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Ron Marshall
13-Feb-2014, 08:30
This September I will be in Yosemite for a week. I have another week to spend in the area and would appreciate any suggestions.
(If I were going without my wife, I would stay in Yosemite for two weeks.)

Places that so far have caught my interest: Mount Tamalpais SP, Mendocino Headlands SP, Bowling Ball beach, Russian Gulch SP, Point Reyes.

Bruce Barlow
13-Feb-2014, 11:55
Kings Canyon NP, including Sequoia. When I passed through Yosemite, it was still hazy from the fires. Kings Canyon was a little clearer, with spectacular scenery. And I guess I'm a tree-huggrer, because the sequoias were wonderful.

I found Pt. Reyes to be disappointing, and it might be tough to find Mt. Tam without a million of your best friends there, too.

Why not consider Carmel, and a pilgrimage to Weston Beach at Pt. Lobos? Lots of shopping for the lady, great food, and spectacular photography. Leaver her to shop (dangerous!) while you roam.

John Kasaian
13-Feb-2014, 12:16
HWY 49---the Gold Rush country is interesting. Over on the coast on HWY 1 is Big Sur from Monterey to San Luis Obispo. HWY 101 has the missions and most of the wineries. As mentioned, there's Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
All the passes over the Sierra should be open in October and it would be a pity if you didn't get to explore the Tioga Pass area and HWY 395 either South to Mammoth or north to the Lake Tahoe area.

Ron Marshall
13-Feb-2014, 12:31
Thanks Bruce! I completely forgot about King's Canyon. I will add it to my list.


Kings Canyon NP, including Sequoia. When I passed through Yosemite, it was still hazy from the fires. Kings Canyon was a little clearer, with spectacular scenery. And I guess I'm a tree-huggrer, because the sequoias were wonderful.

I found Pt. Reyes to be disappointing, and it might be tough to find Mt. Tam without a million of your best friends there, too.

Why not consider Carmel, and a pilgrimage to Weston Beach at Pt. Lobos? Lots of shopping for the lady, great food, and spectacular photography. Leaver her to shop (dangerous!) while you roam.

Ron Marshall
13-Feb-2014, 12:34
Thanks John! I am planning to head over Tioga pass to Mono lake and the Twenty lakes basin. Perhaps Tahoe as well. So much to see!


HWY 49---the Gold Rush country is interesting. Over on the coast on HWY 1 is Big Sur from Monterey to San Luis Obispo. HWY 101 has the missions and most of the wineries. As mentioned, there's Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
All the passes over the Sierra should be open in October and it would be a pity if you didn't get to explore the Tioga Pass area and HWY 395 either South to Mammoth or north to the Lake Tahoe area.

Drew Wiley
13-Feb-2014, 17:18
I pity you. Don't go running all over the place. Concentrate on a limited area. Yosemite and the Gold country below will still both be hot, but the lower hills can be
lovely that time of year if you have an acquired taste for its particular colors. A realistic loop would be over Tioga Pass, over to Mono Lk, then back over Sonora Pass. This would give you some time to actually enjoy some things. Kings Can and Sequoia need some time in their own right; and remember, you're really not dealing
with much of either park in that case, but of distant views of the canyons and peaks which can be obscured by smoke or haze at lower elevations. With Tioga and
Sonora Passes you can actually drive up fairly high to get above that. Just have to keep attuned to the weather forecasts and respective Park website current
warnings. Sometimes thunderstorms come in that time of year and clean up the air wonderfully, sometimes they don't. Often there is already a dusting off snow
on higher peaks - a wonderful treat.

Leszek Vogt
13-Feb-2014, 18:58
Indeed, you need few more weeks :>). I could name bunch of places (on the central coast), but you could rediscover peace and serenity at Jalama Beach or Montana de Oro. Much depends on what you are after. Then there are something like 1/2 dozen of Calif Missions nearby, etc etc.

Les

Jon Shiu
13-Feb-2014, 19:10
I recommend the North Coast. A drive up Highway 1 is beautiful and the light gets really nice in September.

Jon

Darin Boville
13-Feb-2014, 19:24
I'm with Drew. Pick two places and explore them more deeply. One week for Yosemite (including Tioga and Mono lake), maybe another week along the coast? Would make a nice contrast and break things up a bit.

--Darin

richardman
13-Feb-2014, 19:47
If you like trees, then head over to the King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, not too far from Yosemite. If you have never been to the coast, then spend one or two days starting from the north end of the Golden Gate bridge (why not?) and drive down to Big Sur. Then you can decide where you want to spend another day or two.

Ron Marshall
14-Feb-2014, 06:53
Many thanks for all of the considered responses. I have decided to take your advice and spend most of the second week in or near Yosemite to save on driving and logistics. There are so many great hikes in the high country and September will be a great time for that.

Thanks again!

John Kasaian
14-Feb-2014, 07:00
Thanks John! I am planning to head over Tioga pass to Mono lake and the Twenty lakes basin. Perhaps Tahoe as well. So much to see!
Try to hit the Whoa Nellie Deli in Lee Vining for at least one meal.

Ron Marshall
14-Feb-2014, 08:45
Any recommendations for where to stay in Lee Vining?

Drew Wiley
14-Feb-2014, 12:16
Just always always always have a raincoat and sweater in your daypack for hikes away from the road. The weather can change very fast and severe at altitude
that time of year.

Bill_1856
14-Feb-2014, 13:35
You might want to check out this video of Roman Loranc in the Central valley.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9D1Li1ZCDA

dsphotog
14-Feb-2014, 15:54
While you are in the Mono Lake area, you might like Bodie. A nice place to stay in the area is Virginia Creek Settlement, Motel rooms, cabins, tents, and great pizza and lasagna.

Ron Marshall
14-Feb-2014, 16:47
This site is a useful resource for Yosemite hikes:

http://www.yosemitehikes.com/hikes.htm

Ron Marshall
14-Feb-2014, 16:56
Thanks Bill, I enjoyed it very much!


You might want to check out this video of Roman Loranc in the Central valley.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9D1Li1ZCDA

Drew Wiley
14-Feb-2014, 16:58
It can still be pretty damn hot down in Yos Valley that time of year, and given the severity of the drought, all the falls except those on the main river will probably
be totally dry. The high country will be nice, regardless. No mosquitoes that late in the year, and depending, might even be a pinch of fall color. There are many
wonderful side canyon hikes up from Hwy 395 south of Lee Vining, plus overlooks up at Mammoth pass, the June Lake loop, Rock Creek above Tom's place, which has
an almost level hike into the scenic Little Lakes area. North of Lee Vining you've got Mono Lk, Conway Summit, Bridgeport, and Sonora Pass (great car camping area).
Way way more than enough to do in the general area in a week without long distance stress driving. Play it by the weather. Every year is a little different.

Ron Marshall
14-Feb-2014, 17:53
I'm thinking of the Cathedral lakes hike, south of Tuolumne meadows; 20 lakes basin; Green creek to Summit lake. If you have taken any of these hikes I would appreciate your opinion.


It can still be pretty damn hot down in Yos Valley that time of year, and given the severity of the drought, all the falls except those on the main river will probably
be totally dry. The high country will be nice, regardless. No mosquitoes that late in the year, and depending, might even be a pinch of fall color. There are many
wonderful side canyon hikes up from Hwy 395 south of Lee Vining, plus overlooks up at Mammoth pass, the June Lake loop, Rock Creek above Tom's place, which has
an almost level hike into the scenic Little Lakes area. North of Lee Vining you've got Mono Lk, Conway Summit, Bridgeport, and Sonora Pass (great car camping area).
Way way more than enough to do in the general area in a week without long distance stress driving. Play it by the weather. Every year is a little different.

John Kasaian
14-Feb-2014, 19:07
Any recommendations for where to stay in Lee Vining? Ansel Adams' family has a restored vintage motor court, IIRC, across the way from where the Marina used to be at Mono Lake on 395 a short ways out of town. Sorry I don't remember the name but others here will know it.
I've stayed at Murphy's Motel and I thought it was nice. there is also the Tioga Pass Lodge just past the Yosemite gate, which would also be a good base for the 20 Lakes area if camping isn't your cup of java.

John Kasaian
14-Feb-2014, 19:15
Another scenic area is Virginia Lake---there is a lodge there serving great pies (if that is important to you)
http://www.virginialakesresort.com/

and the camp ground across the road at Turnbull Lake is one of the best in the area IMHO (or at least it was the last time I camped there!)

dsphotog
14-Feb-2014, 22:00
Another interesting place along 395, Devil's Postpile.

John Bowen
15-Feb-2014, 13:07
Lone Pine and Death Valley are also places to consider

Kirk Fry
15-Feb-2014, 23:46
Big Basin is often overlooked. First Big Trees saved from the wood cutters the Sierra Club. Just North of Santa Cruz.

ROL
16-Feb-2014, 10:25
Okay, so since this thread is still going, I'll paraphrase one of my old teachers, Carl Sharsmith.

One week in Central California? If I were you, I'd go sit under that big ol' Sequoia, by the rapids in that wild river, under that 10,000 foot canyon wall, on top of that 14,000 foot summit during a raging thunderstorm, out in that meadow counting wildflowers, deep in those sand dunes, watching those elephant seals sunning themselves on a rocky beach, or melt into that smooth granite wall warmed by the California sun – and cry.

John Kasaian
16-Feb-2014, 12:23
You really need to determine what subjects interest you and be flexible enough so if weather or fires or park closures shut down one location, you can explore another with minimal down time.
The weather in the Sierra, it's been said, is as unpredictable as a baby's bottom.

DG 3313
16-Feb-2014, 13:23
Bodie, Mono Lake, June Lake loop and Convict Lake are a few more spots worth the time.......and they are close to Yosemite. Carmel, Monterey, Point Lobos are good for costal access.

tgtaylor
16-Feb-2014, 17:54
Okay, so since this thread is still going, I'll paraphrase one of my old teachers, Carl Sharsmith.

One week in Central California? If I were you, I'd go sit under that big ol' Sequoia, by the rapids in that wild river, ... and cry.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2884/12576656253_da79d3d0de_b.jpg

Well no big Sequoia here but a big Oak along the San Joaquin on a Sunday afternoon in early spring.

Thomas

Ron Marshall
17-Feb-2014, 13:36
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I have decided to keep it simple: One week in Yosemite valley; five days for hikes off the Tioga pass road; two days on the coast, including a visit to San Simeon.

Drew Wiley
18-Feb-2014, 14:30
The famous Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle in San Simeon is drained this year for repairs and general drought considerations. Otherwise, will be interesting.
But it takes about half a day for a tour there.

Jim Andrada
22-Feb-2014, 20:43
Another vote for Bodie, not too far from Mono Lake. It's a ghost town that's maintained in a state of "arrested decay" which means that if a building was on the verge of falling down it's been internally braced so it's permanently on the verge of falling down. Fascinating place.