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Thread: California +?

  1. Default California +?

    Collecting RV on 9th April 2015 in San Francisco
    Return Date 19/21st in LA
    ( Family of 5 from Ireland)

    Core Route
    Death Valley
    Grand Canyon
    Joshua Tree

    Struggling with best route from Yosemite to (and through) DV
    and if including GC is taking on too much

    not sure if we can fit Kings Canyon /Sequoia into the trip (RV return date is flexible, trip total from 10-12 days)

    Main interest for the trip is to expose our 3 kids 7, 11, 13 to as much Nature and Big Skies as we can find
    as well as trying to take routes that expose California history

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    One thing you do need to keep in mind for a route is that Tioga Pass will still be closed for the winter in April, so you can't go directly from Yosemite to Death Valley. The shortest route between the two would be to go down to the Bakersfield area and head east - which means Sequoia would be a relatively easy detour. The other option is to go north from Yosemite and cross the Sierras around the Lake Tahoe area.

    With 10-12 days, I think you've be able to fit all of that in, at a quick but comfortable pace - but I'd recommend plotting things out to see if the pace you'd need fits within your family's comfort zone.

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

    Default A great experience for all !

    One thing to check out is the lenght restrictions along the Generals Highway in Sequoia NP compared to that of your RV. You can still enter the park from the North [Kings canyon kiosk] but might not be able to exit through Three Rivers to the south. Not a huge problem but could mean doubling back and taking more time. The waterfalls will be flowing in Yosemite valley and it is a wonderful place. Book a spot in one of the 'Pines' campgrounds in the park and enjoy a couple of nights there. CA49 is the old 'gold rush' route with some nice '49er' towns and from Death Valley to Grand canyon you can check out the old route 66 towns of Kingman, Seligman [by detouring onto the original road] and Williams. The south rim has 2 campgrounds right by the village area, Mather and Trailer village, the latter having hook ups available.

  4. Default

    Sincere Thanks Both, so CA49 v Sequoia....

    We'll book 2 nights in Pines outside Yosemite (thats leaves us with 9nights left to get to LA)

    Seems like our next Key decision is how to approach Death Valley
    via CA49 OR take in Sequoia and approach DV via Bakersfield..

    reckon we're going CA49.....
    Last edited by IrelandsEire; 01-02-2015 at 02:07 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    We'll book 2 nights in Pines outside Yosemite
    It's in Yosemite. Use the site for details.

    Seems like our next Key decision is how to approach Death Valley
    Possibly, your best bet might be to head south from Yosemite on US41 to Oakhurst and Fresno where you could detour into Sequoia on 180/198. If you wanted to you could visit Jamestown [Railtown] on 49 before entering Yosemite on CA120 or continue south on 49 as far as Mariposa. On 120 you would go over the scenic but twisty 'Priests grade to the little town of Groveland [good place to get provisions and there is a campground here if you arrive late] before entering Yosemite. Going north after Yosemite is possible but would add a fair few miles to your journey, going towards Lake Tahoe and south on 395 past Mono Lake and Mammoth etc.

  6. Default

    We're taking your advice - will head south from Yosemite
    ( have booked 2nights in Yosemite Lakes) then heading towards Kings Canyon/Sequoia

    We're in a 30foot so welcome any tips on a route or RV parks - would stay 2 nights? in area before heading for death valley

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Yosemite Lakes RV park will work, but it is not in the National park and it will most likely take you 45mins plus to travel into Yosemite valley. Personally I prefer to be in the park. In Sequoia there are a few campgrounds without hook ups such as Lodgepole and Potwisha but check out the Sequoia NP site for details and possible road restrictions. The 198 [Generals Highway] after Lodgepole/Giants foirest area is very twisty and narrow in places. There is a 22ft lenght 'advisory' limit for vehicles but this sometimes becomes mandatory if they are doing road works. I have driven it in a 30ft RV OK, but I have had years of experience driving large vehicles. You could spend your second night out of the park and heading towards Death valley. If you feel comfortable to drive south on the 'twisties' in the park, there is an RV park in Three Rivers.

  8. Default

    Many thanks again

    would welcome any feedback on taking a 30foot either

    via 180 through 198 as far as Potwisha


    Visalia via 198 as far as Potwisha

    or forgetting Potwisha & 198
    Last edited by IrelandsEire; 01-04-2015 at 07:12 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Lodgepole is a safer bet.

    The main area of Sequoia, the Giants Forest, is north of Potwisha which means you would have to tackle the twistiest section of the Generals Highway to get there, if it's open to a 30ft RV that is. If not it would be a big detour back up to 180 and in the north entrance. Coming South from Yosemite means that entering the park is best done via 180/198 and then I would look at staying at Lodgepole. You then have the option of heading back out via 180 or taking the 'twistys' to the south and out through Three rivers.

  10. #10


    We have been to most of these places also in last few years...

    Potwisha is way too far to stay.. the "twistiest" section is hair pins corners, if are not experienced RV driver I would not be going this route. We live in Rocky mountains of Canada & thought it was scary driving a truck. We went in & out Via Three Rivers.I would go in via Kings Canyon & out again that way as Southwest Dave suggests via 180.

    We spent night there & in am did the sights of the BIG trees, also do the walk up Morro Rock( this is a MUST do) there is also a crystal cave tour there but we did not do it. That being said the Sequoia forest of Giants was a highlight of our trip & would go back again. Kids would LOVE it! We stayed at Lodgepole campground in Sequoia, everything is right there.We did the sights & drove to Lone Pine... but that was a crazy long day & did not get there late. I would stay 2 nights if you can, so not so rushed, especially if you have kids, so they can enjoy the experience.

    I have the beginning of our trip posted on here as a Field trip-Sept 2010 Road trip- California-Vegas-Grand Canyon-Utah. On drive from Three Rivers- DV we did the freeway Bakersfield- Lone Pine. We didn't find any accommodations till Lone Pine. But we were tent camping... I'm sure you can find something for an RV.We stopped in Tehachapi, a small railroad town for lunch... the place was like an old train inside( kids would love) Go on Google Maps & type in camping & lots of camping options will pop up on map... I always then check them out on trip advisor to make sure they aren't dives! lol

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