SEQUOIA & KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS
About ten days ago, a friend and I made a quick trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Our plan was to spend a couple days enjoying the trees and solitude. It was a glorious visit even though it did not pan out exactly as expected.
For one thing, we had planned to have two days in the park, but ended up with only one. A storm moved in and closed the roads inside the park, so although we were there we could not get anywhere. Second, we had hoped to see some wildflowers—and we did. There were some lupines in bloom near the entrance and alongside some country roads, but none were at a spot where it was easy to stop and take pictures. A few other flowers punctuated the landscape as well—some California poppies and pretty yellow flowers. And pretty pink trees popped up here and there along the route. The orange trees we drove past—field after field—were in bloom. The best part of that was the delightful orange blossom smell that wafted into the car as we drove by.
Finally, we figured we would enjoy some delightful spring weather. After all, spring had officially sprung and we were on spring break. But like I said, a storm moved in and closed the roads—and the temps were a bit chilly. In fact, snow was still all around. But-don’t get me wrong—I am not complaining. The weather was crisp and glorious. The snow on the trees was impressive and made it feel like we were driving through a snow globe. And the storm closed the roads and sent us home, but it did not rain/snow and pour on us—we even saw glorious clouds and heard rain on the roof overnight.
Overall, although cut short, this was a great trip to Sequoia National Park. We technically entered Kings Canyon National Park but never quite made it to Grants Grove to walk among the great big trees. So, we figure we need to go again—maybe the end of May—to enjoy the forest again. Next time, I doubt any roads will be closed! But the trees we did see and walk among were great, making us feel the grandeur of nature as seen in these magnificent Sequoia Redwoods.
Our one-day drive through Sequoia National Park helped us remember how accurate John Muir was in his description of the big trees: “When I entered this sublime wilderness the day was nearly done, the trees with rosy, glowing countenances seemed to be hushed and thoughtful, as if waiting in conscious religious dependence on the sun, and one naturally walked softly and awestricken among them.”
The trees are the obvious draw of the park, but there are also glorious vistas and impressive rock formations. We even took the 10-mile travel-at-your-own-risk-not-cleared-in-winter road out to Hume Lake.
As we ended our first day in the Parks, we decided to re-trace our steps to get to the hotel. Our plan was to explore Kings Canyon the second day. Instead, the road had closed behind us, and we could not get back the way we came. Our detour took us through some farmland that included orange groves. Although not what we planned, we had a great day!