Sequoia National Park California 2009

Sequoia National Park Travel Blog

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Meadow of Giant Sequioas
I'm always trying to conjure up plans of a good daytrip that me and my friends could take from our hometown in central California.  But everything seems so far away.  If we want to visit San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, Monterey, or Pismo Beach for example, we have to drive nearly 2-3 hours or more to get there.  Furthermore, the fact the we work nights doesn't help that much in planning out a daytrip because we end up losing a day.  The first day I'm off I usually end up sleeping a good half of the day because I'm really tired.  It was May 2009, the last roadtrip that I have done was when I went to San Francisco during the summer of 2008 to run the annual marathon.  Other than that I have not been anywhere since then.
The Sentinel
  So it's basically been a year of working.  If I could do it over again I would have taken time off to go to another country and travel.   But I won't make the same mistake twice.  I wanted to go somewhere, anywhere.  At first we wanted to visit the Redwoods in California, not realizing it was located in northern California, which will require nearly 9 hours of drive time.  My friend suggested let's just go to Sequoia National park, it's way better.  I said,  "Sequoia National park?"  I looked it up online, and I had no idea it was that close to where we lived in Fresno. I know Yosemite National Park was close by, but I didn't even know Sequoia was just a 2 hour drive from my house. 

So Sequioa National Park it is then.
  My friend drove to my house around 8 am and we used my car to drive up to Sequoia National park.  My friend didn't trust his car because its packed quite mileage on it.  We also brought some drinks and sandwiches to snack on while we were there.  From freeway 99, we made our way South and merge on the 180 and kept heading east towards Sequoia.  From the maps, it seemed like Sequoia National park wasn't that far, but because of the narrow single lane roads, we had to be extra careful  and slow that we don't drive off the cliffs.  The central valley is a really flat area, with very minimal vegetations other than the agricultural farming produce the area is know for.  The further we made our way up to the Sierra Nevada mountain, the more lush and green it became with pines trees dotting the sides of the road which provided a nice shade while the sun penetrated certain areas to provide some light.
General Sherman
  The difference between the valley and the mountains was uncanny, from brownish desert to lush green vegetations. 

My friend kept telling me, if you see a squirrel or a chipmunk, don't stop or swerve, just run over them.   Hey, it's our life or their life.  We can't risk falling off the cliffs.  Now I'm not sure if we had to pay to get into Sequioa national park, we didn't see any place to pay the entrance fee, or maybe we passed by without knowing it.  But I suppose if you're going to camp or travel in a large group you have to pay.  The first stop we did was a beautiful valley with pine trees overlooking the Sierra mountain range, it was a gorgeous view.  We spent 15 minutes before continuing to try to find the giant Sequoias.
General Sherman
  The road was narrow and winding, my friend got dizzy, and felt nauseated, thank goodness he didn't puke in my car or I would have been mad.  But I felt okay though, probably because I was the driver. 

Finally we found some of the first signs of Sequioa trees dotting the roads.  The tree trunk was a brownish-red color and it was big.  The differences between Redwoods and Sequoias is that Redwoods are amongst the tallest trees in the world, which can be found around the northern California coast, while the Sequoias are the biggest in terms of diameter or bulk as seen when you get close to the tree trunk and can only be found in the central Sierra Nevada region.  Both trees are amongst the oldest living organism in the world with some trees as old as 3000 years.
Stopping by on our way to Sequioa National Park


After a bit of driving, we finally found some parking lot, and parked my car.  I reckon we got there around 1030 am.  Nearby we could see some Sequoia trees, and across the parking lot was the giant Sequoia called the Sentinel, as well as a small museum which details  and talks about the trees, and you can also obtain tourist information there, and they also have a small souvenir shop .  We left the museum and walked about 5 minutes to beetle rock, and from there we enjoyed some views of Sierra mountains.  But we were there to see some trees, so we looked at the map, and found a lushed green open meadow complete surrounded by the largest collection of giant Sequioa trees all around.  It was really beautiful, but the pictures I took of it doesn't do it justice, I wish I had a better camera at the time.
  We walked the circled path and went back to the car.

Sadly there is no restaurants in Sequoia National park that we saw.  I was sort of craving some food, but luckily my friend brought some ham and cheese sandwiches, granola bars, and some soda.  But word of advice, definitely bring something to eat when you visit this park.  We looked at the map once again, and visited the fallen tree tunnel log. I wanted to drive my car through that and have my picture taken.  I told my friend to get out of the car so he can take a picture as a I drive through it.  He was a little scared that I might take off and abandon him, lol, as if I would ever do that.  Later in the afternoon we drove back to try and check out one of the main attraction of the park, The General Sherman Sequioa tree, it is about 2500 years old, and it's the largest tree in the world in terms of volume, and it's still growing, not in height, but in bulk.
Beetle Rock


We spent about 3 hours or so in the park, the drive to and from takes nearly 2 and a half hours each way.  So this was definitely a good daytrip.  On the way back we saw several cars parked on the side of the road, so we stopped also to check out what the fuzz was about, and we caught glimpse of a lone black bear.  What a wonderful way to end the day.  I never realized that something this wonderful is just right behind my backyard.


saltycoco says:
haha, yeah that's how it usually is. when friends or family visit my parents house and stay over the night, my folks usually bring them to yosemite. i really have to do kings canyon natl park this fall, haven't been there yet. i was thinking of doing the rae lakes loops at kings canyon, 4 days of backcountry hiking and camping out in the wilderness.
Posted on: Aug 04, 2011
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Meadow of Giant Sequioas
Meadow of Giant Sequioas
The Sentinel
The Sentinel
General Sherman
General Sherman
General Sherman
General Sherman
Stopping by on our way to Sequioa …
Stopping by on our way to Sequioa…
Beetle Rock
Beetle Rock
Hippy posing in beetle rock
Hippy posing in beetle rock
Protecting the tree from evil-doer…
Protecting the tree from evil-doe…
I guess the big trees are that way.
I guess the big trees are that way.
Power Ranger pose.
Power Ranger pose.
Its not what it looks like, coz I…
It's not what it looks like, coz …
Sequoia tunnel log
Sequoia tunnel log
My car, a Toyota Camry. I love you…
My car, a Toyota Camry. I love yo…
Walking to General Sherman
Walking to General Sherman
I should have talked to her, why a…
I should have talked to her, why …
On beetle rock, overlooking the Si…
On beetle rock, overlooking the S…
Sequoia National Park
photo by: travelwithsuz