View Poll Results: Better April NP
Yosemite
6
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Joshua Tree
0
0%
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Yosemite or Joshua Tree 4/19-4/26

Old Sep 3rd, 2023, 05:14 PM
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Yosemite or Joshua Tree 4/19-4/26

Hi! Iím new to road-tripping and have only done one this past April from Vegas to Zion to Bryce to Lake Powell to antelope canyon and horseshoe bend. That trip took us 7 days and we had time to rent a boat at Lake Powell for 2 days. I traveled with my husband and 2 13 yr olds, we rented a camper and plan on doing that again for this trip.

We are trying to decide between flying into San Fran staying for a night or staying in Santa Cruz then traveling down the coast stopping along the way including Monterey Aquarium until Big Sur, after we would travel to Yosemite then back to San Fran OR

Fly into LA stay in Santa Monica, go to Joshua Tree, Palm Springs (after Coachella is over) to San Diego then maybe Laguna before heading back to LA.

My questions are which would be better weather wise for that time of year, would one of the trips be more fun for teenage boys then the other, is it going to warm enough for them to swim anywhere? Also, Iíd love any feedback about things I could add, things that arenít worth seeing, or if I should rearrange my route.

Thank you in advance, I appreciate your help
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Old Sep 3rd, 2023, 06:38 PM
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Welcome to Fodor's! Depending on where you want to rent the camper, you might want to fly into Sacramento or maybe Oakland instead of SFO. There may still be snow in Yosemite in the second half of April. If there is a sudden warmup, there might even be flooding on the Merced River. It is possible to take a train (San Joaquin) to Merced or Fresno and take a YARTS bus into Yosemite. There are a couple of camping options inside Yosemite and at least one campground nearly an hour outside Yosemite. I have stayed at the "BUG" hostel near Midpines and it does have an adjacent campground.
If you choose to visit Joshua Tree or the Mojave National Preserve, I would suggest that you fly to Las Vegas and avoid LAX and driving a camper around Los Angeles.
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 12:35 AM
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We moved your thread to the United States Forum and tagged it for rCalifornia
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jbayek15
Hi! Iím new to road-tripping and have only done one this past April from Vegas to Zion to Bryce to Lake Powell to antelope canyon and horseshoe bend. That trip took us 7 days and we had time to rent a boat at Lake Powell for 2 days. I traveled with my husband and 2 13 yr olds, we rented a camper and plan on doing that again for this trip.

We are trying to decide between flying into San Fran staying for a night or staying in Santa Cruz then traveling down the coast stopping along the way including Monterey Aquarium until Big Sur, after we would travel to Yosemite then back to San Fran OR

Fly into LA stay in Santa Monica, go to Joshua Tree, Palm Springs (after Coachella is over) to San Diego then maybe Laguna before heading back to LA.

My questions are which would be better weather wise for that time of year, would one of the trips be more fun for teenage boys then the other, is it going to warm enough for them to swim anywhere? Also, Iíd love any feedback about things I could add, things that arenít worth seeing, or if I should rearrange my route.

Thank you in advance, I appreciate your help
in my opinion there is no comparison. Joshua Tree isnít anywhere in the same league as Yosemite. .
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 03:33 AM
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What J62 said. Apples and onions. Yosemite is a wonder of the world.
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 04:10 AM
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Thank you!

Iím more trying to see about the time of year and loop Iím trying to do with 2 teenage boys.
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 04:58 AM
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April is a great time to be at Yosemite, and a great place to visit with teenage boys.
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 05:35 AM
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Does my loop with San Francisco and Big Sur make sense?
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 05:43 AM
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Personally I'm not a big fan of driving all the way to Big Sur, but besides that, SF, Monterey/Carmel, Yosemite makes for a nice one week trip. There is a lot of great coastline between SF and the Monterey/Carmel area to enjoy.

Whether you use a camper or hotels is up to you. For me, hotels make more sense and are easier, but that's me.
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 05:43 AM
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There are California experts here who will know better. Personally I liked one visit to Joshua Tree and Palm Springs, but I place them in the category ďNot really worth getting on a plane to see.Ē Unless thereís a cold weather break component in the mix.

My concerns about Yosemite would be availability of a campsite in the park, and how many trails will be closed due to snow. Glacier Point Road will certainly be closed, as will the trail going up. Iím not sure the teenagers will be satisfied with Yosemite if most of the trails are closed. Frankly you canít see that much from the valley floor due to trees, you have to get up the trails to elevations above the trees to get views.

The Sacramento airport, still about 4 hours away, works extremely well for Yosemite but I donít think there are nonstops from the eastern third of the US so your origin is a factor, and if connecting anyway there are closer airports.
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 06:48 AM
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Fly into San Fran staying for a night or staying in Santa Cruz then traveling down the coast stopping along the way including Monterey Aquarium until Big Sur, after we would travel to Yosemite then back to San Fran

OR

Fly into LA stay in Santa Monica, go to Joshua Tree, Palm Springs (after Coachella is over) to San Diego then maybe Laguna before heading back to LA.

Iím aware itís a lot of driving thatís why we are renting a camper. The boys loved being able to make food, stretch their legs, sleep in a bed, go to the bathroom etc and there were 0 complaints about drive time. It also ended up being less expensive then renting a car and staying in hotels.


Itís not just about which park is better (I know Yosemite is but Iím talking about specifically April) Iím not sure if one of the routes I have will be better for teenagers or easier to drive or anything like that

thanks!
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 07:26 AM
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Have you researched the places that rent the type of camper you want? You don't have to go to Joshua Tree National Park to see lots of Joshua trees. I've seen plenty in the Mojave National Preserve. The Preserve also has some great sand dunes. You might also want to visit Death Valley NP. You can get to all of southern California easily from Las Vegas without the heavy traffic of the LA area.
I'm voting for Yosemite. I've been there several times. Just watch for how much snow might be there and how fast it might be melting. There are a few good camping spots along the coast including Henry Cowell where you can see some big Coast Redwood trees.
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 07:44 AM
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Road trip ideas for last week in April

We live in NH and will be flying out of Boston to an undecided location. Weíre going to rent a class C camper from either RVshare or outdoorsy and ideally see a NP or something along those lines.

any recommendations for the last week in April somewhere warm? We have 2 teenage boys to entertain.

We have done Zion, Bryce, Moab, Kanab, Page AZ, Lake Powell, Horseshoe bend, antelope canyons and would like to try somewhere new.

thanks!!
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 07:49 AM
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 08:23 AM
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High desert or the red rock national parks might still be pretty cold at night, but a couple of areas in California come to mind.

1. It's the week after the Coachella festival in the Palm Springs area, so hopefully the roads and campgrounds/RV parks will be available. You could visit Joshua Tree NP, PS itself, the PS aerial tramway, Shield's Date Garden, etc. It might be a blast.

2. The weather might or might not be great, but a tour of the Gold Rush country along the western slopes of the Sierras is fantastic in the spring. Yosemite Valley itself might not have much in the way of available campsites, but the old towns along California Hwy 49 are fantastic. Google the places on this map to see what appeals. Fly in and out of Sacramento or San Francisco. Map - https://goo.gl/maps/eeU52XjXU2qnJWq6A

Another thought was a music and history drive from New Orleans up the Mississippi to Natchez and Vicksburg, the Mississippi Delta (Clarksdale for the Delta Blues Museum and Abe's BBQ) and finishing in Memphis - blues, Elvis, Civil Rights museum, etc.
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 08:40 AM
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With the very short time frame, six days, I think the desert and San Diego itinerary makes more sense. Hitting Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur, and all the way to Yosemite and back in 6 days, that doesnít sound like much fun to me. Youíll burn the whole 25th just getting back to SFO for the flight the following day.

Are you thinking 2 or 3 nights in Yosemite? Itís a long way in for just 2 nights. Iíd be curious if when a trail is posted on the NPS website as closed due to snow, does that mean the whole trail or if you are allowed part way up? Iím not sure Iíd be satisfied with valley floor and roadside attractions without being able to hike up to the valley rim, or at least most of the way.

Flying into LAX may not make the most sense. Do you have nonstop flights to Palm Springs or San Diego?

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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 09:10 AM
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The coast between LA and San Francisco is another possibility. There's Hearst Castle , elephant seals, the Monterey aquarium, several missions and the southern limit of redwoods.






and before leaving LA do not miss the Museum of Jurassic Technology: The Museum Of Jurassic Technology
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 09:29 AM
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Gold Rush country, Yosemite NP and Sequoia NP seem like a good bet for late April as mentioned by Gardyloo. Those are premiere national parks.
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 09:31 AM
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Weather isn't very predictable any more and shouldn't be the only comparison you focus on.

There are no RV hookups at any campground in JTNP. Generator use is allowed only during limited hours. There is no place inside JTNP to buy food or gas, and water is available at only a few locations. Cell phone service is almost nonexistent and available at only one campground. Even in an RV, this is more of a "roughing it" experience and requires careful planning. The JTNP and Mojave Preserve areas have experienced fire and flood damage this year. I haven't looked for reports on the extent and timing of repairs, but you should check this.

You don't want to be driving around L.A., San Diego and Laguna in an RV, so you might be looking at two different vehicle rentals. I'm not sure where you would pick-up and drop-off an RV, but it would likely have to be the same location... probably no one-way rental possible. In any event, L.A. > JTNP > Palm Springs > San Diego > Laguna > L.A. is too much in a week. There's a lot to see/do in each place. At a minimum, I'd drop San Diego.
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Old Sep 4th, 2023, 09:45 AM
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The last weekend of Coachella is April 19 - 21. There will be very few (as in, no) places to camp, park an RV or stay in a motel/hotel pretty much anywhere in the valley. Afterwards, a different story.

I responded to your other thread. Maybe a moderator can merge the two.
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