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Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

Level Contributor
4 posts
6 reviews
Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

Hi there. Looking for some advice on our itinerary plans for late June/early July 2018.

Currently, our plan is to drive from the Pismo Beach area straight across to Three Rivers where we would stay for 3 nights. This gives us a base to explore the area and parts of Sequoia over a couple of days. We then really would like to do some exploring of Kings Canyon before then heading on up to Yosemite for another 3 nights. However, we are struggling with deciding on how best to approach this - do we have enough time in 3 nights (2 whole days between travelling from Pismo/to Yosemite) to visit both Sequoia and Kings or; do we scrap one of them and go to just the one? We are both keen on actually experiencing and exploring the areas, not just driving through, taking a picture and saying we have been there type thing - we want to take it in as much as possible! We are also a little worried on whether there could be too much driving between these locations, although we are happy to leave early on given days to make the most of traffic levels.

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks.

10 replies to this topic
Long Beach...
Level Contributor
7,737 posts
1. Re: Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

I would keep checking for availability in the park. Also check Stony Creek Lodge

VisitSequoia.com

If you can't figure out anything in the park, then maybe look at the tiny motels/B&Bs on Hwy 180, Kings Canyon side of the park. Dunlap, Pinehurst, etc. Hwy 180 is an easier drive into the parks, less twisty and steep. Closer to Yosemite and an easier base for exploring both Kings Canyon and Sequoia. Or maybe just your last night or two on this side of the parks.

So Cal
Level Contributor
12,101 posts
75 reviews
2. Re: Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

Really depends on exactly what you want to do in Sequoia/Kings. I could spend the two whole days in the Giant Forest area just hiking around, but many people are happy with an hour or two of that. Since you're going on to Yosemite, I'm not sure I'd try to spend too much time down in Kings Canyon, but the drive really is nice.

Maybe on your transition day, plan to leave Three Rivers (or wherever you end up) very early on checkout, drive up into the park and on down to the end of the 180 (maybe a quick stop at the Grant Grove)? Just be sure to arrive in Yosemite before nightfall (fortunately you have plenty of daylight). That would allow you to spend your two full days in the Giant Forest, Crystal Cave if you want that, etc.

Carmel, California
Level Contributor
4,773 posts
11 reviews
3. Re: Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

Depends on what you want to do in Kings Canyon. From Three Rivers if you drive through the park, it will take about 3 hours to reach the bottom of the canyon. Maybe try to change your third night to Grant Grove or Cedar Grove. There's road construction on 198 from Three Rivers into Sequoia this season as well https:/…road-construction.htm

Fresno, California
Level Contributor
16 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

I would recommend spending your first day in the giant forest area, hiking Moro rock, general Sherman tree, and the tunnel log. Then the next day driving through generals highway to grants Grove and then down into Kings canyon and see Grizzly falls, maybe Zumult Meadows and the loop hike from Kanawyers. Each can easily be done in a day as long as you don't mind driving too much because the drive from three Rivers to Kings canyon is quite long.

Level Contributor
4 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

Thanks all for your really helpful comments, we appreciate it a lot!

We’ve done lots and lots of research particularly on TA.

We are now planning on staying in Three Rivers on our first night in the area, then the next day to drive up 198 to explore Sequoia (General Sherman Tree, Tunnel Log, Giant Forest, Lodgepole etc.) towards Dunlap. We plan to then stay the night at Dunlap but for the following day are now unable to decide on whether to spend the day exploring Kings (drive the 180 into Kings exploring Cedar Grove area and other places recommended by you and stay at Dunlap again after), or; forget Kings & drive from Dunlap straight to Mariposa & use the extra day for more exploring in Yosemite.

This would mean we have 3.5 days in Yosemite instead of 2.5. Would anyone suggest any preference between Kings & Yosemite & whether we would be missing out on all that much by missing out Kings? I guess we are asking whether we are going to regret NOT going to Kings, or whether the extra day in Yosemite will make up for that?

We know from our research that Kings is unique and so is Yosemite, but should both parks be on our bucket list? Bear in mind we will spend at least one full day in Sequoia.

Any further advice greatly received.

jjo
Chicago
Level Contributor
508 posts
196 reviews
6. Re: Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

Kings Canyon (the Cedar Grove area) is completely different than Sequoia. Basically, Kings Canyon is gorgeous, but Yosemite is even more spectacular. However, Yosemite is very crowded, and Kings Canyon is relatively peaceful. If you want to see the most iconic, spectacular scenery, spend more time in Yosemite. If spending time in a amazing place with far fewer people is appealing, do, don't miss Kings Canyon.

So Cal
Level Contributor
12,101 posts
75 reviews
7. Re: Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

Honestly, I think you could flip a coin here. They're both beautiful places - you have an embarrassment of riches.

Seattle
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
9,772 posts
79 reviews
8. Re: Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

The answer may hinge on where you are lodging in Yosemite.

Fresno, California
Level Contributor
16 posts
7 reviews
9. Re: Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

You'd not be missing too much skipping King's Canyon. I would go ahead and take the extra day in Yosemite. Yosemite is just spectacular and that way you can do everything in Yosemite valley and also hit up Glacier point. I would also recommend driving up Tioga Pass. I would say it's one of the top 5 most beautiful drives in the U.S. and also there are some great places to stop up there in the Yosemite high country along with some neat hikes to do.

Fresno, California
Level Contributor
1,924 posts
10. Re: Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon?

I would say one thing to consider is your "early July" comment. What specific dates are you discussing?

Independence Day in the US is the 4th day of July and is a national holiday. Many areas will be very busy not only on that day but also the day or two before.

The holiday will impact accommodation availability.

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