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California-Yosemite and Lake Tahoe or King Canyon/Sequoia

California-Yosemite and Lake Tahoe or King Canyon/Sequoia

Jul 15th, 2009, 07:11 PM
  #1  
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California-Yosemite and Lake Tahoe or King Canyon/Sequoia

We are headed to California and will fly into San Jose from 9/4-9/13/09. We have a family comittment for the weekend in San Jose and then will be free for 6 full days to do our own thing. We for sure want to spend 3-4 days in Yosemite and then will have two full days to head to either Lake Tahoe area or King Canyons/Sequioa area. We enjoy moderate hiking and seeing natural beauty. We are ok with being somewhat busy during our time and driving. We have been able to secure lodging for our Yosemite leg of our trip. We will then be flying out of San Jose-which option maximizes our time the best and will give us the most bang for our buck for the two days. We are open to suggestions.
hamster1 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2009, 08:51 PM
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I would go to Lake Tahoe!
sharon62 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2009, 09:01 PM
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Lake Tahoe would be more unique than Kings/Sequoia
Placename is offline  
Jul 15th, 2009, 09:19 PM
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We just came back from Lake Tahoe. Beautiful place to spend time in. So much to see and do.
MBnancy is offline  
Jul 15th, 2009, 10:09 PM
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I agree - Tahoe. September is a great time at Tahoe w/ all the crowds long gone.
janisj is online now  
Jul 16th, 2009, 06:11 AM
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Thanks for all the responses! If we have a full two days-what area of Lake Tahoe should we stay and what are some activities to do? Again we like being outdoors and enjoying the natural beauty. How long of a drive is it from Yosemite to Lake Tahoe and what would be the fastest route or if there is a suggestion for a scenic route.
hamster1 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2009, 06:33 AM
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Both Kings Canyon/Sequoia and Lake Tahoe have their benefits. It will be easier to get back to San Jose from Lake Tahoe, so I would recommend that.

There are plenty of hikes to do there in the Desolation Wilderness near South Lake Tahoe. If you drive past Fallen Leaf Lake to a trailhead there are several hikes that you can take from there, along with the lovely Angora Lakes, which will probably be very quiet once summer vacation is over. We have a book about easy hikes around Lake Tahoe that has been our guide over the years. This year we took the hike up to Grass Lake, which was perfect for us.

I think that the last time we drove through Yosemite to Tahoe we went over the Tioga Pass to Highway 395 and then drove north on 395 to the Kingsbury Grade, which takes you straight up to South Lake Tahoe. You can also take Highway 50, which brings you in about halfway along the lake, or Highway 80, which take you up to Truckee and gives you good access to the northern end of the lake.

Another wonderful option is Hetch Hetchy, which is a valley next to Yosemite Valley that was filled in by a reservoir. There is a glorious hike (very easy) right along the edge of the reservoir.
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Jul 16th, 2009, 04:56 PM
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If you do go to Lake Tahoe and only have two days, you might consider staying at South Shore, maybe someplace near Camp Richardson in the south-west corner of the lake. There are a number of fairly inexpensive motels in this area.

The section of Lake Tahoe from Camp Richardson up to Emerald Bay and Bliss State Park is highly scenic. There are wonderful trails in this area and some awesome beaches. The trails of the Desolation Wilderness are nearby too if you want some more challenging day hikes. The views from many locations here are quite scenic.

You can also rent kayaks or other watercraft at Camp Richardson if you want to get onto the lake.

If you would rather do some of the more touristy things, such as the paddle-wheel boat to Emerald Bay or play in the casinos, then you might want to stay in one of the hotels near Stateline. This is where most of the action is.

If you were going to spend a longer time, I would maybe recommend the North Shore but since you only have two days and this is your first time, the South Shore most likely would be better.

As far as the route to Tahoe, by all means take the road over Tioga Pass and then drive up US 395. It's very scenic and you should spend a day up in the high country anyway when you visit Yosemite. From there (say Tuolumne Meadows) it's much quicker to drive up 395 to Tahoe than to go back through the foothills.
Supercilious is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 05:00 AM
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Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. We will look at the South Shore and will base our time in the area there. We probably are more into hiking so will plan to stay near the Camp Richardson area.
hamster1 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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You will be glad you went to Yosemite. It is awesome. I live in California and have been to all 3 places many times. Lake Tahoe would be my second choice. It will be more of a contrast to Yosemite than Sequoia.

Lake Tahoe is a large,clear lake located high in the Sierras. Even in the summer, the water is cold and there will be snowcapped mountains in the background. There are lots of things do do....hiking,boating,fishing, casinos, wine tasting. Rent a bike and swim along the lake. You can also raft down the Truckee River (very gentle). It's a beautiful setting. I'd recommend staying on the South Shore and biking along the west shore from Truckee to Camp Richardson.
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