Stop 7: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California

Today we saw two of the biggest trees on the planet. The General Sherman and the General Grant. Both of these massive sequoias are impressive to say the least. But if you’re planning on visiting this park, skip the Sherman tree and go see the Grant tree instead. No one was at the Grant Grove while the Sherman tree was surrounded by dozens of people waiting in line to get a photo snapped. But I still can’t get over how enormous these trees are. It almost doesn’t seem real. Truly amazing. The highlight of this day, however, was not the giant trees.

We decided to make the long drive to the end of the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway. The drive, which takes you from the top of a stunningly deep canyon down alongside the rushing South Fork of the Kings River. This was easily the most beautiful river I have ever seen. I doubt the photos will do it justice, but the water was a bluish hue I haven’t seen outside of Pelican Point miniature golf in Myrtle Beach. The water tumbled and tore down the canyon, rushing over boulders, creating large rapids sections followed by strangely calm sections of deceptively still water. And there was no one there.

We saw two impressive waterfalls. Grizzly Falls was one of those high cascades where the water feathers and mists down the rock. The other, Roaring River Falls, shot out of an opening in the canyon like a spewing fire hydrant. Finally, we reached a place called Zumwalt Meadows. Here, the landscape turned lush, vibrant, and green. We were surrounded by tall grasses, ferns, and unmatched views of the big rocks lining the canyon, like the 8,500-foot-tall Grand Sentinel and the 8,700-foot-tall North Dome. The drive to and from Roads End was harrowing, but beautiful. One of the most amazing drives I’ve had the pleasure to experience.

We were surprised to see so few people in Kings Canyon. In fact, the most people we saw at this park were parked at Roads End, the gateway to a massive tract of wilderness in the park: no roads, just trails and a few well-placed ranger stations. We wished we had camped in Kings Canyon, but we’ll have to save it for next time.

This will be the only post for the next few days as our next stop is three nights. I’ll get back to you all then. Thanks for following our adventures

Next stop: Yosemite National Park, California

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