San Diego is a Southern California city with great weather, a pristine coastline, sumptuous food, and entertaining nightlife. Yosemite National Park is in the middle of the state and is known for its waterfalls, giant trees, and awe-inspiring cliffs. If you want to experience scenic views ranging from green forests to epic mountains, consider going on a San Diego to Yosemite National Park road trip. Ensure that you stop over in some places to explore the best attractions along the way. Here is a detailed guide to help you get the most from your San Diego to Yosemite National Park road trip itinerary.
Sequoia National Park
Before you head out to Yosemite National Park visit Sequoia National Park. Take a photo by the General Sherman Tree, which is recognized as the world's largest tree in terms of volume. Also, visit the Giant Forest Museum surrounded by sequoia trees and enjoy the nearby hiking trail. At the museum, there are various exhibits where you can learn more about this tree species. Go up the Moro Rock Trail, especially if you love heights. Ensure that you drive past the tunnel log and explore the crescent meadow trail to better connect with nature.
Kings Canyon National Park
Make a point to stop by Kings Canyon National Park. Here, you will have a chance to explore one of the deepest canyons in North America during your San Diego to Yosemite National Park RV road trip. Take a hike to the General Grant Tree, and ensure that you stop at the Grant Visitor Center and gather more information about the park. There is also a nice little museum where you can sit and watch a movie to learn about the area's surroundings. Take the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway and explore the sequoia forest with amazing canyons. Stop by the Grizzly Falls and Junction View to look over the towering mountains and see the roaring rivers.
Border Field State Park
Before you set out on your San Diego to Yosemite National Park RV road trip, take a quick 15-mile drive south of San Diego to visit Border Field State Park. You are very likely to see several bird species, including willows, American kestrel, and the California least tern. At the park, go to the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center to get more information about the area. You will also love the picnic areas with accessible trails, BBQ grills, and open grassy spaces. Other activities you can enjoy here include hiking, surf-fishing, and horse riding.
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
Before you leave San Diego, make a point to visit the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Get into the historic buildings and explore museums to learn more about the city's history. Check out the old adobe ranch home and the schoolhouses in the neighborhood. Ensure that you go down to the restaurants in Old Town and try out some authentic Mexican cuisine. There is also a diverse selection of stores to buy handcraft trinkets, accessories, and clothes that represent the Mexican culture. You might even have a chance to interact with working blacksmiths and see or even touch some park burros.
Grover Hot Springs State Park
Stop at Grover Hot Springs State Park during your road trip from San Diego to Yosemite National Park. Soak in the spring pool with a greenish-yellow color believed to be caused by mineral deposits. The park also has an open forest where you can explore some walking and biking trails. Proceed to the Blue Lakes, where you can enjoy fishing or horse riding. The forest, meadows, and campgrounds in the park have squirrels and several bird species, including barn swallows, turkey vultures, mountain bluebirds, woodpeckers, and warbles.
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Calaveras Big Trees State Park is at the northwest side of Yosemite National Park. It has about seven hiking trails that will give you a chance to explore the unique ecosystem with large red trees. These walking trails will take you to the Pioneer Cabin Tree, Big Stump, and even the Mother and the Father of the Forest. You can also go on a guided tour through the sequoias into the North Grove. The park has three waterways that you can explore: the Beaver Creek, North Fork Stanislaus River, and Big Tree Creek. You can fish and swim at Beaver Creek and the river but be very careful since there are some dangerous spots. If you are an experienced hiker, try out the River Canyon Trail and enjoy the views.
Moonlight State Beach
Moonlight State Beach is only a 28-minute drive from San Diego. This is a large family-friendly beach with a green park nearby. It also has gradual slopes that make surfing safer and more fun. You can swim and fish on the sandy beach. Other facilities available include tennis and volleyball courts and picnic tables. In the evening, the beach fills up with scattered bonfires for late-night picnics.
Island Water Park
If you enjoy water sports, stop by the Island Water Park, which is an hour and a half drive from Yosemite National Park. You will find a collection of water slides for all ages. Hop into a raft to experience the exciting Tsunami ride, or proceed to the Bora Bora Racers and compete with your loved ones. There are also numerous wave machines that make the rides more thrilling. Other park rides and attractions that you can try out include Hawaiian Adventures and Nature's Furies. Don't miss out on the Thrills of Fiji, Ohana Bay, and the Waimea River. Pass by the gift store and get yourself or your loved ones a souvenir before leaving.
Inyo National Forest
Visit the famous Inyo National Forest to explore the landscapes in the federally protected wilderness. This is a perfect place for hiking. There are numerous trails, including the Convict Lake Trail and the Lake Ediza Trail, which are both great for beginners. In addition to hiking, you can also fish in the Owens River, Ellery Lake, and Hot Creek, where you are likely to catch brook, rainbow, golden, cutthroat, and brown trout. You can also visit the Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, which has some fantastic cross-country skiing trails during winter. Go to the Devils Postpile National Monument and see the extraordinary rock formation and the Rainbow Falls. Proceed to Mono Lake, which has unique tufa towers that attract various wildlife. For experienced climbers looking for high peaks and steep slopes, go to Mount Whitney.
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles has an array of attractions that you can explore, whether you enjoy outdoor activities or learning about different cultures. Begin by strolling through the stunning gardens at the Huntington Library. This is a historical library and museum where you can explore a wide collection of art. Visit Griffith Park to have better views of the city. If you want to spend some time in LA, park your RV at one of the great campgrounds that are available in the area. There are also a number of dump stations nearby.
Bakersfield is another great city to visit, and it's at the center of your road trip from San Diego to Yosemite National Park. For nature lovers, be sure that you visit the Panorama Vista Preserve and the Hart Memorial Park to enjoy some scenic views in the picnic spots. Take the Kern River Pathway, which connects various natural spaces and attractions. Proceed to Buck Owens' Crystal Palace for classic concerts, dancing, and special exhibits. If you wish to spend a night, there are various campgrounds in the city. Before hitting the road, be sure to take advantage of one of the many dump stations available in Bakersfield.
Fresno offers an array of exhilarating outdoor activities. The best way to experience this city is by taking a bike or driving around the Fresno Blossom Trail, especially during spring. Visit the Fresno Chaffe Zoo to see bears, tigers, and orangutans. If you are looking for some nighttime activities, head to the Tower District and enjoy live music and the restaurants open till late at night. This city also has a number of campgrounds and RV parks alongside various dump station locations.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from San Diego to Yosemite National Park, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in San Diego or Yosemite National Park.