From San Diego to Fresno - Tips on the Trip

Aug 16th, 2010, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,322
If your choice is Yosemite OR Sequoia -- definitely choose Yosemite.

Don't get me wrong - Sequoia/Kings Canyon is terrific - really wonderful. But Yosemite is unique on this earth. It is a place for which the term AWE INSPIRING was created.
janisj is online now  
Aug 16th, 2010, 07:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Everyone has given you good advice about the two parks. If you had to pick one, I agree with janisj, see Yosemite.

As far as the route from San Diego, yes go on the 15. You will have to deal with some traffic in the Pasadena area but you can miss going directly through Los Angeles. Interstate 5 through LA is usually a nightmare. So you want to head north on the 15 from San Diego until you reach the 210 freeway. Head west on the 210 towards Pasadena. When you reach Pasadena make sure you continue on the 210 and not on the 134. The 210 will eventually meet up with the 5 freeway right before you start heading through the Grapevine (the pass that takes you out of LA). About 60 miles after you get on the 5, you will see the split off for Highway 99. This may be a few extra miles but I guarantee it will save a lot of time.
paula1470 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 07:42 PM
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I was just reading the Fodor´s guide now and am quite convinced to stay in Oakhurst and instead of going to both parks on two days, we´ll go to Yosemite for two days.

It seems there´s a lot to do and see and two days seem enough to enjoy it with enough time and calmness.

I was thinking of spending one day in Wawona and the other in Yosemite Valley and maybe rent a bike there.

What do you guys think?

Any suggestions about the park and what to do on those couple of days?
bernardolmendes is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 07:49 PM
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I think Yosemite Lodge has rooms avilable on your dates! Check for sure! Renting bikes is wonderful, do the walks and ride the trams around to the various places of interest. Walk through the public rooms at the Ahwahnee and enjoy every moment!

You will be MUCH happier this way than trying to do the parks in two days and your family willl be grateful! Your daughter can do the Junior Ranger program if she is the right age.
onemoneygirl is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 09:17 PM
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Fresno isn't as bad as some think here, but as everyone has said, it's not a good base for Yosemite. Book a refundable room in Oakhurst and keep calling Yosemite's lodging number to see if you can get rooms there.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 09:18 PM
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You will have beautiful fall colors in Yosemite Valley. Try to stay at Yosemite Lodge. If you can't get a room, keep calling back for a cancellation. It's a great place to stay. The falls will still be running but not as spectacular as in the spring. Hike the falls trail, walk to Mirror Lake, rent bikes, have a picnic on the Merced River. When we are there, we hike, hike & hike! When we aren't hiking, we are taking pictures. Yosemite is so spectacular you will wish you had a week! On the way out, stop at the Giant Sequoia grove. Bring warm clothes as after the end of September, you can have snow in the high country. The days will probably still be warm but the nights will be cold. Two days in Yosemite Valley would be nice after the long (boring) drive from San Diego! Agree Fresno should be on your MUST MISS list!
fball is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 09:31 PM
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"Fresno isn't as bad as some think here,"

I agree - I spent a lot of time in Fresno back when I traveled for work and one of my field offices was in Fresno. Went there 4-10 times a year to conduct training and such. I could actually live there -- but I would never, ever, EVER spend a night of vacation there.
janisj is online now  
Aug 17th, 2010, 03:49 AM
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@onemoneygirl @ElendilPickle I just checked the lodge and they haven´t. We´re going on a Sunday 24 to 27th. I´ll book a room in Oakhurst and try a cancellation on the Lodge. Oh and my son is 6 and doesn´t speak english yet, so I think the Junior Range Program is out of the question.

@fball my in laws and my son love to hike so I think we´ll have a blast!

@janisj I have to admit that I am curious about Fresno. I mean, how bad can it be? hehe

thanks again for all the tips!
bernardolmendes is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 09:23 AM
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"I am curious about Fresno. I mean, how bad can it be? "

It is a pretty nondescript city in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley. It is flat and hot and dry - except in the winter when it is flat and foggy.
janisj is online now  
Aug 17th, 2010, 09:29 AM
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The thing with Fresno is that there are so many wonderful places in CA that it would be a shame to spend your limited time in some non-descript sort of place. Plus, the air quality there can be terrible - esspecially when it has been very hot.
november_moon is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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Have you considered staying in Camp Curry for a night in Yosemite? It really isn't that bad and is worth it to be inside the park.
mlgb is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 08:21 PM
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Your children would love Camp Curry. You would probably need sleeping bags. I don't know if they are for rent in Yosemite Valley or not. From Yosemite Lodge to Mirror Lake, there are some caves where the Native Americans lived. Your children will enjoy exploring those, as well as the bridges over & the beaches along the Merced River. The aspen & dogwoods should be changing colors at that time. Staying in Camp Curry, you might even see a bear. Plan on a lot of time to drive into Yosemite Valley as you will want to stop at every pull-out to take photos of Half Dome.

Hi mlgb! Still appreciating your help with planning our Peru trip. I think we must both be from SF or there abouts.
fball is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 06:00 AM
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janisj--You wrote, "I could actually live there [Fresno] -- but I would never, ever, EVER spend a night of vacation there." I lived in Bakersfield (somewhat smaller, but otherwise quite similar) for 34 years--due to employment--and would say the same thing about it. If you live there--especially with a family--it has a lot of desirable qualities, but they are not what tourists generally want.
d_claude_bear is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 06:43 AM
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I had the impression that the OP simply wanted a single place to stay, presumably at night, while touring Sequoia and Yosemite during the day. There are 5 pages of hotels listed in my AAA tourbook for Fresno. Seems like that would do the trick, except that, as it was pointed out, it would make for a long drive to each of the parks. It was clear to me that they did not plan to "vacation" there.
dbdurand is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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"It was clear to me that they did not plan to "vacation" there."

No - but they would spend many hours on the road between Fresno and the parks and back (and spend each evening/night/morning there). That is too close to 'vacationing' in Fresno for me

But since they've changed plans a bit that (thankfully) is no longer an issue.
janisj is online now  
Aug 21st, 2010, 05:23 PM
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dbdurand is right. I´ve made up my mind though and will stay in Oakhurst to shorten the distances

I liked the idea of Camp Curry, but I´ll be travelling from Brazil with lots of baggage and need a hotel.

anyway, thanks for all the help. I´ll stay away from Fresno as much as I can!
bernardolmendes is offline  
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