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Thread: Planning Roadtrip for June in Middle/Western USA

  1. #91
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    Re: Planning Roadtrip for June in Middle/Western USA

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    A lot of Rest areas get pretty crowded during the season and you can't find a parking space. So like a bunch of bums, they tell you to keep moving.

    wasn't crowded. 2 of us in the whole huge parking lot, on a weeknight and it wasn't "closed". it was just a state policeman enforcing the "no resting in the rest area" policy.

  2. #92
    Les
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    Re: Planning Roadtrip for June in Middle/Western USA

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    About two weeks and I'm off on this trip. Changes that have come up is a fast-track drive to Las Vegas to start for the conference I am attending and then I can do whatever.

    Currently planning on leaving LV at 3:30am or so June 10th to get to Death Valley area well before sunrise. Do as much as I can before the heat becomes untenable and then drive to Mono Lake to see the sunset.

    I see several "first come first serve" campsites near Lee Vinings, near the Eastern Yosemite Valley entrance, as well as dispersed camping availability around Mono Lake, according to Forestry Service. I will have to be in Yosemite before 6am June 11th or else I won't get in. No problem there, I will be itching to go as soon as my eyes close.

    June 11th all day in Yosemite, starting 4-5am I guess, coming from the east on Tioga Pass. Need to find someplace on the west side to camp, and maybe make a second pass the next day.

    June 12th drive to San Mateo, staying with family for several days.

    June 15th or 16th or thereabouts heading north on the coastal highway.

    I'm reviewing all the suggestions and adding things but the Death Valley and Yosemite areas I think will be the most difficult, in terms of sleeping anyway. Found a hostel cheap in Mammoth Lakes area in case I need that. The coastal CA area is a bit more populous and AirBnB or other lodging is available. Will definitely be reaching out to some of you in June as well. Goal will be about 3 days to get to Portland. Stay for a day or two with friends and then up to Seattle, perhaps stay at a hotel/AirBnB until heading east to Glacier. I have some AirBnB plans over there where I might stay an extra day or two. Meander south and then east home afterwards.

    Thanks for the earlier and future suggestions!
    As many have said, the forecast (temps) for DV in early June does not look good....and likely it will continue till Nov. Just saw 108 deg suppose to be on May 25th (really, no news there). Some of that will be felt in Baker (being the DV exhaust pipe) and other adjacent areas....and even on Rte 395. Hope you had a chance to talk to someone at Yos. There are many campgrounds on Rte 120 (Upper Yosemite) but many appear to be closed. White Wolf seem to be open, but with avalanches of folks rolling in into the park, I have no idea what are your chances. Tamarack Flat, which is not too far from the Valley, it sort of became my fave.....tho one had to show up early to find a spot....as others were leaving. At that time, that campground was on first-come first-served basis....currently it shows as closed (temporarily).

    Back in the old days (mid 70's) my AF friend Bill L. and I arrived at the park at the Valley at night. It was also June and when we slid via Tioga Pass (nearly 10K' elevation) we threw snowballs at each other....both wearing shorts. Anyhoo, we got to Bridevail Falls late, spreded mats on the benches, crawled into sleeping bags and slept soundly to the sound of the nearby falls....till people started to arrive.... Doubt if this could be replicated today.
    Les

    On occasion I noticed there is real life outside the GG/viewfinder.

  3. #93

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    Re: Planning Roadtrip for June in Middle/Western USA

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Speaking of Delicate Arch, I decided the park did a good enough job for me and I didn't feel like walking all the way over there and back.
    Alan: My wife took the exact same picture last month! Cracks us up.

  4. #94
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Planning Roadtrip for June in Middle/Western USA

    Just be careful where you pull off on side roads around Mono Lake. It's awfully easy to get trapped in the loose pumice sand. And expect some nasty big mosquitoes at night anywhere near the lake. But if you simply drive Hwy 395 uphill a few miles to the north, right at the summit of the pass (Conway Summit) you arrive at the Virginia Lakes road, which has quite a few camping opportunities in the aspen. The whole question, however, is how much will be snow-free and accessible so early in June?

    Yosemite is now open to entry only via reservation in advance. Technically, you can drive straight through over Tioga Pass on Hwy 120 and to some west side exit provided you stay strictly on 120 and don't stop for any reason. They hypothetically time you, and can give you a citation for even stopping to take a picture unless you have an entry reservation. Of course, they can't prevent you from sightseeing with your eyes only; but even entering Yosemite Valley itself would be a violation. I have no idea of the actual strictness of enforcement, but Yosemite Rangers tend to be particularly uptight and impatient due to being more crowd-control police than naturalists.

    Casual car camping is possible outside the Park on Forest Service land, but it takes some experience to know where those opportunities are, unless you are willing to spend the night in smokey and boom box noisy official FS campgrounds. The lower hill country on the west side will be hot and buggy at night, but otherwise beautiful. Sonora Pass on Hwy 108, just an hour north of Mono Lake, has ample unofficial car camping opportunities plus great scenery. Sonora Pass is already open, and Tioga Pass is scheduled to open late this week. Both roads come out on the west side at the same point, on Hwy 120 near Chinese Camp just below Sonora.

  5. #95

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    Re: Planning Roadtrip for June in Middle/Western USA

    Bryan, you've gotten all the advice you can use, so I'll limit this to my wish for your trip. May there be no wildfires raging during it. Ambient temperature in Death Valley doesn't count as one.

  6. #96
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Planning Roadtrip for June in Middle/Western USA

    Thanks Sal.

    Drew, as long as you get in the gates before 6am, no reservation required in Yosemite. I don't have any problem with "noisy" campgrounds - since I'm mostly deaf in my right ear I just rest on my left ear and the noise disappears .
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  7. #97
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Planning Roadtrip for June in Middle/Western USA

    The official wording is "driving into OR THROUGH" the park after 6:00AM, somewhat ambiguous. So you might want to double-check that. That time of year I'm personally a lot more interested in shots up high than going down into crowded, heavy-traffic, potentially smokey and smoggy Yosemite Valley itself. But yeah, my own strategy once the Memorial Day mess is over will be to drive to the east side, get slightly over Tioga Pass very early, and hope to spend some quality photo time before the mosquitoes go berserk in the high meadows as the snow melts. I have a lifetime Parks Pass, so there's no complication about that either, if I get questioned for not having an entry receipt. West side entry (not exit) can be awful on weekends. They aren't kidding about up to 2 hr long lines behind the entry station, especially on Hwy 41.

    And maybe I said this earlier, but the Mobil Station right where 120 meets 395 below Tioga Pass, just outside the town of Lee Vining, has a deli with some incredible burgers etc, even elk or buffalo meat if you can afford it, but the regular $13 beef sirloin burger is about as good as it can get; great breakfast burritos too, but I don't know how early they are open.

  8. #98
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Planning Roadtrip for June in Middle/Western USA

    My America the Beautiful renewal came in the mail this week and so it's not really about the payment but about the new "reservation" system they implemented during Covid and have apparently kept to work on crowd control.

    I wish my timeline didn't have Yosemite on the weekend as I know that's not optimal but, it is what it is. I suppose if I get a sweet campground right outside the gates I might splurge and stay a few days, but on the other hand I do have a lot of ground to cover .
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  9. #99
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Planning Roadtrip for June in Middle/Western USA

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    About two weeks and I'm off on this trip. Changes that have come up is a fast-track drive to Las Vegas to start for the conference I am attending and then I can do whatever.

    Currently planning on leaving LV at 3:30am or so June 10th to get to Death Valley area well before sunrise. Do as much as I can before the heat becomes untenable and then drive to Mono Lake to see the sunset.

    I see several "first come first serve" campsites near Lee Vinings, near the Eastern Yosemite Valley entrance, as well as dispersed camping availability around Mono Lake, according to Forestry Service. I will have to be in Yosemite before 6am June 11th or else I won't get in. No problem there, I will be itching to go as soon as my eyes close.

    June 11th all day in Yosemite, starting 4-5am I guess, coming from the east on Tioga Pass. Need to find someplace on the west side to camp, and maybe make a second pass the next day.

    June 12th drive to San Mateo, staying with family for several days.

    June 15th or 16th or thereabouts heading north on the coastal highway.

    I'm reviewing all the suggestions and adding things but the Death Valley and Yosemite areas I think will be the most difficult, in terms of sleeping anyway. Found a hostel cheap in Mammoth Lakes area in case I need that. The coastal CA area is a bit more populous and AirBnB or other lodging is available. Will definitely be reaching out to some of you in June as well. Goal will be about 3 days to get to Portland. Stay for a day or two with friends and then up to Seattle, perhaps stay at a hotel/AirBnB until heading east to Glacier. I have some AirBnB plans over there where I might stay an extra day or two. Meander south and then east home afterwards.

    Thanks for the earlier and future suggestions!
    Bryan: Red Rock Canyon just 20 minutes west of Las Vegas has a great 13 mile road drive thru the canyon These pictures were taken from the car stops long the way so you don't need to hike in hot weather for fabulous views.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/alankl...57717671668191

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/alankl...57717671668191

  10. #100
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Planning Roadtrip for June in Middle/Western USA

    Could someone tell me if they're getting my album in last message i posted or something else? I'm not getting my album.

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