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  1. #1

    Default Our big adventure...

    our family of four is travelling to california in july and august this year for just over three weeks. The kids have never been to the states before and the adults have never been to the west coast ! We are trying to create an itinery with a good mix of activity and relaxation to keep everyone happy and would welcome comments.
    plan so far:
    4 nights SF
    3nights in yosemite
    1 night ? .....we awere thinking sequoia but perhaps too far?
    1 night death valley
    3 nights vegas
    1 night grand canyon
    3 nights LA
    and then five nights on the coast to get us back to a final night in Sf before flying home..


    would love to hear any thoughts and suggestions for the missing night and a couple of good stops on the coast for a family ...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default options

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Sequoia is a pretty short distance from Yosemite, certainly close enough to drive from one to the other in a day. The potential problem is that from there it gets a little tough to get to Death Valley. From Yosemite, you can use Tioga Pass to cross the Sierra. From Sequoia National Park, you don't have that direct option.

    I will say that as great as Death Valley is, the scortching hot temperatures in July might not make it a place that your family will fully enjoy.

    One thing does stand out as a bit odd. You are giving yourself a very healthy amount of time for almost all of the stops on your trip, but you are only spending one night at the Grand Canyon. Considering the Canyon is 5 hours from Vegas, and 8-10 to Los Angeles, plus its just a very cool place to explore, I think I'd spend at least another night there. You've certainly got enough time where you could steal a day from one of your other spots and still be just fine.

  3. #3

    Default

    slip of the finger ... we have two nights at the grand canyon!


    Thanks for your input:
    ...so do you think we should stick with sequoia It wouldn't be so bad having a driving day at that point..?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Very relaxed.

    Hi there,
    Great trip, Great area !

    Sequoia is certainly an option for you, it's just a bit out of the way as the Tioga pass [HWY 120] is very scenic and a big part of experiencing Yosemite and the most popular route to Death Valley.
    However with the time you have in Yosemite you could take a day trip over Tioga to Mono Lake and back again before heading for Sequoia. While you are in Yosemite make sure you take the drive up to Glacier point, it's spectacular !
    If you wanted to drop Sequoia there is a giant grove of Sequoias at Wawona but nowhere near as spectacular as in the Giants Forest and the General Sherman tree, which is the largest living thing on earth, and the drive is also spectacular.

    If you have concerns about the heat in Death Valley then an option from Sequoia would be to continue South on the 198 [Generals Highway] through Exeter on the 65 and then take the mountain road to Camp Nelson and then through Johnsondale to Kernville and Lake Isabella. Again a spectacular drive that takes you through the Sequoia N.M. and past the Trial of 100 giants, a secluded grove of Sequoias and lovely walk, but it's slow going. The reason I mentioned this is that it would be possible to stop in the Kernville area and drive through Death Valley the following day direct to Vegas, making stops at view points and Furnace creek for short visits on foot and seeing the rest of this fantastic landscape from the comfort of your air-con cooled car. [Well worth it]

    Of course, you have the option of visiting Sequoia first and then heading over the Tioga pass or skip the mountain road to Kernville and head straight into Death Valley.

    Any more questions just ask.

  5. #5

    Default

    thanks for this...I've had more useful info in the last 24 hours than a month of googling!! We realised that DV will be v. hot but were thinking of using one evening and early morning - overnighting in stovepipe. We are back at the map now mulling over your other suggestions...

    Still can't decde where to stay on the LA - SF return we have 5 nights in total along highway 1 and the kids would like to do some (novice) surfing other than that we're just after some r&r ... any suggestions?


    Also for the journey above is it worth the extra cost of a SUV over a sedan?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default why

    Unless you simply think you'll be more comfortable in an SUV or you found a great deal, I certainly wouldn't waste the money. A sedan should be plenty big to comfortably carry your family, and a rental car contract doesn't allow an SUV to be driven on any road that a regular sedan can't travel, so there really is not big advantage that I can think of.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Some links

    Still can't decde where to stay on the LA - SF return we have 5 nights in total along highway 1 and the kids would like to do some (novice) surfing other than that we're just after some r&r ... any suggestions?
    Here's a couple of links with some good info; The Beaches and other places of interest.

  8. #8

    Default

    Right with all your help I think we've got there...

    4 nights SF
    3 nights in yosemite
    1 night grant grove village -sequoia
    1 night death valley
    3 nights vegas
    1 night grand canyon
    3 nights LA ( 1 day travel, 1 day LA, 1 day Universal)
    2 nights in a yurt on big sur
    1 night carmel
    2 nights santa cruz (so the kids get their surfing!)
    and then back to SF for a final night (with tickets to see the Giants)

    ....now if that doesn't make up for the wet camping and flooded tent in yorkshire last summer I don't know what will!

    I'm really grateful for all the advice and assistance !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default looks good.

    The Lenton's are in for a real treat !

    The thing I would try and change is the 1 night in G/C. It'll take 5 hours or so to get there from Vegas and around 9 hours to get to L/A not really leaving you time to do the canyon justice. I would at least want a large part of the next day there and stop somewhere overnight on the way to L/A.
    Looking at your itinerary I would think leaving San Fran midday'ish after your 3rd night would push your itinerary forward but of course the decision is yours.

    Have a great time but if you have any other questions just ask.

  10. #10

    Default whoops!

    ...done it again, we are already staying two nights at the grand canyon my head knows it's just my fingers letting me down! All booked now ... so planning over for a couple of months we'll be back looking at details nearer the time, thanks again for all the help!

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