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Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

Chantilly, VA
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Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

We're going to Kings/Sequoia Park in about a week from today. What would you recommend we must see or do while we are there? We only have a day and a half at the park (unfortunately) :-(

We've been there once before, but it was during the winter time & not w/older/younger family members. Lovely though & we really enjoyed it. This time, we have young & older family members joining us. Any suggestions or aversions?

All answers greatly appreciated.

RT.

California
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1. Re: Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

I've been to Sequoia/Kings Canyon about 6 times but not for 5 years so apologies if things have changed since I was there last. You should look up the distances of the trails I'm mentioning as my memory may be a bit fuzzy. Must sees, I'm throwing a bunch of things in here by location, cause not sure if you want hiking, views, etc, and you can pick and choose: In Giant Forest - Congress Trail is a nice easy trail, 2 miles, the Sequoia's are very impressive and should definitely be seen. If you don't want to hike you can just look at the General Sherman Tree and others close by. Add the mile and a half hike around Crescent Meadow in the same area which is lovely. And/or the short hike up to Eagles View near Crescent Meadow gives dizzying views for not much travel, a bit uphill. I think you can picnic in Crescent Meadow if it's still open but I remember it as being black bear active and may be closed. Moro Rock is generally considered a must see although it's not a personal preference of mine, more like a big staircase instead of a hike, lots of people. 1/4 or 1/2 mile uphill, but it has great views of the great western divide and is very popular.

Lodgepole: Tokapah Falls is a very nice trail, a couple of miles each way I believe, tons of marmots on the trail, beautiful waterfall at the end.

Grant Grove - Panoramic Point, short 1/4 or 1/2 mile hike to a beautiful view of the mountains including I think the Great Western Divide. General Grant Tree, a short hike 1/2 mile around some beautiful Sequoia's, very nice but I personally prefer Congress Trail and would do Congress if I was going to pick only one Sequoia tree walk. It's a nice worthwhile walk, though.. Buena Vista Trail - nice hike to a beautiful panoramic vista- 2 miles.

Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon, - (my favorite park of the park) - a gorgeous but nerve wracking drive down the canyon, takes about an hour I think(you can stop and see Hume Lake on the way down). Terrific views. Very worth while. Zumwalt Meadow is in Cedar Grove, a beautiful Meadow with cliffs rising above, one of the highlights of Sequoia/Kings Canyon, I think it's a 2 mile loop, lovely. Roaring Rapids Falls,very short walk to a very nice waterfall. If you want a big hike Mist Trails is terrific, but it is 8 miles round trip and will take up at least a half a day or more so if you do it you'll have to cut some other things.

I think you can plan on a half a day for each area, but driving times are long, give an hour to an hour an 1/2 from Grant grove to Cedar Grove, probably at least an hour I think from Grant Grove to Giant Forest. You didn't say where you are staying or what entrance you are taking but if you are getting there early afternoon you could do something like Giant Forest on the first day, - Congress trail,Crescent Meadow and/or Eagle View, and Moro Rock. Second day, Grant Grove in the morning, see Panoramic point and look around or do a short hike, then head for Cedar Grove, enjoy the overlooks on the way down, (remember it'll take over an hour from Grant Grove) then do Zumwalt Meadow, and Roaring Rapids Falls, enjoy the Kings River, drive back up. Depending on how much time you have you can take a side trip to Hume Lake on the way up or down. Or you could probably have a long day just in Cedar Grove and do Mist Falls and Zumwalt and drive back up, that would be great but you'll be tired at the end. I think no matter what else you do you shouldn't miss seeing the Sequoia's and shouldn't miss the drive down to Cedar Grove and Zumwalt Meadow, but they are at opposite ends of the park, and it's a long narrow park so plan the driving well or you'll be driving back and forth all day(been there done that). Hope this helps, ask more specifics and I'll try to answer if I can, or of course others might have some even better ideas. I'm sure there are other areas I'm not remembering or just missed on my trips.

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Chantilly, VA
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2. Re: Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

Lorenky

thanks for the detailed info. I will try some of the places you mentioned, as there are many. thanks.

California
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3. Re: Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

Have fun. My days in Kings Canyon/Sequoia were always busy and full so I hope I didn't throw too much stuff in there, but you'll find your own pace. If you have time post on how the trip went for you.

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4. Re: Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

This is for Lorenky. You posted something about a nerve wracking drive down into the canyon. Can you tell us more and what makes it so nerve wracking?

Thanks, Mike

California
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5. Re: Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

Hi BooTexas, it's Lorenky. In answer to your question, the trip down to Kings Canyon is a two lane road with alot of hairpin turns and long drops down in parts. Of course there are guardrails in most places. I'm a nervous driver and I've driven it(with somewhat white knuckles) and been fine. I certainly wouldn't avoid it and it's not that long, about an hour and not all of that is scary. It's really pretty dramatic with views of the mountains and the Canyon walls towering above and below, you can look straight down to the tiny river below at the turnouts. Some of the turnouts are hard to reach if your on the wrong side of the road, we just do those on the way back. It opens up at the end to a beautiful wooded valley with the river running through it. Very worthwhile and in my opinion the Kings Canyon section with Zumwalt Meadow and Mist Falls trails are the nicest section of the 2 parks.

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Columbus, OH
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6. Re: Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

I just returned from Sequoia yesterday.

Crescent Meadows and Moro Rock are already closed for the season, so you can't get to that area at all. Hwy 198 (coming from south) is under construction and only one lane. They are letting traffic through on the top of each hour. We drove up route 99 (Fresno) and took Hwy 180 into the park. The roads on 180 are very easy to travel on.

To get a great view, since Moro Rock is closed, go to Beetle Rock, we had a great view from there. Also we took the "Little Blady Trail" off 180, steep hike, 3.4 miles round trip but the view there is 8044 feet high! Absolutely the best, better that Beetle Rock, if you can handle the climb. Took a little over an hour to climb up, coming down about 20 minutes. The park was conducting "planned fires" so the Hwy 198 area was smoky the whole time we were there.

Here's what we did on one of our days. General Sherman Tree, Congress Trail,(both of these are together), then drive to Beetle Rock, (very close) and "Little Badly Trail".

The Lodgepool info center has trail maps you can buy for $3.50

Have a great time in the Park

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7. Re: Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

Sorry,

Just noticed that the original post was from August.

Never Mind!

California
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8. Re: Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

It's still good advice Buckeyewin, someone else will probably find it useful.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

buckeyewin said:

"Crescent Meadows and Moro Rock are already closed for the season, so you can't get to that area at all."

Of course you can! You just can't drive back there. You're still permitted to go there on foot or skis.

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10. Re: Must See/Do if we had only 1 day

I'll be visiting in November for about a day.

We're spending a week in California and the trip will divided into "4 legs":

1st leg: LA (5th),

2nd leg: a day in Yosemite/Seqouia area (6th)

3rd leg: a day in San Francisco (7th),

4th leg: travel down the PCH (8th) and finish up the trip in Santa Barbara (8th-12th).

On the 6th, I'm planning on staying in Bakersfield, driving to see the Yosemite/Sequoia area and staying in a hotel near Modesto.

Is it possible to just drive through and see the Sequoia AND Yosemite in one fair swoop?? It's me, my wife and my 11 year old step-daughter.

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