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Re: July 4th weekend?

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avatar July 4th weekend?
March 31, 2012 01:33PM
We're going to make a more concerted effort to get out for some camping for our July 4 anniversary (9 years!). We didn't go anywhere last year because of my summer job at the county fair. But, barring a sudden change in employment opportunities, we're making tentative plans for this year.

Our first choice if Toulumne Meadows, but that doesn't look possible, considering the campground isn't slated to open until July 12.

And we refuse to go anywhere near the valley.

Assuming Tioga Road is open, we would consider camping on the east side.

But I'm also curious about Sequoia and King's Canyon. I've never been there, and would love to see it. I know next to nothing about it, and will be doing some research on my own, but thought I'd also pop in here and say "hi" to all y'all, and see what you've got to say about it. We'd want a couple of long-ish day hikes, with a few shorter scenic hikes. The tentative plan is to head out on June 29 or 30, and stay through July 5, but we might change that to longer.
Re: July 4th weekend?
March 31, 2012 05:09PM
Quote
itchbay
We're going to make a more concerted effort to get out for some camping for our July 4 anniversary (9 years!). We didn't go anywhere last year because of my summer job at the county fair. But, barring a sudden change in employment opportunities, we're making tentative plans for this year.

Our first choice if Toulumne Meadows, but that doesn't look possible, considering the campground isn't slated to open until July 12.

And we refuse to go anywhere near the valley.

Assuming Tioga Road is open, we would consider camping on the east side.

But I'm also curious about Sequoia and King's Canyon. I've never been there, and would love to see it. I know next to nothing about it, and will be doing some research on my own, but thought I'd also pop in here and say "hi" to all y'all, and see what you've got to say about it. We'd want a couple of long-ish day hikes, with a few shorter scenic hikes. The tentative plan is to head out on June 29 or 30, and stay through July 5, but we might change that to longer.

There are some nice campgrounds along Lee Vining Creek on the east side of Yosemite (about 20 min. east of the entrance station on 120.) Grab an Eastern Sierra map from the AAA and you'll see the locations. . July 4 however is always a tough time to get first come sites but since 7/4 this year is on a Wednesday maybe it won't be not so hard this year...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/danamite/4731051242/
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
March 31, 2012 07:05PM
Yeah, that was one of our back-up plans from a couple of years ago. Fortunately, we got a great spot in TM that year. I've always wanted to at least drive down into that area and check it out.
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
March 31, 2012 06:39PM
Quote
itchbay
Our first choice if Toulumne Meadows, but that doesn't look possible, considering the campground isn't slated to open until July 12.

Just curious as to where you got the date of July 12th? It has only opened that late in 2 of the past 11 years (2002, 2011), and with this winter I would think the snow depth wouldn't be enough to keep it from opening mid-late June. My guess is you got it from ReserveAmerica, but my educated 'hunch' is that it will open sooner...they just don't want to get people's hopes up.

If I were you I would make plans for Tuolumne, but have contingency plans just in case.

Just sayin'....

Steve
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
March 31, 2012 07:03PM
I believe that's what it says on the Recreation.gov site, meaning they're not even taking reservations for dates earlier than that. I wouldn't be surprised if it opened earlier, but I'm not going to bank on it. I'm still going to hope for getting one of the FCFS sites in TM, but I'm also making alternative plans.

But, even so, having never ever ever been to Sequoia or Kings Canyon, I'm sure it's worth a trip eventually. And I've already got a commitment from my other half that we'll go camping at least twice this year, so I'm willing to spend one of those times someplace new. smiling smiley

Next year, for our 10th, we're talking about Yellowstone. I'm so excited I'm already planning that trip as well.
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
March 31, 2012 08:41PM
Quote
itchbay
But, even so, having never ever ever been to Sequoia or Kings Canyon, I'm sure it's worth a trip eventually. And I've already got a commitment from my other half that we'll go camping at least twice this year, so I'm willing to spend one of those times someplace new. smiling smiley

All my life (I'm almost 66) I have been going to Yosemite. Camped in old camp 14 as a kid, worked at the TML for 2 summers, was a waiter in the Valley (winter of '65) until I was 'forced' to go to Viet Nam, spent our honeymoon camping in camp 7 (Upper River before it was washed away), spent several other anniversaries there (including 40th), and now go twice a year (including tomorrow...camping with 2 of my grandkids).

Now that we are retired we decided we could FINALLY go to Sequoia and Kings Canyon...and still go to Yosemite...so 2 years ago we did.

Sure, it's worth doing once...nuff said ;-)

Steve
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
March 31, 2012 09:09PM
Quote
itchbay

Next year, for our 10th, we're talking about Yellowstone. I'm so excited I'm already planning that trip as well.

I know what you mean about planning for new places. We are doing a 2-3 week Red Rock loop (Zion, Bryce, Arches, Grand Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs) next month, and I have been planning that since GC campgrounds first came on-line for May.

Steve
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
April 03, 2012 07:25PM
I haven't been to Sequoia/Kings Canyon, but I will say that I really liked Bryce, Zion & Arches a lot. Very beautiful country. To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of the gran canyon.
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
April 03, 2012 07:28PM
I had a lot of fun backpacking into the canyon and camping at Clear Creek - it was a 3 night trip, 2 at Phantom Ranch and one at Clear Creek, and I wish I had spent at least two more nights at Clear Creek. This was in late November.
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
April 03, 2012 10:10PM
Quote
calberry
Quote
itchbay

Next year, for our 10th, we're talking about Yellowstone. I'm so excited I'm already planning that trip as well.

I know what you mean about planning for new places. We are doing a 2-3 week Red Rock loop (Zion, Bryce, Arches, Grand Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs) next month, and I have been planning that since GC campgrounds first came on-line for May.

Steve

I did something similar a few years ago. Zion, Bryce, Arches, and Grand Canyon were in the plan. If you're going to Arches, at the very least consider stopping by Canyonlands NP. We even managed to check out the Kolob Canyon section of Zion, which is on the west side, which is at least a 100 mile drive. There's really no easy connecting road between Kolob Canyon and Zion Canyon. Ours was an even bigger trip, with more than a week in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, as well as Timpanogos Cave NM in Utah and Cedar Breaks NM in Utah. We finished up with a night in Las Vegas, as well as passing through Death Valley on a June afternoon. Our last night away from home was in Bishop, followed by Yosemite Valley, then home to the Bay Area.

However, none of our trip involved camping. It involved a lot of rustic NPS cabins (loved the Roughrider Cabin at Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone), motels, and even a couple of moderately priced hotels.
Re: July 4th weekend?
April 04, 2012 07:53AM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
calberry
Quote
itchbay

Next year, for our 10th, we're talking about Yellowstone. I'm so excited I'm already planning that trip as well.

I know what you mean about planning for new places. We are doing a 2-3 week Red Rock loop (Zion, Bryce, Arches, Grand Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs) next month, and I have been planning that since GC campgrounds first came on-line for May.

Steve

I did something similar a few years ago. Zion, Bryce, Arches, and Grand Canyon were in the plan. If you're going to Arches, at the very least consider stopping by Canyonlands NP. We even managed to check out the Kolob Canyon section of Zion, which is on the west side, which is at least a 100 mile drive. There's really no easy connecting road between Kolob Canyon and Zion Canyon. Ours was an even bigger trip, with more than a week in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, as well as Timpanogos Cave NM in Utah and Cedar Breaks NM in Utah. We finished up with a night in Las Vegas, as well as passing through Death Valley on a June afternoon. Our last night away from home was in Bishop, followed by Yosemite Valley, then home to the Bay Area.

However, none of our trip involved camping. It involved a lot of rustic NPS cabins (loved the Roughrider Cabin at Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone), motels, and even a couple of moderately priced hotels.


Kolob Canyon is right off the 15 so we have stopped in either going to or from Salt Lake City.

A few years ago we did a mega trip. Pipe Springs NM, North Rim of the Grand Canyon which I prefer over the South Rim, Bryce, Grand Staircase Escalante, Capital Reef, Canyon Lands, Dead Horse Point State Park, Arches, Globlin State Park, Colorado National Monument, , Rocky Mountain NP, Dinosaur NM and then Zion. It was 7 National Parks, 4 National Monuments ,4 Utah State Parks and some other side attractions but right now I can't remember what I am missing. Some where in there were also some Dinosaur museums.

We did not camp but stayed at a variety of lodging from cabins, park lodges, small motels, a B&B and a nice hotel in Salt Lake.
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
April 04, 2012 12:46PM
I think I overstated the distance to Kolob Canyons. It's closer to 50 miles from Zion Canyon by road. However, it really is on the other side.

The way we did it was Zion, Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks, and the Kolob Canyons on the way to Vegas.
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
April 04, 2012 12:57PM
Let see. My trip back in 2006 included visits (however brief) to nine national parks, two national monuments, obscure sections (Kolob Canyons and The Needles) of national parks, several national forests, Dead Horse Point SP in Utah, Glen Canyon NRA, Newspaper Rock NHS (when it was still under BLM control and not a state park as it is now).

I'm wondering if they changed this sign:

Re: July 4th weekend?
April 04, 2012 06:18PM
Quote
y_p_w
Let see. My trip back in 2006 included visits (however brief) to nine national parks, two national monuments, obscure sections (Kolob Canyons and The Needles) of national parks, several national forests, Dead Horse Point SP in Utah, Glen Canyon NRA, Newspaper Rock NHS (when it was still under BLM control and not a state park as it is now).

I'm wondering if they changed this sign:


We did Newspaper Rock the year after the mega trip when we only went to Zion, Arches Canyonlands and Rocky Mountain NP. Quite an interesting place. We visited some other petroglyph sites in the area that are not formally marked but you can actually see from the road.
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
March 31, 2012 10:27PM
Quote
itchbay
I believe that's what it says on the Recreation.gov site, meaning they're not even taking reservations for dates earlier than that. I wouldn't be surprised if it opened earlier, but I'm not going to bank on it. I'm still going to hope for getting one of the FCFS sites in TM, but I'm also making alternative plans.

But, even so, having never ever ever been to Sequoia or Kings Canyon, I'm sure it's worth a trip eventually. And I've already got a commitment from my other half that we'll go camping at least twice this year, so I'm willing to spend one of those times someplace new. smiling smiley

Next year, for our 10th, we're talking about Yellowstone. I'm so excited I'm already planning that trip as well.

If you're going into the Yellowstone area next year, you should look into the Beartooths. They're just outside the northeastern entrance to the park. There are two 12000 foot alpine plateaus you can dayhike on: the Beartooth Plateau with a hike up Spirit Mountain, and the Hellroaring Plateau with a hike up Mount Rearguard. Hellroaring will require a truck, jeep, or SUV with high clearance for taking the dirt road up to it though. The approach to Spirit is right off the Beartooth Highway and thus doesn't have those requirements. The number of alpine lakes up there is incredible too: for instance, look at the area around Lower Aero Lake to the northeast of Cooke City, MT.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/2012 10:29PM by mbear.
Re: July 4th weekend?
April 01, 2012 12:01AM
If you care to try the Beartooths, you might also do a little Google-searching on Top of the World store. In addition to fuel, gifts and snacks, they have limited lodging at reasonable rates. Consider July or August for that terrain.
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
April 04, 2012 04:49PM
"12000 foot"

I'm going to have train for that. Walking around at the Saddlebag Lake gift shop is hard enough. smiling smiley
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
April 04, 2012 08:04PM
I guess I'm exaggerating; the peaks are 12,200 or so, but the plateaus start at around 10,000 I think.
Re: July 4th weekend?
April 01, 2012 11:06AM
I went to Seki last June and enjoyed it very much. We stayed at Sheep Creek Campground in Kings Canyon which was a nice launching point for attractions in that area. We hiked from roads end, past mist falls to lower paradise and back as a nice long day hike. The Sequoia trees are amazing and seemed to be bigger than the ones in mariposa grove. You can check out "General Grant" tree on you way down into Kings Canyon and "General Sherman" (biggest Sequioa by volume?) near the Sequoia NP headquarters. Alta Peak from the Wolverton trailhead looked to be another nice long day hike, but there was way too much snow in June last year to do that. This year might be OK though.
avatar Re: July 4th weekend?
April 04, 2012 04:50PM
Oh, great info! Thanks!
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