Day 19 - Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Park Hikes


We had a good breakfast at the hotel and then set off early in the morning for Kings Canyon National Park

We were planning on going to Grant Grove, then hike the lakes trail in Sequoia National Park, then visit the General Sherman tree (The largest in the world), then hike up Morro rock, and then drive as far as we could towards Santa Curz

Click to Enlarge
Grant Grove

The first place we stopped at was Grant Grove

We hiked down a old road to the grove and saw various huge trees including the 3rd largest tree in the world the General Grant Tree. We even climbed down through fallen trees.

On the way back I decided to head off up an interesting single track trail, after about 200 meters i realized i was actually following a bear trail, and could see bear claw marks etc all over the place. I carried on anyway as the trail was fun, but I did keep on looking over my shoulder the whole way up the trail.

Grant Grove
Next we drove to the Lodge pole visitors Center to get information on the hike we wanted to do - the Lakes trail. Unfortunately we saw and found out that there was a prescribed burn being carried out and all the smoke was going over the trail we had wanted to do. So instead of the hike we booked up a trip into the Crystal Cave at 3PM Click to Enlarge
Sequoia Grove As we had a while to go before the cave trip we drove over to Sequoia Grove and walked down to the grove, on the way we saw our first Wild Bear, who didn't seem very interested in us and disappeared off into the bushes very quickly. Sequoia Grove
Sequoia Grove We got carried away walking around the grove,taking in the giant trees and realized we were running out of time for the cave trip so we had to run back up to the suv, and then drive very quickly to the Caves. Luckily as all trips to the cave are done on a schedule we didn't meet any oncoming traffic on the narrow winding road to the cave. We then showed our tickets at the kiosk at the top and then ran down to the cave. Sequoia Grove
Crystal Cave The Cave trip was good, plenty of interesting formation, and the best bit was when the guide turned off all the lights and we were in pitch darkness for 10 minutes. Crystal Cave
Crystal Cave Once the tour was over we then drove over to Morro rock and hiked up that, the view were ok but quite Hazy because of the smoke from the fires so we didn't take any pictures, we then drove through Tunnel Log and headed down the Generals Highway behind some incredibly annoying slow cars, which couldn't be overtaken for miles because of the narrow road to Visalia. Sequoia Grove

We stopped at Visalia and had a very good meal at Colima Mexican restaurant, we then drove along the 198 west all the way to the 101 - the road was very long and boring to drive along. When we reached the 101 we drove at far as Salinas before we stopped as we were pretty tired.

We found a Quality Inn to stay at, at the time we checked in the Manager warned us to take all valuables out of the car as apparently it was a dangerous area. In the morning when it was light we realized that the general area around the hotel was pretty run down. But the Hotel it self was great very nice clean room, with a good bed and free high speed internet access. We also booked our last nights of accomodation at a Hampton Inn and Suites in San Jose before we left.

DAY 20