spectacular I've ever done. You'll go over Tioga pass with this just shy of 10,000 feet. There can be lots of snow up there, even in May, so check the highway conditions and weather before going up there.

    Yosemite Valley is grand, probably my all time favorite National Park. There are a variety of different hotels, motels and such (including quaint tent cabins) to stay in during a visit to the park. If you make it up there in May the waterfalls will be thundering full of runoff from snowmelt. Very dramatic. Some of the day hikes in and around Yosemite Valley are wonderful if the weather is good.

    If you can't go visit the Sierra there is plenty of scenic touring around the Bay Area: The Napa Valley wine country. Monterey Bay and its aquarium, Highway 1 on the coast between San Francisco and Santa Cruz, Marin and Sonoma counties in the north bay area, and San Francisco itself is loaded with great attractions. A few hours to the north are the famous Redwoods (near the Oregon border).

    I'm a history buff so I was also attracted to the Trukee/Tahoe/Donner area because of the history of the Donner Party wagon train and the transcontinental railroad. There's a nice state park with historical displays at Donner Lake in Truckee. Easy to get to on I-80.

    Good luck! Let me know if you have more questions. I grew up in the Sonoma Valley and spent the first 25 years of my life touring the areas you are considering visiting.
     
  15. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Messages:
    7,453
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mavs, NOR * CAL
    Alright... Kings Canyon is a bit of a drive.. and besides... the south part of Yosemite has some Sequoia groves... in fact, I think the world's tallest tree is just south of Yosemite... they won't say which one it is .. as the last one (after the General Sherman) had some much foot traffic, it caused damage to the roots and toppled over. Regardless.. it's like comparing Mother Nature's Sears Tower vs Petronas Tower.. all good and majestic.

    FRESNO/YOSEMITE/SAN FRANCISCO... don't see "rome in a day" I always say... focus on those.. and if a side trip can work out great. Yosemite is 4x better than Tahoe.. and that says a lot.
     
  16. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Messages:
    7,453
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mavs, NOR * CAL
    Corrected.. from Wikipedia (still in NoCal.. and closer to me)

    Hyperion is the name of a redwood tree in Northern California that has been confirmed to measure 115.55 m (379.1 feet), which ranks it as the world's tallest living tree.[1]
    It was discovered September 8, 2006 by researcher Chris Atkins and amateur naturalist Michael Taylor. The tree was verified as standing 115.55 m tall by Stephen Sillett. The tree was found in a remote area of the Redwood National Park purchased in 1978, during the Carter Administration. The exact location of the tree has not been revealed to the public for fear that human traffic would upset the ecosystem the tree inhabits. The tree is estimated to contain 502 m³ (18,600 cubic feet) of wood.[2]


    Hyperion (tree) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  17. exwhyzee

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,578
    Likes Received:
    36
    Gender:
    Male
    How can you make a post about the biggest wood in the world on LPSG and not reveal where its location is? I mean, we all want to see the biggest tree? Right?

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time for thoughtful suggestions. I may still try to drive over the pass and visit Tahoe (add nevada to my list of "states I have visited" but I may play that by ear as I get closer. I am sure I could spend a few days in San Francisco in itself...the last time I was there I was 16!

    Thanks everyone.
     
  18. earllogjam

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,027
    Likes Received:
    21
    I hope you have a good trip exwhysee.

    If you go to Yosemite I can't emphasize enough to make sure you take some wilderness hikes out of the valley and really experience nature as Speedo and some others have mentioned here already. There are incredible vistas, lakes, streams and waterfalls that only adventurous hikers experience. You can do many in one day. The valley floor can seem a bit too touristy with traffic jams, throngs of souvenir hunters and camera toting tourists detracting from the magic of the place these days.
     
  19. therunningman

    therunningman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Messages:
    285
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Depending on the amount of time you have the valley floor can have it's sights also. :) Hottie hiker boys coming in from a long hike and stripping down in eager anticipation of a shower in the shower room can be very wonderful...but not as wonderful as half dome at sunset. The Ansel Adams Gallery has some wonderful prints at reasonable prices from local artists if you want a nice gift to remember the trip with.
     
  20. Mandee

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    4,435
    Likes Received:
    2
    Definately go to RENO! :)
     
Draft saved Draft deleted