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Old 03-25-2011, 05:47 PM   #1
Salome
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Question Help! Road from Yosemite to Kings/Sequoia

We are planning a big trip to California and the west and I need some advice about a portion of my itinirary. From Yosemite, we want to go to Kings/Sequoia then to Death Valley.

I can see on my maps that there is a road (395 then the 136) from Yosemite to Death Valley but can't find any road from the 395 who go into Kings and Sequoia.

Is there a road from the 395 or do we have to make the big detour to the west?

Thank you very much!
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:00 PM   #2
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US 395 goes down the Owens Valley, on the eastern side of the Sierra crest. The national parks in question have entrances on the western side, from California's central valley. There are no roads that go over the High Sierra between 120 through Yosemite and 178/155 through the Kern Valley. It's all wilderness, with 13000+ foot mountains, including the highest mountain in the lower 48 (Mt. Whitney, 14505 ft.).

-Bob
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:11 AM   #3
Salome
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Thank you GrandBob,

Do you think it would be a smaller detour to go to Kings/Sequoia from the Highway 1 (from LA), then go back to the highway 1 (to SF), visit San Francisco then Yosemite then take 395 to Death Valley then Las Vegas

OR do the entire highway 1 LA-SF then go to Yosemite, detour to Kings/Sequoia, then Death Valley, then Las Vegas...
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:35 PM   #4
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Why do you want to go to Kings Canyon/Sequoia? Yosemite is much more scenic, and has giant Sequoia trees, if that's what you're after. Take whatever time you were going to spend in Kings Canyon and Sequoia, and spend it in Yosemite instead.

Also, what time of year are you going? You can't figure that Tioga pass will be open before the first weekend of June, although it sometimes opens earlier in a light snow year. This isn't such a year -- last I heard, the Sierra snowpack is at least 125% of normal. And it got a lot of additional snow this past week.

But for much of the season in which Tioga pass will be open, are months in which you won't want to go to Death Valley. Death Valley can be, well, deadly in July/August.

If you're going sometime around the last 3 weeks of June, then I'd take 1 up the coast to SF, then head over to Yosemite, then take Tioga pass over to Mono Lake (stop to see the tufa formations). Take 395 south, then at Lone Pine shoot over on 136 to Death Valley. When you're done there, you can get to Vegas via the northern route through Beatty, or (more likely, if you go to Furnace Creek) the southern route through Pahrump.

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Old 03-28-2011, 06:37 PM   #5
Salome
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but we want to see the general tree

we will be there third and fourth week of may, so

yosemite 15-18, kings canyon 19-20, sequoia 20-21, calico ghost town 23-24 and death valley 25-26 may then vegas 27-28

well that was the plan, but I'm really not sure about it...

thanks again for all the info, I appreciate it!
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salome View Post
but we want to see the general tree

we will be there third and fourth week of may, so

yosemite 15-18, kings canyon 19-20, sequoia 20-21, calico ghost town 23-24 and death valley 25-26 may then vegas 27-28

well that was the plan, but I'm really not sure about it...

thanks again for all the info, I appreciate it!
Well, the General Sherman tree is certainly big, and famous... But the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite has giant sequoias, including the Grizzly Giant. Not quite as big as General Sherman, but close; and honestly, standing on the ground, you're hard pressed to tell the difference.

But I'm confused. In the other thread, you said you're leaving next week. Here you say you'll be there in late May. Are you going on a two month trip? What a great road trip!!! Have fun!

Late May is an interesting time of year. Very likely, Tioga Pass in Yosemite will still be closed by snow. But you should (hopefully) be able to get into Kings Canyon and Sequoia. Wikipedia says Sequoia's giant forest is at 6000' elevation, so while you may have problems getting there in March or April, in May you should have no problems.

As for Death Valley, weather.com says the average high for May is still just 99 degrees F (37 C). While definitely warm, it's not dangerously hot yet. So your timing's not bad.

Have fun.

-Bob

Last edited by GrandBob; 03-29-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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