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LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

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Manchester, United...
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LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

I'm back!

My initial itinerary (posted in Road Trips) was to drive from LA to Yosemite (25 May 14) in a day and stop off at Mariposa Grove. It has been suggested that I drive through Sequoia NP. Is this doable in a day? Ideally would want some stopping time and short hikes. I would approach on the 198 (windy roads don't phase me too much, we're used to them in the UK and I have driven the Hana Highway in Hawaii) and hopefully head all the way up to exit on the 180.

Then probably push the Mariposa Grove visit to a later day during the actual Yosemite stay.

Any comments much appreciated!

Jac

Uden, The...
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1. Re: LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

You can do it in one day but count on app an 8 hours commute plus the time you'll need for hiking. I would not recommend it an take more time for Seki.

Cuenca, Ecuador
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2. Re: LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

Hello jacmr82, and welcome to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI) forum.

It takes around 5 hours straight driving time (no stops) to get from Los Angeles to SEKI. I wouldn't combine a trip to SEKI with an overnight in Yosemite National Park starting from Los Angeles as it takes too much time to travel and see everything at a good and worthwhile pace. An overnight in SEKI is excellent, especially considering your timing in May before Memorial Day here - SEKI is less crowded by far in comparison to Yosemite - and getting to Yosemite from SEKI is not at all time consuming.

Other than that, I think you've got a good handle on things. You'll no doubt stop at the General Sherman grove and the General Grant grove, and there's hiking galore here of whatever variety one might choose. Please feel free to peruse the TripAdvisor SEKI attraction page for more details.

Enjoy your travels here in California.

San Diego...
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3. Re: LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

I would recommend doing this, provided that you can sped one night in the park, such as at Wuksachi Lodge, Montecito Sequoia Lodge, John Muir Lodge or Grant Grove Cabins. To just go through it all in one day would make for a log exhausting day and you wouldn't get to see very much.

If you like big cats, take a tour of the cat sanctuary on Highway 180 just after you leave the national park. http://cathaven.com

If you do go though Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks, you will not need to stop at the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite, as you will already have seen plenty of giant Sequoia trees.

Edited: 22 January 2014, 15:39
Manchester, United...
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4. Re: LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

Thanks very much everyone.

I'm a bit tied with my Yosemite reservations as these are fixed. We're there from Sun 25 May. The only other thing I could do is cut the LA stay a day short and fit in a night in Sequoia.

Interesting to know that Mariposa wouldn't be needed too. Looking at it from another perspective, would we see what we needed to (not sure what that is really, I want to see as much of everything as possible!) just by going to Mariposa and missing Sequoia out? Or would that be a big mistake?

Uden, The...
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5. Re: LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

Honestly, I think you'll have to see General Sherman Tree once in your life. Biggest living thing on earth and you could skip Mariposa Grove then as Sunrise said.

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6. Re: LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

Note that Mariposa (the town) and Mariposa Grove (the area with Giant Sequoias) are vastly different things. Do not aim for one when you want the other.

Map http://goo.gl/maps/KhjqO

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7. Re: LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

If you only want to see some examples of giant sequoias, then the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite would fulfill that. It would not be a mistake, if your only goal is to see examples of the giant sequoia. The Grizzly Giant tree and the Washington tree are the 2 largest trees in that grove. And you can take a paid tram tour through that grove instead of walking, if you want. But if you want to experience a whole forest of giant sequoia trees then I think you would do well to include Sequoia National Park, even if it means cutting back your time in Los Angeles. And Sequoia National Park tends to be less crowded than Yosemite, so you could have a more peaceful experience of being among the trees.

The General Sherman tree in Sequoia is the world's largest tree by volume (though not the tallest; that's in Redwood National Park) and the General Grant Tree, beautifully situated in the Grant Grove, is the third largest by volume. There are plenty of other examples of giant sequoia trees there and I think it would be worth your time to stop in Sequoia National Park. If you do, there would be no compelling reason for you to go to the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite and you could spend that time seeing something else in Yosemite.

The decision is up to you, of course, but if I were planning this, I would cut back that last day in Los Angeles and stay a night in Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Parks. Study the lodging choices carefully because they are limited.

Also be aware that the drive up Highway 198 from Visalia to Sequoia is very winding, with over 100 curves I believe. I normally don't get motion sickness, but I was woozy after we got up to the Giant Forest area and it took me a couple hours to feel normal again. If you are prone to motion sickness, try taking Dramamine or ginger root pills, and try to keep your eyes on the centerline of the road. The driver usually doesn't get motion sickness because they are watching the road. It's hard to keep your eyes on the road though because you will be driving right through a forest of immense trees. Highway 180 out of Kings Canyon NP and down the mountain is gentler and easier, still with curves but not as many.

From the time you leave Kings Canyon NP on Highway 180 you have about 1 hour to Fresno, then you get on Highway 41 and you have about 1.5 hours from Fresno to the entrance of Yosemite, and about 1 more hour from there to Yosemite Valley. These are just the driving times and don't include stops along the way.

Manchester, United...
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8. Re: LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

I wouldn't head for Mariposa instead of Mariposa Grove, don't worry! Just me being lazy and not typing the Grove out!

Argh this is so hard. Spoke to my husband about this and he thinks it might be a bit much only having the one day in LA. Whereas I'm much more up for heading to Sequoia instead. We have jet lag to consider as well.

I really want to find a way of making this work!

Uden, The...
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9. Re: LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

We always best cope with our jetlag driving a not too long distance shortly after arrival like LA-Seki ;-)

Manchester, United...
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10. Re: LA to Yosemite NP via Sequoia NP?

I think I'm going to have to miss it out this time :( We do want to see a bit of LA so I think we're pushing it with just 1 day.

Looks like I might have to settle for Mariposa Grove instead. Which I'm sure will be amazing anyway.