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Author Topic: Yosemite and Grand Canyon trip in end of April  (Read 3715 times)
EricChi
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« on: March 15, 2011, 04:04:42 PM »
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Hi,

My brother (from Taiwan) will visit us and we will have a driving trip for about 9 days around late April. He loves photography. So I'm trying to plan this trip for photography. We will start from SF bay (San Jose). I'm thinking to stay about 3 nights each in Yosemite and Grand Canyon NPs. However, these two places and SF bay are so far apart, I just cannot make any middle points to stay/shoot. I'm looking for suggestions for good photographic points and hopefully still cover both national parks.

Eric
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Lonnie Utah
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 04:55:42 PM »
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Skip the Grand Canyon and hit Death Valley instead.  It's much closer and with all the rain that part of the world has gotten this winter, the wild flowers should be very good this year.
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EricChi
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 08:05:04 PM »
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Lonnie,

Thanks very much for your suggestion. Will Death Valley be too hot on end of April?

Eric
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 08:36:30 PM »
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Lonnie,
Thanks very much for your suggestion. Will Death Valley be too hot on end of April?
Eric

No.  It's just about the perfect time to be there.  I agree with the suggestion.  All things considered, I'd rather spend 3 days in Death Valley than at the Grand Canyon.  Especially in April.  The South Rim is at high elevation and COLD that time of year.

I'd make the run over to Vegas if I were hosting someone from Taiwan.  It's an experience unique in the world.  HOWEVER, if you intend visiting Vegas from April 09 to 14, it'll be very difficult to get a hotel room then.  There's a huge trade show in town, The National Association of Broadcasters.  Either stay outside Vegas or avoid those dates.
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EricChi
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 03:24:27 AM »
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Peter,

Thanks very much for confirming the weather in Death Valley and also info for Las Vegas.

Eric
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BradSmith
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 06:05:27 PM »
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And in doing your planning, remember that you can't take Rte 120 in Yosemite up and over the crest to get too or from Death Valley because it will still be closed due to winter snow.  Shortest route will be south through Lake Isabella.
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EricChi
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 06:38:15 PM »
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Brad,

Thanks very much. I'll likely to take the south route now.

Taking the south route, is there any chance to pass some good wild flower blooming area?

Eric
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dreed
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2011, 05:40:40 AM »
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Thanks very much. I'll likely to take the south route now.

Taking the south route, is there any chance to pass some good wild flower blooming area?

It will totally depend on the weather.

Both Death Valley and Yosemite National Parks will update their website every couple of weeks or so with notes about where and what (if anything) is blooming.

Given my travels to Yosemite last year, nothing really starts to bloom until late May.
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neile
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2011, 06:53:07 PM »
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Am a little late to this, but I agree. Skip Grand Canyon and go to Death Valley instead. The Grand Canyon was awe inspiring when I visited it... but only for one evening. Death Valley has far more varied and interesting scenery to photograph, and April is a great time to visit!

Neil
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EricChi
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2011, 03:16:13 PM »
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Neil,

Thanks very much for your recommendation of Death Valley NP.

Eric
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EinstStein
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2011, 04:29:12 PM »
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In terms of time efficiency, I don't think Yeosemite and Grand canyon are a good combination. Especially during April.
In April, you're mostly limited to the valley. Several hot sites are still not open yet, such glacier point, Tioga road. You can still access to a lot of picturesque points though.

Consider Gran canyon only, but extend it to cover the grand circle. That's a bout a good trip for 9 days. The Grand circle covers Las Vegas, Grand canyon south rim (noth rim is likely not opened yet), Monument Valley, Canyon land NP, Arch NP, then turn back to cover the Bryce canyon, Zion NP, etc. There are a lot of place no less than the sites mentioned above.
I bet although this itinary missing the Yosemite NP, your brother would still think 9 days are too short for the circle. You really urr, ..., 90 days.

If Grand circle is too much for you, consider a mini version which covers Zion NP, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon(and add dots between them).

Get some exercise before the trip. The best photography are usually somewhere need a little hiking. Don't just hop on and off the car.

Oh, by the way, remember to carry cramp-on (get it from REI) for each person. A lot trails could be still slippery, if not icy.           

 
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masl
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 11:58:41 AM »
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I'll agree with others but add Sequoia NP to the route... at least a day if you can't get up to sequoias in Yosemite.  There is a redwood forest just outside of San Francisco, Pacific Coast Highway just south of San Jose is a good look and suits the 'drive-thru' approach you'll have trying to squeeze so much into so little time.  You could go the other way around the Sierra Nevada down Owen's Valley on your way to Death Valley, then finish your loop along the coast (lower risk of road closures at the end of your trip by looping clockwise).  Visit Joshua tree for a day or so if you find you have the time.  Either way, have a blast, it's all beautiful, though there is a reason that the National Parks are national parks...
-Mark
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EricChi
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 10:53:47 PM »
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EinstStein and masi,

thanks very much.

masi,
The redwood forrest you mentioned is Baig Basin State Park which is very close to where I live. So we will visit it over an Saturday and no need to include in this. The same will be for Monterey/Point Lobos SP which we will visit over another weekend.

Eric
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Lonnie Utah
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2011, 09:22:29 AM »
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I'll agree with others but add Sequoia NP to the route... at least a day if you can't get up to sequoias in Yosemite.  There is a redwood forest just outside of San Francisco, Pacific Coast Highway just south of San Jose is a good look and suits the 'drive-thru' approach you'll have trying to squeeze so much into so little time.  You could go the other way around the Sierra Nevada down Owen's Valley on your way to Death Valley, then finish your loop along the coast (lower risk of road closures at the end of your trip by looping clockwise).  Visit Joshua tree for a day or so if you find you have the time.  Either way, have a blast, it's all beautiful, though there is a reason that the National Parks are national parks...
-Mark

Good advice all the way around...
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