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Old 02-26-2011, 06:47 PM   #1
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Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Yosemite National parks

Hello, We are planning a trip to see Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Yosemite National Parks leaving from Las Vegas in a 40-foot motorhome with a toad vehicle. Would like inputs on where to stay to visit these parks and how close should we try to stay. We are planning for a May 2011 visit, weather permitting. Would appreciate any inputs. Thanks in advance.
Dave & Kathy Cramer, Ret. Air Force CMSgts
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:01 PM   #2
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Sequoia and Kings Canyon have a length restriction in the park of 28 feet which appears liberal to me. We camped about 20 miles out and drove the toad in each day but it just added to the adventure.

Yosemite will allow up to 40 ft but you will be lucky to get a site and you will need to pick an unrestricted route into the park there are low tunnels on some approaches. We were camped about 35 miles from the park but like Kings Canyon/Sequoia it was a great drive each day.

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Old 02-26-2011, 08:36 PM   #3
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Yosemite from the east side has a very steep grade Toga pass elevation over 9200 feet. Closed now and probably will not be open until June. Another heavy snow year. Do not enter the park from Fresno-difficult and very windy. Best bet is hwhy 120 from the west.

Very difficult to find, in park, a place to park a 40. Nice full service campground in Lee Vining near Mono Lake. Up Tioga, many lakes to valley floor approx 1 hour without motorhome
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:36 AM   #4
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Did two cross country trips to Yosemite in 2010 as my son was working as a chef at the Ahwanhee Hotel for 5 months. He will be back at the Ahwanhee this May in case you need any local help or advice.

There are only 12 campsites in the valley for a 40 foot MH. If you look at the campground reservation site, all three campground have projects going on. North Pines (where we stayed) is closed indefinitely while they work on an upgrade to the utility system. Upper and Lower Pines are closed for a period of time in May while they reseal the roadways. All sites have also been reserved already as the window for May 2011 opened up 2-3 months ago.

Since you are going in May, Tioga Road will still be closed so camping in Lee Vining is not an option. I have driven the Rt. 41 route out of Fresno a few times and actually prefer that route. Remember to fill up just north of Fresno as there is NO gas/diesel in Yosemite Valley. We stayed one night at the Coarse Gold KOA but that may be a little far to do day trips into the valley. There is a campground in Oakhurst which is closer but I have not stayed there.

Rt.120 has a wicked climb by Groveland. We did it uphill and I would not want to do it downhill! Rt. 140 has a length restriction but you can go through with a 40 footer (you will need to unhook your toad if you have one). There is a campground in El Portel but, based on the camground listing, not sure if they can handle a 40 footer.

If you stay outside Yosemite, you will definitely need a toad for your daytrips as parking is limited for big rigs. But last May, I remember my son calling me to tell me "Yosemite Falls is cookin' " so don't miss out on a chance to see it!
Tom and Katharine
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