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Southern Eastern Sierra from Bay Area - Best Route???

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Southern Eastern Sierra from Bay Area - Best Route???

Postby mr.kurt » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:44 pm

Hi all,

I'd like to get over to the southern region of the Eastern Sierra (Big Pine, etc) sometime this summer. I live in the Bay Area (South San Jose) and always go through Yosemite on my way to Mammoth. I'm just wondering if anyone has any other routes they'd suggest. Is there a good road that goes around the south of SEKI that might be faster, with less traffic?

Thanks for the help!
Kurt



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Postby Robert » Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:17 am

I suppose you could take 99 south to Bakersfield then pick up 58 to Tehachapi. Just after Tehachapi take the 14 north toward Ridgecrest and pick up 395 North. Thats a long way around, but definitely a nice ride.

Or perhaps 178 from Bakersfield to Ridgecrest.
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Postby Steve Bearman » Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:28 am

You really have to go through Yosemite unless you want to make a longer journey. Google maps estimates the trip through Bakersfield to Big Pine at 10 hours (a little less than 8 going over 120 through Yosemite).

I would suggest taking 140 into Yosemite as an only slightly longer alternative route if 140 had not just become part of an enormous talus slope.
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Postby copeg » Mon Aug 07, 2006 3:21 pm

Walker Pass (178) connects 99 to 395 south of Sequoia (its north of the other tehechapi route suggested). Its a nice drive with very little traffic, but slow going and very hot in summer. I'd guess about 3-4 hours between Bakersfield and Big Pine (guestimated by Mapquest). In total its about 7 hours from San Jose to Bishop/Big Pine area. Might be faster if your final destination is Lone Pine or independence, but Yosemite or Sonora Pass may be faster if your destination is north of those.
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Tahoe

Postby frediver » Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:33 am

The only other route I know of for the Bay Area is Hiway 50 to So.Tahoe then So to Markleeville and Bishop. Not Sure of the secondary road numbers but it was a fairly direct route. As for the total time I'm not sure if you would be saving any.
Or you could go by way of Pinecrest, Sonora Pass.
Unfortunately there is no easy way to get there from here.
Its even worse for me driving from Santa Rosa, I'll be watching this thread.
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Postby caddis » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:36 pm

Hwy 108 over Sonora pass
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Postby rightstar76 » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:09 pm

There's really no fast way to get there from the bay area. However, last summer I took Highway 108 over Sonora Pass. It was faster than going through Yosemite. Just make sure your brakes and cooling system are in good shape since it's a very steep road. About Walker Pass. That's too long. You have to drive to Bakersfield and then after getting to 14 double back north to 395 and the Owens Valley. Definitely not worth it.
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Re: Southern Eastern Sierra from Bay Area - Best Route???

Postby paul » Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:19 pm

I don't think a southern route would be faster. But I find that the fastest way from the bay area is 50/89/395, going over Echo summit, Luther and Monitor passes. This seems to be a little bit faster than Sonora Pass, and that is faster than Tioga. Tioga is slower because the National park speed limit is lower, and you often are behind slow vehicles anyway. Plus you don't have to pay the park entrance fee. For variety, you could do the 50/89/395 route in one direction, and Sonora in the other. The sonora route is prettier, I think.
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50/89/395

Postby frediver » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:28 am

I tried this myself last year and I'm not really sure I saved any time or not. I do feel like that route was more twisty-turney and it sure felt that it took more time. I would not want to do this route in the dark either, it is poorly marked. IMO pinecrest/sonora pass is the best bet for a direct timesaving route.
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