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  1. Default SF-Sequoia NP - Vegas Late November with toddlers

    Hi, I'm driving from San Fran to Vegas Thanksgiving week with my toddlers and husband in a rental van, and would really love to visit the Sequoia National Park en route. If it were possible I'd also like to see Carmel/Monterrey/Big Sur. (I had wanted to go to Tahoe or Yosemite but gave up on that idea given the Tioga Pass closing and concern about needing snow tires.)

    We'll have four days - 3 nights to get from San Francisco to Vegas -leaving Sunday 11/18 and arriving Wednesday 11/21.

    If anyone has any ideas about the best route to go (and where to stay nights of 11/18, 11/19 and 11/20) I would appreciate it. Ideally I'd like to try to stay two nights in the same place as it's hard with little kids to move around so much.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A busy weekend on the road

    Quote Originally Posted by klappera View Post
    Hi, I'm driving from San Fran to Vegas Thanksgiving week with my toddlers and husband in a rental van, and would really love to visit the Sequoia National Park enroute.
    Is this a moving van? Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Since this is, without question, the heaviest road trip weekend of the year, I would suggest you pass on the Carmel/Monterey/Big Sur section for this trip. Snow will be a possibility for Sequoia as well. Here is a great thread that discusses possible routes (it was originally posted for a spring trip, but works for Thanksgiving too). And this one for more info about Sequoia.
    Also here are some tips for holiday travel.
    And some tips for planning a family trip!

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    378

    Default Southern Attractions Instead?

    Hi,

    As you know, you've picked an unreliable time of year to visit high altitude attractions in a rental van. If the weather in Sequoia is good (their website says that snow is possible in November), you can visit there but remember that the road south out of the park is not recommended for vehicles longer than 22 feet. That makes the trip to Las Vegas rather indirect. While Sequoia isn't exactly close to Las Vegas, it could be a good trip for a long weekend - a day to get there, a day to explore, and a day to go home.

    An alternative to the mountains might be to visit Death Valley or Joshua Tree national parks. Both are almost on the way and have accommodations in the park, or nearby. And both are great places to visit in early winter.

    To see Carmel/Monterey from the Bay Area it is only about two hours down Hwy 101, or 2.5 hours on Hwy 1 so why not make it a long weekend. Drive down Friday and come back late Sunday or Monday. We used to do it once a year from SF and it was a wonderful getaway trip.

    Good luck with the trip,

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  4. Default

    Hi Editor and Red Corral - thanks for your responses.

    No, it's actually not a moving van, it's one of those 7-seater family vans :-) which we're gong to rent. It's just new to me since I still like my Honda accord even though it's small and I have two car seats in it.

    I hear you on the risk of snow around the Sequoias, thank you - that's too bad - I had so wanted my children to walk among the trees.

    I'll do some research on Death Valley and Joshua Tree too.

    Do you have any recommendations for other places with really cool trees?

    Thanks,
    Alison

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Mariposa Grove in Yosemite

    Quote Originally Posted by klappera View Post
    I hear you on the risk of snow around the Sequoias, thank you - that's too bad - I had so wanted my children to walk among the trees.
    We are in an extended drought -- it is very likely that both Sequoia and Yosemite will still be snow-free at Thanksgiving and I would suggest you plan to go to the Mariposa Grove at the southern end of the park. Here is the local phone you can use to check on current road conditions: 209-372-0200 (press 1 then 1)

    After you and your children have walked among these giant trees (many of whom are 3200 years old!!!!) you can decide what route you want to follow to reach Las Vegas.

    Look at this page for a photo of just one of these trees!

    Mark

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