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Sep 23, 24 - Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Big Tree, Fantastic Road,

sunny 10 °C

Our campground is right outside the entrance to Sequoia National Park. A 35 or so site commercial campground with decent services but its location is pretty darn good.

Sequoia is best a "felt" experience rather than one that can be adequately described.


The road in from Three Rivers is one crazy switchbacky drive of 20 miles, kind of on a mountain goat track up the side of a mountain, or two. You go from 1500 feet above sea level in Three Rivers to 7000 feet above sea level in about 45 minutes. We drove it twice over our time here and if you are inclined to car sickness this is not the road for you. Lucking neither Jenny or I suffer that malady. Check out this photo of our GPS, about half way up.

We also came upon a mother deer and her triplet youngsters:


There was construction going on that limited a section of the road to one lane, with up to 20 minute delays.


Lots of scenic views:



On day one we blew right through Sequoia and on into Kings Canyon; our destination, the third largest tree in the world, the General Grant Tree. We originally had visions of going all the way to the very end of Kings Canyon, but after two hours of crazy road we decided to stop without completing the full drive. We hiked to the General Grant Tree, we hiked through the Big Stumps and we drove out to Panorama Point, which required another hike to see the view. All of these hikes were in Kings Canyon NP.


In all we walked/hiked about 4 1/2 miles, all of it at an altitude over 7000 feet. We were leg and lung weary at the end of all that. Both Jenny and I are feeling the effects of hiking at altitude.

We'll let a few photos tell the story of the Sequoia trees in Kings Canyon. Although pictures do not do these trees justice. You need to walk among them to truly get the effect. Our pictures are mostly of giants, as much as 2500 years old, but the younger trees, those just 500 years or so old are pretty awesome too.


The drive back down to our campground is tricky. They recommend lower gears rather than braking your way down 20 miles of switchbacks. It works. On the way back on our first day we came upon these yucca plants with long flower stems growing from their centre. These flower stems, when cut at the right time, make excellent, light weight walking sticks. If we get the chance we might just cut a couple for ourselves.

This is a buckeye tree...non edible fruit:


Back at the campground we took an easy night with the plans to do it all again, only this time, we would only go as far as the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia NP.

On the road again at 9:00am Sunday we ran into a fall right around here. People from LA and San Fran come out to spend the day in Sequoia, so our drive up hill was in traffic. We had a 20 minute wait to get through the gate into the park, and then some dork in a Volvo was afraid of the road and worked his way uphill at half speed, refusing to move over to let people pass him at the copious turnouts provided for just this purpose. ANYWAY, we did make it to the top and took on the General Sherman Trail, followed by the Congress Trail. Big, massive trees, singly, and in groups. The General Sherman Tree is the largest single tree in the world. This concrete patio outlines the tree's base"


There is a grouping called Congress, and another called the Senate, and a single stiff tree, called the President. A number of other trees are also named for lesser generals.


I found an un-named tree, which I hung around for about a half-hour, until it announced its name was Bill.
Bill and I parted best of friends :) I also harvested a seed from one of Bill's cones, just so you can see how small a Sequoia starts out. it looks like a flake of oatmeal


This cross section of a tree is 2200 years old:


Overall we outdid yesterday's hiking, clocking in at around 5 miles. Again, all at elevation beyond 7000 feet. By afternoon I was lagging, and that is when I met Bill, where I hung around, while Jenny walked on to photograph a Sequoia that had been turned into a cabin, back in the 1800's.


Sully insisted on getting his picture in the blog...it is always TaJ that we get photos of, so time, our Honda is the star:


We really enjoyed seeing these two national parks. Great places to visit. We highly recommend it...being out amongst these giants truly provides the opportunity to connect with the planet. That people could actually see these and try to figure out how to kill them and market their flesh truly amazes me. We see something that we hope will stand for another 2000 years.

On the downhill run, we got this kind of gas mileage :)


We are 3625 miles from home, and each day we will creep a little bit closer to the end of our adventure...but we still have 60+ days to go :)

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 18:35 Archived in USA Tagged sequoia_np kings_canyon_np

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Your right as usual, SNP is an Experience Pictures and Vocals do not do it Justice :-) :-)
Enjoy it I have

by Steve Banks

We felt kind of like we were scuba diving --- high up in Yosemite, then down to Merced, back up to Sequoia then back down to the San Joaquin Valley again. Drove on Route 66 a bit today. Keep on having fun!

by Karmen Reid

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