Re: bryce to yosemite
I would pick a spot between the two or if you can get a room at the Zion Lodge then stay there and drive over to Bryce. I had a motorcycle trip planned to do that and as I recall it's only 80 miles between the two, not worth packing and unpacking.
In December from there to Yosemite to San Francisco you will probably want to do via Bakersfield, which could take you through Death Valley if you like. You could go up to Lake Tahoe and over Hwy 50 and down Hwy 49 to Yosemite, but it's sort of out of the way and you never know if those passes will be open when you get there. Probably Hwy 120 (Tioga Pass) will be closed by then, which would be your most direct route.
I would plan a couple of routes and check the weather and roads to see what is open.
For the most part, Hwy 58 over to Bakersfield is always open and from there you can take Hwy 99 south to Fresno and Hwy 41 to Yosemite.
Zion to Bakersfield to Yosemite with a nice place to stay in between? There aren't any. Just suck it up, drive the entire way and spend an extra night in Yosemite. Yosemite to San Francisco easy one day drive no over night.
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