Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Yosemite/Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks
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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Yosemite/Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks

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Joined: 04/08/2008

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Posted: 03/22/19 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

San Francisco to Yosemite Valley is a 4 hour trip[each way] by car. Leaves enough time to see a # of things in summer [forget most of the falls] BUT not much time this time of year [good for falls]

We often take day trips to Yosemite from Bakersfield in same time frame [4hrs].

JM2ยข ~~ YMMV


San Jose

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Joined: 06/15/2006

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Posted: 04/02/19 07:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I go up several times each year, and generally avoid Jun/Jul/Aug in the valley.

Yosemite will be hot and crowded for those dates, however, due to exceptionally high snow pack this year, the falls will still have some water that late.

My advice, find a place in the valley if possible, for two nights, to minimize the impact of crowds. Ideally a tent cabin or housekeeping camp. If nothing is available, keep checking every day, cancellations do happen.

If you must stay outside the park, plan your day to arrive in the valley by 7am. Park, then walk/shuttle around the whole day.

Do consider a day along Tioga pass, the high country of Yosemite. Cooler and less crowded. Glacier Point is worthwhile as well, but treat it like the valley, arrive there at 7am. Skip the sequoia groves of Yosemite if you are doing Sequoia NP.

Visted via RV


Rochester, NY

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Joined: 11/09/2003

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Posted: 08/05/19 12:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jerry -- what did you end up doing/staying?

I am planning for next year!

alesis wrote:

Hey y'all-
I already asked for some input on our big summer trip, but plans have changed with the wife's new job.

We now have about 10 days (late June/early July) and want to visit the parks above. My initial checking seems there isn't really one place to make a home base to day trip to these parks.

We're going to fly and either get cabins/hotel so we have 7 full days to check out the area.

Is there somewhere that's a good base to see at least 2 of the parks as day trips, or better to stay near each for a couple nights?

We're just trying to figure out the best way to visit all 3. Thanks in advance!

Luke & Carolyn
2012 Cedar Creek Silverback 35QB4
2013 Sierra 3500HD Duramax CC SRW SB 4x4
Andersen Ultimate Aluminum 2 Gooseneck Mount


Detroit area

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Posted: 08/18/19 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We stayed in El Portal CA to visit Yosemite, and in Three Rivers CA to visit Sequoia/Kings Canyon. Also did a couple days in/near Santa Cruz to visit the coean. One of our favorite trips to date!

Both NP areas were perfect for visiting the parks! Probably 10-15 minutes max away from the park entrances in both places.

We stayed at the Yosemite Cedar Lodge for Yosemite NP. Nice hotel, a little run down but there are only a few options close to Yosemite, and it worked well for us. I'd suggest getting the family suite w/ balcony. It was great to sit out there in the morning and evening looking right at the mountains! Note : Mariposa CA is about 20-25 minutes away, and has a grocery store and restaurants that are WAAAAAY better priced than anything near Yosemite. There are no grocery stores (the hotel has some groceries but the prices are insane) and only 2 restaurants (at hotels) in El Portal and near Yosemite, and the prices are insane. Do yourself a favor and drive to Mariposa and buy whatever groceries you need, and there are a lot of restaurant options at better prices as well. Also gas is way cheaper in Mariposa than the 1 station btwn El Portal and Yosemite.

We stayed at Comfort Inn & Suites in Three Rivers and loved it. Great pool and hot tub, free hot breakfast, and has quite a few restaurants close. We also went on a "family fun float" whitewater rafting trip while there w/ Mountain Descents are highly recommend that too! You can also rent a house boat on the Lake in Three Rivers, tho we didn't get to do that because they were already all booked.

Yosemite required 2-3 days to see everything and do some hikes, you could do Sequoia and KC in 1 day each if needed, which is what we did.

We then did 2 days in Santa Cruz CA which I HIGHLY recommend as well. There's an amusement park right on the ocean that the kids really enjoyed, as well as the pier and awesome shopping. We stayed in the Watsonville Holiday Inn here, since is way WAY cheaper than staying in Santa Cruz. 15-20 minute drive to Santa Cruz but saved quite a bit. Another very nice and clean hotel.

Best of luck planning, we had a blast!


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