Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sequoia & Kings Canyon

In early May we drove to Sequoia National Park for a weekend backpacking trip.

We picked up these people who seemed to have the same idea. Turns out their names are Emily and AJ.

The drive down the Central Valley offered some interesting views of the California drought. These are almond trees.

Lots of citrus trees too!

We are all excited to finally be in the forest!

The trail to our campsite at Twin Lakes was about 7 miles, predominantly uphill, through forest.

There were a few river crossings.

And a waterfall!

The first glimpses of Twin Lakes were welcome a welcome sight.

We stayed near the larger lake.

Brian surveyed our home for the weekend.

 The light of the sunset against the mountain was stunning.

Emily brought her hammock. Some of us enjoyed it in the evening...

Emily enjoyed it in the early morning.

The second day, we hiked up to Silliman Pass, which afforded beautiful, if hazy, views of the Central Valley.

The elevation at the pass is 10,479.

We planned to walk to Ranger Lake, so first consulted the map.

However, the trail proved elusive for much of our hike down.

A glimpse of Ranger Lake was a hopeful sign.

We made it to Ranger Lake, earning our orienteering badges. Ranger Lake is in Kings Canyon - so we made visited two National Parks in one day on foot!

On the way up, we were happy to find the trail we had lost on the descent.

The trail offered some incredible views of the Sierras.

Back to the top of the pass...

 ... and back down toward our campsite at Twin Lakes.

The second night was colder, so I was happy to have my new sleeping bag! The next morning, we set out fairly early to head back to Lodgepole trailhead.

The trip out was mostly downhill.

We paused for one last snack before leaving the woods.

We then traveled to see General Sherman! These Sequoia trees are indeed enormous.

A great trip! Looking forward to going back someday soon!

Elephant Seals!

When Claire and George visited in March, we saw the Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevos!
We've been a couple of times, but Claire and George's first visit happened on a gorgeous day!