Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Kings Canyon to Yosemite to Carson City
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 > Kings Canyon to Yosemite to Carson City

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canoehenge

New Braunfels

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Posted: 01/10/20 02:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I understand Hwy 88 as being the best route east across the Sierras. Any suggestions as to the best routing to get to 88? I also understand it is inadvisable to take 49 from the south to get to Yosemite. How is 49 north from Yosemite? I will be pulling a 32' fifth wheel. Any advice would be appreciated.


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Lwiddis

Owens River Road, California

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Posted: 01/10/20 02:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

California Hwy 88 is doable and a beautiful drive.


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canoehenge

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Posted: 01/10/20 02:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis, what do you think about 49 from 120 north to 88?

Thanks

jmtandem

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Posted: 01/11/20 08:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If your travels are in the summer take highway 120 across Tioga pass out of Yosemite and that will put you on the east side of the Sierras then US 395 north to the Nevada state capital. In winter you can use California state route 88, US 50 or even IR 80 depending on the weather. State route 88 crosses the Sierras at 8500 feet so most winter storms will be problematic for the duration of the storm. Highway 49 north of Yosemite is very windy and lots of climbing and descending. A great motorcycle road.


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ppine

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Posted: 01/11/20 08:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Canoe,
Route 88 is my favorite way across, Highway 50 is fine. Tioga Pass road is direct, but windy and narrow and exposed.

Route 49 is tight and up and down and wearing. It is fine in short stretches. The northern part is a little easier.

Last year I went to Yosemite from near Carson City on Tioga Pass just before the snow, but I came home by going home on 49 to Route 88 which is easier. All routes are scenic, just avoid Route 4 over Ebbetts Pass.

paulj

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Posted: 01/11/20 11:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

49 crosses the foothills, hence the curves and hills even though it doesn't cross a major pass. So using a flat highway in the valley might be worth your while.

Even if your paper map doesn't show the details, there are online maps (e.g. google) that show terrain - the hills and valleys, even elevations. And zoomed enough show all the curves, and streetviews.

canoehenge

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Posted: 01/11/20 02:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Travel would be in the summer, however, I have seen posts here not recommending 120 over Tioga pass due to tight turns and steep grades, if you are pulling anything over 30'. Hwy 49 between Kings Canyon and Yosemite was also ruled out for the same reasons. I do not care to continue south to Bakersfield and east to get around the Sierras. 4 and 108 were also ruled out, as well. I could not find any posts by anyone actually having pulled larger trailers east across Tioga pass. How hard a pull is it really?

profdant139

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Posted: 01/11/20 05:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lots of folks use 120 in both directions, with all sorts of RVs. It is really not that bad. Lots of pullouts available. I have towed it probably six or eight times (with a small trailer). Use a lower gear on the way down.

The scenery is stupendous -- if you can spend some time along the way, do it! Unlike Yosemite Valley, the high country along 120 is cool and comfortable in the summer.

And 395 from Lee Vining to Carson City also goes through very beautiful territory.


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canoehenge

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Posted: 01/11/20 06:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just an observation, but, having checked the 120 route to Mono Lake using Google Earth and RVTrip Wizard there are no larger travel trailers to be seen on this route, only popups or smaller bumper pulls, and then not very many. Using this route would certainly simplify our journey, after all, we are professional retirees with time on our side.

profdant139

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Posted: 01/11/20 08:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can tell you from personal observation that big rigs can handle 120, as long as your tow vehicle is up to the task. For example, here is a video:

Big airstream on Tioga Road

If you are interested in some photos of the Tioga area, just go to our blog and type Tioga into the search bar. Enjoy!

Our blog

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