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Old 08-18-09, 03:31 PM   #1
Will G
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Central California Suggestions

Hey,

My youngest has wanted to see the Giant Sequoia's for some time. Why? I have no idea but I promised I'd take him. So, we will probably fly into Fresno, rent a car, and venture forth. I figure visiting the Sequoia National Park might take all of a day. Then what? We will be out there 3, maybe 4 days. Any other suggestions on places to stay (or stay away from), things to do, things to see?
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Old 08-18-09, 04:40 PM   #2
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It's only 90 miles from Fresno to the Yosemite valley. Devil's Postpile is nearby. Mt. Whitney is right there, but you need to get a permit really early in the year as they sell out.
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Old 08-18-09, 04:49 PM   #3
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Definitely recommend the Eastern Sierra, it's my favorite area in the state

Head up to Yosemite Valley and over Tioga Pass into Lee Vining & Mono Lake. Swing up to the ghost town of Bodie if you get a chance. Drop down to Mammoth Lakes and see Devils Postpile. Hit up Tom's Place near Rock Creek for pie then down through Bishop and Lone Pine before heading back to Fresno. Mt. Whitney is really pretty but generally overrated and crowded this time of year.

You could also fly into Vegas and hit up Death Valley as well.
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Old 08-18-09, 08:02 PM   #4
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Thanks. I'll take a look at those.

What about the area from Hearst Castle on the coast and up towards Carmel?
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Old 08-18-09, 08:05 PM   #5
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Carmel is very pretty. You could also visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, it's pretty spectacular.

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/
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Old 08-18-09, 09:22 PM   #6
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If you're going to Sequoia, you might as well go to King's Canyon also. It is similarly breathtaking.

Don't know how it is now, but there were great, fresh oranges one could buy for very reasonable from groves around Porterville about 20 years ago.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:21 PM   #7
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If he's into giant trees, then I would recommend that you fly into Sacramento and head on up to Willits California. Take the Skunk Train to Ft Bragg and back. Lots more trees, but this time they are giant Redwoods. You will need reservations for the train.

http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/cam...kunk-train.htm
http://www.skunktrain.com/

As a side trip, Willits California was the home of Seabiscuit and Ridgewood Ranch does walking tours. A lot of history on that place even for those who are not horse nutz. Again, reservations required.

http://www.willits.org/seabiscuit.htm

After Willits, drive south along the coast to Monterey Bay. Monterey Bay Aquarium is a GREAT place and there is a huge merry-go-round for the kids to ride on after/before the aquarium tour. The aquarium has a "petting" area for kids where they can touch sea critters.

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/

From Monterey you can continue south to Hearst Castle. It is a beautiful drive along Hwy 1.

http://www.hearstcastle.org/

From Hearst Castle, just drive a bit south to San Luis Obispo then go north on 101 to Paso Robles. At Paso, go east on 46 to the Hwy 41 junction and then take 41 to Fresno. Drive on up to the Sequoias for the day and then fly out of Fresno and home. I do not know the hwy between Cambria and Paso so I can't say whether it would be "shorter/better" to take Hwy 46 east from Cambria rather than taking the long way around through San Luis Obispo.
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Old 08-19-09, 07:02 AM   #8
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Cool. Almost an entire plan with great ideas. Thanks.
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Old 08-19-09, 10:30 AM   #9
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Thanks. I'll take a look at those.

What about the area from Hearst Castle on the coast and up towards Carmel?
The only problem with that is that it is a good 200+ miles one way from Fresno
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Old 08-19-09, 12:35 PM   #10
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If you're going to Sequoia, you might as well go to King's Canyon also. It is similarly breathtaking.

Don't know how it is now, but there were great, fresh oranges one could buy for very reasonable from groves around Porterville about 20 years ago.
If one heads into Kings Canyon you drop down and then start going up the Canyon. At just about the lowest point of the road is a cave system. The tour of the 'developed' part is interesting.

Sequoia can be done in a day, if one is happy with just stopping at the General Sherman tree and feeling like you are still in the city because there are so many people. You will not be able to get within 100 feet of this or The General Grant Tree. Stop by hte visitor center and ask about the Lincoln tree (might have it wrong, could be Washington). About 20 years ago they resurveyed the trees. it came out second largest. It is a mile walk from where the old hotel was. You can walk right up to the tree. Find out about Crecent Meadow. A meadow that John Muir considered the most beautiful. One can make it from Crecent Meadow to the Linclon tree also. At the far end of Crecent Meadow from the Parking lot is Tharps log, a house made out of a fallen log. If one hikes off the paved (yes paved) trails one can often find trees that burned out, yet still live. Some one can ride a horse thorugh without ducking. Then there is Moro rock at the south end of the park. Interesting 360 degree views.

Nope Sequoia is not a one day thing.
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Old 08-19-09, 05:03 PM   #11
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Mt. Whitney is really pretty but generally overrated and crowded this time of year.
Mt Whitney is the highest point in the continental US, and the view from the top is more than spectacular - I don't know how it could be over-rated, but that's just me.

Also, don't plan on going up there unless you have a permit. And these days, permits are given via a lottery. Used to be you could just stop in, get a wilderness permit, and go. Those days are long gone. Even if you could though, hiking up to 14,000'+ is not for everybody. Lots of folks get altitude sickness a long way from the top.
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