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Solo Road Trip - SFO to (Yosemite, Death Valley) & Back.

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Solo Road Trip - SFO to (Yosemite, Death Valley) & Back.

Looking for advice.

Going on a solo round road trip August 26th to September 2nd from SFO.

About me - I like to stay active, morning person, runner, like to meet new people.

Can anyone recommend an itinerary that starts at SFO, Sees Death Valley, Yosemite and Returns to SFO?

I want to run a race in SF my first morning, so I wouldn't want to adjust Sat./Sun.

Saturday - Fly into SFO (from NJ), Get rental Car, Stay night in SF

Sunday - Run race, Find Meetup in SF in Afternoon, Stay night in SF

Monday - Drive to Yosemite (Leave Early), Stay at Airbnb near Yosemite, Explore area.

Tuesday - Explore Yosemite, Stay at same Airbnb.

Wednesday - Drive to Sierra National Park (Leave Early), Explore Sierra National Park

Thursday - Death Valley (Saline Valley Hot Springs and Race Track Playa)

Friday - Death Valley (Artists Pallet badwater Basin)

Saturday - Visit Moutan Whitney / Stay at Airbnb between Mountain Whitney and SF

Sunday - Explore area between SF and Mountain Whitney / Stay night in SF

Monday - Fly home Monday morning

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1. Re: Solo Road Trip - SFO to (Yosemite, Death Valley) & Back.

Pasting from another of your threads ...........

Where are you from?

"August 26th to September 2nd"

Aug 26 is a Sunday, but your itinerary begins on a Saturday. Sept 2 is a Sunday, but your itinerary has you flying out on Monday, Labor Day.

Why are you getting a rental car for San Francisco? So you'll have it ready to leave Monday?

Where is your Airbnb for Yosemite?

There is no such place as: Sierra National Park. There is Yosemite National Park. There is jointly managed Sequoia - Kings Canyon NP. There is Sierra National Forest. A National Park is not the same as a National Forest. Resources are managed for different uses. What do you want to do on Wednesday? Where will you be?

Will you be ready for the extreme heat in Death Valley? August average high is 115°F and low is 86°F. The record high is 127°F.

Saturday & Sunday (Sept 1&2) are part of the Labor Day holiday weekend. Have you secured lodging in the Eastern Sierra, somewhere near Mt Whitney?

I assume you're driving back to SF via Yosemite. Save your entrance fee receipt as it is valid for 7 days.

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2. Re: Solo Road Trip - SFO to (Yosemite, Death Valley) & Back.

Hi again

You can post on each city/destination page with questions about that place. Then all the info you receive about a destination will be collected into one thread.

Folks who know and love that destination might only read that destination page so they'll see your questions about their favorite place. (I know that is true of the Yosemite forum. Some Yosemite folks only read the Yosemite forum.)

Good luck with your planning. And please add your home location or at least your country or state or something.

Edited: June 06, 2018, 9:39 pm
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3. Re: Solo Road Trip - SFO to (Yosemite, Death Valley) & Back.

Hi PacificNWFamily,

Answered your questions below,

Where are you from?

NJ

Why are you getting a rental car for San Francisco? So you'll have it ready to leave Monday?

Yes

Where is your Airbnb for Yosemite?

I haven't booked anything yet. Assuming a lodge there might be a better pick if there are openings now?

What do you want to do on Wednesday? Where will you be?

I would like to hike in Sierra National Forest. (Thank you for catching my mistake, with the typo.)

Will you be ready for the extreme heat in Death Valley?

Thank you for making me aware. A friend of mine that knows Death Valley well might be showing me around then. Would you recommend hiking there early before it gets hot and doing something different in this area if my friend backs out?

Saturday & Sunday (Sept 1&2) are part of the Labor Day holiday weekend. Have you secured lodging in the Eastern Sierra, somewhere near Mt Whitney?

I haven't made any bookings, yet since I wanted to get a second opinion on trip advisor before booking.

I assume you're driving back to SF via Yosemite. Save your entrance fee receipt as it is valid for 7 days.

Thanks so much for your advice overall. I will. Yes driving there and flying out of SFO Labor Day morning

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4. Re: Solo Road Trip - SFO to (Yosemite, Death Valley) & Back.

ForeveranAthlete

Once again: There is NO Sierra National Park. Please tell us which park you are talking about.

The Sierra National Forest request is ..... odd.... It is a huge area encompassing 6 million sq feet size. It bridges the Sierras and so is technically accessible from either the west or the eastern side, but there is no road that crosses between the two other than Tioga Pass Road in Yosemite National Park

Can you please explain what has led you to "Sierra National Forest" What did you read about or find as a recommendation because it's just impossible to give you any salient information with this request.

Yosemite gets booked up so quickly in summer. You really need to aim for the closest place inside the park or close too it. It's just useless staying in a cheap air BnB which will consume two hours of driving time to get into or out of the park and that's what happens when you don't get reservations in advance,

If you can't afford to stay inside the park ( Half Dome Tented Cabins or White Wolf Tented Cabins) would be the most affordable and best option at about $160 a night plus tax. Other than that, take a look at the Yosemite Bug Resort for a variety of accommodation options.

For Mt Whitney you need to stay in Lone Pine. Lone PIne has a hostel. You need a permit to hike Mt. Whitney. I hope you read and plan about hiking Mt. Whitney. You need to be prepared with proper clothing and footwear, When you get a permit, you have to take a bag with you to collect your own waste as there are no facilities along the way and pollution with human waste is a big problem there.

Lone Pine is too far to be a place to stay when visiting Death Valley, You will likely have to get a motel in Beatty. And you will really want air conditioning. It's miserable hot in DV in end of August.

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5. Re: Solo Road Trip - SFO to (Yosemite, Death Valley) & Back.

Also: A caution about trail running

There are two predators in the Calfornia Sierras: Bears and Mountain Lions.

Bears avoid people and generally are only after any food you carry. Mother bears with cubs are a real danger and to be avoided at all costs You can run from most bears and they won't chase you, but mother bears will attack if you approach a cub.

Mountain Lions are much more dangerous. Motion activates their prey drive so you won't see them until you run by and they tackle you as if you were a deer. This is becoming more and more of a problem. You will not spot them first, so solitary or even partnered trail running has this added danger. If attacked in a remote trail location, you would not get help until someone else came by - hours or even days later. You really need to check with park rangers about the local hazards and consider sticking to more populated trails

Edited: June 06, 2018, 11:37 pm
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6. Re: Solo Road Trip - SFO to (Yosemite, Death Valley) & Back.

In Death Valley in late Aug the daily highs can exceed 120 F

The coolest part of the day will be about 2-3 am when the temps are 85-90F.

Hiking should be done in the high altitude areas only. Heat stroke kills people

Edited: June 06, 2018, 11:42 pm
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7. Re: Solo Road Trip - SFO to (Yosemite, Death Valley) & Back.

I assumed "Sierra" was a typo for Sequoia National Park. It's about 4 hours south of Yosemite and is often combined with Yosemite and Death Valley (in fact, we just did that).

For Death Valley, does your friend have a high clearance vehicle with very solid tires and a couple spares? Apparently that's what you need to get to the Racetrack (the road is covered with very sharp volcanic rock that hasn't had centuries to get worn down.) Even the plain old dirt roads there will shake your car up. If you don't have a solid 4WD available, you could rent one there or book a tour, or just stick to sights off the paved main roads - there's plenty to see and do that way. See the Death Valley forum for more info.

Mt Whitney - this is really perplexing me. You can see it from around Lone Pine, and you can drive to Whitney Portal - is that what you meant? To actually go up the mountain, you need a few days and gear and conditioning hikes and prep and etc.

Also, between Mt Whitney and SF is the great big bunk of the Sierra Nevada and the central valley. You have to go over or around - either south on the 58 or 178 and up the 99 or 5 (very boring) or north up the 395 and west on Tioga Rd back through Yosemite (very scenic). There are no roads across the Sierras between the 178 and Tioga Rd /120. So depending on exactly what you wanted to see around Mt Whitney, you'd want to stay that night either around the Lee Vining side, or way over outside the western end of Yosemite again. (Assuming you don't want to opt for the very boring 58/178 + 99/5.)

Edited: June 07, 2018, 10:22 am
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