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How Many Days Yosemite&Sequoia?

Old Jul 29th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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How Many Days Yosemite&Sequoia?

Hello,

I have never been to any of these parks so I am wondering, how many days should I set aside to see Yosemite as well as both of the Sequoia parks?

Also, I was wondering if I need to go to both Sequoia parks or is it about the same experience?

Thanks so much for your help
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 07:47 AM
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To be honest, I would spend the entire time at Yosemite. There is a sequoia grove at the south end of the park, and Tuolumne Meadows is different than Yosemite Valley.
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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Thanks for your reply. Do you think w week is too long at Yosemite? Is there a specific area I should look to make reservations at?

I don't even know where to begin to look.

Thanks again!
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 08:27 AM
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Have you looked at the Yosemite reservation site? All the various types of accommodations are described.

http://www.yosemitepark.com/
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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A week is not too long at Yosemite. The beauty and hikes are to die for.

Due to the crowds in Yosemite (do you already have your accomodations which are difficult to get?), however, our family is partial to Sequoia and Kings Canyon. It's not Yosemite but we love our redwood trees and can't get enough of them.
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 09:35 AM
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I"m not an expert, having only been there once, but was in your position -- not knowing where to start before we went. You can click on my name above -- I wrote a trip report on both Yosemite and Sequoia and Kings Canyon in May 2004, that may be helpful. I received quite a bit of good info at that time from this board. Are you talking about the Sequoia parks in Yosemite (or Sequoia National Park)? Also, what time of year are you going, since Tioga Road is closed in the winter/spring. Do you like long hikes? We spent 5 days in Yosemite and got a good overview. You could spend more easily, but if you aren't hiking, I think a week would be a little long.
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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If you are into hiking, a lifetime won't be enough for Yosemite. If you enjoy day hikes, filling up a week should be no problem.

I recommend Sequoia in addition to Yosemite, simply because the trees at Sequoia are larger and more accessible (although the ones at Mariposa in Yosemite are nothing to sneeze at).

An absolute minimum, even for those who have no interest in hiking, would be two days in Yosemite and one day in Sequoia.

I'm not certain what you mean by "both of the Sequoia parks." There is only one Sequoia National Park, although it is administered jointly with Kings Canyon National Park -- they are often merged as "Sequoia / Kings Canyon NP" or even just "SeKi."
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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I agree that you could spend the entire time in Yosemite and have a great trip, but maj brings up a good point about closures. When will you be there?
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Hi Everyone!

Wow, thanks for all the great info. I guess I didn't put down all the facts..

We are going in October. We are going to be on a 23 day vacation and also want to stay in vegas for a few as well as Tahoe for a week. So I was thinking of 1 week for these parks.

We are hikers as in long walks....climbing won't be something we will do.

I looked at a map and it appeared t here were 2 seperate Sequoia parks... One has Grant grove and another one seems to be called " Giant Sequoia National park and California Hot Springs.

Maj I will go back and look for your post. I appreciate you and everyone taking the time to help me out here.

I just want to see the most I can in the amount of time I have. Plus I hate to go somewhere and after I get back someone will always say " Oh, did you see blah, blah, blah" and then I realize that I didn't and it was only a mile from where I was. LOL You know what I mean?

Anyway, thanks to eveyone for helping me. Your pointers are appreciated
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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If you are not aware of the nps site, the links below are for Sequoia/Kings Canyon and Yosemite.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm

http://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm

It took us about 3 hours to get from Mariposa Grove at Yosemite to Grants Grove at Sequoia. There are only two roads (that I'm aware of) into the Sequoia/Kings Canyon Park. One goes from Fresno into the Grant's Grove area. Then it kind of takes a Y -- the road to the left goes down into Kings Canyon (which is a beautiful road as far as views with some short walks to waterfalls, etc. -- takes about an hour to drive it one way without stopping). The only way back is on the same road so you are doubling back to the Grant's Grove area. At Grant's Grove there is a sequoia grove, lodge with camping, restaurant and small visitor center.

If you take the road to the left when you come in from Fresno, you go to the Sequoia National Park area. Again it takes about an hour to drive to the Visitor Center at the main part of Sequoia also. This road continues out of the park (we didn't go that far).

We had planned on going to Death Valley or the coast of California also, but when we started to realize how much driving that would entail, we saved it for another trip. I'm not sure how late the Tioga Road is open in October (actually it depends on the weather), but if you are planning on taking that way to Tahoe you may have a problem.

I think too that you could see what you want in Sequoia in one day and maybe spend the night and take the drive down into Kings Canyon and see Grant's Grove the next day on the way to Yosemite (or the other way around if you're going the other way). I'm glad we saw Sequoia and Kings Canyon while we were there.
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 03:17 PM
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There are sequoia groves all through the Sierra Nevada Mountain, from a remote grove east of Lake Tahoe to scattered groves south of Sequoia National Park. There are three groves within Yosemite National Park, the largest there is the Mariposa Grove at the southwestern corner of the park, near Wawona. So you don't have to go to Sequoia National Park to see giant sequoias, although the largest remaining groves are there, and in the Grant Grove area, which is really for all practical purposes, part of the same park-- the park is officially named "Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks", administered as one unit, entrance to one is good for the other.

They used to be separate parks, and there are still official boundaries between them, but for all practical purposes they are one park. There is no "Giant Sequoia and California Hot Springs National Park", I don't know where you saw that name. There is also "Giant Forest National Monument", and "Sequoia National Park", which surround Sequoia and KC NPs, there are sequoia groves there too, but I don't know anything about them except that they are there.

At Seq and KC NPs, you can only drive through the forest zones, unlike Yosemite, where you can drive up into the alpine areas (granite peaks, small glacial lakes and more open forest). You can hike up there at Sequoia and from the floor of Kings Canyon (the canyon itself), but no roads go there.

At Yosemite you can drive up to Tuolumne Meadows, Dana Meadows and Tioga Pass, (they should still be open in October, they close to traffic after the first big snowfall). You can start hiking from there without having to climb as far as you need to at Sequoia.

You could easily spend a week at Yosemite, especially if you want to do long hikes. From the Valley, hike the Mist Trail up to Vernal and Nevada Falls, they run all year, unlike the other falls, which dry up in late summer. If you're up to a 17 mile round trip hike with 4000 feet elevation gain and loss, hike all the way to the top of Half Dome. This is an all day sucker, and you may not feel like moving much the next day.

Get up to Glacier Point and do some hiking along the rim of Yosemite Valley to Sentinel Dome, Taft Point and the Fissures, for a similar view with much less effort.

Then get up to Tuolumne, Tenaya Lake is worth a picnic stop and short stroll around the lake, Tuolumne Meadows has lots of hiking trails with views of granite peaks and domes, or climb up Lembert Dome or hike out to Mono Pass from Dana Meadows, near the Tioga Pass entrance. Oh, and Cathedaral Peak and Lake, and hundreds of others.

Plus, allow a day, or at least an afternoon to visit Mono Lake on the east side of Yosemite, outside the park. It will be on your way to or from Tahoe.

Grant Grove is officially part of Kings Canyon National Park, but it's a bit away from the main part of the park, although it is the automobile entrance to the park. It has the Grant Grove and the Redwood Mountain Grove of Giant Sequoias, so this area is more like the road area of Sequoia, than like the main part of Kings Canyon.

The Grant Grove and Sequoia NP are more about the forest than the granite peaks, the peaks are there but you can't drive up to them like you can at Yosemite. You have to hike, minimum of 6 miles and 2000 feet up, one way, on the Lakes Trail.

The Grant Grove is about the same size in area and in trees as the Mariposa Grove at Yosemite. The Redwood Mtn. Grove is the largest remaining sequoia grove, goes on for miles and miles through thick forest of firs, pines and sequoias--it's at the end of a two mile dirt road, so is not heavily visited.

The "main part" of Kings Canyon NP is centered on Kings Canyon itself, it's an hour's drive from the Grant Grove, it's a deep canyon like Yosemite Valley, but doesn't have the sheer rock cliffs like Yosemite. I would skip it if you've been to Yosemite.

Basically, I would say, concentrate on Yosemite, spend at least 5 days there if you want to do some long hikes on some days and relax in between.

If you go to Sequoia, skip Kings Canyon (except that you will come in through the Grant Grove area), and hike in the Giant Forest area (see Moro Rock, and Crescent Meadow), and maybe up to the lakes on the Lakes Trail or even climb Alta Peak (11,200 feet, from the trailhead at 7000 feet).

There is also Crystal Cave at Sequoia, I haven't been there, but it might be the kind of thing people would mention. But then you will probably have seen things they haven't so I wouldn't worry about missing any one thing.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 09:44 AM
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02deep2,
Hope you don't mind if I tag onto your thread and ask a few follow up questions. We leave later this month for SF/Yosemite/Sequoia/LA and I have some plans to "tweak" that may help you too.

We have 2 1/2 days at Yosemite. Had planned to spend the first 1/2 of arrival doing visitors center and renting bikes to tour around the Valley (staying at Lodge). Next day I had thought to do the UP hike from the floor to Half Dome and use the hikers' bus back. Am I nuts? Should we (DH and 2 kids ages 10 and 12 who are good hikers) do the descent instead? Or just do Vernal/Nevada hike and drive up to Glacier Point another time?. Thought we'd do the Half Dome hike on our second day. Then do Tioga pass area on third day.
Now am thinking about doing a trail ride from Tuolome Meadows instead of hiking (we loved Bryce canyon horseback riding). Is it really a 2 hour drive to Tuolome?
Sorry to be so confusing. When you only have a short time you want to make sure you make the most of it without killing family. Any suggestions welcomed.

I'm all set with plans for Sequoia thanks to earlier info from Sequoia and JCorrea!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 10:45 AM
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Just another comment to add to your confusion. We did the Panorama Trail(took the hikers bus to Glacier Point in the morning and hiked down to the valley and took the shuttle back to the Lodge). It was a fantastic hike -- you go by Nevada and Vernal Falls on the way down. That way you get to see Glacier Point and the Falls (along with a whole lot more).
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 10:56 AM
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Thanks, Maj. I think that's the trail we were going to do. Would we be crazy to hike it UP? My kids like a challenge.... Also, do you remember how long the ride was to Glacier Point?
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 11:09 AM
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I can't remember exactly how long the ride up was -- I'm thinking about 45 minutes from the lodge. It was suggested to us at that time to take the Four Mile trail up to Glacier Point and then the Panorama Trail back down. That was more than we wanted to do, but might be an option for you. I think your kids will like coming down the Panorama trail. There is an uphill portion of it, and you're climbing down uneven rock steps by Nevada Falls.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 11:37 AM
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The Sentinel Dome hike is my favorite relatively easy hike (an hour or two?). The view from the top is 360. You could do that on a short day with Glacier Point (on the same road). Vernal Falls /Nevada Falls has a lot of steps and I would much rather do that one going uphill!
Tuolumne Meadows is about a mile higher in altitude than Yosemite Valley and I did find the altitude affected me (hiking uphill was much harder).
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Old Sep 3rd, 2006, 05:43 PM
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Thanks everyone for all your tips and advice. I have all the suggestions written down so I can take it with me.
You have been great.

It makes my planning so much easier!
Thanks
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Old Sep 3rd, 2006, 07:02 PM
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We did the panarama trail and would do it again. You get to see the valley from different view points. Also the end of the hike is all down hill(past Vernal and Nevada Falls).Sentinal Dome is an easy hike with great views. I personally was surprised how nice Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP were.We stayed at the Wuksacki Lodge which is nice and fairly new the had some nice hikes without the crowds,2000 year old sequoia's.If your out that way I would try to see it.If your coming up from LA or death valley it's along the way.
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