Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

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mackt
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Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by mackt » May 06 2013 8:19 am

Hey everybody. When I went to Arizona on a business trip in fall I found this website and had some great input that resulted in some really good day hikes. I'm hoping to get some more for this trip. First the fitness info:

I am going with a 30 year old female. She runs and works out and hikes here in the flatlands of Florida probably 1-10 miles per week. I am a 33 year old male. I work out and trail run here about 4.5 miles per run. I have hiked South Mountain in Arizona and climbed Squaw Peak at night (Phoenix Arizona), hiked to Mystic Lake in the Beartooths and in the Beartooths just outside Red Lodge (Montana). As a kid I did some hiking and multinight camping in the Smokies, as well as a little mountain climbing and rappelling. I think we can handle about any day hike that doesn't require climbing gear or something. I plan on taking my camelbak, a couple of knives/tools, headlamps, maps of our planned hikes, compass, cell phone, and lighter and matches in case of emergency.

We know the areas we're going and for how long. And to some degree we think we know what we want to do. However we're open to change and in the case of Yosemite we have no plan. Here goes:

1.5 days Big Sur:
Tuesday June 18th we will get up in San Francisco and drive the PCH over the Bixby Bridge and do some sightseeing. She wants to see the McWay Falls/cove so we will also stop there and do that hike. Im sure we'll take some time there to appreciate that but I would imagine that it wouldnt be later than 2 or 3 in the afternoon when we're done. We will be staying in the area, so we will have the rest of that afternoon and the next day to do something in the Big Sur area before we head over to Pinnacles National Park. We are considering Cone Peak. Please give us any suggestions on that or something else for the Remainder of Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday.

1 day Pinnacles National Park:
Thursday the 20th we will get up early and drive to Pinnacle. We'll do Pinnacle hiking all day and then that night I'll drive to Merced to stay in a hotel. So it will be an early wake up, long day of hiking, and probably a late evening arrival in Merced. The Bear Gulch cave will be closed unfortunately. We would like to do Balconies cave and we would like to see Pinnacles. I admit I haven't researched the hike well yet and don't know where the Pinnalces are or if that is feasible. I can usually cover a lot of ground by foot and car and see a lot of stuff when I'm hiking. But I don't know how difficult or dangerous a hike the caves will be and I see that the roads in the park are winding and at times one lane. So please advise if seeing both of these areas would be possible.

1.5 days Yosemite:
Friday the 21st we will get up in Merced and we will have that day to see Yosemite, we can stay anywhere that night, and then the next day we will get up and have about 4-5 hours before we have to head back to San Francisco. We have no plans or even ideas of what to see. We want to see Sequoias. I know they have some big ones up in Calaveras National Park. I know Half Dome is beautiful. I once spent a couple of days in Yellowstone/Grand Tetons and we didn't hike at all we just drove and saw so much stuff, Grizzlies, wolves, bison, waterfalls, geysers, the "Grand Canyon of Yellowstone". I wonder if it's the same situation here, it's such a big place we would be better suited to more driving than hiking. Maybe driving all day Friday, then Saturday getting up and riding to Calaveras to hike and see the Louis Agassiz Tree that morning before driving back? Please advise

Thanks everyone!

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Sredfield
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by Sredfield » May 30 2017 7:22 pm

@JimmyLyding
Redwoods but either work, just want to see the big trees really. Thanks
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

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flagscott
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by flagscott » May 30 2017 7:45 pm

JimmyLyding wrote:Are you referring to sequoias or redwoods?
There are no redwoods in Yosemite or anywhere else in the Sierra Nevada--only in the coast ranges. Sequoias are the one in the Sierra.

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JimmyLyding
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by JimmyLyding » Jun 01 2017 9:20 am

flagscott wrote:
JimmyLyding wrote:Are you referring to sequoias or redwoods?
There are no redwoods in Yosemite or anywhere else in the Sierra Nevada--only in the coast ranges. Sequoias are the one in the Sierra.
I am extremely well-versed on the geographical distribution of both species. I asked the question because Big Sur has redwoods while Yosemite has sequoias.

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chumley
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by chumley » Jun 01 2017 9:39 am

Are there groves of Sequoias in the Sierra that are only accessible on a backpacking trip (or long day hike), or are they all close to developed areas of the national parks? :-k

I've only been to Sequoia and Kings Canyon from the west side one time, and though I did backpack*, the only big trees we saw were when visiting the touristy spots. (Still totally worth doing).

*Silliman Pass was a fantastic trail.
*Lost Lake is possibly my favorite high Sierra campsite ever.
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flagscott
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by flagscott » Jun 01 2017 9:54 am

JimmyLyding wrote:
flagscott wrote:
JimmyLyding wrote:Are you referring to sequoias or redwoods?
There are no redwoods in Yosemite or anywhere else in the Sierra Nevada--only in the coast ranges. Sequoias are the one in the Sierra.
I am extremely well-versed on the geographical distribution of both species. I asked the question because Big Sur has redwoods while Yosemite has sequoias.
I just assumed that the question asker meant Yosemite since all the new responses were about Yosemite. Sorry if I assumed wrong--in my experience, the vast majority of people outside of CA (and probably most in CA--I lived there a while) don't know that these are two different species.

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JimmyLyding
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by JimmyLyding » Jun 01 2017 10:18 am

chumley wrote:Are there groves of Sequoias in the Sierra that are only accessible on a backpacking trip (or long day hike), or are they all close to developed areas of the national parks? :-k

I've only been to Sequoia and Kings Canyon from the west side one time, and though I did backpack*, the only big trees we saw were when visiting the touristy spots. (Still totally worth doing).

*Silliman Pass was a fantastic trail.
*Lost Lake is possibly my favorite high Sierra campsite ever.
I'm pretty sure there are at least a few sequoia groves that are off-the-beaten-path. I just received this book, and I'll check it out and let you know:

https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Sequoia-Gr ... ikearizona

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Tortoise_Hiker
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by Tortoise_Hiker » Jun 01 2017 2:01 pm

The three listing in the Yosemite book I have are Mariposa(the bigger one) and two little groves Merceed Grove and Tuolumne Grove. The two smaller ones are by Big Oak Flat/ Tioga Rd intersection.
Last edited by Tortoise_Hiker on Jun 02 2017 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JimmyLyding
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by JimmyLyding » Jun 01 2017 5:56 pm

I just breezed through the Sequoia book, and I didn't see any obvious backpacking opportunities. The vast majority of sequoia groves are accessible by paved roads. The groves that require a hike to reach are only 2-4 miles away. This site is an outstanding resource for sequoia hikes:
http://www.redwoodhikes.com/Sequoias.html
It's also a superb resource for redwood hikes. I own most of this guy's printed maps, and they are among the best I've seen.

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JimmyLyding
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by JimmyLyding » Jun 01 2017 6:23 pm

Sredfield wrote:@JimmyLyding
Redwoods but either work, just want to see the big trees really. Thanks
Shawn,
I think the best place to see redwoods are the Redwood National and State Parks. I just returned from a 5-day trip there, and will have photos up once I get through the 1,174 images I took. I love that place! It's turned into an annual trip for me, and I hope to one day retire somewhere in the general vicinity.

The nice thing about RNSP is that there is a lot more to see than just redwoods. I love those giants as much as the next person, but hiking through a dark redwood forest can get repetitive. There are beautiful, wild coastlines and and sunny, wide open ridge tops in addition to the finest redwood groves on earth.

Big Sur should be avoided until at least 2018 due to the lingering effects of the catastrophic Soberanes Fire and the continuing landslides. Hwy. 1 south of Gorda will probably be closed for months due to a gargantuan landslide, and the vast majority of trails in the area state parks and Ventana Wilderness are closed for now.

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Sredfield
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by Sredfield » Jun 01 2017 7:41 pm

@JimmyLyding
Thank you. We are narrowing our search to that area, thinking maybe a week in July or August. We are listening to "Wild Trees" for some back ground.
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

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JimmyLyding
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by JimmyLyding » Jun 01 2017 8:04 pm

@Sredfield
That's the best place on earth. I don't know what your lodging plans are, but you'll want to get on it now if you're planning on reserving a campsite.
Since you're going to be there for a week (jealous!) you may also want to check out the Siskiyou Wilderness (sasquatch, Devil's Punchbowl) and Trinity Wilderness (high peaks) areas as well. I highly recommend the Redwood Hikes Press trail maps as well.
I'd be happy to help with any questions. IMO the Redwood National and State Parks are far better than Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

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outdoor_lover
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Re: Big Sur, Pinnalces, Yosemite trip - Advice wanted!

Post by outdoor_lover » Jun 02 2017 8:14 pm

Sounds like a few people on here are heading that way this Summer, myself included. I need to do some Research on that Big Slide and see what I'm going to have to do since it's right in the middle of my Trip, Reservations included... And I have yet to figure out where I'm camping near Sequoia NP since everything was booked Solid already in February.... But my Reservations are set all the way around, top to bottom, so I may have to wing some stuff with Big Sur (if the State Park is closed) and Sequoia....
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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