Sequoia National Park Journals

Trees, Bears and Rocks: Two Days in Sequoia

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A June 2007 trip to Sequoia National Park by callen60

Sequoia in Grant Grove Photo, Sequoia National Park, California More Photos
Quote: The first stop on a four-day father/daughter circuit of the Sierras, we fell in love with the Giant Trees—just as we'd expected. Oh, and there were bears, too.

Sequoia: An Overview

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Moro Rock from Generals Highway Photo, Three Rivers, California
Quote:
June, 2007. My youngest daughter and I are headed to the Sierras for five days, flying into Las Vegas and immediately bolting for Barstow, despite our late night arrival. It’s the last of a series of trips with each of my kids, which, when this most recent adventure is concluded, has resulted in meeting Yo-Yo Ma, seeing Ringo live, and fulfilling this child’s dream of seeing sequoias up close and personal.As we planned the trip, I pointed out that an awful lot of beautiful places lay within several hours of each other. Sequoia National Park was our main objective (and next door neighbor Kings Canyon was a given), but if we were willing to put on some miles, we could pull Y...Read More

Day One/Two: Sequoia

Kaweah River from Anne Lang's Emporium Photo, Three Rivers, California
Quote:
We stopped for supplies at Walgreens in Visalia, having crossed desert and hills and valley on our way from Barstow to Boron to Bakersfield. We’d both gotten a thrill when Highway 198 forked northeast 10 miles later, and the large, brown sign announced that Sequoia National Park was to the right. Almost immediately, the road began to climb, soon leveling out as we looped around pretty Lake Kaweah, and then continued into the foothills of the Sierras. Around 11:30, we pulled into Three Rivers, a town that lies along the narrow spaces of the Kaweah Valley and the highway shoulder. We bought box lunches at Anne Lang’s Emporium, a cozy combination deli, coffeehouse, florist and above average gift s...Read More

Moro Rock

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Attraction | "Atop Sequoia"

Moro Rock Photo, Sequoia National Park, California
Quote:
On a map, it looks like the stretch of Generals Highway between Hospital Rock and Giant Forest just goes crazy. Even on the low-resolution NPS park map, you can count at least 15 switchbacks, which the road needs as it ascends about ¾ of a mile between these spots that lie only 2 miles apart.At nearly every other turn, we saw the big granite dome of Moro Rock, our next destination, jutting above the forest. We continued up the highway, the last car in the 1pm caravan heading into the center of the park. Suddenly, we reached the beginning of the sequoia habitat, and passed between the Four Guardsmen trees that serve as the boundary to the Giant Forest. These are only modest-sized examples, ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 12, 2008

Moro Rock
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park, California

Crescent Meadow

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Attraction | "Is 'Crescent' Californian for Bear?"

Crescent Meadow Photo, Sequoia National Park, California
Quote:
After descending from Moro Rock, we explored the southern end of Giant Forest. The Moro Rock-Crescent Meadow road runs east about 3 miles from here, a narrow, tight road that can’t accommodate RVs. The Auto Log, a famous relic from Sequoia’s past, can’t accommodate RVs or cars anymore, but you can climb on top of it. You’ll see pictures around the park of Model T's parked atop this fallen sequoia. I’m not sure when it was closed to cars, but I think I saw a picture somewhere of an early minivan that drove up the ramp. A little further along is the Parker Group, an impressive, tightly clustered set of sequoias that lies right along the road. A little further along, we drove th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 14, 2008

Crescent Meadow
Giant Forest Region
Sequoia National Park

Giant Forest

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Attraction | "Wandering Among the Giants"

Giant Forest Photo, Sequoia National Park, California
Quote:
This is the heart of Sequoia: perhaps the largest sequoia grove in the world. These awe-inspiring giants are everywhere you look, stretching so far up, and blocking so much sunlight from the forest floor, that no other trees or underbrush grow in their midst. It’s an over-used description, but there is indeed a cathedral-like feel to the large open spaces that literally stretch out for a few miles here in Giant Forest.For years, this area was the epicenter of human activity in the park. The road levels out here after a mile’s climb in altitude from Three Rivers, and the surrounding land provides just the right altitude and just the right slope to give the sequoias their optimal temperature...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 12, 2008

Giant Forest
Generals Highway
Sequoia National Park, California

Wuksachi Village And Lodge

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Hotel | "Sequoia's Only Option"

Wuksachi Village And Lodge Photo, Sequoia National Park, California
Quote:
Lodging options in Sequoia and the surrounding area are really limited. As we passed Bakersfield, turned north and east and headed up into the foothills of the Sierra, it didn’t take long for the trappings of civilization to fall away. The town of Three Rivers reminded me of a smaller, quainter version of Springdale, UT, the village outside Zion NP. There were fewer buildings, fewer people, and more of a sense of distance from civilization.Driving in these mountains takes time. We nearly learned that the hard way, rushing to get up the central park road near 1 pm before it switched to one-way the wrong way (for us) to accommodate much needed repairs on these old, old roads. It made me glad...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 11, 2008

Wuksachi Village And Lodge
64740 WUKSACHI WAY
Sequoia National Park, California 93262
559 565-4070

Chicago Stump Trail, Sequoia National Forest Photo, Sequoia National Park, California
Quote:
One of the things I love about traveling with my kids, but especially my youngest, is that they’re nearly always up for another adventure. Even as the others were wearing down on our trip to Yellowstone a few years ago, this one would always hop out for each jaunt to a waterfall or overlook. So when I told her the story of the Chicago Tree, the monster Sequoia that was cut for the Columbian Exposition in 1893, I knew she’d be interested in seeing the stump from this famous specimen. The Sequoias had only been discovered in the 1850’s and their enormous size made them a curiosity even four decades later. In 1890, both General Grant and Sequoia National Parks had been established, but the Co...Read More
Chicago Stump Trail, Sequoia National Forest Photo, Sequoia National Park, California
Quote:
Continued from Part IThe car seemed a long, long way away. I summoned up the nerve to look over my shoulder occasionally, an act that took a lot of willpower. If there was a bear behind us, we’ll never know. I don’t think there was. But when I looked behind me for the third time or so, my eye and brain immediately picked up something moving back there. It was probably a branch swaying, but no bear could possibly have generated a bigger adrenaline dump in my bloodstream than the one I experienced right then. I realized that I’d never truly understood the f...Read More

Sequoia Reflections

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Sequoia in Grant Grove Photo, Sequoia National Park, California
Quote:
Once again, John Muir bequeathed this area an entirely appropriate yet simple name. Amid these giant trees, and the remnant glacial boulders on the hillsides, it does feel like you’ve stumbled into an environment on another planet. The sequoias are so tall and wide that they’re nearly unphotographable. Attempts to capture one, either up close or from a distance, are frustrated by their impressive tendency to grow close together: backing up to get one tree in frame brings you past a dozen more that now block your view. That’s made possible by their relatively small root system, which takes up a surprisingly small amount of space, making them vulnerable to wind. As you hike the trails in any of the grov...Read More