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16 nights in Californian National Parks

London, United...
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16 nights in Californian National Parks

Hi all

I am planning a trip for the last 2 weeks of September 2012 and would appreciate some input to my itinerary........we will be flying in to SF and considering a 3 night stay before driving on to the Big Oak Flat area for 2 nights to explore the Tioga Pass/Tuolumne Meadows before continuing on to Eastern Sierra Nevada via Tioga Pass.

Our plan is then to travel down to Death Valley on to Sequoia & Kings before returning to Yosemite Valley for 3 nights.

We would like to finish with 2 nights in the area of Monterey before returning to SF for our flight home.

With the itinerary as it stands at the moment we have 6 nights for Eastern Sierra Nevada/Death Valley/ SEKI - can anyone suggest good bases for 2 nights at each of these areas?

London, United...
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1. Re: 16 nights in Californian National Parks

We're heading off this autumn and after much research have selected Bishop for Eastern Sierra, Furnace Creek Ranch for DV, and Wuksachi Lodge for SEKI. Very much looking forward to our trip, enjoy planning yours!

Cuenca, Ecuador
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2. Re: 16 nights in Californian National Parks

I'd recommend Mammoth Lakes/June Lake area for your first stop, and Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park for your second location. I've stayed at Furnace Creek Inn many times during my days on tour with international visitors - including ones from the UK - and folks from your country have enjoyed the stay there.

As far as SEKI goes, I have no particular recommendation as I've only stayed overnight there a few times. I will say that if you were to stop by and visit Hume Lake, you would find food and such available and at very reasonable cost (it's a private Christian retreat area, but outside visitors are very welcome to come and spend time there).

London, United...
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3. Re: 16 nights in Californian National Parks

Thanks IAB123

Have a great trip :)

Thanks Underdog_SPP, there will be a big emphaisis on hiking during our trip - are there good day hikes in the Mammoth/June lakes area?

Cuenca, Ecuador
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for California Desert
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4. Re: 16 nights in Californian National Parks

You are very welcome, peachy62. Hiking? Tons! Let's see. . .

Devil's Postpile National Monument. One of my favorite shorter hikes to see some spectacular volcanic lava flows.

You can always walk around June Lake and Silver Lake, but these are more known for fishing than hiking.

Further south, there's always Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in all of the lower 48 states. That is the day hike of all day hikes, if you are in condition to do it.

The Alabama Hills near Lone Pine are great for getting the legs worked out, with several trails in the area. Great scenery where many western films have been shot, and continue to shoot on location.

San Diego...
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Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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6. Re: 16 nights in Californian National Parks

I don't know what the situation for September 2012 will be. I prefer Sequoia as a base, but there are some great trails out of Road's End in King's Canyon. Sequoia has two main campgrounds that are at altitude and near redwoods: Lodgepole and Dorst. Unfortunately, Dorst closes at Labor Day but I believe Lodgepole will be open (this year it's partly closed, I think for renovation).

We are staying Stony Creek Campground this year - and exploring the NF campgrounds. We like Big Meadow. You might like Azalea or Princess - but be sure to pick a campground above 6000 feet if you can:

nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

Check out the lower part of the page for the NF campgrounds - less developed, but more availability - most will be first come/first serve.

London, United...
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7. Re: 16 nights in Californian National Parks

Thanks again Underdog :)

Mt Whitney is not a viable option unfortunately but I can manage a reasonable hike eg did Peek a Boo trail, Bryce & Observation Point, Zion in 2010 without any difficulties and happy to spend a full day on the trails.

Thanks CookieDartmou... I am not planning on camping, more looking at lodges or B&Bs/motels, but suggestions for the general area to be looking for stop overs is appreciated :)

San Diego...
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8. Re: 16 nights in Californian National Parks

You will have a great view of Mt. Whitney from Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills. If you wanted an even closer view you could drive up to Whitney Portal. But the view is still great from Lone Pine - especially when the morning sun from the east illuminates the mountain. My neighbors ate at Alabama Hills Cafe and said it was very good.

London, United...
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9. Re: 16 nights in Californian National Parks

Thanks

I have been doing some tweeking and at present itinerary goes like this:

3 nights SF; 4 nights Yosemite; 1 night Mammoth Lakes; 1 night Lone Pine; 1 night Death Valley; 3 nights SEKI; 1 night Cambria; 2 nights Monterey....how does that sound?

10. Re: 16 nights in Californian National Parks

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