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Trip to West No.2 - National Parks in California

714 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Swimmerbee
<p>We had a great trip to PNW last year.  Thanks, Matt/Joe and others for your help.  I have never posted photos so here are some. </p>
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<p>Now I have started planning a trip to California.  We would like to cover some of the places you guys mentioned last year but we couldn't visit due to our focus on OR/WA. </p>
<p>Here is a list of places we are going for sure (in this order due to lodging limitations).  We are likely to flying to San Jose;</p>
<p>-  Yosemite (cabin booking done!) - 3 nights</p>
<p>-  Kings Canyon/Sequoia (lodge booking done!) - 3nights (may shorten)</p>
<p>-  San Francisco</p>
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<p>-  We would love to visit Mono Lake/Lake Tahoe area.  It doesn't seem to make sense to drive from Sequoia to the area and then to S.F.  Should we drive via Mono/Tahoe Lake to get in Yosemite, from San Jose?  We can fly one day earlier than planned so we have a day to spend around the lakes.  Then Yosemite, then Sequoia.</p>
<p>-  We have a total of possible 11 days; it would be great if we could extend our trip to Death Valley (from Sequoia), or going north from SF to Redwood.  There seems to be no direct way to east from Sequoia to DV... not sure how long it will take to get to DV going around the south of Sequoia.  Plus once you get DV, driving back all the way to SF seems to be a pain.  Would it make sense to come back to the Bay area after Sequoia then drive to Redwood and spend a day?  Or, forget the additional park and enjoy SF and Napa and all that fun for 4 days or so. </p>
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<p>Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated.  </p>
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<p>Thanks guys, I knew I would get very helpful info.  I looked at flying Reno and returning from San Jose - that would work well with our schedule since we would like to visit Lake Tahoe.  And thanks for your suggestions not to stretch out to DV or Redwood - it looks like we would have more time enjoying the places of our visits instead of doing too much driving.  DH and I have been to SF areas a few times, but kids haven't.  It looks like we will spend good amount of time admiring the natural beauties (and people watching... due to this trip being in the toward the end of August) from Lake Tahoe ~ Yosemite ~ Kings Canyon/Sequoia and enjoying the big city stuff around SF.</p>
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<p>Jen - I got to check out the area/place!</p>
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<p>Speaking of memories.... when I was 16-yrs old (living in Japan), I had a great opportunity to come to CA as my city's ambassador/exchange student for 6wks.  The city I lived in had a sister city relationship with Burbank CA.  I spent 3wks near Burbank and another 3wks near Sacramento.  One of the trips was to Mammoth Lake with many new Japanese & American friends.  Boy, I had a time of my life, still remembering all-night conversation about the life (how we the bunch of teenagers knew) with them in my poor English.  Wonderful memories.   </p>
<p>Looks like Mammoth/Bishop area will be for a future trip along with DV. </p>
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<p>Now about Tahoe.... if we stop only 24hrs or so - a whole afternoon and next morning - (no time for mtbking), is it worth it?  Other than enjoying the scenary & having a relaxed morning trot nearby, what would you do?  Also, is the driving from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite via CA395 (and stop over at Mono Lake) and Tioga Pass a nice drive?  Lake Tahoe seems to be a destination in itself to stay for more than a few days to enjoy water sports, etc., not just for 24hrs, look around and move on.   </p>
<p>Your opinion? </p>
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