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I need your advice.

Miami, Florida
8 posts
1 review
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I need your advice.

Hi all,

My brother is about to be deployed to the Middle East next month, so we're going to do an awesome 10 day BROadtrip through California.

Quick intinerary summary:

Day 1: Friday, May 3, - Arrive in San Fran at 11PM

Day 2: Saturday, May 4, - See San Fran

Day 3: Sunday, May 5, - Drive to Jedediah Smith Redwoods via the PCH

Day 4: Monday, May 6, - Stay in Jed Smith

Day 5: Tuesday, May 7, - Drive to Lake Tahoe

Day 6: Wednesday May 8, Lake Tahoe to Yosemite

Day 7: Thursday, May 9, - See Yosemite

Day 8: Friday, May 10, - Yosemite to Sequioa Nat

Day 9: Saturday, May 11 - See Sequoia / Kings Canyon

Day 10: Sunday, May 12 - Drive back to San Fran and depart that evening

Since many of you know these places inside and out, maybe you can tell us the best way to tackle this trip. If we need to stay longer somewhere, skip somewhere...where to camp, where NOT to camp! I read about getting wilderness permits and camping on the trailheads. How is that?

please let me know!

I keep reading conflicting things regarding Yosemite and Sequioa, specifically which one to skip, how long it takes to see, etc.

Obviously Yosemite is pretty awesome, but everyone keeps talking how the crowds are a bummer. Or, should we skip Yosemite altogether, and spend more time in Sequioa? Vice versa? Skip Tahoe altogther?

What are we primarily looking for in this trip? We are both quite active and love hardcore hikes, caving, swimming holes & and being as secluded as possible.

I am open to any and all suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

Edited: 10 April 2013, 06:41
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
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58,010 posts
113 reviews
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1. Re: I need your advice.

A Wilderness Permit is needed in Yosemite to backpack into the backcountry. A campsite reservation is needed to camp at a campground in the front country. Which is it that you hope to do? May is very early to backpack in the Sierra; you'd have to be selective about trails or choose low elevation options.

So Cal
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8,627 posts
74 reviews
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2. Re: I need your advice.

Re Jedediah Smith - that's outside Crescent City, right up at the Oregon border. Absolutely gorgeous! However, people familar with Hwy 1 on that stretch of the coast say you need an overnight - it's narrow and twisty, and you probably can't get there in a single day. Google thinks you can do it in 9hrs, but I dunno...Is it worth it to just zoom through without time to get out of the car and see or do anything? We took the 101 the whole way from the Bay area, and it was still at least a 6 hour drive (drive time only, not counting stops). We did make a longish stop in Humboldt Redwoods SP.

Jed Smith is gorgeous, but also look into Prairie Creek, Del Norte Coast or even Humboldt Redwoods. A little bit closer, plenty of hiking.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
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52,292 posts
423 reviews
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3. Re: I need your advice.

As an Indian once said to Bart Simpson, "that's crazy talk". :)

Drive 6 hours plus to Jed Smith for an overnight then drive 5 hours to Tahoe the next?

http://goo.gl/maps/fyZF9

I'd skip Jedidiah Smith and go directly to Lake Tahoe.

How long to spend? You could spend a week in SF, a week in Yosemite, a week in Lake Tahoe and a week and a week at SEKI and just scratch the surface in each place.

I would prioritize what is most important and spend the time in those areas.

Los Angeles...
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1,267 posts
101 reviews
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4. Re: I need your advice.

I've been to both Yosemite and SEKI. Yosemite is truly amazing. The thing that really gets me about SEKI though is the giant sequoias. Yes, they have some at Yosemite, but the biggest ones are at SEKI. And they are huge awe-inspiring, living things! They are magical! So I say go to both parks - you'll be glad you did.

So Cal
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8,627 posts
74 reviews
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5. Re: I need your advice.

Well, he's actually got two nights in Jed Smith, but it's still a flying visit bracketed by long drives. If you want to see coast redwoods, perhaps consider one of the parks closer to SF? Or as Koda suggested, spend the time in SeKi instead. Giant sequoias are indeed awesome from any angle.

Miami, Florida
8 posts
1 review
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6. Re: I need your advice.

Wow, thanks for all the input, you guys.

Yes, we're staying 2 nights in Jed Smith.

I had thought about going to some place like Humboldt, (which still might happen), in lieu of Jed Smith.

I'm so undecided on all of this. :(

San Francisco, Ca
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14,534 posts
74 reviews
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7. Re: I need your advice.

You pretty much need to spend more time everywhere! If that's not possible, pare down your destinations so you have time to actually enjoy hiking, caving, etc. (By the way, I doubt you'll be wanting to swim anywhere in these areas at this time of year -- the snow will barely be melted in the mountains...)

8. Re: I need your advice.

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