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  1. #1

    Default Early October Yosemite/Kings/Sequoia Trip

    Hi all, We are arriving from UK to San Fran on Sept 23rd, Staying with family in Livermore for 3 days and heading for a small road trip. We want to do Yosemite and the parks, but really need help with road conditions starting October 3rd. I have heard of Tiaoga Pass. Will that be open. What things should we see, Touristy but also non touristy.We wont be hiking so car access is a must. We have the loan of a cabin in Critter Creek. We are also looking for routes either across or down the National Parks, as we are wanting to end up in Santa Barbara, ( or any other suggestions please ) We are looking for accommodation ( cheapish ) anywhere within The National Parks - but not anywhere to touristy,either cabins, inns, motels etc - as long as there is a bar & restaurant nearby. Is it still quite warm in October. Hope someone can help us with any ideas, routes, trips etc
    Many thanks
    Big El xxxx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    It's always a toss-up every year, whether Tioga Pass will be open in October. It really depends on the snowfall! You have to do a "plan A" for the Pass Open and a "plan B" for Pass Closed. (I've been to Yosemite 3x and have never been able to see that area.)

    Same with the weather -- no one can predict that, in advance either. Bring clothing that you can layer, and you will be fine. Remember, Yosemite is higher in elevation (mountains) than on the seacoast.

    If you're going to try for a place within Yosemite, start NOW. The park lodgings book quickly, and you may get a NO VACANCY now, but you might also get in on someone else's cancellation.


  3. #3


    Many Thanks DonnaR57 . Appreciate your reply. Will deffo have 2 plans. Thanks xxx

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Quite That Easy

    If only one could find cheap, non-touristy, accommodations inside the national parks that were close to a restaurant and bar. Such places, if they existed, would be every RoadTrippers dream and would be fully booked constantly. Unfortunately, they don't exist and you're going to have to decide which of those criteria are more important to you. My wife and I are doing a trip very similar to yours, going to Santa Barbara then Yosemite in late September - early October. For our stay at Yosemite, we are renting a house/cabin just outside the park. You can check out those properties here. Obviously, we chose non-touristy and close to the park over cheap and close to a restaurant/bar.

    We also chose a time of year that too comes with pluses and minuses. There will be fewer tourists in the park; The weather will be iffy - possibly cool and crisp, possibly cold and snowy; The waterfalls will be near minimal flow. Did I mention there will be fewer tourists in the park? That, to me, is huge. You can drive to most of the well known scenic outlooks and get great pictures with minimal hiking. As for which such sites meet your needs, and what else to see and do in the park, there is no better resource than the Rangers at the visitor centers. They are a treasure trove of knowledge and can take the time to listen to your comments and offer sage and personal advice.

    For Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, the cabin in Critter Creek would make a fine base of operations - if it's the Critter Creek I'm thinking of, just east of Fresno. State highways CA-180/CA-198/CA-63 make a nice loop through the two parks and back to the Critter Creek area, so if you have the cabin for two nights you could spend an entire day just wandering through the parks and end up back at 'home'. Again, check in with the rangers as to what suits your tastes and physical constraints.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    To find "cheap" lodging near restaurants and bars anywhere near Yosemite, you will have to look in Mariposa or Oakhurst. For Kings Canyon/Sequoia, you will have to look in Fresno or Visalia.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Yosemite Bug perhaps.

    It's a wonderful time of year to visit these parks and although as said, the weather is unpredictable, you should have no problem getting to the high ground early October, meaning Tioga Pass and Glacier point and even Kings canyon. As also mentioned, pack layered clothing, you could need anything from shorts and T-shirt to Fleeces and Hoodies.

    Critter Creek in Squaw valley looks a good base to explore Kings canyon and Sequoia, for Yosemite you could check out the cabins/rooms at the Yosemite Bug.

    How much time do you have from when you hit the road on the 3rd to the time you need to arrive in SB ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Reasonably good locations.

    Although it is a very long time ago, I found the Yosemite Bug both convenient and acceptable. When I visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon I stayed in Squaw Valley. It too was not too far out to make it burdensome.


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