Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks

I haven't posted for a bit, because we spent a long weekend in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.  Big trees, big mountains (mostly in the distance), and a big hole in the ground (the Canyon--rivers and glaciers can move a lot of dirt and rock!).

We drove up from SF on Thursday, and toured by car and day-hike until Saturday evening, when we backpacked into the Jennie Lakes wilderness a few miles as a special Father's Day treat (otherwise known as a shake-down hike, our first overnight of the year).  Visited Grants Grove, Moro Rock, the Giant Forest, and the End of the Road in Kings Canyon.

Here are a few photos to show some highlights.

 General Grant Tree, the third largest.
Hiking into Kings Canyon, we saw this guy about 20 yards from the trail.  He was just standing under the tree panting.  Given how I felt, I figured it was just too hot to be running around in a shaggy fur coat.

 Looking up Kings Canyon.  We opted not to hike that branch, but climbed a few switchbacks toward a side canyon to get the view.

Not far off the road, Roaring Creek Falls lived up to its name.

 Moro Rock, in Sequoia, is a classic evening climb, though we hit poor conditions for it (very hazy evening).  The climb itself, fortunately, is enough of a treat!

 The Sierra high country from Moro Rock.

 Nearby, vast numbers of yellow throated gilia carpeted the gravel slopes.

 My younger son contemplates the General Sherman tree, the world's largest organism (by volume).

Sunset from the Jennie Lakes Wilderness.
And, finally--found myself a mascot at the Visitors' Center--the Skunk Corners Skunk!

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