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Should we book rooms in two different lodges?

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Jacksonville...
posts: 9
reviews: 1
Should we book rooms in two different lodges?

I am planning our 2014 summer vacation to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. We will be there for 6 nights. It seems like from the bits and pieces I have read here and there that we would be smart to book lodging in two different spots to get the most out of our time vs. spending hours a day driving back and forth. Before I book anything, I wanted to get a reality check from some folks who may actually know what makes sense. I have located a great vacation rental in Three Rivers that seems like would be a good "base camp" for the Foothills and Mineral King areas...but it is hard to judge distances and travel time. Does that make sense or would Wuksachi Lodge be a better location? Then it seems like something in the Grant Grove area might be a good spot for exploring that area and over to Cedar Grove. Any thoughts, advise or recount of your own experience would be appreciated!

Minneapolis...
posts: 3,358
reviews: 416
1. Re: Should we book rooms in two different lodges?

I would not stay in Three Rivers as that is a LONG drive to all the "action" in Sequoia National Park and even longer to Kings Canyon Park. You will waste way too much valuable vacation time just driving around. I just got back from 2 nights in Wuksachi Lodge and then 2 nights in Grants Grove (John Muir Lodge) and that worked out good. If you don’t feel like switching hotels you could stay the entire time at Wuksachi and then drive an hour to Grants Grove.

Las Vegas, Nevada
posts: 4,803
reviews: 48
2. Re: Should we book rooms in two different lodges?

I am not one who likes to keep moving. If I am going to be in an area for 6 nights I want a home base. So for me Wuksachi would be perfect. We spend a week each June in the park and always stay in one place. But we dont mind time in the car driving. That said, if you don't mind packing and unpacking than may be 4 nights at Wuksachi and 2 down in Kings Canyon at Cedar might be good. There in no reason to move from Wuksachi to Grants Grove though.

So Cal
posts: 3,107
reviews: 64
3. Re: Should we book rooms in two different lodges?

And I've done the opposite from Rocky - stayed in Grant Grove and driven to the Giant Forest area (as well as into Kings Canyon). I don't know enough about the Mineral King area to say whether Three Rivers makes sense for that. (It is not optimal for the rest of the parks.) I know the road into MK is pretty hairy.

Jacksonville...
posts: 9
reviews: 1
4. Re: Should we book rooms in two different lodges?

Thanks for the feedback. That is kind of the conclusion I have been coming to. We would prefer one base camp. We generally do vacation rentals as we like the convenience of being in a house where we can cook, get up early without disturbing each other, etc. But I think in this case, a park lodge may be the way to go. And it sounds like making a move from Wuksachi to John Muir might not be worth the hassle of packing and moving. MapQuest shows Wuksachi to Grants Grove as 25 miles / 44 minute drive. And from Wuksachi to Cedar Grove as 53 miles / 1.5 hour drive. Does that sound about right?

How was your recent stay at Wuksachi? The reviews seem pretty solid. The knocks appear to be from people who have never stayed at a park facility and were expecting 5 star NYC accommodations. The food sounds like it is good. John Muir sounds good too.

Thanks everyone for the feedback, I appreciate it. Any other words of wisdom are appreciated!

Monterey, California
posts: 1,043
reviews: 22
5. Re: Should we book rooms in two different lodges?

I'd probably spend the first two nites in Cedar Grove and the other 4 at Wuksachi.

I'd take "some food" with me for picnics and hikes. What month are you going? As beautiful as it is Mineral King is a long hard drive for a day trip.

Minneapolis...
posts: 3,358
reviews: 416
6. Re: Should we book rooms in two different lodges?

Lilly - My review of Wuksachi is from August 11th (4 days ago) so is very recent. It is currently the second review listed for that hotel. I am currently writing a review of John Muir Lodge but have not completed it yet.

I thought Wuksachi was much better than John Muir (John Muir is more rustic and does not even have a TV set). Also, don’t believe all the negative reviews as both places are decent. Some people try and compare National Park hotels in the middle of the mountions to a 5 star hotel in New York or Paris (their expectations are way too high).

So Cal
posts: 3,107
reviews: 64
7. Re: Should we book rooms in two different lodges?

I haven't eaten at Wuksachi, but the food at the diner down the hill from John Muir is...well. Stick to basics like burgers and it's ok. The pizza place next door is pretty good.

Yeah, if you can, bring a cooler at least, so you can make sandwiches etc.

New York
posts: 76
reviews: 14
8. Re: Should we book rooms in two different lodges?

We just came back from SEKI and did 2 nights in Wuksachi and 2 nights in Cedar Grove, and loved it. Our favorite hike was Mist Falls and if you dont stay in Cedar Grove its a really long drive. Plus, Cedar Grove is inexpensive and much less crowded. If you stay in Cedar Grove or even Grant Grove, I recommed the Canyoneering trips that begin from the parking lot of Boyden's Cavern. I forget the name of the company but you can google it. Maybe Kings Canyoneering?

9. Re: Should we book rooms in two different lodges?

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