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Old 09-06-2007, 04:57 PM   #1
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Woke up in California*

Hello seasoned travelers!

I find myself in California for the first time!

I am in Nevada City/Grass Valley, off of 49.

I intend to head to Yosemite NP, what should I know, see, stay,do.

Thanks,
Michael



*Passed out at Burning man
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:02 PM   #2
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:56 PM   #3
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Wouldn't recommend taking Hwy 49 down to Yosemite. Lots of grades and curves. I've done it in a car, my brother just did it in his 20' trailer and he said never again. It's not that you probably wouldn't make it, but it's not at all enjoyable - especially the southern part of the trip.
The road is not bad down to Angels Camp if you wanted to do that and then detour around the rest. There are lots of interesting and historic towns all the way down, you're in gold country.
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:58 PM   #4
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The KOA near there is nice. I stayed there, when I had my Fireball Class C Motorhome.

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Old 09-06-2007, 06:18 PM   #5
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For your first night at Yosemite, stay somewhere outside the valley and reconnoiter without the trailer. Many of the spaces on the valley floor are relatively small and difficult to get much in over 23' long (IF there are any spaces available...). Let me know if they've improved them in the last fifteen or so years!

California is an amazing place, much like the blind men trying to describe the elephant by feel. There's Yosemite, the San Francisco Bay, the Mojave Desert, the Redwoods, the north coast from Ukiah north to the state line... There's wine country, gold country, volcanos, lakes... you name it. You pretty much can't go wrong any direction you head!

While you're in Gold Country and the Yosemite area, make sure you see (and stay at) the Murphys Hotel in Murphys in Calaveras County. We stayed in the same room as Sam Clemens. Black Bart, and a host of other famous and notorious folks have stayed there, and they have the hotel records available. It's pretty awesome.

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Old 09-06-2007, 07:03 PM   #6
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The week before Labor Day I drove on 49 to see "gold country" and stayed one night at the KOA in Placerville. The road is really narrow in spots and it was really hot and dry. The area looks a lot worse than Southern CA...they don't seem to be clearing the dead brush areas next to the roads. I was so happy to see a regular highway (50) in Placerville.

Be sure to get gas before you head to Yosemite. It is really expensive there. It was hot and crowded when I drove from its West entrance to its South entrance. The road is also narrow in areas. Hope to go back in a few weeks and maybe drive the Tioga Road. There are RV parks near the West and South entrances, if you want to stay where there are hookups and just drive your tow vehicle in.
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:42 PM   #7
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Woke up in California !!!!!

That happened to me one time, I think it was back in the 60's
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:46 PM   #8
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Smile Hi

Go to Fresno and take Hwy41 and camp in Oakhurst. The 49 is bad for about 75 miles and it takes for ever to negotiate. It is not a shot cut. Regards from a former resident of Fresn CA Russell
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Old 09-06-2007, 09:49 PM   #9
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Another idea would be to head over to US 395 via Lake Tahoe, then down 395 to Tioga Pass and come in the back way to Yosemite. Going this way puts you in the Eastern Sierras which are much more dramatic than the Western Sierras. Lots of places to camp along 395. The Bridgeport area is very interesting and there are numerous places to boondock, or stay at Mono Village at Twin Lakes just outside of Bridgeport if you want hookups and a fantastic setting.

The drive from 395 at Lee Vining over Hwy120 through the Yosemite backcountry is spectacular but not for the faint of heart. The pass is steep and winding but I have done it many times towing trailers. You will be going up which is not as scary as going down. Believe me when I say it's worth the trip!
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by slowolf
Another idea would be to head over to US 395 via Lake Tahoe, then down 395 to Tioga Pass and come in the back way to Yosemite. Going this way puts you in the Eastern Sierras which are much more dramatic than the Western Sierras. Lots of places to camp along 395. The Bridgeport area is very interesting and there are numerous places to boondock, or stay at Mono Village at Twin Lakes just outside of Bridgeport if you want hookups and a fantastic setting.

The drive from 395 at Lee Vining over Hwy120 through the Yosemite backcountry is spectacular but not for the faint of heart. The pass is steep and winding but I have done it many times towing trailers. You will be going up which is not as scary as going down. Believe me when I say it's worth the trip!
I echo this post....I was going to suggest you explore the Eastern Sierras and then saw that you were already on the west side......my favorite places are the Mono Lake and Mammoth Lakes areas of the Eastern Sierras. I have never trailered over Tioga Pass but think going up might be okay....the view is spectacular......going down might give me weak knees......but 120 up Tioga Pass and over Tuolumne Meadows is wonderful.....the pass is open generally until November then closes until Memorial Day or later depending upon the snow pack.....it would be a beautiful time to go now.....pj

PS: The Whoa Nelly Deli is in the Mobil Station at 395 and 120.....great place to eat--just in a weird place!!!
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by slowolf
Another idea would be to head over to US 395 via Lake Tahoe, then down 395 to Tioga Pass and come in the back way to Yosemite. Going this way puts you in the Eastern Sierras which are much more dramatic than the Western Sierras. Lots of places to camp along 395. The Bridgeport area is very interesting and there are numerous places to boondock, or stay at Mono Village at Twin Lakes just outside of Bridgeport if you want hookups and a fantastic setting.

The drive from 395 at Lee Vining over Hwy120 through the Yosemite backcountry is spectacular but not for the faint of heart. The pass is steep and winding but I have done it many times towing trailers. You will be going up which is not as scary as going down. Believe me when I say it's worth the trip!
This is a very good suggestion......but for one adjustment. Because we are partial to Placeville (Gold Discovery history) and live just east of there wander up US 50 say hello then continue up 50 to Tahoe and see it. You DO NOT want to miss TAHOE. You can then continue on to Nevada and US 395 and Slo Wolf's suggestion. Do not take HWY 49 from Auburn to Placerville. It is very senic but all you will be looking at is the road in front and wearing out your steering and brakes.
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:52 PM   #12
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Burning Man

Boy o boy, thanks for all the feedback!
If anyone is in South Nevada County this weekend there will be a very select group of artists showing original works of art off of rt 49.
Please stop by!
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:02 PM   #13
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Went to Lake Tahoe last summer (July 06) and decided to take HWY 49 down from there. In most place's it's a 1 lane road each way. It's kinda hard to find a place to park your TT as you pass these beautiful historic towns. It's also a bummer when you end up behind someone who is going slower then you.

There are some towns that are large enough for you to stop and park your TT and a few "stop" signs that when you cross over to the hwy you gotta be fast. YES, be sure you fill up in or around Jamestown. If I remember correctly, there is 1 1950's type gas station after that and your TT WILL NOT be able to drive into this station unless you unhook.

Now, if you're going to enter Yosemite from the West entrance, you'll end up taking HWY 49 down to HWY 108 then to HWY 120.

There are no gas stations around, it's all open hwy. as you go up HWY 120 which is the way to Yosemite, it's about a 7-8% incline. About 1/2 way up there is a large multi-pump new gas station which is a life saver! You can actually go around the back of the station with your trailer and pull up to the front pumps.

Yes, gas is a little more $$ but not really that much more. (some stations off the freeways are far more $$).

Once you hit the top of the hill you'll be in a neat little town called "Groveland" as you pass it there is "Yosemite Sams RV Park".

It has full hookups. Just don't ask for a pull through or you'll end up on the main dirt road where everyone goes thru to get to their site and no trees.

Not too friendly folks in the office. But, it's a place to camp at while you visit the NP.

OR, you can go up the road to a 1000 trails RV park. ( If I recall correctly, you can pay a daily fee to use their facilities). It might be worth it as it is much closer to the NP entrance. From Yosemite Sams it's about 20 miles to the gate.

I recommend that you visit the museum in the town of Groveland as it is interesting.

Well, that's my 2 cents worth of info, Hope it helped.

Safari-Rick
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:47 AM   #14
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Cool picture Artstream! Did anyone notice over on the new Airstream website that the models are said to be at home at different destinations? I believe the Ocean Breeze was said to give you the cool surf feeling even in the dessert at Burning Man. Don't know if that reference is gone but I cannot find that page anymore.
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