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  1. Default November roadtrip Yosemite->Death Valley->Sequoia.

    Hi.. the week of Nov 3rd to Nov 9th.. I'm planning on taking a road trip with my Family. The planned destinations are:

    SF -> Yosemite -> Death Valley -> Sequoia -> SF

    Do you think this is too far of a distance to cover in 6 days? I'm also concerned about the condition of Tioga Pass Rd during that time of the year. If it ends up being closed, we won't have to time drive around Yosemit and make it to Death Valley. I'm happy to hear you thoughts.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2007
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    Default

    hi there.
    the tioga pass will be touch and go as to wether it is open or not at this time of year.
    if it is open you could do a loop by going across tioga and back around the southern end of the sierras to the sequoias via death valley but it won't leave you a lot of time for relaxing or exploring the areas. you could quite easily spend 3 days in yosemite and it'll only give you time for a quick overview. death valley is a fascinating place and highly recommended,especially if your going on to vegas or grand canyon,but to take the extra drive for it alone, with your time scale,i'm not sure if you'd be better off just sticking to yosemite and sequoias.
    tough choice,but your bound to have a great time whatever you decide.

  3. #3
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    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Default possible

    I think its possible to cover this distance and at least get a good overview of the area. You would certainly be on the cusp of Tioga Pass closing, so that will be something you have to monitor. If its closed, I thing you'd still have time to fit in everything, even if you go all the way down to Bakersfield and around.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the reply.. looking at the map, it looks like the Sequoias were only about 20-30 miles west of DV.. but upon closer inspection, there doesn't seem to be a road that passes thru the mountains.

    I will scratch DV off of the itinerary, really disappointed though since Nov is a very good time to visit that place. Maybe I'll check out Mono Lake if Tioga Pass is open.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by booggerg View Post
    Thanks for the reply.. looking at the map, it looks like the Sequoias were only about 20-30 miles west of DV.. but upon closer inspection, there doesn't seem to be a road that passes thru the mountains.

    I will scratch DV off of the itinerary, really disappointed though since Nov is a very good time to visit that place. Maybe I'll check out Mono Lake if Tioga Pass is open.
    it is a shame but your looking at more like 220-230 miles as opposed to 20-30
    if you get to mono lake and you are hungry check out "whoa nellies deli" which is tucked behind the gas station on the junction of hwy 120 [tioga pass] and hwy 395 at lee vining. it's a pretty basic diner but the food was fantastic!!! you also get a good view of the lake with a short walk up the hill from here. have a great trip!!!

  6. #6
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    Default Sierras

    If it were me, if you're going to cross over the Sierra to get to Mono Lake anyway, I'd try to keep going to Death Valley. Once you've gone that far, its not that much farther to keep going.

    However, I also think you could more than fill up your time just exploring areas on the west side of the Sierras.

    I guess one other option if you did want to go to Mono, without going all the way down to Death Valley, would be to loop up to Lake Tahoe before heading back to SF.

  7. Default Fall trip.. Should I rent RV?

    Doing a 1 week long trip first week of Novemeber.. SF->Yosemite->Sequoia/Kings->SF. There will be 4 of us.

    Reading all the trip reports from people who drove an RV really makes it look enticing. Some concerns I have are:

    1) Cost - How much more $$ really would an RV that can sleep 4 people be compared to a compact SUV, or full size car. Factoring in hotel fees if we didn't have the RV? Also any good RV rental companies you can recommend in the SF area?

    2) We have ZERO experience dealing with RVs.. would operating it for a week prove to be too much hassle and take the fun out of the trip? Thinking about emptying septic tank, showering etc....

    3) Driving a big RV is obviously less fun than a private passenger vehicle.. can we get away with renting an RV that's more in line size wise with a 15 passenger van or conversion van?

    4) Would it be too cold in the first week of November to sleep comfortably in an RV? Are we putting ourselves in risk of contact with bears by sleeping in an RV filled with food?

    Thanks for catering to my noobie questions!

  8. #8
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    Default Maybe not this time.

    Hi there.

    1) Cost - How much more $$ really would an RV that can sleep 4 people be compared to a compact SUV, or full size car. Factoring in hotel fees if we didn't have the RV? Also any good RV rental companies you can recommend in the SF area?
    Financially there will be little in cost with 4 of you, it's more of a lifestyle choice. We used this family run co. who offered good service and overall cost was less than any of the bigger companies. Do not expect to save any money though if anything it can be a dearer option.

    2) We have ZERO experience dealing with RVs.. would operating it for a week prove to be too much hassle and take the fun out of the trip? Thinking about emptying septic tank, showering etc....
    This wasn't a problem for us, it isn't that difficult to top up and empty tanks, and to save doing it to often we used the campground showers and toilets where possible.

    3) Driving a big RV is obviously less fun than a private passenger vehicle.. can we get away with renting an RV that's more in line size wise with a 15 passenger van or conversion van?
    You can get smaller vans but it will feel very cramped, especially this time of year when you might want to spend more time inside during the evenings.

    4) Would it be too cold in the first week of November to sleep comfortably in an RV? Are we putting ourselves in risk of contact with bears by sleeping in an RV filled with food?
    They are equipped with heating but nights can get very cold, although we saw -11 one night we felt quite snug, but the heating can be a bit noisy. Plenty of people do this without hassle from bears, but you mustn't leave anything outside, such as rubbish and left over food.

    Now I have answered your questions, my personal opinion is that given the fact you only have 1 week [and it'll take you a couple of days to adjust to the R.V.] and the time of year you're travelling you would probably be better of sticking to a car and accommodations, especially if it wasn't part of your plans in the first instance.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 08-20-2008 at 02:22 PM. Reason: added title

  9. Default

    Thanks Dave,

    Actually, your trip report was the one I read just today and it really pushed me towards the RV by your words of "home cooked" meal by the camp fire.. I do wish you had stayed more time in Death Valley though - my favorite place to be.

    But I suppose you're right.. adjusting to an RV might be too much of a distraction for us to enjoy our short trip...

  10. #10
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    Default Me too!

    Quote Originally Posted by booggerg View Post
    Thanks Dave,

    Actually, your trip report was the one I read just today and it really pushed me towards the RV by your words of "home cooked" meal by the camp fire.. I do wish you had stayed more time in Death Valley though - my favorite place to be.

    But I suppose you're right.. adjusting to an RV might be too much of a distraction for us to enjoy our short trip...
    To be honest I wish I'd had more time everywhere, but It was a shame we only got to spend a day driving through Death valley, but hey, theres always another day ;-)

    As a personal choice there is no other way I would like to travel, the sense of freedom it offers is something else and I am used to driving large motors and love to drive whatever it is.
    If it appeals to you then I would definitely give it a try in the future.

    Have a great trip!

    Dave
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 08-21-2008 at 01:51 AM. Reason: typo

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