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Roads in SeKi in mid-May

Liverpool, United...
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Roads in SeKi in mid-May

I've been planning on driving up Highway 198 from Three Rivers to visit General Sherman Tree before ending up at Grant Grove.

However, after reading some reviews of the Generals Highway I'm starting to have second thoughts as they are scaring me a little!

If there is still snow around in mid-May, what will the main road be like? I'll be in a hire car so won't have winter tyres, snow chains etc. And just how scary is the road? Being from England, im not used to driving on the right, so with the amount of twists and turns and sheer drops, it does worry me a bit. And my wife is quite a bad passenger for these kind of things too!

If I went the longer way round and came in and out via the 180, would that miss the worst of the roads? It seems the worst is between the Three Rivers and General Sherman? Is that right?

And if I decided to skip General Sherman and just do around Grant Grove, would that miss basically all of the difficult roads?

Thanks for your help

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General Sherman Tree
General Sherman Tree
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Grant Grove
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Generals Highway
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14 replies to this topic
Colne
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1. Re: Roads in SeKi in mid-May

I'm a Brit & quite happy driving abroad.....but I can confirm that that road is the twistiest, bendiest most nausea inducing road I've ever driven on. Nothing like you'll have driven on in the UK.

Carmel, California
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2. Re: Roads in SeKi in mid-May

I didn't think the drive entering from 180 to the Sherman Tree was too bad and getting to Grant Grove is relatively easy. I've never been on the stretch between Three Rivers and the Sherman Tree. We were in SEKI May 21-23 last year and had snow flurries in Sequoia. This year seems to have started out wetter and snowier.

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Grant Grove
Grant Grove
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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Liverpool, United...
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3. Re: Roads in SeKi in mid-May

Think I've decided to come in and out via the 180 now, thanks.

What is the road like between Grant Grove and General Sherman Tree? And how long would it take?

And if you are only there for a day, is it worth doing both areas? Will definitely do Grant Grove area as we are staying there and it is near the 180. Always had in mind doing both, but will I see much more going down to Giant Forest to justify the extra drive?

Thanks again

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Grant Grove
Grant Grove
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General Sherman Tree
General Sherman Tree
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Giant Forest
Giant Forest
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Colne
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4. Re: Roads in SeKi in mid-May

We enjoyed our trip into the main area, the Giant Forest Museum was cool & the shuttle bus was great in transporting us around the sights. Use that to take you to Moro Rock, the view from up there is incredible. There's more to that section of the park than General Sherman, awesome as he is. We also went on one of the Ranger lead tour/talks (Hi Ranger Josh!) & this was a great way to learn a little more about the trees. Honestly, it's a fabulous area & if you're able to get in there, weather permitting, well worth the drive in. I'm of the "if you're going to do it, do it right" opinion. It's just a beautiful area, I like driving though & a lot of our holidays are road trip ones so to us, driving extra anywhere is just part of the whole experience. Others may feel differently.

Edited: 5:47 am, January 16, 2017
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Giant Forest Museum
Giant Forest Museum
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Moro Rock
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Liverpool, United...
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5. Re: Roads in SeKi in mid-May

So long as road between Grant Grove and Giant Forest isn't too scary then that's what I'd like to do as well. Can't really find much details on that bit of the road. I know up to Giant Forest from Three Rivers is very steep and windy, but not sure about between the two main areas mentioned?

Not sure the shuttle busses will be running by then tho unfortunately, I believe they start in late May

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Grant Grove
Grant Grove
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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Giant Forest
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Colne
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6. Re: Roads in SeKi in mid-May

PattyC has said she didn't think that route was too bad.

Liverpool, United...
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7. Re: Roads in SeKi in mid-May

Apologies, misread that as all talking about getting to Grant Grove. Thanks

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Grant Grove
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Carmel, California
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8. Re: Roads in SeKi in mid-May

No, the shuttles won't have started yet. I think it's about an hour between Grant Grove and Giant Forest but don't exactly recall. You should be able to see both in one day and as mentioned, there are other worthwhile sights in the Giant Forest area. If you're staying at Grant Grove, you can walk to the grove there.

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Grant Grove
Grant Grove
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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Giant Forest
Giant Forest
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Liverpool, United...
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9. Re: Roads in SeKi in mid-May

Thanks. I'll be honest it's taken me by surprise since booking how much May isn't classed as summer here!

Think I'll plan to come in via Grant Grove. Weather permitting I'll drive down to Giant Forest first. On the off chance I don't like the driving, I'll just try find the first place to turn round!

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Grant Grove
Grant Grove
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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Giant Forest
Giant Forest
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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Carmel, California
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10. Re: Roads in SeKi in mid-May

Yeah, May is more of a transitional period in the Sierras so you never know. Good luck!

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