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  1. Default Help please....5 days in Northern California

    What a great site. I have been reading as much as I can and will continue to do so. I would like to ask a couple of quesitons. My husband and I are trying to take in as many national parks as we can. I was thinking of flying out from Denver and trying to see Yosemite, Sequoia and King's Canyon for 5 days (a long weekend) next May.
    Is it still to cold in May or is that a fine time to go (early May)?
    Is it possible to do all of these and see them that quickly. We don't mind little hikes but don't need a ton of "hiking" time. Just experience the beauty.
    It is obviously a lot cheaper to fly into San Fran or San Jose but we could do the closer airports for about double the price. Should we suck it up and do it?
    It is just my husband and me (we finally get the message that our teens are not particularly interested in beauty....go figure!) who are in our early 40s.
    Can you suggest a route/itinerary for me to get me started in the research.
    I know Death Valley is right there also (another National check off). Is it something you have to pretty much drive through to experience? I would imagine it is but just checking. Not probably interested in going to Las Vegas unless someone talks us into it. we are from Denver and have been there many times.
    Anything I am not thinking of? (I would love to see San Fran again but have been there so if I need the time elsewhere that is fine. We are really flexible.
    Thanks for your advise!

  2. Default

    Hi. I will not address all your questions because I am not from Cali, hopefully somebody more experienced can help you there, but I would like to suggest a few things,

    First, I would fly to San Jose or SFO and drive, it's way cheaper to fly in there and it's a great drive anyway. If you are tight on money, there is a car rental place at San Jose airport called Fox Rent a car, they are unbelievably cheap. I rented from them for like 19 bucks a day literally, and it's unlimited mileage. I had to pay an extra fee because I am under 25, but you won't have that problem. They are the cheapest car rental place I've ever seen. I wouldn't pay more for the extra ticket because it's only about, what 6 hours drive? to get to the northern Cali border from SFO? That's how I remember it am I wrong there? anyone else can give suggestion there. It's a great drive to.

    I did north Cali in May and personally its a great time. Wheather is wonderful, actually I all ready felt it on the hot side in Oregon when I did my hiking in some places! just take a jacket and you will be more than fine. I remember a little rain here and there, but nothing bad. It rained me out when I was hiking but it was really wonderful still. I slept in my car during that whole time and never even covered up with a blanket in the middle of the night because the temp was just right.

    I really wanted to recommend to you one place in North Cali I hope you don't miss: the Shasta Dam and Shasta lake. I just posted about this ironically in another section hoping to tell people about it. It's not this nationwide place that is known but it is breathtaking. It is free, they even give a free tour. There are possibly few places that are so beautiful! I don't know how to describe it in words! It's just a few miles out of Redding California, which is right there in central northern California. Redding too is a nice little town with a place called Turtle Bay which has a cool bridge called the Sundial bridge, it's definetely worth the drive if you go out to Shasta lake. but I just didn't want you to miss this place, I find Shasta Dam and the Lake both to be amazing places that I will never forget in my life!

    Hey good luck on your travels! I think 5 days by the way is more than enough time! I went half way across the country in 5 days and still had so much fun along the way. With 5 full days you are going to have so much time to enjoy, and not much time driving!
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-21-2010 at 01:09 PM. Reason: Added link

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You can certainly visit those 3 parks in 5 days, but if that is to include your day's of flying in and out, you will have to keep on the move. If you landed in San Jose you could head towards Fresno and Visalia and get on the Generals highway [198] into Sequoia for the night via Three rivers. Working your way North to Cedar grove and Kings canyon the following day and then stop the night around Fresno or Oakhurst. You would then be set up for a couple of days visiting Yosemite before heading back to the airport.

    You can expect the nights to be cold [possibly freezing] at higher elevations in the parks during early May with snow on the ground, and some parts still closed off to traffic because of snowfall. Tioga pass and Glacier point in Yosemite are likely to be affected and Mineral king in Sequoia, later in May would give you more chance of visiting these places and less chance of winter weather conditions. It will be peaceful though and the waterfalls in Yosemite will be at full flow, spectacular !

    Death valley is quite a bit out of the way because of the Sierra mountains standing in the way of a direct route from Seqouia to Death valley. To include that in your trip, you could possibly look at flying into Vegas and out of San Jose or San Fran and do a one way trip.

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