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sudz Feb 13th, 2014 02:06 PM

CA road trip to Yosemite
We plan to see as many "big trees" as possible on this trip. Flying in to San Francisco, then driving to Yosemite. Currently have a reservation at the Yosemite West Gate Lodge. I have spent HOURS trying to figure out how many hikes, and best locations to stay so as to fit in the most viewing pleasure :)

Right now I have 2 days in San Francisco, 4 days in Yosemite, 2 days in Sequoia/Kings Canyon (not sure where to stay for that part).

There are 4 of us, 2 middle-aged fairly fit (able to hike moderate trails) parents, 2 20-something year olds, very fit.

I am thinking about a 10 day trip (one day for flying on either side).
Any suggestions or experiences?

montereybob Feb 13th, 2014 02:22 PM

I've been to Yosemite many times. I think your itinerary is excellent.

Supercilious Feb 13th, 2014 02:39 PM

Westgate Lodge is in Groveland which is a long way from the Mariposa Grove which is Yosemite's best sequoia experience. You would be closer if you stay in Fish Camp or Oakhurst. Also, you would have a head start on your way to SEKI.

Wuksachi Lodge is the best place to stay in Sequoia NP.

When is this trip?

sudz Feb 13th, 2014 02:47 PM

I mad a 4 nite reservation at Westgate, but it is cancellable (and changeable). I was thinking of 2 nights there and 2 down near Oakhurst. I just was nervous about getting a room, so I made a reservation today.
(I don't have the plane tickets yet, but plan to get them by tomorrow.) Looking at end of May, like the 29th - thru June 10th or so? Have to avoid blackout dates.

montereybob Feb 13th, 2014 05:27 PM

Sudz, how much time do you plan to spend seeing Yosemite valley as opposed to the big tree areas?

sudz Feb 13th, 2014 08:42 PM

I was planning on 1 day in the Valley off Hwy 140 (4 hours of driving, 3 hikes - Lower Fall, Cooks Meadow and Mirror Lake Meadow); 1 day for Glacier Point with 3 potential hikes (allowing 3 hrs of driving); 1 day for Tioga Pass with 2 options for hikes. Then a day for Mariposa Grove. Then a day to get to Sequoia & Kings. spend 2 days hiking there.

montereybob Feb 13th, 2014 09:44 PM

That's a great plan. Have fun. Yosemite is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

janisj Feb 13th, 2014 10:56 PM

I would not stay there myself.

Check out the two motels in El Portal. Yosemite View Lodge is the better of the two. El Portal is the very best for Yosemite Valley and about an hour from Wawona. Westgate is nearly 2 hours from Wawona and an hour+ from the Valley.

Or - if you just <i>had</i> to move I'd stay in El Portal and Oakhurst.

sunbum1944 Feb 13th, 2014 11:19 PM

I second Yosemite View Lodge- easy drive into park but you could also take the bus if you wanted.

bear900 Feb 13th, 2014 11:49 PM

Rather than Oakhurst (if that becomes part of your plan), try staying just above it at Bass Lake or Fishcamp. Bass lake has lodging available and you are in the pines next to the lake. Oakhurst is a stark contrast for so near by. It's not in the pines so much but does have stores, restaurants, hotels, movies, etc.

There are a lot of vacation rentals around the bass lake area you can get for a night or two.

You can contact Janet at to check availabilty. Just don't tell her that her BIL sent ya! Not advertising, just a good place to start.

A nice creek hike in the Valley is Vernal Falls up to Emerald Pond. It's a fairly easy hike until you get to the mist trail. For some real hoofing take it up higher to Nevada Falls.

J62 Feb 14th, 2014 04:13 AM

Here's a recent thread of mine about hikes in Yosemite with additional links.

Some of the hikes I did were real real hoofing...I would describe myself as middle aged and very fit & I was wiped out after the 4mile/Glacier Point/Panorama trail day.

POlson Feb 14th, 2014 04:51 AM

When we couldn't get reservations in the valley we stayed at Tamaya Lodge. It was close to Wawona and the drive into the valley seemed fine. They led us on a night hike from the lodge that was pretty cool.

Love Wuksatchi, not fancy but great location and we saw a little bear right outside our window scamper down a hill after a deer. Both ran into the woods so not sure where nature came out on that one. Maybe they just startled each other.

sudz Feb 14th, 2014 05:42 AM

Wow - thanks everyone! I will check into all these suggestions.

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