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Driving routes NPs of California

Amsterdam, The...
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Driving routes NPs of California

This September we`ll be traveling the South West of the US and visit Sequioa NP, Kings Canyon and Yosemite before heading to Vegas via Death Vally. Where can I find the best driving routes through and along the NPs including camping grounds as we are travelling with an RV.

Can we cross every NP or do we have to go to Yosemite to get to the other side? What roads can we take and which can`t we take with an RV? What is the best way to plan our trip?

And last but not least, what highlights should be on our bucket list for this road trip?

Thanks,

Arnoud

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Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon
849 Reviews
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
11 replies to this topic
Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Driving routes NPs of California

Yikes! RV travel on winding mountain roads? No campsite reservations? Are you sure?

Each National Park has its own website with a link to camping information. And each NP has its own forum page.

Yosemite has information about camping linked to the Top Questions on the right side of that forum page. Reservations for Yosemite campsites opened & filled awhile ago. I'm not sure what you'll find now. There are a few First Come First Served campgrounds that might work, assuming your trip is before they close for the season.

This basic map might help: https:/…SEKImap2.pdf

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San Francisco, Ca
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2. Re: Driving routes NPs of California

How much time do you have for this portion of the trip? Where are you starting from before going to the National Parks? How long is the RV? (And do you have RV driving experience?) Is your RV allowed in Death Valley at that time of year?

Yosemite is the only one of mountain parks that has an eastern entrance/exit (Tioga Pass). Assuming you start from LA, you'll probably go Sequoia/Kings Canyon, then Yosemite, then Death Valley.

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The National Hotel
The National Hotel
131 Reviews
Jackson, CA
Tioga Pass
Tioga Pass
1,040 Reviews
Yosemite National Park, CA
Sequoia Lodge
Sequoia Lodge
155 Reviews
Kernville, CA
Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon
849 Reviews
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Long Beach...
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3. Re: Driving routes NPs of California

How long do you have the RV for? When/where are you picking it up? When/where are you dropping it off?

I would figure out Yosemite campground/RV Park reservations ASAP! And at least your weekends (Friday/Saturday) elsewhere.

Sequoia NP has vehicle length restrictions, on Hwy 198. Basically you'll want to arrive and depart on Hwy 180, Grant Grove Kings Canyon... (not on the 'South Side' / Three Rivers side of the park).

https:/…vehicle-restrictions.htm

Edited: June 11, 2018, 6:55 am
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Sequoia Lodge
Sequoia Lodge
155 Reviews
Kernville, CA
Grant Grove
Grant Grove
288 Reviews
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon
849 Reviews
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Sunnyvale...
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4. Re: Driving routes NPs of California

You can’t cross Sequoia because Mount Whitney is in the way. If you don’t know what that is, please look it up. Whitney is famous for a very good reason!

It would be ridiculously expensive to build a highway across that mountain range and there are no major population centers on each side of the range that would justify the expense. Look at the parks in Google Maps in 3D or Google Earth to understand the terrain you’ll be tackling in an RV.

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Sequoia Lodge
Sequoia Lodge
155 Reviews
Kernville, CA
Mount Whitney
Mount Whitney
44 Reviews
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Amsterdam, The...
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5. Re: Driving routes NPs of California

Thanks for all the tips. To sum it up, we`ll be picking up our RV on the 17th of september and will visit Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon and Zion (not in that order) first before going to LV and driving via Death Valley to Yosemite and heading down again to Sequioa and King`s Canyon before heading back to Phoenix where we`ll be picking up and dropping off the RV about 22 days later.

We`ve pretty much figured out our day planning and will be starting to make reservations for the campsites (if still possible). Are there any alternatives when campgrounds are full?

Long Beach...
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6. Re: Driving routes NPs of California

September/October is a very popular and great time to visit these parks- I would figure out reservations for most of your nights-- particularly the National Parks nights!! So popular!! (Or if you are going to try first-come first-served Campgrounds have a good back-up plan.)

Start with Campgrounds inside the park. Then look at RV Parks outside of the parks- often there is a free/fee shuttle into the park (double check each RV Park and verify that the shuttle runs in September). There are often KOA RV Parks near most National Parks, so that is an option too.

ReserveAmerica.com

Recreation.gov

KOA.com

If you are unable to find anything for a particular park, post on that parks forum-- often there are folks who know of other options (RV Parks less advertised, dispersed camping, etc)

Edited: June 28, 2018, 4:02 am
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The National Hotel
The National Hotel
131 Reviews
Jackson, CA
Olancha RV Park and Motel
Olancha RV Park and Motel
107 Reviews
Olancha, CA
Long Beach...
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7. Re: Driving routes NPs of California

This thread from the Utah Forum might have some tips for you..

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28965…

Post again if you run into any challenges.

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Utah
Utah
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Amsterdam, The...
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8. Re: Driving routes NPs of California

Thanks for the tips. We`ll definitely take them into account. We pretty much have our itinerary figured out, we just need to fill in the dots and make the final reservations.

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9. Re: Driving routes NPs of California

Some RVs rentals are not allowed in Death Valley at the height of summer heat (which September is). Be sure your rental is.

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Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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10. Re: Driving routes NPs of California

Hello arnoudtijssen, welcome to TripAdvisor. I'm a long time RVer and you've gotten some excellent advice above. One thing that you did not reply to, though, is how long is your motorhome?

If it is longer than 22 feet, you will need to take the alternate route into Sequoia as mentioned in post 3.

Do be very certain that the RV rental company allows units into Death Valley. Most do not!

You *must* stay in a recognized campground within a National Park. You cannot 'wild camp' within a NP. Some National Parks have privately owned RV parks and campgrounds very near to the park boundaries - just outside. Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon are two for sure since I've stayed in them. They may have vacancies when the NP campgrounds are booked up. At Yosemite, there are several privately owned campgrounds within about an hour from the main valley.

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