Sleeping Fireside in the Sequoias

Sometimes I just need to escape the day to day and re-connect with nature.  I crave being in the mountains and spending time under the trees.  We're lucky to have so many amazing National and State parks at our fingertips in California.  Whenever we hit the road and spend a weekend in the outdoors, my body feels refreshed and my mind relaxed.  It's a great way to reset over a long weekend before you're back to the daily grind. Kendell and I recently drove out to Sequoia National Park and King's Canyon for some much needed nature time.  We channeled our inner John Muir and spent our days exploring, hiking, hanging out by the fire and seeing some of the biggest trees in the world!

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Major Sites:

  • General Sherman: The largest tree in the world by mass!
  • Moro Rock: Giant dome rock formation with a staircase built in the 30s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.  It's a bit sketchy getting to the top but the view is well worth it!
  • General Grant & Grant Grove: Known as America's Christmas tree and other giant tree sites around the grove
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Hiking: 

  • Wolverton Trailhead leads to two paths: The Hump Trail and The Watchtower Trail.  We took The Hump Trail to Heather Lake.  it was pretty steep the majority of the way and lead us up and over the nearest mountain.  We stopped and took a dip which was followed by a lunch full of snacks.  If you want to keep hiking or decide to backpack in, continue on to Emerald Lake and Pear Lake for overnight stays or a longer day hike.  We decided to loop back around and go down the Watchtower Trail which proved to have the most EPIC views.  You CANNOT miss this trail when visiting the park.  There's a huge rock formation that juts out from the side of the mountain, which reminded us of half dome, this is when you've hit the hypothetical Watchtower.  The Watchtower trail is narrow and rocky and is right next to a big cliff so take caution if you decide to take this trail!
    • To the lake by The Hump is 4.1 miles 
    • Full loop taking The Hump to Heather Lake and The Watchtower back is 8.4 miles
  • Tokopah Falls is a great destination for those looking for a shorter hike.  The trail begins on flat ground winding through tall trees and ends on a rocky path surrounded by stone cliffs which ends in front of a waterfall.  For the more daring folks, continue off the end of the trail and splash around in glacial water and lay out on some warm rocks.  Or you can make your way carefully to the top of the falls and swim in crystal clear pools. 
    • Total hike to the waterfall and back is 3.4 miles
  • Sunset Rock is a short mile and a half hike to a smooth cliff top with views into the surrounding canyons of the park.
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Tips & Tricks: 

  • We stayed in the Lodgepole campground and slept under huge trees and warmed up around stone fire places.  The bathrooms were clean as campground standards go and the campsites were fairly private in the lower loop. You can choose a spot back in the woods or along the river.  Most sites labeled 120 and over are pretty secluded (lower loop).   There are a bunch of trail heads around the campsite and within a close drive. Check out your options here
  • It's only $35 to enter the park and your pass lasts for one week! Our campsite was $22 per night. 
  • For the non-camping types check out Wuksatchi Lodge, we stopped by and the cabins looked super cozy and comfortable!
  • There's no service anywhere in the park, sketchy wifi is available at the lodges, welcome to 6,000 feet above sea level! 
  • Visiting in October before many campsites close for the winter was a great idea.  You don't have the summer crowds since kids are back in school.  We didn't reserve a campsite since they keep a dozen or so available for first come first serve and we ended up with a pretty great spot! 
  • Climb Moro Rock in the morning, you beat the crowds and could potentially have the view all to yourself for a bit! 
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