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Sequoia to Monterey which roads where to stay?

Sequoia to Monterey which roads where to stay?

Feb 18th, 2006, 07:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 37
Sequoia to Monterey which roads where to stay?


This is the Calif leg of our trip I've been planning. In July. We are touring on a motorcylce from Michigan. I'll tell you the whole plan If you all want. I've been working on it for three wks. Getting reservations, figuring out milage etc.

I'll just start with Vegas here for this question.

2 nights Vegas--cross Death Valley NP
north to Benton Hot Springs
1 night in Benton Hot Springs---
across Toiga pass into Yosemite in the

2 nights Yosemite
(High Serria B&B in West Yosemite, felt safer for parking motorcycle at night. Besides could only get Curry. Parking situation sounded bad. long way from lodging, very crowded

2 nights Kings Canyon/Sequoia
thought about one night there, but it
looks like a five hr. drive from Yosemite.
We don't want Too much rushing around.
The process of getting there is a big part
of going on motorcycle. Scenic routes,
a must, as much as possible.

1 night Monterey or Carmel? Drive down to Big Sur?

Which roads to get there and where to stay? With safe parking for motorcycle. And walking distance to resturant town, beach etc would be nice.

Hwy 1 to San Francisco.

What is the best time to enter the city? My husband is all freaked out about city traffic. Worst times we ever had was getting too close to big city. It's no fun.

I told him it would work if we got the timing right. As a general rule we stay away from big cities!

But, I got to thinking yesterday we should not miss the chance to go to SF, we're going to be close by and see the wine country too. And looks like we should/could hit the coast at:

1 night Monterey/Carmel and drive Hwy 1.
north to SF.

What is the best time of day to drive Hwy 1 into San Francisco? How long does it take?

We had a partial bad experience on Hwy 1 coming down out of Oregon into Calif a few years ago. Impatient car pushing us to go too fast in fog/rain in the morning time. Not easy when your glasses are all fogged up, slippery road.

Twisty turny, all kinds of mountain roads, we've been on them all. But we like to work out ways to avoid as much traffic as possible. Much more pleasant that way. I'll even get up super early.

2 nights San Francisco--cross Golden Gate
bridge-N on Hwy 1, Reyes pt, working our
to Sonoma wine country, Heldsburg?

Where to stay? Need a place that feels safe to my husband for parking the bike and being able to walk around etc from lodging.
Like a B&B or Mom&Pop type motel or something like that. You can park by door of your room/cabin or in the back of the B&B. Or by the managers office? This type of strategy has worked well on other trips.

This last question is one that needs to be answered for where to stay in SF also- The Big parking question.

and we need to stay a couple of nights in Stockton to visit reletives. Then head east to Lake Taho.

Best, scenic way to Taho? How long, time wise? Good place to stay in Taho?

then across Nevada heading back home to Michigan.

Thought about Hwy 50 across Nevada.

Anybody do that road?

I have been reading all posts about SF I can find. And bout Sonoma, Napa.

All the places we have gone and are going to. I can't tell you how much reading Fodors posters has helped me planing our trips!! And finding wonderful places to stay!!

Thanks so much!!
JeannieR is offline  
Feb 18th, 2006, 07:38 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 37
Just talked to husband. He's still dead set against San Francisco.

Please help me! I'm convinced we should go. Help me convince him!

Need plan, timing, to miss bad traffic. Is it pretty easy to get into city on Hwy 1?

Need good place to stay, good parking.

Thanks, Jeannie
JeannieR is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 03:45 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,149
Yes, I think you should go to San Francisco. If you can talk your husband into it, then stay in the Marina District at one of these motels..Cow Hollow Inn, Coventry Motor Inn, Chelsea Motor Inn, Lombard Motor Inn. You can park your bikes free at these and then take public transportation downtown and wherever else you want to go. It's a good transportation system. Also, you will be not far from the Golden Gate Bridge, so no downtown traffic. Good luck.
jtrandolph is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,993
I won't get into who should win the SF/no SF debate. But I have serious concern about your trip LV > DV > Yosemite.

This NOT something you should be doing in July. It is called Death Valley for a reason. Even in a car it is a difficult and sometimes dangerous place to be in the summer - doing it on a bike is crazy.

As for Tahoe (pleas note the spelling) - a great route from Stockton is to go up hwy 88. Amazing scenery and a fraction of the traffic of either hwy 50 or I-80. A WONDERFUL ride.
janisj is online now  
Feb 19th, 2006, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
For the Sequoia to Monterey leg of your trip, I've got a pretty good route for you if you want to do mainly secondary roads rather than interstates and avoid the trucks. This route doesn't really take any longer either.

Leaving Sequoia take Hwy 180 through Fresno to the town of Mendota where you pick up Hwy 33 and head toward Los Banos where Hwy 33 and 152 combine. Take Hwy 152 over Pacheco Pass - this will be the only hairy part of your ride because of the the trucks have to go over the pass here too if they don't want to go all the way up to Tracy. There aren't a lot of roads over this range. It isn't a long stretch though.

Once you get over the pass, take Hwy 156 through Hollister and San Juan Bautista. Hollister is worth a stop, of course. San Juan Bautista is great too - there is a mission, a restored/rebuilt old square, and a nice little main street. If it is a weekend day you are coming through, you are liable to find plenty of other people in town with their Harleys. We have seen some absolutely beautiful bikes there.

From there, continue west on 156 to Hwy 101 south - 156 and 101 combine for a few miles. Then take 156 west at Prunedale and then Hwy 1 south.

On your leg through Death Valley, you are crossing early early in the morning, right? Make sure the bikes are in top shape before that leg. Death Valley is one place you do not want to break down.

For Monterey to SF - definitely head straight up Hwy 1. Great drive. Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero makes a terrific stop for lunch. Half Moon Bay is a good place to stop and wander around too.

In SF, I agree about staying in the Marina District - super easy to get to. Your husband need not worry.
J_Correa is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 06:40 PM
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Posts: 6,108
Forgot to add - I expect a full report upon your return from this trip Sounds like it is going to be really great.
J_Correa is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 288
You would want to stay a couple of days in Sequoia/Kings Canyon in order to see the area. There are quite a few miles to cover just to get from one end to the other so it would be difficult to see a lot of it if you just say over one night. Sounds like a very interesting trip!
npurpleh2 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 10:40 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 37
Hi, Thanks everybody for taking time to help me out!

I'll admit my spelling isn't always the best. (need spell check) But, I do know know Tahoe is spelled with an e, missed that one. I do try to edit, I hate to mispell words. Thanks!

I forgot to say the plan was to head out of Vegas at 4am, should be crossing Death Valley at sunrise,
I think. Didn't check actual times for sunrise.

you all think that would work?

We went all the way almost to New Orleans in July one year to visit relatives, and then out to the Southwest. You can't seem to drink enough water.

It's a good plan to get up digustingly early to get the miles in in the hot areas of the country. And then stop early afternoon if you can. (and I think to get up digustingly early is before noon!)

And I appriciate the advise on routes to go insead of the expressway. It's hard to tell from a map how long a route takes. Avoiding truck traffic is great too! Going the scenic route is the plan on the motorcycle. A big part of the trip. (did I tell you the one where we almost got ate by a bunch of semis in Tenn. or the one where a huge John Dere tractor...)

We did decide to cross Lake Michigan on the ferry and head west as hard and fast as we could on 90. We did it that way the last time two years ago.

But, the first time we went "out west" on the bike we went through the UP west on Hwy 2 all the way to Glacier NP. Started carrying a gas can, no towns on Hwy 2 to get gas. They're all 20 miles off the road!

Came down the coast from Oregon into Calif,and on to Stockton. And camped all the way no less. No more of that on "out west" trips for me. Too much in the southwest in the heat, and my knees have given out on me. Besides I'm not too crazy about camping with bears, when we're in bear country.

I heard about staying in cow hollow (on fodors forums of course) Been looking into it!

Good not-so-expensive place in Sonoma wine country?

I plan our trips now, checking out best routes before hand, try not to travel too many miles in a day, go the scenic route. And get reservations in the NP and other places you need to get far ahead of time!

Yes, I did keep the two nights in Kings Canyon/Sequoia.


Now, where is my Calif. map.......

JeannieR is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 04:00 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,149
Sonoma Wine Country....if you are speaking of the Sonoma Valley, which I recommend, rather than the entire County, go to the visitor's bureau >sonomavalley.com< There are many bed and breakfast establishments.
jtrandolph is offline  
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