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Backpacking hikes, the world's largest trees, vast caverns, deep canyons, rugged foothills, and huge mountains!
In September, 2002, I decided to go to California and see many National Parks there. Two parks I visited, Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park because they are side by side and it only cost me $10 to see both, are just spectacular! It costs $20 now. Kings Canyon is named after the Kings River which runs through it.
Going into the park, I spotted Grizzly Falls from the road. There is a picnic site here and I had it all to myself. I loved it! I could also see that the falls would be much wider in the spring from the markings on the rocks above.
About a five minute walk in the shade, takes me to a waterfall rushing through narrow rock. Beginning at a parking lot three miles east of the Village turnoff is the paved, easy trail.
Roaring River Falls
Hiking along the Kings River, I come to this great big flat rock that I climbed up on and got a good view of the river.
Huge Flat Rock
I soon came to the end of Kings Canyon. I thought about hiking here until I saw the sign that said Active Bear Area. I decided to drive on. Before I left though, I noticed they were already closing up the facilities to get ready for winter. I guess winter here comes early! I live in South Florida, so I don't know what it's like here in the mountains that time of year.
End of Kings Canyon
I drove into Sequoia National Park next to see the big Sequoia trees. There are beautiful mountains here!
I entered the Big Trees Forest. It is hard to appreciate the size of the giant sequoias because trees nearby are so large. Their diameters at the base exceed the width of many city streets, and the largest of the sequoias are as tall as an average twenty six story building. About equal to the volume of a fifty foot tall tree, one foot in diameter, they produce about forty cubic feet of wood each year, as they continue to grow.
It is estimated that these giant trees are between 1,800 and 2,700 years old, but the ages of other large sequoias, General Grant and the General Sherman are unknown. They continue to flourish, inspiring yet another generation of visitors, and have seen civilization come and go, survived countless long periods of drought and fires.
Big Trees Forest
I stood in front of the General Sherman tree. It is the largest living plant on earth!
General Sherman Tree
It is not easy looking up to see the top of the General Sherman tree. The most volume of any tree, as of 2002, it had a volume of 52,508 cubic feet, 102.6 feet in circumference and was 275 feet high. It is the largest by volume but it isn't the highest tree.
Top of General Sherman Tree
I came upon a Sequoia tree that was burned out in the middle and it stills lives. These trees are extremely fire resistant and tough. What you see behind me in the next photo is not a shadow, but the crack where the tree was burned out!
Burned Out Center of Sequoia Tree
Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks are just gorgeous! I hope to one day return there and do some serious backpacking hikes. I'll keep you informed. See you on the trail!
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