A quick trip to the enchanting Sequoia National Park, California

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Sequoia National Park is a true gem of the Sierra Nevada. Being named for the giant trees, which predominate, the park protects tens of thousands of acres of Sequoia forest as well as huge swaths of mixed forest with ponderosa and lodgepole pines as well as red fir and conifers. This magnificent park, being less than five hours from both Los Angeles and San Francisco, is the prefect place to come for a weekend of a week, a place to get away and do some hiking in the high country, to feel the moist earth and breath the fragrant, thin air.

seq19-1seq14-1There is nothing like the solitude of a high country meadow, where the snow has gathered atop the marshy soil to provide the perfect backdrop to the soaring mountains and hovering giant trees all around. At this time of year, the southern lighting casts the most wonderful shadows to form perfect contrasts in this stunning scenery.

seq11-1The little mountain roads with the dark canopy shadowing over are great for a drive. In the winter, the traffic isn’t too terrible, allowing one to drive freely and enjoy the vistas, wildlife sightings and of course the spectacular trees.

seq12-1seq18-1seq16-1Hiking is one of the best ways to see the park and of course my favorite.  Many exhilarating trails lead to fantastically wonderful views of monolithic cliffs and mountains such as these, where the air is crisp and forest is breathtaking.

seq15-1Many little bodies of water and larger lakes exist throughout and near the park. While many of them are naturally occurring  having no or a very shallow exit for water to escape, Hume Lake is man-made. Originally built to accommodate logging in the area, it is now a serene place to spend some time.

seq13-1seq10-1seq120-1The views to the west provide sweeping scenes of the Western Sierra and the great, productive Central Valley beyond.

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seq3-1The sheer size of the sequoia trees is hard to imagine until one actually sees them up close and views the height-many as tall as the Statue of Liberty and the girth.

 seq121-1The views of the Sierra Nevada, looking west here are spectacular. While Mount Whitney-the tallest peak in the lower 48 is hidden from most of the park, these other high points, with their layer of snow and high valleys in the foreground provide very pleasurable viewing indeed.

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17 thoughts on “A quick trip to the enchanting Sequoia National Park, California

    1. Jealousy! Although, I’m gonna try Chantry Flats again this weekend and try to arrive early to beat the crowds. Would you recommend that or something around Crystal Lake?

      1. Crystal Lake may be in snow. I’ve only been up there from the 39 a couple times and don’t know how often they snow plow the roads etc. If you go to Chantry on the weekend, it’s best to get there by 7 am, 8 at the latest if you don’t want to hike over a mile to reach the trailhead. With rain expected, it’s problematic to go up Angeles Crest without chains. So, Chantry is a good idea. There’s always Echo Mountain / Inspiration Point / Mt. Lowe from the Cobb Estate if you want to start later and don’t want to worry about parking or the impact of potential snow on the roadway.

          1. Not really forested. If you look at the segment photos (just click on the photo links from the hike pages) you will see there aren’t many trees until you get above Echo Mountain. Castle Canyon is nice though as is the north portion of the Sam Merrill Trail. However, above Inspiration Point the path to Mt. Lowe, Mt. Markham, and San Gabriel Peak is mostly through burn areas. That said, this is the best time of the year to hike in that area as you will not need to worry about how hot it gets with very little shade. If you hike up to Inspiration Point and use the north side of the Sam Merrill Trail or higher up to Mt. Lowe, there’s a good chance you’ll run into some snow which I think makes the lack of tree cover more interesting. If you go on Sunday there is a good chance you’ll get snowed on if you go above Echo Mountain. Have a great hike this weekend.

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