Saturday, May 19, 2012–King’s Canyon National Park

Today marks our last full day visiting California’s premier national parks. King’s Canyon NP is comprised of two segments, a small area on the west side containing the Grant Tree and other giant sequoias in the Grant Grove, and a much larger area, physically separated from the smaller area, to the east and north. Much of this larger area is wilderness and inaccessible by road; in fact, we traveled to road’s end today.

After departing Wuksachi Lodge, we stopped briefly at the Lodgepole Visitor’s Center and Market (Sequoia NP) for information on Kings Canyon NP roads and breakfast sandwiches. We were off then to the canyon, not knowing what to expect. George opted to take a “short-cut” through the mountains that proved to be a most delightful drive, with spectacular views of the canyon much of the way. After a brief stop at a small market, we drove to a trailhead and hiked a seemingly docile trail (Zumwalt Meadow) along the Kings River, surrounded by high granite walls though much of the first 1/2 mile was over and among granite boulders and rubble. Kings Canyon reminded us of Zion National Park, but to a smaller scale.

Our next hike was to Roaring River Falls, and a high desert area adjacent to the road. There was a high volume of water spilling over the two-tiered falls.

On our return trip to the lodge, we took a side trip near the Kings Canyon Visitors Center at Grants Grove up a narrow, switch-backed Panoramic Point Road, for a short hike to a spectacular view of the Sierras.

We stopped at the Lodgepole Market for sandwiches before adjourning to the lodge for a visit with Nan and George, and packing for our return trip to San Francisco and home.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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