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Trip planning help!!

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Miami
posts: 24
reviews: 1
Trip planning help!!

First time visitors and we need planning help!! We are spending one day in Yosemite and then wanted to see the General Sherman tree and then head to the coast. My question is, is it worth the extra time/driving to see the tree or would our day be better spent simply leaving Yosemite and heading to the coast and having some extra daytime to enjoy Cambria? We will be heading up the coast to Carmel/Monterey the next two days.

So Plan A: Leave Yosemite, drive to General Sherman and then drive to Cambria.

Plan B: Leave Yosemite and go straight to Cambria.

Thank you so much in advance!!

Monterey, California
posts: 1,041
reviews: 22
1. Re: Trip planning help!!

It would be way too much driving so I would suggest you see the Sequoia trees in Yosemite than a trip to Sequoia Park itself.

Also you can see coastal Redwoods in Big Sur.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
posts: 10,215
reviews: 87
2. Re: Trip planning help!!

It's about 5 hours from Yosemite Valley to the General Sherman tree, with no stops. If you went to Cambria without seeing Big Sur, that would be a shame, but if that's what you did, I'd think it's about 4-5 hours to Cambria (mostly back roads/2 lane highways in both cases).

So 10 hours of driving, maybe 8 or 9 if you're really lucky and there are no slow trucks, etc (and you don't stop to admire any scenery).

Most people spend about 15 minutes at the actual General Sherman Tree - the hikes nearby are spectacular, the groves of trees all around it are amazing and Yosemite has nothing to compare to them - but that would take a couple of hours to explore.

Add in eating, getting gas (no gas inside Sequoia but usually gas in between Sequoia and Kings Canyon at Stoney Creek), and the possibility of trying to manage state roads at dusk or even dark and that's a really long day.

Seeing the Sequoia Groves in Yosemite would be a much better and more relaxing option.

Parsippany, New...
posts: 289
reviews: 7
3. Re: Trip planning help!!

We just got back from all the areas that you are going to. I liked SEKI almost as much as Yosemite. We drove from Yosemite to Sequoia, but stayed in Fresno overnight. I didn't think Cambria was even worth a stop....unless you are planning on seeing Hearst Castle, so I wouldn't rush to get to Cambria. If you could swing more time for a whole day in Sequoia, that would be perfect, but I wouldn't drive there to see one tree and leave....

PS. Monterey was really nice. Drive down to Moss Landing to check out the sea otters, sea lions and seals. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and so many sea creatures....

Morro Bay...
posts: 17
4. Re: Trip planning help!!

Hello

Would you mind telling me where you stayed in Fresno? I'm looking for a good hotel in a safe neighborhood so that we can take off from there to the Park.

Thank you in advance.

Miami
posts: 24
reviews: 1
5. Re: Trip planning help!!

Ok now I am rethinking this again! My niece told me she liked SEKI better than Yosemite as well. Could you tell me more about Cambria? We have a hotel booked on the ocean at Moonstone Beach and it looks like such a nice place to relax after the drive from Yosemite. Thanks!!!

Parsippany, New...
posts: 289
reviews: 7
6. Re: Trip planning help!!

I'd try to swing a day in Yosemite and a day in SEKI if you can. You could hit the valley in Yosemite and then drive to Fresno (Best Western, by the way....wasn't the most fantastic area, but it was okay) for the night. SEKI I think was only about an hour and a half from Fresno, or you could stick with Kings Canyon and see the grove of big trees that is as soon as you get into the park . That would provide an easier in and out of the park for you. Both Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings Canyon were fantastic.

As far as Cambria goes...it depends on what you like and what you want. I see you are from Miami, so you have the ocean and beach all the time. Yosemite and SEKI are very different. Coming to the west coast, if it were me, I'd rather spend my time doing something different than at home and the sights you'll see in Yosemite and SEKI are sooooo much different than the beach.

Also, keep in mind, that the water is MUCH colder in the Pacific and so is the air temperature. You may not even want to go in the water and being on the beach may require a jacket...

We were there the beginning of July and wore jackets the whole time. We normally go to Disney World in August. This year, we did Disneyland over 4th of July- WITH jackets on! Didn't even want to go on water rides. What a difference!

Good luck with whatever you choose!

Morro Bay...
posts: 17
7. Re: Trip planning help!!

I live close to Cambria ( in Morro bay ). Yes it will be relaxing for you. It's beautiful beach but not warm it will most likely be windy or foggy. Beautiful area and hikes.

Bakersfield...
posts: 1
reviews: 7
8. Re: Trip planning help!!

Cambria is nice as far as quaint little "organic" beach towns go. Moonstone is on the sand/water - not exactly in the town of Cambria. Lots of Monterey Pines, hills and tide pools/rocks. Moonstone has less fog than any other part of Cambria which is known for being overcast most of the time. The best part about that area are the seals, otters and elephant seals (which are a short drive north). I wouldn't recommend going there for sun, swimming or surfing. Too many rocks. Best restaurant in Cambria is Robins. If you're going north to Hearst Castle - check out the view at Ragged Point. Incredible!

Miami
posts: 24
reviews: 1
9. Re: Trip planning help!!

Thanks for the info. Wow, I can't imagine wearing a jacket in July. We are so looking forward to seeing the difference on the west coast with the sea and mountains! Also, seeing the sea lions and otters. Very different than Miami! I hope the weather won't be too cold but that's out of our control. I just hope it's not so foggy we can't see anything. I wish there was a way to reasonably fit both parks in this limited time frame. Thanks again!

Miami
posts: 24
reviews: 1
10. Re: Trip planning help!!

Thanks for the reply. The pictures look beautiful and it should be a nice afternoon to relax after the drive.