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Old 01-11-2011, 10:28 PM   #1
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No. California Trip in May

We're doing a big loop from Oregon down to Redwood to Yosemite to Pyramid Lake and back in late May. We'd like to take a few days and weave between Redwood and Yosemite. Any recommendations on spots worth checking out along that general path?

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Old 01-11-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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Re: No. California Trip in May

Jebediah/Jedadiah National Forest (how it was named on my map in 1997) had a campground way up in the mountains that once upon a time was free. Apart from the 6" slug I only remember that the road turned very steep and had real fallen rock on sections. Found it in a guidebook for free camping and was very disappointed to find it had become a pay campground, but nobody was around and it was this great serene old growth mossy forest and a place I've always wanted to return to.

I know, specific and helpful!

The Rogue Wilderness near Wolf Creek Oregon is good too, if you're coming down I-5. That end has a boat launch and some parking and a hiking trail that follows the Rogue River all the way to the shore. There is BLM land that backs up to Wolf Creek too, if you're into camping on dirt roads.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:14 AM   #3
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Re: No. California Trip in May

For Northern California, here are a few threads that you should check out.

viewtopic.php?p=22430#p22430 ... _Road.html
viewtopic.php?p=32045#p32045 (multiple campsite reports but paid subscription required to access)
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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Re: No. California Trip in May

After the Rogue Valley, Lassen through to Lake Tahoe to Hwy 395 is nice.
395 is an awesome route. Don't miss June Lake although the first or second week of October in June Lake is best (for fall colors).
Back to Oregon you can travel south in between I-5 & hwy 97. Detroit, Belknap etc. Cougar dam/reservoir and the road its on is killer.
Two wheels or four, its all good. :-)
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:43 PM   #5
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Re: No. California Trip in May

I think it is too late to get reservations in Yosemite NP...the deadline for that period is January 15. However, if you come during the week, you might be able to get a campsite along Highway 140 west of the entrance to Yosemite National Park. If you come in from Highway 140, you can turn left at the bottom of the grade out of Midpines, cross the river, and turn left will be on the original railroad roadbed of the Yosemite Valley Railroad, my lifetime interest. There are three campgrounds along this old roadbed although, as I recall, 1 or 2 of them might be walk-ins. We like the most westerly one. I don't recall whether it has water (you can check is BLM campground( but it does have pit toilets. It is an easy drive into the Park from this site.

But, also start trying to get a campsite everyday in the last couple of weeks before you depart...this is the time when people find work interferes with vacations and there is no penalty if you cancel early enough. We got married in Yosemite over a Memorial Day weekend and a couple of people in our party found a room available on that Saturday via you never know.

California has had a lot of snow this year and I doubt that Tioga Pass will be open before Memorial Day. The highway department tries to get it open by that holiday but it all depends on the amount of snow and rocks on the highway. If the pass is open, drop down the far side and turn left onto Highway 395 at Lee Vining. (There is a great sit-down/take out restaurant in the Mobil station just before reaching Highway 395...gourmet food at a gas station!)

After passing through Lee Vining, check out the Mono Lake visitor center and then drive down the lake itsefl.

Further on, turn right at the sign to Bodie (I would think that that road will be clear) and visit the Bodie State Park...they follow the idea of keeping things the way they were but also preventing anymore buildings from falling down. It is a very neat "ghost" town. Google "Bodie State Park" for more information.

There are four roads leaving Bodie...the one you came in on, one which heads northeasterly to Nevada, another which heads south to Highway 167, and one other. Back in the early 1990s, we took the fourth one (which might have been the Bodie-Masonic Road) but we were looking for a place to camp and half-way back to 395 we just turned off of the dirt road and camped on a hillside with a tremendous view of the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mounting...4WD not required.

If 395 isn't open yet: can take Highway 140 west to the Big Oak Flat road and then follow Highway 120 back to Highway 49. If Highway 108 is open, you can use it to get to Highway 395 north toward Tahoe. If 108 is still closed due to snow, continue north on Highway 49 through the Gold Rush area and take Highway 88 over the Sierra...this highway stays open all year.

Have a great trip!
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:14 AM   #6
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Re: No. California Trip in May

Thanks for the responses. This should help narrow down some options.

If I read the reservation site for Yosemite they open reservations on the 15th for dates after May 14. So I'll be getting up early this weekend to try to snag a spot.


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Old 01-14-2011, 04:47 PM   #7
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Re: No. California Trip in May

It's not much of a web site but I do have some fairly good runs around Yosemite posted in it.

My web site

you can also google "old coulterville trail and it should show up" least it used to. That is a great run along with bull creek (Burma Grade) and Fresno Dome.

PM me if you need any extra info.
Have a good trip

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