Please help me add SNP to my road trip!

Old Jan 16th, 2017, 03:31 PM
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Please help me add SNP to my road trip!

Hi, We are planning our trip from San Francisco to Anaheim this June. We would love to visit the Sequoia National Park, but do not want to miss Big Sur. How would you do it? Our must do stops are SF, Monterey, Big Sur (drive), Santa Barbara and Anaheim. Any and all suggestions are GREATLY welcomed!!! Any other places we should stop? Thanks in advance! Zu
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 03:35 PM
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Stop in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to see the big trees on your way to Monterey.
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 03:52 PM
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Why Sequoia? Just the trees? As mentioned above, there are other places to see big trees without a major detour. How long will you devote to the drive from SF to Anaheim?
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 04:12 PM
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You won't see the Giant Sequoia (the big around trees) but you would have plenty of opportunities to see the Coast Redwoods (the tall trees) in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Big Sur.

So I would not try to shoe horn SNP into your trip.
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 04:21 PM
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Here's hoping that Zu comes back to read our responses.
Please don't confuse Coast Redwoods with Sequoias.
I note that she did not say anything about travels before SF or after Anaheim.
It is possible to see some good Sequoias inside Yosemite even though the Mariposa Grove will be closed at least until July.
Are you a California resident Zu or are you coming from far away?
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 04:25 PM
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>>It is possible to see some good Sequoias inside Yosemite even though the Mariposa Grove will be closed at least until July.
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 04:56 PM
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How many days do you have? How "must" is Santa Barbara?

Anaheim to Santa Barbara to Sequoia would involve some backtracking. After Sequoia, you could head back to the coast via Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo and then north to Big Sur and Monterey. Driving time alone would be 13-14 hours.

Go to maps.google.com and search the driving route.

If I was driving all the way to Sequoia N.P., I'd spend a few days there, and I'd also dip into King's Canyon N.P. If you want to stay inside the park, look into lodging availability ASAP.

If you want to stay overnight along the coast (including Santa Barbara), and your nights would be Friday-Sunday, you may find most lodging has a 2-night minimum on weekends.
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 05:25 PM
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We live in Florida. Our trip is on the planning stage but we are thinking of spending 4 days in SF and 3 in Anaheim (Disneyland, CA Adventure and Universal). Santa Barbara we liked a lot but not a huge must. But your suggestion of the trees is right on point. If we can see the trees on our way to or from Monterey that would be perfect. I thought the only way to see those was at SNP. THANKS!!!!
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 06:12 PM
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In order to serve you better...we're asking, how many days will you spend on the drive from SF to Anaheim. If you can tell us, it'll help us help you with allocation of those days.
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 09:41 PM
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Giant sequoias and coastal redwoods are not the same. Coastal redwoods are taller, but the giant sequoias are more massive and live longer (3000+ years).

If you just want to see big, beautiful trees, then you don't need to drive out of your way to Sequoia N.P.

But if you want to see the giant sequoias, you have to go to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada.
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 03:58 AM
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Sorry, I forgot to specify in my previous response that we plan on being in CA for two weeks. Four of those days in SF and three in Anaheim. Thanks for all your responses.
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 05:35 AM
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With a week available to get from SF to Anaheim, if you wanted to see giant sequoias and also some iconic California scenery, there is an alternative plan. It will involve considerably more driving, but aside from a couple of half-day crossings of the central valley, it's a very rewarding addition.

Map - https://goo.gl/maps/mGHKHgoUNk82

From SF travel east to Stockton then northeast on CA 4, which changes rapidly from flat valley floor to iconic rolling hills and oak trees as you climb toward the Sierra foothills. You'll pass through Murphys, a very pretty gold rush town in the middle of what's now an emerging vineyard and winery area, then stop to visit the Calaveras Big Trees State Park, with sequoia groves that rival those in Sequoia National Park.

After the trees, return to Murphys for a visit, then continue south to Columbia, an important gold rush town that's been restored and made into something of an outdoor museum (it's also a California state park.) Spend the night near Murphys or Columbia or somewhere along California Hwy 49, the main highway that connects the extremely historic and picturesque towns that were founded during the 1849 gold rush.

The next day, pop into Yosemite Valley for a quick in-and-out visit; you can see the waterfalls, look at El Capitan and Half Dome, maybe have lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel, then head out of the valley back toward the coast. Don't try to find accommodation in Yosemite; you're much too late.

From Yosemite Village it's probably 4-5 hours to Monterey; you could do the whole Columbia-Yosemite-Monterey drive in one long day, or spend the second night somewhere in the central valley and you'd be in Monterey early on the third day.

From there it's a straight shot down the coast to LA. There are coast redwoods, by the way, in Julia Pfeiffer State Park in Big Sur, so you can stop and see the redwoods there en route.

Here's an imaginary schedule that includes this loop into the Sierras:

Day 1 - SF to Calaveras Big Trees to Columbia
Day 2 - Columbia to Yosemite to Monterey (or somewhere in the valley)
Day 3 - Monterey area - Carmel Mission, Monterey aquarium, Point Lobos
Day 4 - Monterey to Big Sur to San Simeon
Day 5 - Hearst Castle visit, drive to Santa Barbara
Day 6 - Day in Santa Barbara - Mission, Refugio Beach, other sights
Day 7 - Santa Barbara to Anaheim
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 09:40 AM
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If you still want to include Sequoia/Kings Canyon, I would do that first after San Francisco, then head to Monterey and down the coast.

If seeing coastal redwoods are fine, they can be seen in these state parks http://www.redwoodhikes.com/ Some of the state parks in Big Sur are still closed from last year's fire but may reopen by June.
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 10:03 AM
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Thank you so much for your advice! Looking forward to visiting beautiful CA!
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