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  1. Default Need advise on first Time Road Trip [May 21 - May 27, 2008]

    Hi,

    Thanks for such a great forum with wealth of information on various road trips. I read couple of threads and was really amazed on the depth of knowledge you guys possess and the experience you have gathered so far. I have visited several places in the last 2 years i have been here, but they were mostly conducted sight-seeing,hotels,cities. I have been very interested on a roadtrip ever since, but did not have the courage or strength to. Please note, i will be doing the trip alone as it has been very difficult to find likeminded persons (bachelors) in my community.

    I am taking off days on 22nd and 23rd and intend to utilize the long weekend. I am ok with leaving early on May 21st. Fact that i own a age-old 93 Civic; i want to take the cheapest rental car available [like a Kia Rio or Hyundai Accent, dont mind even if its manual too].

    I live at San Jose, and I initially planned from San Jose to Fresno, take H-180, Kings Canyon, Generals Highway, Sequoia National Park, 395, 190/Death Valley, Mojave. I think this will be insane for a first time roadtripper and I will end up not enjoying anything.

    I am intending to cut short, but am clueless as to what will be best suitable for me. Wanted to do some small hikes/treks [2-5 miles] at Kings Canyon and/or Sequoia.

    My key motive is to get hang of a a road trip, understand the difficulties, enjoy nature, enjoy driving, to the most important, some hilly roads and desert stretches.

    Please advise.

    And, thanks a lot for all the information available on this forum.

    - Abhijit

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default plenty

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    For the rental car, simply look around for the best price you can find on an economy car. You really won't get a say in what kind you have, you'll just get the smallest thing they have on the lot (which could be larger than an economy). I don't know of anyone in the US who rents manuals, except in some specific specialty cars and SUVs, so its pretty much a lock that you'll get an automatic.

    As far as where to go, I don't see why you couldn't do a trip like you've sketched out. Other than the detail that you can't get directly from Sequoia National Park to 395, you're taking about a trip that is very feasable to achieve within your timeframe. These threads will have more ideas and specifics about the wide range of popular trips starting from the Bay Area.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    As far as where to go, I don't see why you couldn't do a trip like you've sketched out. Other than the detail that you can't get directly from Sequoia National Park to 395, you're taking about a trip that is very feasable to achieve within your timeframe. These threads will have more ideas and specifics about the wide range of popular trips starting from the Bay Area.
    Thanks Mike for your response. Well, I did look at this thread specially the one from SF-Yosemite-DeathValley-Vegas which is already a sticky on this board. However, i did not want to touch Vegas and have been on a Yosemite conducted trip [and wanted to do just the Yosemite trip alone including a camp some weekend in June].

    What is the best scenic way to take from Sequioa to Death Valley. CR-101 how is that ? Shouldnt i be spending more time at Kings and Sequioa ... just trying to know from yor experiences.

  4. Default Stuck !!

    Well, i have kind of re-routed my plan considering Tioga pass is opening today. But, stuck on the way to Sequoia. I have been reading the posts and J41 looks to be very interesting. I will be in a economy rental car [Hyundai Accent/Nissan Versa]. How safe it is to drive these cars off Nine Miles Canyon Road then to Sherman then to J41. Are they paved ? I am a semi-experienced hill driver in manual transmission cars. [On a rating of 1 to 10 i will rate myself 5]

    Other questions :-

    A. Does my Yosemite trip look too much to drive ? < Not doing any hiking >
    B. How do i enter and come out (drive) to Bristlecone from 168 ?
    C. Read that is it not suggested to drive street/rental cars upto Scotty's Castle ?


    5/22 --> Home -- CA152 - CA99 - CA145 - CA41 -- Glacier Point -- 223 miles

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=e...8,0.05373&z=15

    5/22 --> Glacier Point -- Curry Village -- 30 miles

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=e...6&ie=UTF8&z=14

    5/22 --> Curry Village -- Lake View Lodge, Lee Vining -- 76 miles

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=e...9,0.85968&z=11

    5/22 Night Stay @ LakeView Lodge
    5/23 Day visit to Moon Lake and after drive visit Bristlecone Forest [?? How do i enter and come out (drive) to Bristlecone from 168 ?]
    5/23 Night Stay @ Motel6, Beatty
    5/24 Death Valley [Furnace Creek,Stove Pile Wells, intend to hike @ Furnace Creek]. --> Read that is it not suggested to drive street/rental cars upto Scotty's Castle ?

    --> Lake View Hotel, Lee Vening Hotel To E168 (visit Bristlecone Forest) To Motel 6 (Beatty) To Furnace Creek via 95,373,190 To StovePipe Wells Area, To Lone Pine (Best Western Hotel)

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=e...41&ie=UTF8&z=9

    5/24 Night Stay @ Best Western, Lone Pine
    5/25 Day visit to Panamint Springs Area
    5/25 Start driving towards Sequoia

    Now, the interesting part, on which i asked the question above. Please advise, on Nine Miles Canyon/Sherman/J41 into Seqouia National Park

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=e...7,0.42984&z=12

    I will then take Generals Highway into Kings, intend to some hiking, and head back home via Fresno / I5


    Thx
    Abhijit

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default All paved

    Quote Originally Posted by abhijitz View Post
    How safe it is to drive these cars off Nine Miles Canyon Road then to Sherman then to J41. Are they paved ?
    All of the roads are paved -- some have potholes, but really, a very nice drive.
    A. Does my Yosemite trip look too much to drive ? < Not doing any hiking >
    Looks fine.
    B. How do i enter and come out (drive) to Bristlecone from 168 ?
    It is paved road - here is the access info.
    C. Read that is it not suggested to drive street/rental cars upto Scotty's Castle ?
    Weird. Again, it is all paved roads,

    Mark

  6. Default

    Thanks very much Mark. Your advice has been really helpful. I will plan out the rest of my trip and update.

    At Johnsondale, i could not find accomodations, though am yet to research on it a bit. Is it Ok to spend the night in the car at Sequoia if i get a camping spot ? I really did not think of doing much of camping during my first road trip. I may just continue on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Should be fine

    Is it Ok to spend the night in the car at Sequoia if i get a camping spot ?
    As long as you're paying for a campsite, they really don't care if you're in a tent or sleeping in your car. I've done it a couple of times over the years myself if I've gotten in after dark and haven't wanted to disturb others by putting my tent up in the dark.

  8. Default RoadTrip Update

    So far so good. I have experienced and been amazed far more than i was expecting. The beauty of nature is scintillating. Everything went fine as planned except

    1. At Bristlecone Forest, it was snowing hard hence the visitor center was closed. Drive on 168 was awesome
    2. From 168 took the Death Valley Road into Death Valley. It should have never have been attempted in a basic car. It took me 4 hours to cross the stretch. I felt that the axle was about to pop out anytime. But it was real thrill.
    3. To my dismay, Sherman Pass Road was closed. But, i still went up until Kearne Campground and the drive was great. Wish the Pass would have been opened. Locals say another 2 weeks.
    4. Thus, i took 178 into Lake Isabella and it was another great view. Went up to Johnsondale, but missed Mcnally's as they were not opening until 4 PM and i reached there at 2 PM. Came down to Porterville via 190. One of the best winding roads i have evern been (though it was raining a lot).

    I thus have 1 day left to visit Sequioa and King Canyon NP and will head via 198. Wish the weather is good tomorrow.

    Special thanks to Mark who has provided the guidance i required. Thanks to Judy about the information on "sleeping in car" at campsites. Worth mention about the forum which has tons of information, and it helped me plan the complete trip easily. This has been a real experience in my lifetime on my first roadtrip. Wish it would have involved more of camping and hiking. Defintely, will do more of that in the next roadtrip am planning for the fall season.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default thanks for sharing

    Thanks for sharing your trip so far, it sounds like you are having a great time.

    I too have enjoyed the trip from Lake Isabella to Johnsondale, and then back down into the Central Valley at Porterville. Actually, one of my all time favorite camping sites was just a little spot off the side of the road going up to Johnsondale, a nice quiet spot in the woods, with an easy walk to the road, and best of all, it was a dispersed area within the national forest, so the spot was totally free!

    Hopefully you'll share more of your trip after your trip up into Sequoia.

  10. Default Final Day .. Sequoia to King Canyon

    Sorry for not updating the final day of the trip soon. Got very busy at work after i came back.

    Well, the weather was not good, and it was cloudy all day. I was bit skeptical about how to spend the day at the parks. I headed down 190-65-198 into the park. Intention was to go via Generals' Highway, to Crystal Cave, to Sherman Tree, do the 4 mile hike, and then continue to King Canyon. As expected, General's Highway was covered with fog and the visibility was very poor. I cancelled the hike but visited the places en-route. At King Canyon, a ranger told me that weather at Cedar Grove was clear and so indeed it was. I spent some time walking by the Roaring River, took several pictures, and continued my way back home (via 180). It was already 6 PM and due to poor visibilty on the mountain roads i decided to come down soon.

    Hopefully, i can visit the duo parks on a clear day and it will have more to reveal as indicated everywhere.

    Overall, this has been a great first roadtrip with tons of experiences. I intend to plan ahead and do more camping and hiking in the next roadtrips. Thanks again for the wonderful information.

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