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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Australia
    Posts
    5

    Default OMG - I am so confused - Please help

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to this site and hope you can help, as all my research just gets more in depth the more confused I am getting.

    We are coming to the States with 8 days to play with for a road trip - without kids (10th wedding anniversary)
    We will fly into LA (in July) and plan to go to Yosemite National Park and want to do some activities on the way. We don;t mind hiring a campervan or even camping if we can hire it, we where looking at route 395, but couldn't see much to do on there apart from drive (I could be wrong)

    Any advice we are both in our 30's and fir and healthy and up for white water rafting etc.

    As after this week we intend to chillax for a week somewhere nice.

    Thanks in advance x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default US-Highway 395

    Between LA and Yosemite there is quite a lot to do, you have Giant Sequoia NM, Sequoia NP and Kings Canyon NP. Yosemite itself is worth some time, to really absorb the granduer of this magnificent Park. You could exit via Tioga Pass to visit Mammoth Lake, Mono Lake or some of the other attractions in that area, and return through Yosemite towards SF.

    I take it that you will be returning to LA, and if you are, it would be worth driving the PCH, route 1 along the coast, back to LA. That is a two day drive with lots of attractions along the way. Best done from North to South, as all the pull outs and view points will be on your side. Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur in particular are great attractions.

    The campervans with which we are familiar in Oz, are as rare as hens teeth in the States, and when you do manage to get one, are not cheap to rent. A much cheaper, and possibly more enjoyable option is to go by car with camping gear. You can pick up quite good stuff in the cheaper chain stores, and donate it to a charity at the end of your trip.

    Another option is to go the hostel way. The area you are looking at has a very good selection of hostels, most of which have private rooms. You might like to check out this site.

    I am not aware of any places for white water rafting and such, in this area. It is not an activity in which I partake. However, it won't be long before someone is along with more information.

    Lifey in Melbourne
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-01-2011 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Perhaps Lifey was confused in her title? Corrected title for clarity(?)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Lots of whitewater options in the Sierra

    Starting from the south to the north, there are rafting opportunities on the Kern, Kaweah, Kings, Merced, Toulumne, Stanislaus, and American Rivers. There are other rivers north of Sacramento, but it doesn't sound like you're going that far.

    There are dozens of licensed commercial outfits providing various types of tours over various time periods through various classes of rapids on these rivers. As short as half-day to multi day. Float trips through Class IV rapids.

    Your best bet, absent somebody chiming in with a recommendation, is to search around the Internet for what looks best for your tastes, location and timetable. You may want to contact a few directly to understand what the water flow situation is liable to be when you take your trip. That will impact the class of rapids on the river, and even if they will be running at all (too high or to low water flow).

    Many of these close down by July (not all), but with the large amount of snow this year the season may run later. Even so, some will have trips through September (lower class of rapids/float trips).

    Other than that, you should plan on doing some hiking in the National Parks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default I've kayaked a few of them

    Most of the folks I used to kayak with have too sore knees and joints to still be running their companies, but Don is correct -- there are dozens and dozens of rafting companies in the Sierra Nevadas. This year is an epic year for whitewater -- snow melt is amazing.

    I'll look at your timetable and see I have any personal recommendations in those areas.

    And actually I highly recommend that you do use US-395 to follow the eastern slope of the Sierra as your approach to Yosemite Valley!

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Hiking option off 395

    Take the shuttle bus from Mammoth Lakes to Devils Postpile NM (get off at the campground stop) and hike along the upper reaches of the San Joaquin river down to the Postpile itself. Make sure to take the spur to the top of the 'postpile' to see the pavement formed by the top of the basalt columns. Continue on down to Rainbow Falls.

    Hike back to Reds Meadow to pick up the shuttle bus back. There is a small pack station/hikers store and cafe' there where you can cool your heals waiting for the next bus.

    Make sure you check bus schedules beforehand. Figure at least a half day to do this, but the scenery is spectacular. (This was my final 'training' hike prior to my Mt. Whitney hike the following day several years back). You're going to be at almost 8000' feet elevation, so take it easy as you will NOT be used to the lack of oxygen. You'll also want to slather on lots of sunscreen, carry some water, and wear a hat and sunglasses.

    Mammoth Lakes itself is a two season resort area (winter skiing, summer boating/fishing), and is a decent overnight option.

    The NPS Website for Devil's Postpile has some good hints on how to manage the altitude.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Australia
    Posts
    5

    Default Thank you another thing

    Thank you - I am really surprised that there are no Winnebago's. Can you help with any nice inn's or reasonable accommodation along the way? Mammoth Lakes and the dog sledding looks awesome. Would you stay in Yosemite ?

    So route north from LA up route 395 back down the coastal road any great stops you can recommend ( I am happy to help you for oz and the uk)

    Thanks x

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Carrianne View Post
    Thank you - I am really surprised that there are no Winnebago's.
    There is no shortage of Winnebagos in the US, but they are not 'campervans', which was your initial questions. You are looking at mobile homes, or the larger campers. The campervan you typically see in Australia, is not common in North America.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Australia
    Posts
    5

    Default thank you

    thank you everyone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Australia
    Posts
    5

    Default LA (Six flags) Vegas - Twin Lakes - Yosemite - Cetral Coast drive and stay back to LA

    Hello again everyone,

    We intend to fly into LA from Australia stay 1 night after 6 flags magic mountain then hire an RV drive to Vegas stay the night - Head up to Mammoth Lakes and stay 2 nights at Twin Lakes. Then head through to Monterey and stop 3 nights on our way back to LA.

    Which is the best route from Twin lakes to Monterey

    Is this to large or too easy any places you recommend we stop ?

    We love action so will be stopping to go dog sledding and Kayaking, surfing on the Coast but also love scenery and culture.

    Any help and advice would really be appreciated.

    Carrianne x

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-10-2011 at 03:07 AM. Reason: Merged

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default wait

    You only mention 1 night in LA at the start, but then talk about visiting Magic Mountain?

    So it would sound like you either plan to visit Six Flags after getting off a Trans-Pacific flight, or plan to visit Six Flags and then drive to Las Vegas that night?

    In either case, that would really be too much. Six Flags is a lot of fun, but it is big and can be tiring. If you aren't well rested beforehand its really going to be hard to have fun. I'd plan to spend your first night in LA, where you don't do anything other than recover from the flight and the massive time change. Even there, I'd probably hold off on Six Flags until the very end of your trip.

    Additionally, I'm a little confused about asking about going from Twin Lakes to Monterey. I'm assuming the "Twin Lakes" you are talking about are in the Mammoth Area, but you'd previously said you wanted to go to Yosemite. If that is still the case, the obvious choice would be to go from Twin Lakes across Tioga Pass into Yosemite, on the way to Monterey. However, if you actually want to see some of Yosemite, then you really need to either stay right in the Yosemite or just outside the park in a place like Oakhurst. There's just not enough hours in the day to drive from Mammoth to Monterey and have any time left to explore Yosemite.

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