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Old 10-19-2016, 11:46 AM   #41
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Well, unexpectedly the trip turned more interesting after just one day. For the first day we visited Alabama Hills and stayed at Lone Pine CG. What a beautiful place! It was full moon that night and Mt Whitney was visible at night. Next day we stopped at Manzanar, had lunch at Schat's in Bishop, and finally camped at June Lake. On the way near Crowley Lake outside Mammoth Lakes, we saw a wild fire that just started that day. Owens River Fire, as is known, changed our plan abruptly. The fire got ten times bigger overnight and, by morning, the choking smoke covered the entire valley. We went to Mono Lake just to talk to rangers about the situation and were told Yosemite on the other side of Sierra was fine. Thankfully we did not reserve any CG on 395 so we immediately turned west. We camped for two nights at Tuolumne, one night in the valley. Then we decided to make this a national park trip and continued on to King's canyon and Sequoia national parks, and spent another 3 nights there. We had a fabulous time! It's probably the best time to visit these popular parks as they were not crowded and weather was just perfect.

Owens River Fire near Crowley Lake


Smoke covered Mono Lake


Tuolumne Meadow with Cathedral Peak in the background


El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley


At Cedar Grove, King's Canyon NP


Giant sequoia at Sequoia NP
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:53 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by herbike View Post
How did your trip work out? I noticed you said something about the campgrounds not being full in mid Sept. Did you find it that way? We have noticed many places are fairly filled into late October. Hope you had a very, very good trip.
Yes indeed the campgounds were pretty empty, with the exception in Yosemite valley where we had to arrive early in the morning to get on the waiting list, and about the first 30 people on the list got a site. Not bad at all.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:37 PM   #43
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Great photos you took! Sounds like you had a great unplanned change of plans; alot less people in yosemite this time of year and you were able to get a campsite! I live nearby on Owens Gorge Rd. and remember when the Owens Fire broke out; a couple of very smoky days then.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:58 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by mtnlvr View Post
Great photos you took! Sounds like you had a great unplanned change of plans; alot less people in yosemite this time of year and you were able to get a campsite! I live nearby on Owens Gorge Rd. and remember when the Owens Fire broke out; a couple of very smoky days then.
Thanks. I'm glad the smoke did not linger around too long for you. We couldn't get the information while in Yosemite so couldn't decide whether to go back to 395 or not. I heard the colors are amazing right now. We'll sure be back next year.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:03 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by mtnlvr View Post
Great photos you took! Sounds like you had a great unplanned change of plans; alot less people in yosemite this time of year and you were able to get a campsite! I live nearby on Owens Gorge Rd. and remember when the Owens Fire broke out; a couple of very smoky days then.
By the way, thanks to your insightful suggestions! I printed your post (#11) and brought it with us. But mother nature surprised us and sent us to see other wonders. Not a bad experience at all
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