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Thread started 22 Sep 2012 (Saturday) 16:00
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Yosemite and Hwy. 1 road trip

Senior Member
552 posts
Joined Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Sep 22, 2012 16:00 |  #1

Will be doing a road trip around Oct 19 starts from SF Bay Area - Yosemite, back to Bay Area - Big Sur - SoCal via Hwy. 1.

Last time I went to Yosemite was a few years ago and we only went to the Valley because Tioga Pass Rd. was closed due to snow. So this time I will only spend little time in the Valley and will drive to Glacier Point and Tioga Pass, maybe all the way to Mono Lake. I have 3 sunrises and 2 sunsets for Yosemite and by reading Michael Frye's "The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite", I'm planning to spend 1 sunset at Tunnel View. Since there are so many options from the book for sunrise/sunset, I was wondering if I can get some recommendations as far as the BEST spots to go during those golden hours. I will spend the rest of my time there scouting all other spots, and perhaps do some easy/medium hiking. Also, where would you recommend as far as place to stay for maybe less than $100/night? Thinking about spending 2 nights there and so far all hotels are quite pricey in the area and most of them are like at least 1 hour from the park. Not planning to camp this time, but cheap cabin is perfectly fine with me.

I'm planning to stay 1 night in Big Sur area and 1 night in Oxnard area. Any recommendations as far as hotel in Big Sur area for less than $100/night? Trying to limit the budget as low as possible :)

Thank you in advance for the ideas...cheers...

My Junk

Junior Member
25 posts
Joined Feb 2010
Location: UK
Sep 23, 2012 15:03 |  #2

We stayed at this place in Big Sur, which was fantastic: http://www.glenoaksbig​ (external link) I'm not sure what their prices are like at the moment, but we tend to go for the budget options, so hopefully it'll be in your price range.

As for Yosemite, we're back there on 19th October as well for a few nights - we're referring to the same guide, so I'll watch this thread with interest...

flickr (external link) 500px (external link)

Cream of the Crop
9,911 posts
Likes: 209
Joined Jan 2006
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Sep 23, 2012 15:08 |  #3

Cedar Lodge is only 15 min from the west entrance at El Portal. I've stayed there a few times. It's about $130 a night but has many amenities.

http://www.stayyosemit​ (external link)

"Raw" is not an acronym, abbreviation, nor a proper noun; thus, it should not be in capital letters.

Senior Member
552 posts
Joined Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Sep 25, 2012 09:59 as a reply to  @ Tony-S's post |  #4

Thanks for the info.

Any advice for BEST spots for me to go as far as Yosemite area? There are so many hikes, stops and views to be covered but I only have limited time there.

My Junk

125 posts
Joined Apr 2012
Location: California
Sep 30, 2012 08:34 as a reply to  @ g0bl0k's post |  #5

Tioga Pass & Glacier Point road should be open then, especially since we're having a warm summer. Tioga rarely closes before November, but it's been known to happen.

You may have a difficult time finding cheaper hotels this late...a lot of Yosemite accommodations are booked way in advance. Not sure there's much in that price range beyond the camping-style places in the park, if anything is even available this close to your date. Maybe something further outside the park and will require driving. Since you want to do sunrise/sunset shooting, I'd seriously consider biting the bullet and spending a bit more to be closer.

You might be able to get a tent at Curry Village, due to the henta virus issue going on...I believe it was specific to the DOUBLE-WALLED tents (which are being taken down & rebuilt), although I haven't been keeping up with it lately. The panic caused tons of cancellations all over the facility including tents and cabins that weren't affected, so there's probably more availability than normal. Also try Yosemite Scenic Wonders; they run rentals in a small community inside the park, about 10 miles (maybe 20 minutes from the Valley?), everything from one room condos to large cabins/houses. I think the condos *might* go for about $100 or so in the off-season. What's nice about the location is that it's near the base of Glacier Point.

If you're going to go all the way to Mono Lake, you can consider staying a night in Lee Vining. It's a long drive back from there to the Valley, especially if you want to shoot sunrise or sunset at Mono Lake or along Tioga Pass.

Sunset locations - I like Valley View (location is shown in Frye's book) and Glacier Point. Sure, GP has been shot millions of times and it'll be crowded, but it's still an amazing view, especially if you haven't been there before.

Sunrise - You know, I'm not sure I've found a 'favorite' spot in my trips there...maybe standing somewhere in the middle of valley in the snow, shooting sunrise hitting Yosemite Falls in the distance. Also shooting along the river towards El Capitan & the Three Brothers. There's no 'named' spot to stop at, just driving along the south road in the Valley (heading east), somewhere between the two spots and you'll see several parking spots, probably with cars of other photogs, the only people out that early. ;)

Not sure what you can get in Big Sur for under $100, except maybe one of the few campgrounds. I visit there often, and just stay in Monterey or Carmel & drive to Big Sur, it's not a long drive. Consider seeing Point Lobos, if you haven't yet.

By the way, you may want to try your lodging question over at the TripAdvisor Yosemite forum, lots of friendly over there.

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Yosemite and Hwy. 1 road trip
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