Kings Canyon & Sequoia Questions

Jul 8th, 2013, 03:29 PM
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Kings Canyon & Sequoia Questions

I am in the initial stages of planning a trip to California for next June. I have been to Yosemite once before about 15 years ago, but I have never been to Kings Canyon or Sequoia. I loved Yosemite and am wondering whether Kings Canyon and Sequoia will pale in comparison and are worth doing. We have visited the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite. Is Sequoia a lot more spectacular?

We'll be staying at the Wawona the final night of our Yosemite stay. How long will it take us to drive from there to Kings Canyon? How long would you want for Kings Canyon and Sequoia--two nights? We like to hike.
Digbydog is offline  
Jul 8th, 2013, 03:39 PM
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Depends on what hikes you want to do.

Personally, I would rank the trees in this order

Sequoia National Park
Redwoods National Park

Yosemite is super crowded and the others aren't. Yosemite's groves are smaller and not as many trees. Trees at Sequoia are just amazing(I think all three places are amazing though).

I'm going to guess a 3 hour drive. You might want to stop somewhere along the way and get some fruit in the valley. I'm not sure what would be in season in June though.

You might want to spend some time in Crystal Cave in Sequoia too. I have not done their wild cave tour, but have several others and they are truly fantastic!!

I like this guys hiking page. Even though he does the longer hikes, you can cut some of his much shorter.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jul 8th, 2013, 04:26 PM
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I loved Yosemite and am wondering whether Kings Canyon and Sequoia will pale in comparison and are worth doing.

They are two very different experiences. I liked Kings Canyon and the drive there from Fresno on Highway 180.

I also liked Sequoia NP, but as I recall, unlike the great redwood forests of northern California, there were a couple sequoia here and two or three more over there. Grant Grove had the best collection of specimens (as I recall).

It was very foggy while we were there. I want to go again when it is clear, and I will research park attractions better before my next visit.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 8th, 2013, 05:03 PM
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Congress Trail and all around the Giant Forest and Giant Forest Museum is very nice(lots of trees there, IMOP). Yes, Redwoods, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia each unique.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jul 9th, 2013, 11:29 AM
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Spiro--thanks for your input and the great hiking page.

HTTY--my brother recommended Redwood NP over Sequoia, but that doesn't fit in with our itinerary very well. Glad to hear it is a pretty drive into Kings Canyon.

So I think we will check out Kings Canyon and Sequoia. We love the national parks, and it is hard to be so close (from Yosemite) and not visit.
Digbydog is offline  
Jul 11th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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Another question--where would you stay in the parks? Does it make sense to stay one night in each? Is one park more interesting than the other?
Digbydog is offline  
Jul 11th, 2013, 03:37 PM
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Kings Canyon is spectacular!! Whatever you do, don't miss the John Muir rock there. Just don't climb on it.

I like Kings more than Sequoia, but this is my personal preference.

Cannot advise on lodging, sorry, was with a group and drove in from outside.
Dayenu is offline  
Jul 11th, 2013, 03:38 PM
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Just so you are aware Sequoia trees and Coast Redwoods are two different species of trees.
There are several places within 30 miles of the coast to see Coast Redwoods other than Redwood National Park in northern California.
The Sequoias are in the Sierra mountains well east of I-5.
tomfuller is offline  
Jul 11th, 2013, 04:24 PM
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What time of year will you be going? Some roads are not open all year.

The drive down into Kings Canyon is very cool, but the hiking is much better in Sequoia. I wouldn't spend a night in Kings Canyon - I would recommend staying at Wuksachi Village because it's closest to the most spectacular areas of the park (Giant Forest, Crescent Meadows., Morro Rock). It's basically an overpriced motel, but it's fine and the setting is gorgeous.

Whatever you do, don't stay somewhere outside the park (Sequoia) because the drive in is long, slow and strenuous, along a winding narrow road.
JohnH is offline  
Jul 11th, 2013, 05:58 PM
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Wuksachi Lodge
spirobulldog is offline  
Jul 13th, 2013, 08:40 AM
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Spirobulldog and I agree on where to stay in Yellowstone, so Wuksachi it is.

I'd like to stop in Kings Canyon on our way to Sequoia. Do we need to worry about having toiletries and/or food in the car if we do a short hike, i.e., will bears rip our car apart?
Digbydog is offline  
Jul 13th, 2013, 08:45 AM
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You would probably be ok, in a major parking lot with lots of traffic, but nothing is guaranteed. I remember seeing a video of a bear at Clingmon's Dome. A ton of people around and the bear just broke the window. People didn't attempt to scare the bear or anything. It's on youtube. Clingmon's Dome is less than a 1 mile hike.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jul 13th, 2013, 11:14 AM
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Wuksachi Lodge is basic but comfortable. We loved it and felt very happy w/shelter as we did see BEARs! It is a hassle but please do take any food, drinks, water, sun tan lotions, gum etc. out of the cars.

We went in August and it was close to 100 degrees: no air conditioning but you can ask for a fan.

Also we saw lots of deer right from the Lodge.

The Lodge itself is lovely, the rooms were a short walk from the Lodge. If walking is of concern, then ask for a room as close as possible.

One of the very best benefits of the Lodge, were the gourmet meals. The Chef prepared meals with fresh veges and fruit and was truly 4* California cuisine.

2 Cautions:
1.) you need to make sure you read the NPS warnings about gas fill ups. There are not many gas stations. There is a old timer gravity feed gas station at the bottom of Kings Canyon. It is good to stop just to see it but also to get gas. The road follows a stream and it is great to pull over and have a "roughing it" lunch by the side of the road.

2.) Hiking is truly in the wild woods. The Lodge can help you find a great trail. Be sure to understand there are BEARS!
We went on an 8 mile? hike and saw lots of signs of Bears scat, shredding trees). WE saw several big BEARS. Don't take any food and make sure your water bottles are fresh and unused. Do take a BER whistler or jingle bells. BE sure to read up on what to do with BEARS while hiking. Wear strong hiking boots, kerchief dipped in fresh water.

This area is so lovely, so remote that it maintains the quintessential wild woods.
1JAR is offline  
Jul 13th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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No Food and an unused water bottle? What would you suggest when I backpack there?
spirobulldog is offline  
Jul 13th, 2013, 01:15 PM
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For backpacking in the Sierras you are required to use bear canisters for your food.

No idea what the " unused water bottle" is all about.

The best lodging in Sequoiai is at Bearpaw High Sierra Camp.�� The site is spectacular, and if you can get 2 nights there you can continue on the High Sierra Trail to a beautiful lake whose name I forget. There is a designated backpackers' campsite nearby if you don't care for the Tent cabin prices. But the tents are very nice-- nicer than the Yosemite ones--- and the food is excellent.

We spent a night at Wulsachi Lodge after and it was very nice. A bit more upscale than we usually pick for national park lodging. There were deer all over, including a large buck that tried to enter our building.
enzian is offline  
Jul 13th, 2013, 01:17 PM
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This comment is for day hikes.

Bears smell these items on the breeze for miles away and you want to avoid attracting BEARS to you for a meal target.

Overnight backpack and camping requires additional protection and precautions.

When one has treated someone who was mauled by a BEAR because they were not cautious about food, one learns to be very cautious.
1JAR is offline  
Jul 13th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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We absolutely love Sequoia/Kings canyon. We live about three hours away and visit it every few years. Be sure to walk out on Moro Rock for stunning views.

The bears really do not want encounters anymore than you do. We were raised in a bear area and we were always taught to walk and talk 'noisily' giving the bears a chance to wander off as they heard us approach. If you are out for the day you really do need to bring some munchies. If you encounter a bear take off your pack, as that might be what he wants. Don't be afraid, just be very cautious and alert.
michele_d is offline  
Jul 13th, 2013, 03:19 PM
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Re the unused water bottle.

People often fill used water bottles with sugary drinks. Bears like and can smell sugar so if you do not want to attract the bear to you then use fresh water bottles.

It is interesting when you interview a mauled person how they were mauled... how many times the incident is related to food.
1JAR is offline  
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