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Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite Trip Report

Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite Trip Report

Old May 12th, 2005, 07:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 17
Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite Trip Report

My wife and I and our five and six year old sons had the privilege of going to Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks this year. This is a summary of our trip.

April 29
We checked into the Wuksachi Lodge which was covered in five inches of snow from the previous night’s snow. We liked the Wuksachi Lodge superior rooms, but the restaurant was pricey and not well suited for kids. We liked the no frills restaurant in Grant Village and the Lodge Pole market.

April 30
We drove 2+ hours through Kings Canyon – the scenery was worth the trip. The lower elevation resulted in very pleasant temperatures. We saw three deer on the Zumwalt Meadow trail, enjoyed a quick stop at the Roaring River Falls and had an enjoyable picnic lunch at Grizzly Falls. On the way back, we went to Grant Grove and did the General Grant Tree ranger tour. Next, we walked the North Grove Loop trail which was great, but the fallen trees and snow made the hike much longer than advertised.

May 1
We started the day with a beautiful hike around the Big Trees Trail. We had the whole trail to ourselves. Next, we saw the General Sherman Tree and headed to Moro Rock where the sunny day turned to incredibly thick fog. The boys made it up the 600+ steps without a problem, but the visibility was about fifteen feet. Next, we went to see Tunnel Log. Crescent Meadow Road was closed, but clear so donned the ponchos and made the walk in the rain. For the final adventure of the day we intended to hike the Congress Trail. The five inches of hard packed snow made following the trail difficult so I think we did a combination of the Congress and Crescent Trails.

May 2
We drove to Yosemite and stopped for some great pictures at Tunnel View. The roads to Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, and Tuolumne Meadows were still closed due to snow, but the waterfalls were prime. We checked into the Yosemite Lodge and watched the video at the visitor center. We liked Yosemite Lodge very much. It was conveniently located, the scenery was beautiful, and the market and food court worked very well with the kids. Stepping outside your room and listening to the pounding water from Yosemite Falls was therapeutic. We also enjoyed the nightly 8:00 ranger talks. I think staying somewhere in the valley is essential.

May 3
We started with a trip to the Lower Yosemite Falls. The literature we read recommended continuing the trail past the falls. We kept going – so much so that we ended up all the way over at Mirror Lake. It was nice, but not a must see. We took the shuttle bus home. Later we took the shuttle for a late afternoon trip to Sentinel Bridge which is a great view and should be a part of everyone’s itinerary. We crossed the road and were delighted to see seven deer in the meadow with Yosemite Falls in the background. We didn’t see any bears during our stay, but a nice family from Australia showed us their video of one they saw.

May 4
We went to Bridalveil Fall and saw two coyotes on the drive there. Bridalveil Fall was impressive – we got soaked trying to get up close. We continued walking past the fall and crossed the street to find a nice trail along the river. That afternoon we went up the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail. We hiked through the 60+ switchbacks to Columbia Rock and continued another half mile to a magnificent view of Yosemite Falls. We thought our boys were exceptional hikers for their ages to make the challenging three hour, three mile trek only to find out later that a nice family we met on the trail made the same trip with their three-year-old daughter.

May 5
Our final full day in Yosemite was rainy. We went to the visitor’s center and Indian Museum so the boys could finish the requirements for their Junior Ranger badges. We once again put on the ponchos and went to bus stop #16. We hiked .75 miles to the Vernal Fall Footbridge. Based on a ranger’s recommendation we took the longer John Muir Trail to see Nevada Falls in the distance and the top of Vernal Falls. We intended to go down the Mist Trail, but didn’t find the correct place to turn so we backtracked down the John Muir Trail. Total trip time was about 3.5 hours. The rain made some of the walking challenging. The waterfalls were impressive, but we would have liked a sunny day.

May 6
The only major activity we did not complete was riding bikes around the valley because of the rain. We made one last quick trip to the Lower Yosemite Falls and stopped by the Pioneer Village on our way out of the park. It looked as though the road to Mariposa Grove had opened. We made the drive to Fresno and spent the night at the Airport Holiday Inn. We found it to be a very convenient and economical place to stay, and the boys loved the pool.

ncsu83 is offline  
Old May 13th, 2005, 07:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
Sounds like a terrific trip.

We have been to Yosemite several times, but never to Sequoia - we are going there this summer. Your trip report will help us plan ours. I am "training" on our stairs at home so that I can go to the top of Moro Rock when we go

J_Correa is offline  
Old May 13th, 2005, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
Thakns for a great report! Brought back many memories and made me want to go back some time this summer! Thanks again!
easytraveler is offline  
Old May 13th, 2005, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
What a nice trip you had! And sure your report will help other travelers who will do their research.

J. Correa, don't miss the Kings Canyon, it's gorgeous! Reminds of Yosemite somewhat.
FainaAgain is offline  
Old May 13th, 2005, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks Faina. We will be in Sequoia for 3 full days, so we are planning to take a drive over to Kings Canyon one day - bring a picnic lunch and check out the scenery.
J_Correa is offline  
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