Go to Yosemite or elsewhere?

Old Sep 11th, 2013, 04:33 PM
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Go to Yosemite or elsewhere?

We're slated to go to Yosemite in 10 days but are wondering whether we should delay that destination for another year and go to Kings Canyon and Sequoia instead. I'll be majorly disappointed if I can't drive across Tioga Road, but all I can find out is that part of it is "temporarily" closed.
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Old Sep 11th, 2013, 04:46 PM
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There is a big fire in the Yosemite area. Much of the valley is still open but visablity may be poor . You may want to call the ranger station and see how the air quality is and if the trails are open. I have traveled to many places in the world and I still believe that Yosemite is one of the most beautiful places!! Go if possible!
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Old Sep 11th, 2013, 05:10 PM
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Yosemite is my very favorite National Park (I've been to 34 of our 59 NPS). That said, the waterfalls this time of year will be bone dry. To me that is the #1 thing there.

The trees at Sequoia are better than Yosemite, plus it's not nearly as busy. Very very beautiful there too. The trees will blow you away. I would probably head to Sequoia. Another option would be Lassen Volcano National Park or even Redwoods National Park. Both of those are nice too.
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Old Sep 11th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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Where are you coming from/going to on your trip to Yosemite?
Unless you really have to get over to the Lee Vining area (US 395) you don't have to use the Tioga Pass to see the best of Yosemite. At this time of year there's not much water coming over the waterfalls.
About 10% of the northwest corner of the park has burned in the past 3 weeks (Rim fire). For now the threat to the water supply for San Francisco has been averted.
If you can save the vacation time to visit in the spring when the snow is melting off, it will look much better IMO.
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Old Sep 11th, 2013, 06:36 PM
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Re the hwy 120 situation . . . Right now it is closed and there is really no way to know when it will open. The fire really isn't affecting the Valley that much but you won't know if you can go to Tuolomne Meadows until they decide to open the road. You'd just have to check the road conditions every day.

As for Sequoia/KC . . . The trees are gorgeous but late summer is not my favorite time of year there, very warm and dry. Not enough to scare me away - but I'd rather go in Fall or late Spring.

This time of year Redwoods National Park is at its best.
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Old Sep 11th, 2013, 07:36 PM
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We're coming down from Oregon through Redwoods National Park and will go to Lassen on the way back up. We'll follow the coast as far south as San Simeon, then cut east to Yosemite or Sequoia if we decide to leave Yosemite for another year. I'm now leaning toward going to Yosemite some spring because of the fire but also because the waterfalls are dry now.

Is there one base that's good for both Sequoia and Kings Canyon, or should we change hotels? We have 3 nights to spend.

Thanks for all the advice! You're all very helpful.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 03:36 AM
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Sequoia/Kings Canyon are beautiful but, unfortunately, lodging there is is disappointing, and it is expensive. With Tioga Pass closed, this is what I would do to salvage the situation:

*I would drive from Cambria to Sequoia NP via CA-46 (which is quite beautiful) and spend one night (or two nights) at whatever lodge is closest to CA-180.
*The next day I would drive to Yosemite NP and stay there for two nights (or one night).
*In driving to Lassen NP from Yosemite, I would include scenic CA-49 and its historic Gold Rush towns.

I understand your disappointment at not being able to drive over Tioga Pass, but I would not advise you to pass up Yosemite Valley for that reason.

HTtY
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 08:28 AM
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Smoke smoke smoke. You would not believe how bad it can be. We were up in the area at our cabin last weekend and it was fine one day and then the wind shifted or the fire (within the containment lines) grew and it got terrible. Sore throats, running noses and all our clothes and stuff we brought with us smelled like smoke. I know they say it's not affecting the park but if the wind shifts it will and then you won't want to be there. I'd hold off.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:18 AM
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Be aware of the large fire west of Redding. The drift smoke may well affect the Lassen NP area as well.
Make sure to see the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite before exiting by the south entrance. If what you want to see is large Sequoias, this could fit the bill.
There is cheaper lodging available in Oakhurst.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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>>There is cheaper lodging available in Oakhurst.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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Wuksachi Lodge is the place in Sequoia. It's ok, but the food there is very good.

I think you would want to stay at each park and not try to do one of them as a base.
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Old Sep 15th, 2013, 07:27 AM
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I never did find a place I wanted to stay in near Sequoia and Kings Canyon so didn't change my places. Now the Tioga Road is open in Yosemite so we should be able to follow our original plans. BTW, lodges in the parks were booked already when I started looking in July.

I'll report back in a few weeks and let you know how it all went. Thanks for your help!
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Old Sep 15th, 2013, 09:35 AM
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Lodges may have been booked, but you can almost always get a reservation if you try every day for a cancellation.
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Old Sep 15th, 2013, 10:01 AM
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You could check for lodging at Yosemite West -- condos and cabins about 1/2 hour from the Valley, off Highway 49.
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