Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks


Kathy and I visited Sequoia National Park in 2007. We visited again this Fall (9-16), and added a visit to the adjacent Kings Canyon National Park.

We first drove the long, narrow and windy road to Mineral King, which neither of us had visited before.

The river below the bridge

The river and gorge below the bridge, early in the drive

Our campsite in Mineral King

Camping in Mineral King

We hiked about a mile up the valley from road’s end.

I believe this to be a ridge of Empire Mountain

I believe this to be a ridge of Empire Mountain, above the valley to the east

Red fir

Red fir

Sierra Juniper

Sierra juniper

Unknown tree

Since it's very difficult to show the size of a sequoia in a photo, I've included the here the van, to provide scale

Since it’s very difficult to convey the size of a sequoia in a photo, I’ve included the van, to provide scale

We returned to the paved road (The Generals Highway) and then drove uphill towards the main portion of Sequoia. The photo below is a 60X zoom, shot from a point on the road 3.5 air miles away from the subject, Castle Rock Spire.

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Castle Rock Spire

Fabulous granite, and then sequoias – what a place! The following five photos are from 2007.

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General Sherman Tree

General Sherman Tree

General Sherman Tree, 2007

General Sherman Tree

Sequoia, 2007

The following photos are from Sept. 2016.

Dogwood

Dogwood, in a shaded forest floor

Dogwood

Dogwood detail

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A mature sequoia and a young sequoia

Young sequoia grows beside a mature sequoia

Twin-trunked sequoia

Twin-trunked sequoia

Sequoia

General Grant Tree

Cabin

Cabin

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Row of sequoias at the margin of the parking lot

Next, we drove north into the adjoining Kings Canyon National Park.

Elderberries

Elderberries

Descending to the South Fork of the Kings River

Descending to the South Fork of the Kings River, and Spanish Mountain

Gorge on the South Fork

Gorge on the South Fork

Rock face in the gorge

Rock face in the gorge

Along the way into Kings Canyon, a granite peak

Granite peak

The South Fork of the Kings River, on the way into the canyon

The South Fork of the Kings River

We camped amongst large incense cedars, and then took a hike upstream on the South Fork of the Kings River.

South Fork, at the bridge

South Fork, at the bridge where Bubbs Creek enters

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At the bridge, looking downstream

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Reflections on a stream-side boulder

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Willows line the banks of the South Fork

Tree trunk and cliffs

Tree trunk and cliffs

Sugar pine

Sugar pine

Granite peak

Granite peak, on the south side of the valley

Glacial polish on a granite wall

Glacial polish on a granite wall, north side of the valley

Kathy loves the big trees of the Sierras. This is probably a ponderosa pine.

Kathy loves the big trees of the Sierras. This is a ponderosa pine, which doesn’t grow near this big in the Rockies.

We drove back uphill to the General’s Highway and then descended towards Fresno. We were now on our way east – to Arizona and our 9-17-16 launch on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Here’s the link to the first (of three) posts on that trip:

https://believesteve.org/2016/10/20/the-colorado-river-in-the-grand-canyon-fall-2016-1/

p.s. My earliest visits to these National Parks took place in the 60s, on skis. Here is the link to those outings:

https://believesteve.org/2016/08/18/sierra-ski-tours-mid-60s/

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
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