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Old 09-07-2007, 09:01 PM   #15
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Welcome to California!

I agree with the suggestions about avoiding parts of Hwy 49, besides this time of year it is burnt and very dry. Often after Labor Day (here we are!) most of the campgrounds close along Hwy 49, just not enough business I guess. I would also suggest you might think about Columbia State park if you find yourself on Hwy 49. It is fun and interesting. Now that school has started shouldn't be too crowded, although many things won't be operating at full steam.

Let us know what else you are thinking about in California. I think these are all places you should consider seeing: Tahoe! (West and North are best in my opinion) Sequoia National Park is south of Yosemite and is wonderful. Not nearly as crowded as Yosemite but spectacular in its own right. Monterey is another great spot, although camping is limited depending on your size. Big Sur is lovely often and some great camping ~ much more serene than in the busy places. San Francisco, but the only campground is spendy and a 45 min drive unless you go to old Candlestick Park to camp, but that is like camping in a wind tunnel. If you go to SF, check out information beforehand, driving a trailer around in the bay area is not for the faint of heart. Wine Country is also great, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino. Some wonderful camping if you go closer to the ocean. Again check the road maps, not for a timid driver. If you plan on driving North or South it will depend on how much time you have on what else to suggest. Interstate 5 is very uninteresting and you don't really "see" California... Hwy 99 that goes North and South isn't either... Come North to our area and see wonderful Mt. Shasta... it is lovely and we have clear, clean air. One can spend a lifetime just traveling California. Let us know what kind of travels you like. Big city, quiet country, desert, mountains, etc. and we can provide other suggestions.

Have fun and post some pics of your travels!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:03 PM   #16
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Oh, forgot to mention. Bears are a big problem in Yosemite. Be prepared to store all food, drinks, soap, shampoo, etc. outside in the bear lockers!
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Old 09-09-2007, 05:18 PM   #17
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Lost in Place

Thanks for all the great advice!!!!


Working in some of the excellent suggestions you have giving me and looking at the map but not knowing what I'm looking at, the following looks like a route.


Don't know what boondocking opportunities are available , so any specific suggestions would be appreciated.


Correct any gross errors in planing or make suggestions.


80 east from grass valley to 267 south to kings beach at lake Tahoe.

28 south to lake Tahoe NV. State park.

Pick-up 50 at Spooner Junction, to 395 and Stewart.

395 South to Lee Vinning and Yosemite.

To 178 Sequoia NF

395 south to 58 East to Barstow and then somehow towards Houston TX or Dallas.



I have 3 weeks.
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artstream
Thanks for all the great advice!!!!


Working in some of the excellent suggestions you have giving me and looking at the map but not knowing what I'm looking at, the following looks like a route.


Don't know what boondocking opportunities are available , so any specific suggestions would be appreciated.


Correct any gross errors in planing or make suggestions.


80 east from grass valley to 267 south to kings beach at lake Tahoe.

28 south to lake Tahoe NV. State park.

Pick-up 50 at Spooner Junction, to 395 and Stewart.

395 South to Lee Vinning and Yosemite.

To 178 Sequoia NF

395 south to 58 East to Barstow and then somehow towards Houston TX or Dallas.



I have 3 weeks.
Sequoia:

Lodge Pole campground has room for big trailers, and tow vehicles. Enter from hwy180, Kings Canyon, and head south. The southern Entrance ( three rivers) is too twisty, and steep for trailers over 22ft. It gets in the mid 40's at night up there right now, be prepared for cold nights. ( and bears)

395 gets busy, 58 is an interesting road. You can take I 40 East to Amarillo, from there head southeast on 287 to Dallas. You avoid West Texas that way.

If I had three weeks, then I would spend more time on the CA coast, making my way from SF south to Laguna Beach. Laguna has much to offer to artists and art lovers alike. 395 is fine for making time, but doesn't offer much more than pleasant long vistas of the Eastern Sierras. Hwy 101 and perhaps sections of Hwy 1 are definitely more scenic, and offer more things to do to the weary traveller. You could visit the NoHo arts district, museums etc, while near LA, experience the incredible traffic congestion in and around LA, but also watch incredible sunsets over the Pacific. The coastal mountain range between Monterey and Santa Barbara is simply beautiful. You would be visiting the wine country around Paso Robles, and perhaps visit with Elephant Seals north of Moro Bay. Now that school is in, finding a nice camping spot should be much easier than in August.
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:01 PM   #19
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Grass Valley/NV is a great part of the world, I used to be stationed at Beale. Drive down towards the BAFB Grass Valley Gate and stop at the Driftwood Inn, a great honkey tonk and have a prime rib, it was the best I ever had, but that was 19 years ago...

Also, look for Alpha and Omega, in Smartville there is also some great hiking, hike down to the Yuba River from the back side, I used to park by the small school and hike. (Stay out of the mines, unless you are suicidal.) Watch out for rattlers while hiking. Drive oin down to the Yuba on HWY 20, take a right before the bridge and there was a great p[lace for 4 wgheeling and swimming in the rapids there, swim at Bridgeport, what a great part of the country! Yosemite is for tourists, GV/NV is for life!
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:26 PM   #20
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I've taken 49 from Placerville to 120 to Groveland to Yosemite Sam's this past May. 49 is not all that bad. Paved, two lane. Some ups and downs but certainly doable without any white knuckles.

Taking 120 up to Groveland is a challange. Takes about 20 minutes from the bottom. You will never get over 25mph. Lots of switchbacks. Really works the TV. Downshift to about 3rd before you start up. That will save a lot of transmission wear. Groveland is a great little town. 20 to 30 min from the entrance to the park. The hotel in town, The Groveland Hotel, has great food. I think this little town is well worth the drive down 49 and up 120. From Palcerville the trip should take about 3 hours.

At Yosemite Sam's ask for a backin at the top, not a pull thru.

John
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:48 PM   #21
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I have 3 weeks.
So, where are you now?
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:31 PM   #22
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Visit the central coast if you have time

Hi Artstream,

I went to Yosemite a few years back. We stayed at Tualame Medows campground (I know that's misspelled) in early October. It was around 90 degrees in LA. We got up to Yosemite and it was SNOWING! They were about to close the road. So talk to the rangers and see when you need to head out.

If you have time here in California please visit our beautiful central coast. The town of Morro Bay is delightful. The campground at Morro Bay State Park offers some pull through water and elecrical sites as well as a dump station. I highly recommend it. There's just tons to see and do in the area. Just south of Morro Bay is Avila Beach where I noticed lots and lots of boondockers. Montana De Oro state park is one of the most beautiful in the state (my opinion for what it's worth). There's a very nice campground there but no hookups or water. The park itself offers some gorgeous easy hikes through sand dunes. North of Morro Bay is Hearst Castle and just east the sweet town of San Luis Obisbo. I don't know if you'll get all the way down here but it's beautiful country.

Heather
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:13 AM   #23
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tioga pass is often closed by snow...sometimes not open until june..
call 1-800-GAS-ROADS for road condition info the CAL-Trans number.
Road Conditions

cell phone and internet connections may be very spotty
millions of people visit yosemite yearly so it is hard to find
any thiing free near by...
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:53 PM   #24
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'course this thread is pretty old - but for those considering...

I just crossed Tioga a week ago. Weather is still very mild. You can watch the weather for the region - I think it will be open for a while yet.

Pat
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:17 PM   #25
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But funny thing is I'm back in California and headed to Sequoia National Park !

Time fly's
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:43 PM   #26
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Sequoia National park.. Lucky. Its beautiful
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:45 AM   #27
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But funny thing is I'm back in California and headed to Sequoia National Park !

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Hi, Michael; So you met and visited with your nephew and family in So. Cal. already! Not fun pulling a trailer around down there. Sequoia is spectacular. You may find it difficult to leave Calif. See you at a rally.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:02 PM   #28
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any pointers on navigating Hwy 1 going south from Santa Cruz to LA?
i was gonna spend 3 days seeing cruising the seals and Hearst Castle etc.
my airstream *must* see the ocean
& yes, it will be hard to leave CA.
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