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Author Topic: Assistance required Yosemite and Death Valley trip  (Read 1123 times)

Cornfield

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Assistance required Yosemite and Death Valley trip
« on: January 03, 2018, 05:44:56 PM »

I have sixteen days in mid-February in the US and planning to visit Yosemite and Death Valley with around four to five days in each park.  I'm renting a 4WD SUV from LAX for the round trip.  Planning to drive north on the coast road as far as Carmel before heading inland to Yosemite.  What routes should I consider for the trip down to Death Valley?  The most direct route seems to be to head south toward Bakersfield and then east.  A friend suggested heading north and then across towards Lake Tahoe and then down the east side of the Sierras.  I would like to take in a couple of other good photo locations between the two parks. 

Any advice and suggestions appreciated.

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HSakols

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Re: Assistance required Yosemite and Death Valley trip
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 06:40:07 PM »

Driving down the east side of the Sierra is spectacular, but it is a pain of a drive to go from Yosemite to Tahoe in the winter. Plan on at least 6 hours. On top of that if we get any bad weather it will even take longer.  I would first go to Carmel, then Yosemite on HWY 140 (less ice and snow), and then head down HWY 99 to Bakersfield and beyond.  If you are lucky you might get a nice bloom in the desert.  Also last year there was an amazing bloom in the Carizo Plane outside of Bakersfield. 
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luxborealis

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Re: Assistance required Yosemite and Death Valley trip
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 07:00:05 PM »

A shame you weren’t looking for “assistants”. I would have gladly volunteered. Sounds like a great trip. Good luck and be sure to post some pics!
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Terry McDonald -

sierraman

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Re: Assistance required Yosemite and Death Valley trip
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 07:26:34 PM »

Looks like you have plenty of time to explore so here are a few thoughts. Your not going to need 4-5 days in either park. Yosemite's high country is closed for the winter so 2-3 days in the valley should give you plenty of time to photograph the valley areas. Yes, going north to Lake Tahoe is the longer route but it offers more photo op's. This year has been a very dry winter so If you are renting a 4x4 you should be fine making this drive. You could spend 1 night in Lake Tahoe (south shore) and photograph the sunrise at Emerald Bay.

From Lake Tahoe take the 395 south to Lone Pine for a night. Plenty of photo op's here including the Alabama Hills, Mobius Arch, and Mt Whitney. From Lone Pine it's an easy drive over to Death Valley. Mesquite Sand Dunes offer the easiest access but the Eureka Sand Dunes in the north part of the park are taller and much less crowded do to the gravel road access. Also Titus Canyon is fun to explore.

If you go the southern route you can drive to Sequoia National Park and photograph the Giant Sequoia's. Spend 1 night in that area and drive to Death Valley the next Day.
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Two23

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Re: Assistance required Yosemite and Death Valley trip
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 09:47:26 PM »


If you go the southern route you can drive to Sequoia National Park and photograph the Giant Sequoia's. Spend 1 night in that area and drive to Death Valley the next Day.

I consider the Giant Sequoias to be one of the most impressive things on earth.  But going the Tahoe route couldn't you also to see the oldest trees on earth--the Bristlecone Pines?


Kent in SD
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Assistance required Yosemite and Death Valley trip
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 10:19:46 PM »

Try this site:

http://frito02.businesscatalyst.com/

And choose the sections on Eureka Dunes, Owens Valley and Death Valley.

Not a lot of hard info, but perhaps a glimpse of what you can expect if you’ve not visited these sites before. I’d put Eureka Dunes way up on your list.

I’d enter the DV area from Ridgecrest, not the Tahoe area, given the time of year and the elevation and likely weather along US 395.
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Cornfield

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Re: Assistance required Yosemite and Death Valley trip
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 01:11:33 PM »

Many thanks for all these helpful replies.

We have decided to take the Lake Tahoe option after leaving Yosemite and take in the eastern side of the Sierras.  After DV we will cut across towards Bakersfield and then north to Sequoia NP.  I think we will have covered all the suggested photo ops.  We have a lot of flexibility with accommodation and can move on or wait depending on the weather.  The long distance driving is not a problem for me.  Last year we drove across the Australian outback from Alice Springs to Melbourne which was over 2,600 miles in eleven days.

Need to finalise our Black Forest, Switzerland and Austria trip starting next week :)
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pcgpcg

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Re: Assistance required Yosemite and Death Valley trip
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2018, 08:34:14 PM »

...going the Tahoe route couldn't you also to see the oldest trees on earth--the Bristlecone Pines?
I believe they are inaccessible by vehicle in winter. I've tried in mid-March and road to BC pines in Inyo NF was still snowed in.
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Riverman

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Re: Assistance required Yosemite and Death Valley trip
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2018, 08:43:27 PM »

The the closest bristlecone pines are proabably in the White Mountains east of Bishop.  There they grow over 10,000 feet above sea level so I wouldn't expect to see them in March.  It is certainly worth the trip during the summer.

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Markf11

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Re: Assistance required Yosemite and Death Valley trip
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2018, 06:12:11 PM »

 
Quote
Planning to drive north on the coast road as far as Carmel before heading inland to Yosemite. 

Be advised that you CANNOT, at present, take the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles all the way to Carmel, the road is closed at Gorda due to a massive rock slide last spring, you'll have to find a workaround.  Additionally, expect slow traffic thru Big Sur where the new Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge is still being completed.

Lots of great photography around Big Sur, by the way, since you are passing through.
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