Part one because we want to go back next year!
On June 8th we flew out of JFK at 5:15pm and we returned June 14th flying out of LAX.
When I say we I am referring to my brother, his wife and my husband peter. I have to give a lot of credit to the planning of this trip to my brother Michael and his wife ani. We love traveling with them because we work well together and have similar interests. But I give them a lot of credit because they do a lot of the research in the trails that we do.
So, for the travel days we went Tuesday to Monday and the length was perfect. We were up everyday between the hours of 4-5am to get to the trail heads long before the hottest part of the day. We also missed all of the crowds that way. We never had to wait in lines or anything like that so if you're okay with some early mornings i highly suggest it.
With that the temperature ranged from 55-95 degrees depending on where we were. So hiking earlier in the day was ideal. I mostly wore my bike shorts, a tank top and a sweatshirt if needed.
The different places we stayed in were Yucca valley, June 8-10, Pahrump, June 10-11. Porterville, June 11-13 and Morro Bay, June 13-14. I would suggest air bnb or hotel hoping because you can cover much more ground. With this trip and itinerary you'll need to. 1 night stays were a lot but sometimes necessary. For our next trip we will look to do two nights per air bnb.
Now for the fun part! The itinerary!
June 8 we were in Yucca Valley. We Arrived in LAX and Got our rental car( a jeep of course) then we went and Grocery shopped at Walmart for all of our breakfast, lunch and snack necessities, dinner we ate out each night. On our grocery list was :Tortilla, Salsa, Jelly, Mayo, Bread, Peanut butter, Cooler, Ice, Apples, Bananas, Cheddar cheese, Eggs, Beef jerky, Trail mix, Oreos , Tin foil, Zip lock, Chicken salad, Protein powder chocolate, Protein bars, 2 Gallon Waters, Lemons (for drinks) and Oatmeal.
June 9 we drove to Joshua tree which was 20 mins away and hiked it. We then headed home to relax and recoup from our prior day of travel.
June 10 we Drove to Mojave. First we Hiked Barber Peak Loop (with hole in the wall). Then we Drove 45 mins to the lava tube trail. We then Drove to our next air bnb in Pahrump (we did not like this air bnb)
June 11 we left Pahrump and drove 55 mins to death valley. Then to Zabriski point then to Bad water basin and then through artists drive ( we would suggest doing artist drive before the others). Then we drove 1hr to the Mosaic canyon trail. Lastly we drove 1hr to Darwin falls and then to our next air bnb in Porterville.
Tip for this day: all a must! Mosaic canyon is a bit challenging so you could shorten the trail or remove it from the day.
June 12 we headed to sequoia national park. Our first hike was General Sherman and Congress trail. We then drove to Moro rock and finally marble falls.
Tip for this day: you could spend multiple days here. General Sherman and moro rock are a must! Marble falls is pretty challenging so if you're not up for it you can always swap it with another or shorten it.
June 13 We left Porterville and started our drive up route 1! We drove to Carmel by the sea beach, then we Hiked plateau trail. We then drove to Bixby creek bridge. Then Hiked overlook trail and lastly hiked elephant seal. We then drove to our next air bnb in Morro Bay.
Tip for this day is to have your stopping points mapped and and saved, make sure your playlists are downloaded and you have plenty of gas. There's no service and no where to get off!
June 14 - We left Morro Bay and got scout coffee. Drove to hike Montana de Oro bluff. We then headed to the airport
The trails I would say that are a must would be sequoia national park and death valley. By far my favorite. And of course the coast is a must.
Hope you found this helpful and are considering the trip!