Again, I find myself way behind. Writing about experiences we had a month ago. Usually I have no excuse other than extreme procrastination. This time around though, I was honestly busy. It seems like every time we visit Ohio we manage to pack in so much, and this trip was no exception. In fact, we managed to squeeze in buying a house. Well, getting the highest bid at auction anyway; we’re still figuring out the finances and doing paperwork.
But enough about Ohio, I want to jot down a few of my thoughts on our time in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park before they slip my mind. I’ll keep it short since there are plenty of other blogs to be written and contractors to call.
The beautiful Sierra Nevadas
We spent a full weekend exploring each of the two adjacent parks. And, on the adjoining weeks, we stayed at interchangeable state parks in the area. Both campgrounds sat on a manmade reservoir about 20 miles outside of town and were designed for southern California agriculture. In many ways Kings Canyon and Sequoia are interchangeable parks. Both are managed as one unit under the National Park Service, boast enormous trees, and act as a gateway to the high Sierra’s. However, the two parks hold distinct personalities.
Zach and General Sherman – the world’s largest tree!
In Sequoia National Park, Liz and I donned our backpacking gear for the first time since Joshua Tree and headed to the park’s foothills. While Californians may call them foothills, they sure seemed like mountains to me. The trip provided solitude, great wildflowers, and views of snowcapped peaks. Ohh yeah – and a rattlesnake. One thing absent from the hike though was the parks namesake – Sequoia trees. To get to the world’s most voluptuous tree, we had to drive a few thousand more feet up the mountain.
Lots of wildflowers!
The next weekend, we headed North, to Kings Canyon. The park’s main attraction – other than more overgrown trees – is its massive granite walled canyon. Our first day in the park, Liz and I drove through the canyon to the road’s end and hiked Mist Falls. Again, we encountered a rattlesnake, although this time I was ready with camera in hand.
The second day, we took a short hike up Big Baldy and were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the surrounding valley before being engulfed in clouds. After hiking, I wanted to track down a bear in the deep woods, so we found a rugged off-road trail and drove until trail conditions forced us to retreat.
A foggy hike down
I really enjoyed our time in both parks and would recommend them to anyone looking to add more outdoor activities to their Yosemite vacation.