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Not that into hiking, best options for family trip out West?

Cypress, Texas
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235 posts
29 reviews
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Not that into hiking, best options for family trip out West?

We just love scenery, soak it in. I love to walk, usually flat walk 25 miles a week..but hardcore hiking is out if it entails challenges to the knees...bout with seizures in college messed mine up. We like to relax on vacations because we are busy and active most the year. Want to spend 7 days hitting Yosemite and Sequoyahs...any suggestions for a family that just likes to see stuff and maybe hike 1-2 miles a day? Don't mind driving, just have no clue best spots to hit by wheels...oh and we could all bike as long as it is not too steep. :) can go May or August. Three teenagers 15-18 and mom/dad.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Not that into hiking, best options for family trip out West?

Are you planning for 2014 or 2015?

Some hikes with little elevation gain include

Valley Floor Loop Trail (get away from the crowds in Yosemite Valley, 13+ miles but do any piece of it)

Taft Point - Pohono Trail - Sentinel Dome Loop (on Glacier Point Road, views!, 4+ miles)

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (there is a little bit of elevation gain, 3-6 miles)

Twin Bridges / Lyell Canyon (in Tuolumne Meadows, can swim in the river or dip toes, miles of fairly flat walking along the river)

Glen Aulin (in Tuolumne Meadows, maybe 5 or 6 miles out there & the same back)

Pothole Dome (in Tuolumne Meadows)

Tenaya Lake (in Tuolumne Meadows, hike around the lake & swim there too!)

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Although waterfalls are better in May and crowds are lighter, the high country trails are not really accessible (slushy, buggy, or road even closed.) I prefer August for hiking.

If you're considering adding Kings Canyon and/or Sequoia NP, ask on that forum. SEquoia KIngs Canyon SEKI tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g143050-i904-Sequo…

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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10,984 posts
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2. Re: Not that into hiking, best options for family trip out West?

And in Sequoia, lots of flat hikes, short and long. Log/Crescent Meadow. Congress Trail. Tokopah Falls. Round Meadow. The trail from Crescent Meadow back to Moro Rock. And the trailhead in Dorst that goes to the John Muir Grove contains mostly flat. In Kings Canyon, Zumwalt Meadow walk is flat. Enough to keep you walking for quite a while (there are even more...those are the most popular/accessible).

San Antonio, Texas
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3. Re: Not that into hiking, best options for family trip out West?

Going around Tenaya Lake is a spectacular level walk in August. Or a spectacular freezing wade in May.

San Antonio, Texas
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4. Re: Not that into hiking, best options for family trip out West?

With 7 days Sequoia / Kings Canyon is a must. The Giant Forest is so impressive. As for when to go, if you like high mountain views August is a better bet than May since in May you have no guarantees that Glacier Point nor Tuolumne Meadows will be accessible. But if you're more into waterfalls then it has to be May unless you go in a really high snow year like 2011. Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall are a lot less impressive in August. If you go in August, circling Tenaya Lake is a spectacular level walk with scenery everywhere. In fact, my favorite Ansel Adams photo was taken there:

yosemite.ca.us/library/…tenaya_lake.jpg

But I don't think it's really doable in May for us warm-blooded mammals (picture a freezing cold wade).

5. Re: Not that into hiking, best options for family trip out West?

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