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Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

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South Africa
posts: 5
Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

My wife and I am planning a trip by road in 2 weeks time when visiting CA. Would like to know if it is possible to drive from Fesno via either Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley NP? Planning a stop-over at Furnace Creek. Any advice welcome. Our departure point is Monterey and ending up at Grand Canyon, back to Vegas and fly out back to South Africa.

Tinus

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 48,999
reviews: 42
1. Re: Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

Hi Tinus, welcome to the forum.

No problem driving a route like that in 2 weeks but what time of year? Do you want to visit Yosemite NP too? And Zion, and Bryce?

Please let us know.

Tet

Santa Clarita...
posts: 1,172
reviews: 4
2. Re: Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

From Fresno, take Hwy 180 to Grant Grove (Kings Canyon) and is the back door to Sequoia and from there turn south on to the General's Highway. There are no roads that cross the Sierra that pass through Kings Canyon. Depending on the time of your visit, the Cedar Grove area may be closed for the winter.

At the entrance, you will probably receive a map. Without a great deal of time, you may want to only visit the Giant Forest and Morro Rock. Continuing on to leave the park at Ash Mountain, it will be a slow drive, 12 switchbacks and 130 curves -- and will notice the various climate zones on the way toward Three Rivers.

Next you will head to Hwy 99, and you can either follow Hwy 178 along the Kern River to Hwy 395. From there you can make a decision as to which entrance which will be heading into Death Valley. (Hwy 14 ends, joins with Hwy 395 at Inyokern)

An alternate route would be Hwy 58 to the 14, and although it looks longer, it would be nearly the same timewise as it is straighter than 178.

Visalia, CA
posts: 1,305
reviews: 34
3. Re: Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

You're going to have to come out of the park and take Hwy 99 to Bakersfield and go east from there. You cannot get to DV from KC/Sequoia Park. You can however, get there from Yosemite.

No. California
posts: 448
reviews: 18
4. Re: Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

First this sounds like a wonderful trip. You have alot of ground to cover in 2 weeks so I hope you enjoy seeing things from the car. If you start in Monterey and want to see classic CA coastline...drive down to Pt.Lobos State Park. Take some binoculars and if you are lucky you can see sea otters.

Sequoia is one of my favorite places. Hopefully you will have some time to explore. There are interesting caves, incredible hikes, and the trees are unbelievable. Pay attention to the Bear warnings and do not leave food in your car overnight, use food lockers. Having a bear damaged rental car does not enhance the vacation experience.

Death Valley is also fascinating . However I would spend the night in Sequoia Park over Furnance Creek. I won't comment on the driving since others who have responded have provided accurate info.

Not sure the time of year you are traveling but if you decide to follow one of the other advisor's suggestion and go up to Yosemite to cut down to Death Valley on 395...Tioga Pass road closes in the winter.

South Africa
posts: 5
5. Re: Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

All,

Thank you so much for the info, it is appreciated. As to the time of our visit, well, leaving Sunny SA tomorrow eveing via Dubai, JFK to SFO, and then bussiness till 29th. Will be leaving Monterey on the 30th Oct 06. I found a map of CA that I used on the previous trips for my plaiing. Feedack - have done Yosemite and Tahoe and down past Big Sur to LA on previous trips.

T

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 48,999
reviews: 42
6. Re: Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

Morning Tinus,

Long business trip leaving Monterey oct. 30! Or is it sept. 30?

Maybe this helps:

Day 1: From Fresno to Kings/Sequoia. Like another poster said, take your time here. Maybe a stay for the night in Three Rivers, just outside the park. Nice accomodation and good food!

Day 2: From Three Rivers to Lone Pine. I would take ca178 along Lake Isabella. It's a scenic route like us395 along the eastern sierra's.Lone Pine is an nice little town at the base of Mount Whitney, and the Alabama Hills, location to many classic movies are right in Lone Pine. Ask the helpful visitor center at us395 and ca136.

Day 3: From Lone Pine to Death Valley NP, Awesome. Visit places like Badwater, Devils Golfcourse, Stove Pipe Wells, Zabriskie Point, Dante's view and Artist Drive. Maybe visit Scotty's Castle and Ubehebe Crater too, but that takes at least an extra 3-4 hours.

If budget allows, stay at the luxurious Furnace Creek Inn but the FCI reopens only mid october. Otherwise try the Furnace Creek Ranch which is basic accomodation.

The Furnace Creek visitor center is a great place to start.

Day 4: From Death Valley to Zion via us95 to I15. Before you reach Zion NP a visit to beautiful Valley of Fire SP is recommended.

Day 5: All day Zion

Day 6: From Zion to Bryce. Visit to Bryce in the afternoon.

Day 7: From Bryce to Torrey along ut12, one of the most scenic drives in the USA. Make as many stops as possible along this route.

Maybe a visit to Capitol Reef NP in the afternoon. Cafe Diablo in Torrey has great food and drinks.

Day 8: From Torrey to Monument Valley along ut24, ut95,ut261 and us163. Maybe a visit to Natural Bridges NM and Muley Point just before the overlooks on Moki Dugway. Also a visit to Gooseneck SP is recommended. Make a stop at milemarker 13 on us 163 and you'll see one of the iconic overlooks in the west. Night in Goulding Lodge near MV (reservations needed)

Day 9: At least half a day to explore Monument Valley. Then the drive to Cameron for a stay at the Trading Point. You can drive yourself into MV or take a guided Navajo Tour. Be sure your carrentalcy will allow to drive dirtroads.

Day 10: Visit to Grand Canyon South Rim. If you want to hike down the canyon, you'll probably need 2 days here.

Day 11: GCSR-Sedona. Take the Pink Jeep tour in the afternoon.

Day 12: Sedona-Las Vegas.

Day 13: Las Vegas

Day 14: Home to SA

Have fun

Tet{:o)-

South Africa
posts: 5
7. Re: Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

Tet14,

Yes, finger problems on the dates.

Your info is much appreciated, thank you so much. Actually packing and leaving later today for the airport.

Will post feedback after our return.

T

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 48,999
reviews: 42
8. Re: Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

It's a pity you can't stay at the Furnace Creek Inn. Have a safe flight and a great time! I will hear from you much later I'm afraid. We are leaving oct. 7 for Australia and return december 3....... Yes spoiled brats.

South Africa
posts: 5
9. Re: Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

Tet,

Enjoy!. Have the Furnace Creek info. Someone of our Monterey off stayed there (the Inn) but we will stay ate the Ranch.

Leaving now to pack and then off to Dubai, NY, SFO.

T

South Africa
posts: 5
10. Re: Driving: Fresno - Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP to Death Valley

All,

Thanks for the inputs. Back and had a most enjoyable time. Arrived SFO, spend a night and day there, and drove to Monterey on the 1. Finished business, explored Carmel, Big Sur, Monterey Aquarium, etc. Left Monterey for Yosemite, did most things and see what was to be seen, visited Mammoth Lakes, Lone Pine and then on to Death Valley. Stayed at Furnace Creek, did most of the routes/drives incl Devils Golf Course, Badwater, etc. Visited Hoover Dam enroute to Grand Canyon, stayed at Yavapai Lodge, and then on to Tuba to see Dinosaur tracks. Visited Coral Sand Dunes Park, then Zion and on to Las Vegas for the last night before returning. What a good trip.

Best Regards,

T