Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Over the mountain and through the woods

Kings Canyon Road

My last post shared the pictures from driving down the coast through Oregon and Northern California. Near San Francisco I turned east and headed inland towards King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Pulled into the National Forest just outside the parks at dawn and saw a beautiful sunrise:


Hume Lake

Then it was into King's Canyon proper. I've never been here and had no idea what to expect, but this park is awesome. Great scenery, appears to be fairly low-visitation, and has a large trail system into a secluded valley between high mountains. I definitely want to spend more time here. First direct light of the day was just reaching over the canyon walls when I got there:

First Light

Kings Canyon

Morning in Kings Canyon

Grizzly Falls

But we had places to go, so we only spent a few hours here before moving on into neighboring Sequoia National Park. Also a spectacular place, but it suffers from much more tourist visitation. The big draw here are the trees; some of the largest in the world. Note the group of people standing at the base for a sense of scale:

Just a group of people

Big tree Path

Dirt road Big Tree

Panorama: Big tree

We then found our way over to the east side of the mountain range. I really prefer to take back roads when I have the time, so I was on a small windy one-lane trying to get over the mountains, and we ended up lost for an hour or so. Which wasn't entirely bad because we were lost in a very pretty place. But finally we made it over and down into Death Valley.

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