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2-1/2 days Sonora, Murphys, Angels Camp.

Phoenix
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2-1/2 days Sonora, Murphys, Angels Camp.

We are planning a trip thru California in July, with a stop in Sonora (Best Western), Murphys, and Angels Camp. We will have 2-1/2 days. On the 3rd day we plan on driving thru Yosemite to Bishop. I understand this will take 4 hrs. Will this be too much on one day...Yosemite and the drive? Our next stop will be down to Vegas. As we will be staying in Sonora, it is pretty easy to get to the other towns for a visit. Any important things to see, and also to stop for dinner? We probably will stop for a cold one, so we want to be able to enjoy the atmosphere of the area as well. Where might that be? Any help would be so welcomed. Thanks.

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California
California
United States
Sonora
Sonora
California
Murphys
Murphys
Calaveras County, CA
Angels Camp
Angels Camp
Calaveras County, CA
Bishop
Bishop
California
San Francisco
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1. Re: 2-1/2 days Sonora, Murphys, Angels Camp.

Have you been to this part of California before? If not, the answer to your first question, “Will this be too much on one day...Yosemite and the drive?” is an unreserved yes, it is too much for one or even two days. And the next leg of the trip, Yosemite to Las Vegas, is also too much for one day. I really like the Sonora and Columbia area. It's fascinating, as part of the Mother Lode Gold Rush country. But to spend 2 ½ days there, then zip through Yosemite to Bishop in half a day, and from Bishop to Las Vegas the next day, is not something any Californian would recommend.

You would be going over Tioga Pass, a gorgeous mountain route that cannot be rushed, for both safety and full enjoyment. It is a narrow, curvy road. If you skip Yosemite Valley entirely, the distance from Sonora to Bishop is close to 190 miles; let’s round it off to 200. This is just mileage, not counting sightseeing detours. You don’t want to skip Yosemite Valley, do you? That adds another 25-30 miles. Remember, none of the roads within Yosemite are freeways, but scenic drives. None of us here would suggest trying to do Yosemite in a day, let alone a few hours. Many of us would say the same for Death Valley, which you will go through on the way to Las Vegas.

Once out of Yosemite on the east side, there is Mono Lake, one of California's most unique natural wonders. This is another place that deserves at least a few hours, not just a quick drive-by look. I have gone to Mono Lake itself for a couple of days on more than one occasion. There are two visitor centers where you can learn about Mono Lake, and several places where you can get close to the shore to observe the tufa spires or waterfowl.

All along the eastern Sierra Nevada you’ll find magnificent landscapes, places you’ll want to stop and look around (at least we hope you will), and charming towns where you can enjoy local restaurants or shops, an occasional visitor center, museum, historic site, or recreation opportunity. Last summer I spent a whole weekend in Lone Pine. Done right, a trip from Sonora through Yosemite, Mono Lake, and Death Valley, to Las Vegas, should take about 5-6 days minimum.

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Phoenix
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2. Re: 2-1/2 days Sonora, Murphys, Angels Camp.

Thanks so much for your advise. We will change our plans for that area and spend more time going thru Yosemite and Mono Lake. I'm sure we will truly enjoy that area now with your information. Again, thanks.

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Mono Lake
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California
San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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3. Re: 2-1/2 days Sonora, Murphys, Angels Camp.

I'm relieved! Although you'll enjoy the Gold Rush country, if you spent almost 3 days there and then arrived in Yosemite realizing you had only a few hours there, you'd probably be kicking yourself.

Go to the Yosemite National Park forum to ask specific questions and get ideas about what to see and do. And do the same for Death Valley, where there are lots of detailed threads about how to make the most of a day or less in that very large park (the size of Connecticut).

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4. Re: 2-1/2 days Sonora, Murphys, Angels Camp.

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