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My East California Trip
Old 09-10-2007, 01:12 AM   #1
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My East California Trip

I'll be flying into Vegas next Sat and heading out immediately, I swear to Death Valley, Yosemite and then down to Kings Canyon, Sequoia and back to Vegas the next Sat.

Any suggestions on places to see, to eat and stay, roads to take, bordellos and museums to visit, hikes to take and dives to drink and die in?
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:20 AM   #2
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Not sure if this is your style, but the Ahwahnee Hotel within the Yosemite gates is a must see. I had brunch there and it was great.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:51 AM   #3
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Depending on how you go to Yosemite, you may go through a small down called Groveland. There's the Iron Door Saloon which is the longest continually operating saloon in CA.
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:29 AM   #4
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Telescope Peak (from Mahogony Flats) is a great 14m hike with tremendous views of
Death Valley directly to the East (and 11000' below). Trail is easy to follow, no permits
required.

Hiking Death Valley's Telescope Peak
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:25 PM   #5
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My favorite place in Death Valley is the Ubehebe Craters. There are countless side canyon hikes to suit your energy and condition level. It will still be pretty hot so don't overdo it. And there are the points to drive through artist pallett and Zabriskie Point. We have a Jeep and off road it a bit so if that interests you there are a whole different set of suggestions.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:24 PM   #6
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Are you going to be taking hwy 395 for any part of the trip?
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CourtneyC View Post
Not sure if this is your style, but the Ahwahnee Hotel within the Yosemite gates is a must see. I had brunch there and it was great.
Yes, I've eaten there long ago - not in my budget to stay there - I'm too frugal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peaceful_Warrior View Post
Depending on how you go to Yosemite, you may go through a small down called Groveland. There's the Iron Door Saloon which is the longest continually operating saloon in CA.
That's intriguing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor View Post
Telescope Peak (from Mahogony Flats) is a great 14m hike with tremendous views of
Death Valley directly to the East (and 11000' below). Trail is easy to follow, no permits
required.
It's amazing having this peak right above a place that is below sea level and to have the lowest and tallest place(Whitney) in America not that many miles apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers View Post
My favorite place in Death Valley is the Ubehebe Craters. There are countless side canyon hikes to suit your energy and condition level. It will still be pretty hot so don't overdo it. And there are the points to drive through artist pallett and Zabriskie Point. We have a Jeep and off road it a bit so if that interests you there are a whole different set of suggestions.
I'm definitely going to check those craters out as well as Zabriskie point and might as well play some golf on the Devil's Golf course.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:47 PM   #8
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Are you going to be taking hwy 395 for any part of the trip?
Yes, I'll be going up 395 to Lee Vining.
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peaceful_Warrior View Post
Depending on how you go to Yosemite, you may go through a small down called Groveland. There's the Iron Door Saloon which is the longest continually operating saloon in CA.
I stayed in an RV park near there for a week. It is a very nice quiet place.
I really liked it.
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:04 PM   #10
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I stayed in an RV park near there for a week. It is a very nice quiet place.
I really liked it.
My parents had a small cabin up there we'd go to on the weekends, so I spent a lot of time up there. I forget the name of the cafe up there next to the liquor store, but I enjoyed the food there as well.
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:25 PM   #11
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Yes, I'll be going up 395 to Lee Vining.
OK, then. In no particular order:

1. I second the vote for Telescope Peak. Cannot be rivaled if you're up for it -- I climbed it for the third time this summer. The last part of the road up to the trailhead is steep, though. I recommend a 4wd or a rental car ;-) If you don't want to take your car all the way you can stop at the charcoal kilns and take the Wildrose Peak hike -- also a wonderful view. Both of these are trail all the way.

2. Manzanar National Historic Site. Right on Hwy 395 between Lone Pine and Independence. Japanese immigrants and US citizens of Japanese ancestry were interned here during WWII. They've put in a great new museum, 30-minute film, etc., and you can take a driving tour around what little is left of the camp. A very moving experience, especially if you run into some former internees, as we did.

3. Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. Another hike -- this one on White Mountain. The turnoff is South of Bishop, to the east. These trees grow in very few places in California and Nevada. The Methusula tree is said to be the world's oldest living thing. Nice hike, breathtaking views (and not JUST because you're at 10,000 ft!), and good interpretative center. There's a good, free dry campground here too.

4. Mono Lake Preserve and Visitor's Center. GREAT exhibits on this unique lake, it's highly specialized denizens, and the political history around Los Angeles' taking of the Owens Valley water.

5. Bodie Ghost Town. About 30 miles north of Lee Vining, Bodie is a State Park now, kept in a state of "arrested decay." It's not being allowed to crumble, but they're not adding to it or bringing in tacky tourist doo-dads to tart it up. Great place to visit if you are interested in Western History at all. Mine tour is supposed to be great though I've not taken it.

6. Laws Railroad museum, North East of Bishop, is also worth a stop if you like trains, old stuff, etc.

7. I'm not really a commonsewer, but I don't think there are any restaurants worth eating at except what you might find at Mammoth. The smaller towns are a gastronomic wasteland as far as I've been able to discern.

8. If you're camping or want to do a lot of hiking, let me know and I'll suggest some additional places...

Wherever you end up, have a great time!
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:41 PM   #12
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Caroline - thank you so very much for the great suggestions. These are great places - Manzanar - my work mate for 15 years was imprisoned here as a wee girl with her family (they were and still are citizens) - every American should visit to be reminded that any of us can lose our rights and freedom if our government gets frightened enough.

I'm very much interested in the bristlecones and old Methusula, Telescope, Bodie, old trains, Mono..I'm not expecting fine dining - more like meatloaf, just some decent cafes and diners where the locals hang out will make me happy....

I will be trying to fit as many day hikes as I can in Tuolumne Meadows and Sequoia/Kings.

Thank you!
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
OK, then. In no particular order:

1. I second the vote for Telescope Peak. Cannot be rivaled if you're up for it -- I climbed it for the third time this summer. The last part of the road up to the trailhead is steep, though. I recommend a 4wd or a rental car ;-) If you don't want to take your car all the way you can stop at the charcoal kilns and take the Wildrose Peak hike -- also a wonderful view. Both of these are trail all the way.

2. Manzanar National Historic Site. Right on Hwy 395 between Lone Pine and Independence. Japanese immigrants and US citizens of Japanese ancestry were interned here during WWII. They've put in a great new museum, 30-minute film, etc., and you can take a driving tour around what little is left of the camp. A very moving experience, especially if you run into some former internees, as we did.

3. Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. Another hike -- this one on White Mountain. The turnoff is South of Bishop, to the east. These trees grow in very few places in California and Nevada. The Methusula tree is said to be the world's oldest living thing. Nice hike, breathtaking views (and not JUST because you're at 10,000 ft!), and good interpretative center. There's a good, free dry campground here too.

4. Mono Lake Preserve and Visitor's Center. GREAT exhibits on this unique lake, it's highly specialized denizens, and the political history around Los Angeles' taking of the Owens Valley water.

5. Bodie Ghost Town. About 30 miles north of Lee Vining, Bodie is a State Park now, kept in a state of "arrested decay." It's not being allowed to crumble, but they're not adding to it or bringing in tacky tourist doo-dads to tart it up. Great place to visit if you are interested in Western History at all. Mine tour is supposed to be great though I've not taken it.

6. Laws Railroad museum, North East of Bishop, is also worth a stop if you like trains, old stuff, etc.

7. I'm not really a commonsewer, but I don't think there are any restaurants worth eating at except what you might find at Mammoth. The smaller towns are a gastronomic wasteland as far as I've been able to discern.

8. If you're camping or want to do a lot of hiking, let me know and I'll suggest some additional places...

Wherever you end up, have a great time!

Erick Schat's Bakker˙

in bishop is pretty good for lunch or breakfast, and for road trip
baked goods.
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:36 PM   #14
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mh - good idea this road warrior travels on his stomach...
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:38 PM   #15
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let us know how the trip goes and what you liked!
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:49 PM   #16
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there is also "fossil falls which is about 10 minutes off of 395

DesertUSA - Fossil Falls, Ridgecrest, CA

which is pretty neat and worth at least a 1/2 hour stop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
OK, then. In no particular order:

1. I second the vote for Telescope Peak. Cannot be rivaled if you're up for it -- I climbed it for the third time this summer. The last part of the road up to the trailhead is steep, though. I recommend a 4wd or a rental car ;-) If you don't want to take your car all the way you can stop at the charcoal kilns and take the Wildrose Peak hike -- also a wonderful view. Both of these are trail all the way.

2. Manzanar National Historic Site. Right on Hwy 395 between Lone Pine and Independence. Japanese immigrants and US citizens of Japanese ancestry were interned here during WWII. They've put in a great new museum, 30-minute film, etc., and you can take a driving tour around what little is left of the camp. A very moving experience, especially if you run into some former internees, as we did.

3. Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. Another hike -- this one on White Mountain. The turnoff is South of Bishop, to the east. These trees grow in very few places in California and Nevada. The Methusula tree is said to be the world's oldest living thing. Nice hike, breathtaking views (and not JUST because you're at 10,000 ft!), and good interpretative center. There's a good, free dry campground here too.

4. Mono Lake Preserve and Visitor's Center. GREAT exhibits on this unique lake, it's highly specialized denizens, and the political history around Los Angeles' taking of the Owens Valley water.

5. Bodie Ghost Town. About 30 miles north of Lee Vining, Bodie is a State Park now, kept in a state of "arrested decay." It's not being allowed to crumble, but they're not adding to it or bringing in tacky tourist doo-dads to tart it up. Great place to visit if you are interested in Western History at all. Mine tour is supposed to be great though I've not taken it.

6. Laws Railroad museum, North East of Bishop, is also worth a stop if you like trains, old stuff, etc.

7. I'm not really a commonsewer, but I don't think there are any restaurants worth eating at except what you might find at Mammoth. The smaller towns are a gastronomic wasteland as far as I've been able to discern.

8. If you're camping or want to do a lot of hiking, let me know and I'll suggest some additional places...

Wherever you end up, have a great time!
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:08 PM   #17
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Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:57 PM   #18
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DanTien, Dude!

Tell us how the trip went! I'm going to be down in that neighborhood in two weeks, so if you saw anything that just knocked your socks off, let me know!
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:32 AM   #19
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DanTien, Dude!

Tell us how the trip went! I'm going to be down in that neighborhood in two weeks, so if you saw anything that just knocked your socks off, let me know!
Caroline, mh, cyclinginvestor, courtney, dex, peacefulwarrior, yakkers and everyone, please forgive me! I had the hardest time getting places to stay on the Eastern side of the Sierras (wonder if it had to do with all the people coming in to search for and report on Steve Fosset's disappearance around Lee Vining)- nothing within an hour and a half of Tuolumne Meadows which was my focus - would have had to stay at Curry in the valley and commuted 60 miles each way to the meadows so I called it off and am now planning late spring - early summer next year. I went to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore instead which proved to be very rewarding and is now one of my favorite places - so empty of people and so awesome. A hidden treasure. Caroline - enjoy your trip and let us know what you find! Thanks.

Pictured Rocks
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:12 PM   #20
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You must eat at the Whoa Nellie Deli in the Tioga Gas Mart just west of the junction of Highway 120 and 395. You pass it going up to Tioga Pass. Fabulous menu and wines. Yes, it is a gas station. Tioga Gas and Gift Mart

You realize it will be mighty cold at night up at that 9000 ft elevation? There was snow last week, there is a forecast for some precipitation this weekend, which could be snow. I don't think Tioga Pass will close yet, but it is technically possible if they get enough snow.

There is a hot springs outside of Mammoth Lakes, Hot Creek, but I read somewhere that it had been closed down because the underlying seismic activity had it acting more like a lobster pot than a hot springs.
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