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Thread: West coast trip help

  1. #1
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    West coast trip help

    I'm already giving thoughts to a next big trip, initially considering flying into Sacramento, spending several days in Lake Tahoe, then several in Yosemite, before flying home from Sacramento. But then I started reading about Olympic National Park in Washington, and thought that too would be an amazing destination. And Seattle had been on my to-do list as well, so I could knock both out in that visit. But instead of two separate cross-country visits, I'm wondering how feasible it would be to fly into Seattle, and spend ? days visiting Seattle & ONP, then flying (1 hr + flight) from Seattle to Sacramento, and then visiting Lake Tahoe and Yosemite (perhaps skipping Tahoe), before flying home from Sacramento. Is that too much (part of me thinks so, but part thinks it'd be better to plan one long trip vs. 2 cross-country trips)? How is the wheelchair access in ONP? And how many days? Thanks for any feedback!

  2. #2
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    no experience traveling, but I would suggest one long trip.

  3. #3
    been to ONP many times. i like lake quinault lodge, but that is on south end. ferry goes to port angeles (north end). in any case, it's really necessary to have a vehicle to get around. there are short accessible trails, like at the hoh rainforest, but ONP is a BIG place. i drive my van over there and use quinault as my base point. will you have a vehicle? http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisi...essibility.pdf

  4. #4
    I would lean toward doing these in two separate trips. Your plan sounds exhausting. Seattle is great, but getting out of town out to the ONP, and also visiting the San Juan Islands (via ferry) including the Anacortes area, considering driving to Mt. Rainer or even all the way to Mt. St. Helens area for sightseeing would be a wonderful trip.

    Flying into Sacramento on a separate trip would allow you to visit Yosemite, but also Lake Tahoe, and if you are into national parks, you would also need to visit Kings Canyon and Sequoia.

    When are you planning to do these trips? If you are going in April to the Seattle area, visit La Conner to see all the spring bulbs blooming in that area.

    Yosemite is really best in the summer, but incredibly crowded esp. in the Valley. Tuolumne Meadows and the Tioga Pass Road rarely opens before Memorial Day, and the Glacier Point road may not be open before that time either if we get a lot of snow the previous winter. King's Canyon road is also closed in winter.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    I think (with more then 1.5 years to ponder) that I will focus on Yosemite, skipping even Lake Tahoe. My big interest is photography, so I think Yosemite and surrounding area will definitely satisfy. I would likely plan the first week in June (of 2016). Would arriving at SFO, driving directly to Yosemite (on a Monday), driving back on a Friday, departing SFO on Saturday be enough time (or too much)?

    Also, I would want to consider renting a lift this time. Do companies ever meet you at the airport for drop-off/pickup?

  6. #6
    Ah heck, I waited too long. Mount Rainer is not to be missed. There are several destinations and it can easily be a day trip from Seattle. When I the moms used to take us kids up there on the last day of school to play.

    Late June is better than early June as there would be more open later in the year as it warms. The opportunity for photography should not disappoint.
    http://www.visitrainier.com/pg/parkR...ers---Paradise Click on the others, sunrise, etc to get more of an idea what is there.

    Chinook pass skirting the mountain is my favorite highway in the state. Most of these photos can be taken and seen from the car: http://www.takemytrip.com/11rainier/08n_07a.htm
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ZEN12many's Avatar
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    That Yosemite schedule only leaves you Tue, Wed, and Thur to see the park. I think you need more time. That might be enough if you plan on only being in the valley but if you want to drive up to the top (of anything) it is a long drive - a day's worth by itself.

    I don't know if you can get the flights, but I would rather fly into and out of Sacramento than San Francisco.

    Too bad pictures don't capture smell. Yosemite is so woodsy smelling.
    TM 2004 T12 incomplete

  8. #8
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    Thank you for the great feedback. I would prefer to visit the first week in June, before schools let out. Is the road to Glacier Point usually open by then? How long of a drive is it from Yosemite Lodge to Glacier Point? I have looked into flying into Sacramento, but there are no direct flights from Philadelphia to SFO. JFK has direct flights to Sacramento, but they are late night flights.

  9. #9
    Many schools in CA are out by the first week of June, so crowds start right after Memorial day. Usually the Glacier Point road is open by then. It takes at least an hour to drive from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point. Tuolemne Meadows is sometimes open that early, but the Tioga Pass Road often does not open until the end of June. The drive from the Valley to there is at least 1.5-2 hours. These times are based on not stopping to look at anything or take photos on your way.

    Sacramento is at least 2 hours closer to Yosemite than San Francisco. SFO is San Francisco. SMF is Sacramento.

    You may be able to find an adaptive van rental company that will deliver to the airport, but there is usually a pretty hefty delivery charge for this. The same goes for drop off at the airport.

    (KLD)

  10. #10
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    Maybe adding an extra day might be best. Sorry for the confusion, I was referring to a patient lift being delivered to the airport.

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