Everybody has a favorite road trip that’s been on their bucket list for years. This is one of mine: I’m taking my family from Los Angeles to Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes in California, stopping along the way for scenic views, fun activities and good food.
The drive should last about two days with stops at Big Sur, Sequoia National Park (near Fresno) and the Joshua Tree National Park before hitting Yosemite Valley.
It will be interesting to see how they react when they finally get there!

The “scenic drive from los angeles to yosemite” is a road trip that starts in Los Angeles and ends at Yosemite National Park. It takes about 8 hours if you travel at the speed limit.

Road Trip From Los Angeles To Yosemite National Park & Mammoth Lakes

The road journey from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes is a true get-back-to-nature experience if you need a vacation from city life – if you need a break from city life, then this is the right trip for you!

The 410-mile road trip from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park & Mammoth Lakes takes 8 hours to drive. Key stops include Sequoia and Sierra National Forests, Death Valley and Kings Canyon National Parks, as well as Bakersfield and Fresno.

Along this enormous road trip excursion, there are a slew of additional fantastic sights to view. So please read all the way to the end to discover all there is to know about them.

Sunrise through Yosemite Valley with the Merced River in the foreground. Yosemite National Park is the ideal destination to get away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life.


What is the distance between Los Angeles and Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes, and how long would the journey take?

The journey from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park is about 280 miles long, with Mammoth Lakes being another 130 miles away.

It takes around 5 hours to travel to the south gate of Yosemite and another 3 hours to drive through Yosemite National Park to Mammoth Lakes, so you can do it all in one day if you want to.

However, since this epic road trip has so much to offer, it’s best to take it slowly and stretch it out over at least four or five days if possible.

Another alternative is to travel Highway 395 between the chain of parks and forests to the west and Death Valley to the east, then visit Mammoth Lakes before going to Yosemite through Tioga Pass if you don’t want to go via Bakersfield and Fresno.

Keep in mind that in the winter, Mariposa Grove and Tioga Pass are often closed due to snow, so if you’re going at this time, your only choice is to drive via Fish Camp via the first route.

The best route from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes is through the Pacific Coast Highway.

Both routes are excellent choices for a road trip from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes; your decision should be based on your favourite landscape and the time of year you choose to go.

If the roads are available, you should take one on the way to Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite and the other on the way back, since each itinerary includes lots of route-specific sights.

a comparison of routes

Route Distance Time to Drive
Route of the Fish Camp In the winter, it is not entirely accessible. 410 miles 8 hours
Route 395 (Highway 395). 380 miles 6 minutes and 30 seconds

Route to the Fish Camp

Take Interstate 5 north out of Los Angeles, going via Santa Clarita and Pyramid Lake on your way to Wheeler Ridge. From there, take Route 99 north to Bakersfield, then take a diversion to Isabella Lake and Sequoia National Forest.

Follow Road 99 towards Fresno on the main route, and then take Highway 198 to Kings Canyon National Park for a diversion. To get to Yosemite National Park from Fresno, use Route 41 past Millerton Lake and via Fish Camp.

If the road is open, you may drive out of Tioga Pass to Highway 395 near Lee Vining, then south to Mono Lake, via the Inyo National Forest, and into Mammoth Lakes.

Views of snow-capped mountains, trees and a lake along the Tioga Pass through Yosemite National Park. The Tioga Pass has spectacular vistas, but check the weather forecast before going.

Hochmuth, Gudrun

The Route 395 (Highway 395).

I-5 will take you to Santa Clarita, and then Route 14 will take you via Palmdale and Lancaster. If you choose, you may stop at Isabella Lake before heading to Bradys, where you can join Highway 395.

To the east, visit Death Valley National Park, or to the west, explore Inyo National Forest after passing through Kings Canyon National Park. After passing through Bishop, you may stop at Lake Crowley for a respite before heading towards Mammoth Lakes.

The only way to travel to Yosemite from there is to ascend Tioga Pass until you get to Lee Vining – just west of Mono Lake – and then continue Route 120 westward until you reach the park.

Hikers in Death Valley National Park Extend your journey to include a visit to Death Valley National Park.

Shutterstock.com/Dan Sedran

Between Los Angeles and Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes, the best spots to stop are

There are many cities, small villages, and fascinating locations to explore on your road journey from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes.

These are the hotels you’ll want to look out for out of all the amazing hotels along the way:

In Death Valley, go on a renowned walk.

If you’re traveling by highway, Death Valley National Park is a must-see on your itinerary. The Inn at Death Valley, whose magnificent appearance and multitude of facilities are second to none, is the premier hotel in the area.

From the small apartments to the lovely courtyard walks, everything about this facility was planned with elegance and comfort in mind. When you’re not out sightseeing, cool down in the beautiful outdoor pool or play a round of golf.

The three on-site restaurants provide some of the region’s greatest American food, and if you’re feeling more experimental, there are a number of additional eating alternatives only a short walk or drive away.

Trekking through Death Valley is enough workout, but if you feel like it, you can always do a few repetitions at the fitness facility before extending your legs in the sauna.

The hotel is pricey, but it’s the finest Death Valley has to offer – after all, if so many celebs keep returning to this location, it’s something you should see at least once!

In Mammoth Lakes, take in the breathtaking scenery.

Because the summer heat in Death Valley isn’t for everyone, consider spending some time in Mammoth Lakes at a winter resort. The Westin Monache Resort is the best hotel in town; the outdoor pool and sprawling grounds are only the beginning.

You may either go exploring or relax in one of the two outdoor hot tubs after you’ve settled into your comfy accommodation.

Whitebark Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge is one of the most upscale restaurants in the area, and it’s just next to the hotel. You can take a shuttle to the nearby slopes and ski with the best of them after you’re good and full.

Even with all of the facilities (such as a gondola ride to Mammoth Mountain), the highlight of your visit will be wandering the hotel’s enormous grounds and enjoying all of the eccentric and eye-catching design choices.

Despite its very popular location, this hotel is really on the cheaper side; with so much to do in the region, including the adjacent Yosemite National Park, the hotel is a no-brainer if you’re seeking to spend time in Mammoth Lakes.

Mammoth Lakes California, Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains Near the Westin Monache Resort, there are a plethora of things to see and do.


On a road journey from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes, there are many sights to view.

Given the distance between Los Angeles, Yosemite National Park, and Mammoth Lakes, there are plenty beautiful, historical, and cultural sites worth seeing along the route.

You could easily spend over a month attempting to see them all, but if you’re short on time, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most remarkable along the route:

  1. Santa Clarita is home to some of California’s most significant historical landmarks, including Mentryville, California’s Pioneer Oil Town, and Pico Number 4, the world’s longest-running oil well.
  2. Castaic Lake State Recreation Area – A reservoir of the California State Water Project, this fantastic family-friendly destination comprises of a lake with boat rentals, swimming (during the summer season) & fishing. Also known as a great spot for camping & hiking.
  3. Bakersfield – A cultural hotspot with the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and the California Living Museum among its many fantastic museums and art galleries. A multitude of paths weave through the mountains of the Kern River Ranger District, which is part of the Sequoia National Forest, making it an ideal hiking destination.
  4. Fresno is well known for the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, which has sea lions and a stingray touch pool, and Woodward Park, which is home to the exquisite Shinzen Japanese Garden.
  5. Yosemite National Park — Home to gigantic old sequoia trees, the spectacular Bridalveil Falls, and the stunning, steep granite cliffs of El Capitan and the Half Dome.
  6. Sonora — Known as the ‘Queen of the Southern Mines,’ Sonora is a picturesque city with a wide selection of stores and restaurants, as well as museums and other historical and cultural landmarks.
  7. New Melones Lake is a reservoir on the Stanislaus River in the Sierra Nevada foothills of central California. It is well-known for its vast hiking and biking route system, as well as a plethora of breathtaking natural, geologic, and cultural attractions.
  8. Lake Camanche — A multi-award winning campsite with 54 miles of lakefront to explore. In a magnificent lakeside location, offers year-round enjoyment and fishing.
  9. Round Top is a steep 10,000-foot peak in Alpine County that dominates the Sierra Crest. Its peak, located immediately south of the Carson Pass, is the highest point in the Eldorado National Forest and the Mokelumne Wilderness.
  10. Alpine Village – A miniature Bavaria in Southern California, this Alpine Village is a great place to go for German food, shopping, and entertainment.
  11. Topaz Lake, on the California-Nevada border, is a beautiful reservoir. The Eastern Sierra surrounds it, and it is near to both the Toiyabe and Eldorado National Gorests.
  12. Mt Patterson — Located in Mono County, this beautiful mountain peak rises to a height of over 11,000 feet, making it the highest point in the Sweetwater Mountain range and providing spectacular views of the surrounding region.
  13. Mono Lake is a world-famous saline lake notable for its tufa towers. There are also millions of brine shrimp and a diverse variety of bird species to be found here.
  14. Inyo National Forest — A beautiful forest that is home to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, as well as one of the world’s oldest living trees.
  15. Death Valley National Park – In addition to being one of the hottest areas in North America, it is also one of the most picturesque, with some great resorts to boot.

Little Lakes Valley Trail, Inyo National Forest, California When you hike through the Inyo National Forest, you’ll be able to blow away the cobwebs.

Jan Arendtsz’s photo – Link

The best time to go from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes is during the summer.

Between May and September is the greatest time to go from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes.

Many roads and trails in Yosemite are blocked throughout the winter owing to snow and other adverse weather, including Tioga Road, which leads to Mammoth Lakes.

Clear water reflecting snow covered trees with rocky cliffs During the winter, Yosemite National Park is more difficult to reach.

Shutterstock.com/Nadia Yong

You may still visit certain portions of the park and take the previously mentioned alternative route to Mammoth Lakes, but you won’t be able to experience all of the park’s attractions.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t advantages to going in the winter, as many travelers appreciate the snowy slopes of the Mammoth Lakes area – in fact, it’s one of the best destinations in California for a fantastic winter vacation.

Both Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes are packed with people in July and August, which generally means more traffic and higher lodging fees.

Fall is probably the best season to come if you want to avoid crowds since there are fewer travelers and lodging is less costly. Remember that snow may fall as early as October in Yosemite, so stay away if you want to keep warm and dry.

The “pacific coast highway and yosemite road trip” is a journey that starts in Los Angeles, California and ends in Yosemite National Park. The journey includes driving the Pacific Coast Highway, which goes from Santa Monica to San Francisco. From there, it continues on to Yosemite.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is there to do from Los Angeles to Yosemite?

A: From LA to Yosemite, there are multiple ways you can take. Here is a list of some top routes:
AirBus A21
New York City – Los Angeles (JFK)
Newark International Airport – Los Angeles CA(LAX)
Los Angelas Union Station- San Francisco Bay Area (LATAM Flight 452 from LATAM to SFO with layovers in LAS and OAK)

Where should I stop from La Yosemite?

A: From the top of the Half Dome cables, you should be able to see El Capitan and Nevada Falls.

What is the best month to visit Yosemite National Park?

A: July is the best month to visit Yosemite National Park.

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