One of our other goals (along with getting to Yosemite) while we were at Sugar Pine Camp was to get back to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park which was only about 100 miles away (which in the overall scheme of our life is pretty darn close!). We had visited the “Sequoia” part of the park back in February of 2009, but since it was, after all February, the Kings Canyon part was closed. Too. Much. Snow. Here’s the Sequoia Visitor Center on the day we visited in 2009-
so you can see why snow might have been an issue. So this time, while there was a bit of overlap, we were focused on Kings Canyon (northern and higher altitude) section of the park.
Once we started east from Fresno, the drive started to climb.
and the views became expansive.
Our first stop in the park was the Grant Grove area – home to the General Grant Tree and a beautiful walk through some giant sequoias.
The General Grant Tree is also known as America’s Christmas Tree (designated by President Calvin Coolidge in 1926).
(It looked a little more “Christmas-y where we were here last time -)
Those giant sequoias are amazing
but we really wanted to make our way to Kings Canyon. So on we went!
We did check out a couple of stops along the way – one was a short hike into Grizzly Falls, which unlike Yosemite Falls, actually had some water falling.
And such beautiful clear water it was!
Once we made it to the bottom of the canyon, we followed the path of the Kings River.
We also took a hike through Zumwalt Meadow, which was part meadow
and part not-so-much-meadow.
It was a beautiful hike and after we continued on to the end of the road, we turned around and just un-wound the trip down. I confess that somehow, the trip back seemed much more dramatic. Might have been because now we were in the outside lane!
From the steep canyon walls
to the realization of just how far down DOWN was once we started to climb out of the canyon.
(Still not sure you can get the real feel for how steep it was – but it was pretty impressive, believe me!)
One last stop on the way home was to drive by Hume Lake –
Sure would’ve liked to set a spell in those chairs!
Thanks for coming along on our Kings Canyon excursion. If you’d like to see some additional photos (you knew that was coming, right?), you can check them out (in reasonable order of the day) HERE!
[Since this is also a Monday (as in Mondays are for Memories), if you’d like to check out the photos from our 2009 trip to the Sequoias, just click HERE!]