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Old 02-27-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Red face Death Valley > Sequoia > Kings Canyon route?

Mapquest is giving me "portions unpaved" roads from Death Valley to Sequoia & then to Kings Canyon Nat'l Park. Can someone who's actually made this trip or is familiar with the area make a suggestion? We'll be in the area around the end of April/1st of May and pulling our 25 ft AS and just don't want a lot of surprises. We know there will be plenty even if we plan well!!!

We're thinking we may stop and leave the AS in Bakersfield {between Death Valley and Sequoia; it appears we have to go almost to Bakersfield anyway before heading N to Sequoia} and then drive over to the coast just to see the Pacific coast hwy. Any suggestions are much appreciated!
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:50 PM   #2
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Check CDOT to see what roads are open or when they will be.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:03 PM   #3
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Which route are you considering? From Death Valley, 190 S, 395 S, 14 S, 58 E to Bakersfield, then 99 N to Kings Canyon? A shorter version of that would be to take the 178 E through Lake Isabella, but there's a 17 mile stretch of canyon that's pretty tight. It saves you miles, but a lot of it is harder, slower driving.

We've towed our 30'er extensively around all these areas.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:37 PM   #4
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190 out of (or into) Death Valley is not much fun with either a trailer or a mo/ho.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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There are relatively few routes directly through the Sierras, especially that segment, and certainly not from DV to Bakersfield. Route 190 west experiences considerable, multiple altitude changes between, say, Furnace Creek and US 395. It’s an interesting drive, impressive vistas, but from my perspective I wouldn’t take that route if temperatures were very high, and definitely not over “portions unpaved”. The flattest route out of DV in your intended direction is 190 south to 127, then south on 127 to Baker and I-15, then I-15 to Barstow and highway 58 over to Bakersfield where you’ve indicated you intend to leave your AS. For what it’s worth, when transiting through Bakersfield, we like to stay at the River Run RV Park. It’s convenient at the intersection of US99 & 58, and a stone’s throw from Costco and gas.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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We've gone into Death Valley via 178 and then 190 pulling our Airstream. It was cool (snowing near Lake Isabella), and pretty steep - long grades of about 9 or 10 percent coming through the Panamint Range. It's beautiful, but make sure your rig is up to snuff - the pull in hot weather would tax most vehicles I think. The reverse direction is about the same in terms of grades. This is by far the most direct route if you're trying to get to 395. We returned via the southern exit from the park, but that's much longer.

Google maps says about 100 miles longer (460 vs 360) to take the southern exit from the park.

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Old 02-28-2012, 07:52 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your suggestions! The "portions unpaved" roads are closest to entering Sequoia. Those roads are McKinley Grove Rd, Hoffman Mtn Rd and Twin Fawn per Mapquest. I'm assuming they are unpaved further into the park, not where we'll be entering. We'll definitely take the long route from DV to Bakersfield. Kamiak, thanks for the campground suggestion in Bakersfield. We'll be there!!!
Any additional route suggestions from Sequoia to Kings Canyon and then to Yosemite?? It looks like Tioga Pass doesn't open until May 15. Our reservations at Wawona in Yosemite are for May 14-18 so........we'll have to take another entrance. We are moderate risk takers but this is all new territory for us and we don't want to be foolish or dangerous with the AS.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:59 AM   #8
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Stay on the west side of the Sierras and you won't have to worry about Tioga pass. The most reliable way over the Sierras before late spring is I-80. There really isn't any way across them south of Yosemite. It is still untamed, rugged wilderness.

How much time do you want to take between King Canyon and Yosemite? Your most direct route would be 180 into Fresno and then 41 out to Wawona. Unless you really, really love pulling the trailer along winding, mountainous roads, consider taking the direct route.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:15 PM   #9
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The direct route to Yosemite it is!!!! Thanks to all!!!
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:19 PM   #10
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Any suggestions about how many days we should spend at Death Valley, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon? We love wildlife and scenery and some hiking and seeing new places, people and things that we haven't seen before. We only have 4 days at Yosemite but we have plenty of time and don't want to have to leave a place before we see everything there.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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Two days at Death Valley wasn't quite enough. It was all we could spare and gave us a good taste, but I'd like to go back for more someday.

Here's what we saw in our two days:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...0097060&type=3

It is pretty spread out, so you'll do some driving if you want to see the different areas. At the north end, you have Scotty's Castle (museum and historic building) and other things that could fill a day. South of that is Titus Canyon and a couple of ghost towns, there's another day. Farther south, you have Stovepipe Wells, near the dunes and Mosaic Canyon. That would be a third day. Furnace Creek has Harmony Borax works, Zabriskie Point and Artists' Drive. There are also some hikes around there too, just a bit farther south. Natural Bridge is a nice shorter hike. If you also want to spend some time at Badwater and Dante's View, you're probably looking at a second day around Furnace Creek. So that's five full days right there. And that doesn't even include the less accessible bits like the West Side Road and the side canyons where high clearance or 4WD are recommended and the "race track" where rocks leave movement trails on the mud.

Do a bit of research and see what fits your preferences and style.
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