Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks
Sequoia National Park Travel Blog› entry 47 of 56 › view all entries
May 12th, 2006 – by: mahoney
It's a long drive to get to these parks entrances. I first went to Kings Canyon, checked in at the welcome center, grabbed a quick lunch, well I wanted a quick lunch, it took forever for them to bring me my food and bill. Headed to Hume Lake, solely as my sister, niece and nephew's last name is Hume. What a long drive to get there.
Wanted to take this road that would lead me to Sequoia National Park, after driving about an hour, came across a road block that said road closed. Since I was in a SUV I thought I might be able to get past any obstacle that might be blocking the road. I was wrong, after going around the road block (don't do this!) I was able to only go about a half mile before I encountered a 40 feet high snow drift that had slid down the mountain. (Note to self: observe all NPS road blocks from now on). I turned around and retraced my route back to the entrance of Kings Canyon.
Another long drive to the entrance of Sequoia. Amazing trees here, and I thought the Redwoods were big! The General Grant tree is the 3rd largest tree in the world, by volume. There was even one tree that had fallen down and has been used as a saloon, a calvary stable and homes for the various Indians who have lived in the area.
This park has its share of tourist attractions, such as the Auto Log tree that is a natural place to park your car. Although you are no longer allowed to drive your car on this tree, I can't help to think that some Hummer owner has tried it recently. There is the Tunnel Log tree, you can drive through this on the Crescent Meadow road. The General Grant tree was named in 1867 to honor Ulysses S. Grant. Measuring 267.4 feet tall and 107.6 feet around, it is the earth's third-largest tree.
Moro Rock is a large granite dome in the park. I decided to climb to the top and check out the view. The climb up the 400 steps, which is a 300 foot increase in elevation, about killed me. The view opens up as you ascend the steps, revealing the Great Western Divide and overlooking the Kaweah River Canyon. I kept thinking, who in their right mind would have climbed this in the first place? Without the stairs even! It is worth the climb, the views are breathtaking, literally, I couldn't breathe once I got to the top. You would think I'd be in shape at this point on my trip.
Met a couple from Alaska at the top. It was great to be almost eye level with the snow peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains on one side and then look down into the canyon on the other.
I eventually made my way back down, much easier going down then up. I read that the staircase, first one was made of wood in 1917, was on the National Register of Historical Places because of its craftsmanship. Leaving Moro Rock I drove down the switchback road out of the park, these turns required you to go 10MPH and use 2nd and 3rd gear most of the time. If you get car sick easily, avoid this road!
I eventually ended up in Fresno for the night as I headed back to Victoria and Paul's house in Fremont.
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