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Itinerary for SF/Yosemite/SequoiaKC/Monterrey in June

Lawndale, North...
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Itinerary for SF/Yosemite/SequoiaKC/Monterrey in June

Hello! I would love it if anyone would give me some input on our trip for June 12-26 next year. We have never been to this area of the US. We are trying to make reservations so the main thing I want to figure out right now is how long to stay in each place :)

June 12: fly into SF, spend night

June 13: drive to Yosemite. Should we stay 4 or 5 nights? We love doing somewhat short day hikes (6 or so miles.) Yosemite is the draw for us coming on the trip, but I want to spend time in Sequoia/Kings Canyon too. Especially if it's just as spectacular and less crowded. I have emailed some places inside Yosemite and found some availability in Yosemite West and Foresta, as well as Fish Camp. Any input on which of those areas to stay would be appreciated, too.

next leg: drive to Kings Canyon/Sequoia. I have not yet learned anything much about this area, except that I want to go! I did read some reviews on Cedar Grove Lodge and John Muir Lodge. I have no idea where to stay in the area, nor really any idea of what to do there yet! I was thinking at least 3 nights there to get a good feel for the area.

next leg: Drive to Carmel/Monterrey. Again, haven't done enough research to know where exactly we want to stay. We love the outdoors and nature so any ideas would be awesome! I know we want to go to Big Sur and maybe stay in some new age retreat-type place. I am a photographer and want to get some great pictures as well.

Last, we will drive back to SF and stay a night or 2 depending on how long we stay everywhere else. We are not much on cities, though I know SF will be really cool. We want to go to Point Reyes, see the Golden Gate bridge. This part of the trip is our least priority, but I know we probably want to stay 2 nights. We are looking at getting an overnight flight back home (North Carolina) so may leave Friday night at like 10 or 11. So we essentially have that whole day and will still have our rental car.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and I appreciate any help!

Fremont, California
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for San Francisco
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1. Re: Itinerary for SF/Yosemite/SequoiaKC/Monterrey in June

For the Yosemite portion, I would book your lodging now. That will be key as summer is very busy and books early. In fact, I would recommend checking today what is available and firm your plans. If nothing is available, there are often cancellations and/or other lodging in the area such as Yosemite West. The places you are already emailing are back-up places if you cannot get one in the park.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm

For Sequoia and Kings Canyon, the drive down to Kings Canyon is dramatic and very scenic. Dramatic meaning that its on a windy mountain road - we were there in October and we encountered rocks in the road; including one very large one that the park rangers had to coordinate moving off the road.

I would recommend spending one night in Kings Canyon as once you get to the bottom there are some spectacular areas to hike around. Do heed the bear warnings in both this area and Yosemite Park. As such, firm up one night at Cedar Grove Lodge....nice rustic lodge by the river. They have limited but ok food servce; if you have specific food needs, bring food in according. Also, GAS UP ...before you get to the park. Gas services are limited to non existent in some seasons in the park.

sequoia-kingscanyon.com/cedargrovelodge.html

Then if the budget allows, I would book two nights at Wuksachi Lodge.

This is centrally located and great place to stay...

http://www.visitsequoia.com/lodging.aspx

In Carmel, Monterey, do plan to drive to Big Sur. I would recommend Treebones Resort - again, popular in the summer, so reserve in advance.

http://www.treebonesresort.com/

(Note: there are other places to stay some very $$$$).

In Monterey/Carmel area be sure to go to Pt. Lobos

http://www.pointlobos.o

For the Pt. Reyes area, you might want to stay close to there, such as Olema Inn.....or if the budget allows,

http://www.theolemainn.com/index.html

Nicks; Cove

http://www.nickscove.com/

(Note: Nick's Cove has a very good restaurant; likewise Olema Inn. The view from Nick's Cove of the bay is very nice.)

For your drive from Monterey/Carmel I would drive Highway 1. Many scenic areas along the way to take pictures. You will be driving across the Golden Gate to get to Pt. Reyes.

Spend 2 nights in this area...(Note: Since you have a full day there, its close enough to drive up to Bodega Bay or over to Sonoma if you so choose).

On the day back to the airport - since you have a full day, stop by Muir Woods

http://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm

and then spend the rest of the day enjoying San Francisco....perhaps Golden Gate Park area since you seem to be outdoor people versus city people.

Have a nice dinner out in San Francisco....leave in time for your red eye flight home.

Fremont, California
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for San Francisco
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2. Re: Itinerary for SF/Yosemite/SequoiaKC/Monterrey in June

A night or two in Big Sur area is fine (if you only spend 4 nights in Yosemite, spend 2 nights here.). The rest of your timing is good.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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3. Re: Itinerary for SF/Yosemite/SequoiaKC/Monterrey in June

Foresta is the closest private property (cabins) to Yosemite Valley. It is well situated to visit the Tuolumne Meadows high country (1+ hr), Yosemite Valley (20 minutes), Glacier Point (1 hr), and Mariposa Grove (1+ hr.) However it might be pretty hot. It's open (not so many shady trees as a result of past fires) and is somewhere around 4,000 to 4,500' elevation. But the location & the views are great!

Yosemite West is closest to Glacier Point and at 6,000' elevation. It would be a bit cooler in temperature, but a longer drive to Tuolumne Meadows.

In my opinion, Fish Camp is too far away. Many folks appreciate the amenities offered at Tenaya Lodge (poolside drink service anyone?) but it isn't something I seek in my National Park experience. Fish Camp is about 10 minutes from Mariposa Grove and at least an hour to any other touristy site.

Good luck making the best lodging choice for you!

4. Re: Itinerary for SF/Yosemite/SequoiaKC/Monterrey in June

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