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From San Diego

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Central Illinois
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From San Diego

Hey, Need some help. Want best route and intinerary from San Diego in mid june for six nights traveling from san diego up through best route to see Sequoias and/or Kings Canyon or Yosemite and maybe down pacific coast line back down to San Diego. How many nights at each? Recommended stops, etc. Thanks.

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1. Re: From San Diego

I'm not an expert on routes out of San Diego, but take the 5 northward to the 99 and then past Bakersfield to Visalia. You have two choices for getting into the parks (see below). Since it takes us 5 hours from where we join the 5 to get to SNP, and it takes us 4 hours to get to SD (if all traffic conditons are go), I'm saying 9 hours would be a good guess - plus a bit more for your extra stop for gas. There is no gas in the park, so be sure to gas up before going up the mountain.

Choice one is more scenic (it's featured on TA's Sequoia National Park page). That's the 189 and you'd hit it just north of Bakersfield. It's winding, and it takes you up and up, through many different ecosystems (look for the little springs/waterfalls as you climb higher). First you get into pine and cedar forest (once you're past the oaks) and you think it's all amazing - and then come the Sequoias.

How long do you have? Stay in the parks if possible. See my other post from today about places to stay. But History Center/Round Meadow/Beetle Rock, Crescent Meadow/Tharp's Log, Moro Rock, General Sherman Tree/Congress Trail and Lodgepole Creek/Nature Center/Tokopah falls all seem like must-sees to me. That's just in Sequoia.

You could also enter and exit the park by the 180. This is less curvy and less scenic. If you want to see both parks, you need at least 3 days. But if you see only Sequoia (you could still easily spend 3 days, but 2 could also be a great taste of the park) then you'd exit by the 180 to head to Yosemite (which is 4-5 hours away depending on your driving style and gas/food situation).

You'd hit the 180 from the 99 at Fresno. Both exits are well signed (and there's a third way to get to the 189 - also signed, but unless you have a good map, I advise taking the Visalia route; you'll see a sign for the parks just north of Bakersfield that goes through Porterville - it's takes you on more two lane roads, can be fast or slow - and it has several zig zags, not all of which are well marked). So ignore that first sign for the 65 just past Bakersfield unless you've got a navigator and a map! (It's not really possible to get too lost, but it can be frustrating on a long day's drive).

Your main time factor will be rush hour traffic out of SD. It's possible it'll take you 11 hours from SD to Sequoia - so plan for that and leave very early.

2. Re: From San Diego

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