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Any Chance of Going to Sequoia NP in September??

Any Chance of Going to Sequoia NP in September??

Old Aug 16th, 2022, 06:37 PM
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Any Chance of Going to Sequoia NP in September??

DH and I are driving from Utah to drop off our son at Cal Poly SLO the second week of September. We have been to SLO before and the surrounding wine area and Hearst Castle etc. and we've been to Santa Barbara. What I want to see is Sequoia NP. The plan would be to drive from SLO to the park-through Three Rivers-- (mid-week) hoping it only takes around 3 hours. Then drive through the park and hop out of the car to do some super short hikes (most are less than a mile) to see trees. Then exit through the northern part of the park and overnight in Visalia (sp??) Then we spend the next 2 days driving home.

Am I nuts to think this is:
1. possible given the distance from SLO to the park, through the park, etc? (For reference: I have driven through Yellowstone in a day--just the road from West Yellowstone, to Old Faithful, and down to Jackson. I worked there for a summer, so it was speedy return tour.)

2. possible given the fire potential??? I don't mind making cancellable reservations and having something else in my back pocket. But it might be nuts to even think about going there at that time of year.

I am open to any and all feedback! Thanks!
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Old Aug 16th, 2022, 06:52 PM
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Not crazy at all. SLO > Three Rivers > the park Visitors Center > Visalia is a total of about 4 hours drive time. Adding 3 or 4 hours inside the park still makes for a semi-reasonable full day.

Mid September is a century from now wildfire-wise. Could be absolutely fine - or there could be multiple fire between now and then. So just keep an eye on the news. With cancelable reservations all should be good.
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Old Aug 16th, 2022, 10:18 PM
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I canít give a recommendation but

Go Mustangs!
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Old Aug 17th, 2022, 06:45 AM
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Thanks janisj! Yeah, who knows what fires will and will not be happening...life in the west these days.

And thanks, Michelle. He is excited. I think it will be a great experience!
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Old Aug 17th, 2022, 06:55 AM
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Just to pose another option, you could swap Calaveras Big Trees State Park for Sequoia NP and include some of the marvelous gold rush country in the Sierra foothills along the way. The giant sequoias in the state park are very impressive, the crowds likely to be smaller, and the trip wouldn't involve much backtracking compared to the Sequoia NP option. Not sure where in Utah home is, but if it's in the SLC area, the route would be pretty straightforward. Google the places on this map - https://goo.gl/maps/tXhPhCkxCV1Tw8NL8
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Old Aug 17th, 2022, 07:07 AM
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If the purpose is to see some big Giant Sequoias, you can go through Oakhurst and head north on 41 to get to the south entrance of Yosemite. Mariposa Grove reopened on August 5 after the Washburn fire was declared contained. The fire crews did a good job of protecting the trees in the Mariposa Grove. After your hike continue north through the park and then take the Tioga Pass to come out in Lee Vining CA.
Immediately after coming through a tunnel, there is a viewpoint where you can see most of Yosemite Valley if there is not too much smoke blocking the view.
You do need a peak hours vehicle permit ($2) if you arrive between 6AM and 4PM at any Yosemite entrance. There are plenty of things to do and see in Mariposa County until about 4PM.
The first group of visitors to Mariposa Grove on August 5 was treated to a sighting of a curious bear.
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Old Aug 17th, 2022, 10:41 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions on going north--I did consider that. But that drive from Reno to Salt Lake is just horrific in terms of noooooo scenery. I really would rather back track down to Vegas and up through St. George. Some day I want to see Yosemite but probably in October when crowds are less. (Yellowstone in July vs Yellowstone in October is very different)

Then again, depending on what's in flames, we might be going north and I will use these awesome suggestions!
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Old Aug 17th, 2022, 10:51 AM
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"Yosemite but probably in October when crowds are less"

If you have the choice plan Yosemite from late April through mid June. I LOVE Yosemite any time of year and have visited in most months - not March that I can remember. Autumn (assuming no fires) is great and there is beautiful fall color (but likely not that much better than you have nearer home.) And crowds are way down. But the waterfalls and Mirror Lakes will be dry. In May/early June the waterfalls are a FULL flow and, especially if you miss Memorial Day timeframe, the crowds won't be like in high summer.
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Old Aug 17th, 2022, 02:12 PM
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The toad through Sequoia has been designed so that one can see the biggest trees by just staying on the road and parking in designated areas. Coming from the south, the first stop would probably be Moro Rock for a panoramic view of the area:


A less frequented trail for other than the big trees would be the loop around Crescent Meadow:

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