Big Basin Redwoods or Big Sur Redwoods?

Jun 3rd, 2013, 01:13 PM
  #1  
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Big Basin Redwoods or Big Sur Redwoods?

Hi, everyone.

We are flying into San Jose on June 15, arriving late morning. We have reservations in Monterey for the night of the 15th. We have half the day on the 15th and the full day of the 16th to explore the Monterey/Big Sur area.

My teen son son has never seen redwoods. What would be the best way for him to experience the redwoods in this area? One option is to drive to Big Basin Redwoods SP after arriving in San Jose, spend part of the afternoon doing a couple of short hikes there, and then continue on to Monterey for the evening.

Another option is to drive to Monterey and spend the day/evening exploring there, and then go to Pfeiffer Big Sur SP to experience the redwoods there for part of the day on the 16th.

Any advice you can give on either of these is much appreciated.

Cody
a0628h0427 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2013, 07:49 PM
  #2  
 
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Big Basin is great - but it is not a quick drive in/out of there.

More than an hour from SJC to the park entrance and then another 1.5+ hours from there to Monterey. (The drive from SJC to Monterey actually takes less time than from the airport into Big Basin)

I'd personally head south and spend the day in Monterey/Carmel and the visit Big Sur/the Redwoods the next day
janisj is online now  
Jun 4th, 2013, 12:44 AM
  #3  
 
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I second the suggestion to drive straight to Monterey. There's a lot to do there and further south.

The first day you could check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/

Or you could spend some time at Point Lobos and do some short hikes there (no redwoods). Point Lobos is often described as "the crown jewel of the state parks", so not to be missed.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=571

There is often morning fog along the coast, so Point Lobos would be better in the afternoon when the sun is shining.

For your drive to Big Sur:

1) Pfeiffer Big Sur is inland and so is not subject to the morning coastal fog. You could start your hiking there along some of the easier trails. I doubt that there will be any water at Pfeiffer Falls as we've not had enough water this year.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=570

Then about 3 miles south of Pfeiffer Big Sur, stop off at Nepenthe. You'll see the entrance to the restaurant just as you see a glimpse of the ocean. Don't miss the entrance! The view is spectacular on a clear day, the food can be very good to so-so.

http://www.nepenthebigsur.com/

You didn't say anything about the rest of your trip? Are you planning to return to the Bay Area or are you planning on continuing on Highway 1 southbound?
easytraveler is offline  
Jun 4th, 2013, 05:23 PM
  #4  
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Hi,

Thanks for the suggestions! We are driving to Turlock on the night of the 16th and then on to Yosemite for the 17th and 18th. From there, we go to San Francisco for the 19th and 20th and then back to San Jose on the 21st to fly out the 22nd. Whew!

Cody
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Jun 4th, 2013, 06:07 PM
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Why are you spending the night of the 16th in Turlock? Spend a second night in Monterey then head to Yosemite. From Monterey, Turlock is not on the way.
MichelleY is online now  
Jun 4th, 2013, 06:18 PM
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Unless you have VERY close friends or an elderly mother living in Turlock that would be among the very VERY last places I'd ever stay. Ever!

Please tell us you have a critical reason for staying there. Otherwise stay the extra night in Monterey - or - Head east to Hwy 49 and see some of the Gold Rush foothills/Columbia/vineyards/etc. NOT Turlock . . . .
janisj is online now  
Jun 4th, 2013, 06:37 PM
  #7  
 
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JanisJ has very good advice. Big Sur has redwoods and beautiful coastal views. Big Basin is nice too, but is out of the way and doesn't compare. Point Lobos is amazing also, I went there on a college geology glass field trip, and also took my kids there a couple of times.
trippinkpj is offline  
Jun 4th, 2013, 07:03 PM
  #8  
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I'm using points from my credit card to book the hotel nights.... The only way to get all of the nights needed for the trip was to economize by using the points at a midway point between Monterey and Yosemite. Nights in Monterey were triple or more the number of points of the night in Turlock. I plan to spend as much time in the Monterey area as possible, drive to Turlock that night, and then get up early the next morning and be on the way to Yosemite.
a0628h0427 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2013, 07:06 PM
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First question is: do you have lodging in Yosemite for the nights that you plan to be there?

If not, you're going to have to start looking at what kind of lodging you can get outside of the Park.

First suggestion after seeing your itinerary: do not go further south in Big Sur than Pfeiffer Big Sur and Nepenthe.

You are going to need to backtrack on a very full day on the 16th. I can understand why you would want to be closer to Yosemite by staying in Turlock, but you've just shafted a part of your Big Sur trip by having to cut it short and rush up to Turlock.


If you don't have any lodgings in Yosemite, then I'd suggest doing this trip in reverse: go to Yosemite first, then to SF, then to Big Sur

15, 16 17 Yosemite

18, 19 SF

20, 21 Big Sur
easytraveler is offline  
Jun 4th, 2013, 07:15 PM
  #10  
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I do have lodging for the Yosemite portion of the trip, not in the park but just outside it, so on that part I am good.
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Jun 4th, 2013, 07:19 PM
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>>Nights in Monterey were triple or more the number of points of the night in Turlock. <<

Of course the hotels are cheap in Turlock. It is a pit . . . They should pay YOU points to stay there.

It appears points level is your only criteria. If so, Leave Monterey at after dinner and pull in to the Turlock hotel as late as possible and leave as early in the AM as you can manage.
janisj is online now  
Jun 4th, 2013, 07:21 PM
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Where is your Yosemite accommodation? (Some do play fast and loose when describing how convenient they are to the Valley)
janisj is online now  
Jun 4th, 2013, 07:46 PM
  #13  
 
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Turlock is out of the way. I would check to see if you can get a place with points in Merced, which is on a more direct path from Monterey to Yosemite. It would save you about 20 miles.
trippinkpj is offline  
Jun 6th, 2013, 06:44 PM
  #14  
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We are staying at Yosemite Ridge on the Big Oak Flat road, east of Groveland.
a0628h0427 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2013, 06:57 PM
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Yosemite Ridge is an hour+ from Yosemite Village.
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