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California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

Katy, Texas
posts: 20
reviews: 5
California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

Hello to the answerer. Thanks for the info, and this is my first time here so I might not be doing this right, but:

We are going on a trip to California this summer probably in late July to early August. However we only have 10 days to do this trip. I have been using a site called Go Destinations (somewhat) to plan my trip. Our goal was to fly into San Francisco and spend a few days (probably 2) there doing a Bay Cruise Adventure, the California Academy of Sciences, and a Grayline Muir Woods Tour. We were then going to drive down to Valencia to spend 2 days at Six Flags Magic Mountain. After that we were going to spend 3 days in Los Angeles doing 6 things, and then driving down to San Diego to spend our final 3 days doing 7 things (I can list these things if you wish). We would then fly out of S. D. This was all going smoothly until I realized that the Muir Woods did not contain Giant Sequoias (GS) but Redwood Sequoias. After some research (monumentaltrees.com/en/…) I found that most of the GS groves were well out of our way. Would it be worth our time to go 4 hours out of our way in order to visit these monumental trees? And if so, what grove would you recommend?

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 20,915
reviews: 114
1. Re: California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

Muir woods has some of the tallest Redwood trees. If you want to go to see Giants Sequoias you may want to go to Yosemite or Sequoia National Park. I don't know if something is worth it or not -- that depends on you. Millions and Millions of visitors go to Yosemite and to SEKI so it is your choice.

You are trying to do a lot by seeing 3/4 of CA . How do you plan on driving to SoCal ? Please take the coastal route that would need at least 2 overnight or one if you are pressed for time. The Top Questions are worth reading and they are on the right side of this web page

A popular route is SF (no car) drive to Yosemite for 2 days and then to Monterey Carmel for 1 -> Cambria or Pismo beach for 1 -) to Santa Clarita and then to La and then SD

New York City, New...
posts: 1,633
reviews: 6
2. Re: California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

Well, it's a long, steep climb up into the mountains to get to any giant sequoia grove, and then a long steep descent to get back on the road to Valencia. It would turn a 6 hour drive into a ~10 to12 hour drive (if you want to get out of your car at Sequoia NP).

Not something I'd want to do in a single day. If you could take a day from somewhere else and stay and the park I think it would be more enjoyable.

The trees there are much bigger than those at Muir Woods, and just as tall, so it's a tough decision.

Katy, Texas
posts: 20
reviews: 5
3. Re: California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

Thanks for your replies!

Belomiser - Thanks for the info. What I meant by "Worth it" was it a BIG difference from the redwoods. I do realize that it is very much to do. We might, might be able to do 11 days but probably not. Would you recommend doing a trip just to North or South California or would you do a specific city in this time span? We'll definitely review our route down from SF. I also am musing over the questions as you mentioned

Bayatuning - Knowing that climbing info, we will definately have to look at how we get to (if we go) the Sequoias. We might be able to squeeze a day from SD by removing Sea World (possibly).

Once again thank you both for your input!

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 20,915
reviews: 114
4. Re: California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

Everyone has a different travel style so there is no one size fits all. Some make their trip to Ca -- once in a lifetime and want to do it all. Others like to spend more time in certain areas and not rush through it. You are going to be doing 600 miles of driving without detour. Personally with 10 days I would do just NorCal or SoCal and take time to see the area.

With Norcal SF, Monterey/Carmel and Yosemite with perhaps a trip to Six Flags since you are interested in it (this is the Vallejo)

With just SoCal, You could do SEKI and then Valencia, La and then San Diego.

As far as Coastal Redwoods v/s Giant Sequoias go, there is a lot more to see in Yosemite or SEKI than just the trees and it is an amazing National Park -- both actually. Muir woods is a 1-2 hour vist so one cannot really compare the two areas. I am not a person who stays trees are trees and parks are parks -- each has its own charm. If I had time I would do SEKI or Yosemite

Edited: 5:58 pm, February 28, 2013
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,229
reviews: 56
5. Re: California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

Ten Days = Nine Nights. 2 days SF, 2 days Six Flags, 3 days L.A., 3 days San Diego

Day 1 Fly into SFO. Transfer to SF. Jet lagged.

Day 2 SF

Day 3 SF

Day 4 Boring 350 mile drive down I-5 to Valencia.

Day 5 Six Flags

Day 6 Six Flags

Day 7 Drive to L.A.

Day 8 L.A.

Day 9 L.A.

Day 10 Drive 2 hrs to San Diego

Day 11 San Diego

Day 12 San Diego

Day 13 Fly home

=================

I just don't see how you can do the things you've already planned in your limited time. It just doesn't work!

Use Google Images to see Coastal Redwoods and Giant Sequoias.

If you really only have ten days, try SFO - SF (3 n, pick up rental car when you leave) - Yosemite Valley (1 n) - {exit via South Entrance to see Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias} Valencia (1 n, visit Six Flags for ONE day only) - L.A. (3 n) - San Diego (2 n) - SAN or LAX

Have you already purchased airline tickets? Did you look at the one way drop fee for the rental car?

One more idea ... with only ten days, most folks would choose *either* SFO - SF - Yosemite - Monterey - SFO or LAX - L.A. - Six Flags - San Diego - LAX The Top Questions and Itineraries in the upper right have good info.

So Cal
posts: 2,477
reviews: 64
6. Re: California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

Coast Redwoods and Giant Sequoias are completely different (though related) trees. To me, the sequoias are more impressive - they're huge at ground level, and a gorgeous cinnamon color. Plus, I love that Sequoia/Kings Canyon is so uncrowded. But other people are blown away by the immense height of coast redwoods. However, as has been pointed out, the mountains are a significant detour out of your way.

Los Angeles...
posts: 826
reviews: 66
7. Re: California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

Yes, the giant sequoias are amazing! The base/trunk at ground level alone is jaw-dropping. People are just little specks next to them. Really something to see. But we each have our own preference. I'd take trees over Six Flags in a heartbeat, but that's just me.

Katy, Texas
posts: 20
reviews: 5
8. Re: California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

Ok after reading all of these posts, I think what we're going to try and do is just hit the highlights (ish) of each city for now. Perhaps we'll come back later and do another Norcal trip since this trip will be mostly to the south. What we're going to try and do is fly into SF and stay just long enough to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz on a 1 hour harbor cruise. Then we are going to drive SW to Sequoia National Park and stay for 2 days (1/2 day driving, 1 day seeing (what we can), 1/2 day driving south). After that we are going to drive down to Valencia for 2 days and then spend the remaining 5 days between LA and SD. We are currently looking at both cities and trying to trim our things-to-do down in order to condense them into 5 days (3 at LA and 2 at SD or vice versa). Now then (lol), does anyone have any recommendations/precautions about the drive to SNP from SF or any advice on what to do at SNP other than sequoias? Thanks in advance for your replies!

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,229
reviews: 56
9. Re: California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

Here is the direct link to the Sequoia - Kings Canyon NP forum page: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g143050-i904 and here is the NPS Plan Your Visit page: nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/index.htm

10. Re: California 10 Day Trip - Giant Sequoias

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