We have got a bargain flight to SF in May 2018 so planning a trip. I would love to go Yosemite via the Tioga Pass, but know that it may not be open when we travel so will plans two options for that section.
So far my plans are to spend the first 3 nights in SF, then pick up the car. Driving along Pacific coast through Monterey, Carmel, San Simeon, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, Ventura. Don't particularly want to go further down as already been to LA and didn't particularly like it (although only went to Downtown LA and Hollywood). Then I plan to stop overnight in Ridgecrest of thereabouts, then onto Death Valley and stay one night there. I would then like to to go Yosemite via Mammoth Lakes and Tioga, but know this may not be possible due to weather. This would be on either the 19th or 20th May.
I then have a reservation for 21st May in one of the YV hotels. This is the only thing I don't want to change on my plan as it seems to be difficult to get accommodation there. Ideally I would like another day there, not bothered if it's 20th or 22nd May.
My flight back is 25th May, so I would probably have two nights have Yosemite, and not sure what to do on those.
Finally, obviously I know that weather is unpredictable, but been reading up on past Tioga Pass opening times. They say that they start in April and it can take up to two months. Once the clearing starts, are they able to give an estimate as to how long they expect it will take? Just wondering as it looks like my dates are cutting it a bit fine going off the last couple of years.
Any suggestions on how to make the best of this trip would be really welcome. For info, we like sight seeing, nature, hiking etc. Looking forward to getting to see some beautiful scenery.