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Old 03-10-2012, 11:01 PM   #11
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Re: Easterners headed to Yosemite area this summer, help!

I have several posts about the Yosemite area on my little site you can browse through.

My site


By far my favorite camp in Yosemite is a first come first serve camp called Tamarack Flat It's the most quite during the day. Porcupine and Yosemite Cr are other nice FCFS CG's. The key is getting to them in the morning hours...many people leave out early. None have showers and none are in the valley which can get hot in summer.
Hodgdon will require reservations and you will share with large RV's.

Bridalveil is kind of nice when it's hot in the valley but busy and cramped.

Also don't count out Sonora Pass but make sure to travel Tioga. Some great places to camp on Sonora maybe on the way out.

Dave
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:57 AM   #12
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Re: Easterners headed to Yosemite area this summer, help!

Hi. I'm new to the forum and have just been browsing for ideas for a van I have that I'm thinking of rebuilding. I haven't done any road trip camping as of yet so I can't help you much in that regard. I have however made a road trip out west each of the last three years and I have covered much of the area your planning so maybe I can be of some help to you.

I'm afraid you may run out of time if you try to cover everything you've listed. The sites could easily be done in two weeks but if you're not planning on leaving Denver until day 5 it's really gonna be tough to get everything you've mentioned in. From Denver to Moab will probably be around 7 hours so most of day 6 will be shot there.

Our itinerary for 2010 took in some amazing sights and was close to what you're looking at from Canyonlands so here is some insight.

2 full days in Moab for Canyonlands-Island district and Arches NP. Day 3 - all day driving from Moab to Jacob Lake Inn in Arizona close to Grand Canyon North Rim. Route was south from Moab on 191 through Blanding. Stops were Canyonlands-Needles district, Newspaper Rock. Then on south to 163, which takes you by Mexican Hat and through Monument Valley. At Kayenta took 160 to 98 and then over to Page and a stop at Glen Canyon Dam. From Glen Canyon took 89 to 89A for the long haul to Jacobs Lake with a stop at Navajo Bridge. This was a full day and we didn't arrive at Jacob's Lake until late. Day 4 - Jacob's Lake to North Rim. Spent most of the day here, then about a 3 hour drive to Bryce Canyon. Day 5- Bryce Canyon all day.

From Bryce we headed north to the Tetons and Yellowstone, but your plans would take you back to I-15 for the trip down through Vegas and Death Valley. As you can see, if you followed this plan you would likely be on day 11 by the time you hit Vegas. Then another day from Vegas through Death Valley to somewhere near Yosemite. If you allow 3 days for the drive back home that only leaves one day in Yosemite which is not nearly enough. So, if your really set on Yosemite, you would probably be better served to go with the initial thought of heading straight through from Denver and spending more of your time there.

As others have said, Yosemite is very crowded and Death Valley is very hot. I've been to many of the western National Parks and Yosemite is by far the most crowded one I've ever been to. Even though I am not into crowds at all, the place is so amazing it was worth it! The heat in Death Valley is so intense it's hard to describe. It's called Death Valley for a reason! Lol. My air conditioning spoiled family had a hard time with the heat but I still wouldn't have missed it.

If your going to Yosemite from Death Valley, you really should consider going through Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Those trees are amazing!

Well, I've rambled long enough. Hope it was of some use to you.
Happy Travels!

Dave
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:23 PM   #13
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Re: Easterners headed to Yosemite area this summer, help!

Mammoth Lakes is a great area too. Not far from Yosemite, and not crowded at all in the summer. Hiking, fishing, mtn bike riding, it's all there in Mammoth & all accessible! Good day trips from there too, like Bodie, Mono Lake & even Yoesmite via Tioga pass. The temps are perfect in the summer!
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:18 PM   #14
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Re: Easterners headed to Yosemite area this summer, help!

A must stop on the way if you are going in Tioga pass. The gas station at the 395 and the road to Tioga pass is a must stop and eat.

went past a hundred times and on a DS ride we stopped in and OMG I dont pass it.


Ok you can hit kings Canyon and camp out at Big meadows. good hiking and fly fishing.

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Originally Posted by UJOINT
Mammoth Lakes is a great area too. Not far from Yosemite, and not crowded at all in the summer. Hiking, fishing, mtn bike riding, it's all there in Mammoth & all accessible! Good day trips from there too, like Bodie, Mono Lake & even Yoesmite via Tioga pass. The temps are perfect in the summer!
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:52 PM   #15
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Easterners headed to Yosemite area this summer, help!

Thanks a lot everyone and keep it coming. This is awesome and a great help. I don't have the time to read/research all of this at the moment, but I will in the next few weeks. I'm bidding my summer vacation at work in the next few weeks and am thinking of trying to go early this year, early to mid June instead of July, given where I'm thinking of going.
Anyway, I appreciate the help.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:21 AM   #16
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Re: Easterners headed to Yosemite area this summer, help!

From Limon on I-70 you can take US-24 west to CS. That's probably the best way from the interstate (and yet I have such a hard time convincing people that CO-86 through Franktown is better than going through Denver on I-70...) CS is slightly different location, however... when leaving there is really no reason to come up and go through Denver:

US-50 through Gunnison is really so much better than I-70 and you're splitting hairs for time from where I am, so it's got to be better for you. From Montrose to Moab you really can't go wrong- I've done several of the highways through there.

Of course I probably totally just talked you out of coming near us, so just let me know if you want to get together somehow as you come through.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:52 PM   #17
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Easterners headed to Yosemite area this summer, help!

Thanks Jage, yes we usually take 24 from Limon over to CS, and almost always drive into a wicked afternoon thunderstorm with the mountains in the background through there. Just beautiful, and seems to happen every time I'm on 24. I just Looked at the map to see where you are, I see your point, maybe we'll have time, you aren't far out of the way.
I like the way you're thinking going US-50 through Gunnison after we leave CS area, that would take us pretty close to Telluride, or Cortez/Mesa Verde, and keep us off 70. I like it. Ever been to Hovenweep? Very cool area just west of Cortez, and virtually void of humanity.
Ok, from there looks like maybe north through Monticello or Montrose to Arches, and then we'll play around in Canyonlands area for a day or two before moving on west.
I'm still looking for ideas in the Canyonlands area, but getting pretty fired up about how the plans are coming together. Thanks much for your advice. sitting here at work is killing me.
Perhaps if I can ever afford a 4x4 van I'll be able to get a little more off the beaten path, but I'm always ready to explore somewhere I've never been, on road or off.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #18
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Re: Easterners headed to Yosemite area this summer, help!

Look up Horsethief campground in moab. It's a good spot or you can head down the road past the entrance 1/4 mile-ish and boondock.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:07 AM   #19
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Easterners headed to Yosemite area this summer, help!

Well, the trip has begun and we're hot as hell but having a blast. I decided to do my trip backwards and go see my brother and family down in Cajun Country first. Then we headed across Texas and wound up in Sedona Az last night. What a beautiful area! Today we drove over to Hoover Dam and were glad to say goodbye to the Freeway for a while. Tonight we are in Vegas and will head West through Parhump and in to Death Valley tomorrow. High is supposed to be around 115 but it was almost that in Vegas late this afternoon. Hoping to make an early camp over around Bishop late tomorrow afternoon, and be out of the extreme heat for the rest of the trip.
As for the rig, the 5-Star tuned 5.4 is doing great, especially considering how heavy we're loaded. Getting 13-15 mpg driving 70-75. Also, the CCV pop-top is wonderful too. We've only camped in it once on our 4 nights out but will be in it the next 4-5 consecutively I think.

Best sight so far: Pine Flat campground in Sedona and the scenery on Hwy 93 just east of the Hoover Dam in west Az.
Best food so far: honestly, crab legs and shrimp boil with my bro's family on his back porch.
Most enjoyable mod to the van: Scanguage giving me real time water and trans fluid temp. I just love that.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:53 AM   #20
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Re: Easterners headed to Yosemite area this summer, help!

This stuff is why i Love you Guys and Gal

Proud to be on the road with you

bw

(going to the Thousand Islands with family for the 4th
then to Caymens, but would rather be in Wilson...)
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