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Re: Kings Canyon story (LA Times)

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avatar Kings Canyon story (LA Times)
April 03, 2008 09:02PM
In many ways I prefer Kings Canyon to Yosemite. Hardly anyone there, the waterfalls aren't as high but are every bit as majestic and numerous, and the deepest canyon in North America (to the west of Kings Canyon) and the glacier sculpting to the east are more spectacular than Yosemite. The hikes aren't hard. The Cedar Grove area opens usually the third weekend of April (might be fourth weekend this year, April 25). Leaving the canyon usually I swing through south on the Generals Highway and visit Sequoia's giant forest and head back down the scary switchbacks into Visalia.

LA times article:
avatar Re: Kings Canyon story (LA Times)
April 03, 2008 11:27PM
I was at the Roads End permit station talking to the college-age kid manning it while my (now) wife was using the facilities. Apparently very little company there, so he was happy to have someone to talk to. Showed me all the bear canisters they had on hand, including Garcias, BearVaults, and the Bearikade.

They had a photo posted on the wall of people in a traffic jamp climbing the Half Dome cables. The caption was, "Aren't you glad this isn't Yosemite?"

The article isn't complete. While Cedar Grove Lodge may be the only non-camping accomodations in the valley on NPS land, there is always Kings Canyon Lodge in Sequoia National Forest to the west.
avatar Re: Kings Canyon story (LA Times)
April 04, 2008 07:24AM
Kings has long been known as "Fresno's Secret Yosemite" (a weekend car camping destination for the city's residents).

The hikes aren't hard:
(1) Try backpacking the Copper Creek Trail from Roads End (BM 5025) up to Granite Basin (BM 10350 at the unnamed pass into the basin) - one mile up in less than seven trail miles. Then over Granite Pass and on to the Lake of the Fallen Moon (made famous by a poem that appeared in the Sierra Club Bulletin back in 1923) or Dougherty Meadow or loop back to the Cedar Grove area via Kennedy Pass.
(2) The Rae Lakes Loop is also spectacular (approx. 37 miles and over Pinchot Pass at 12.1k).

(Just teasing, Vince, I know that you were just referring to the day hikes around the canyon floor.)

Actually, the switchbacks on the road between Three Rivers and the Sequoia NP high country can be fun driving (assuming a manual transmission car - my personal opinion is that anyone that drives an automatic on mountain roads should be locked up in a mental institution) as long as you are not stuck behind someone doing -5 mph.

Post Edited (04-04-08 07:32)

Voice of the Rocky Marmot Empire
Re: Kings Canyon story (LA Times)
April 04, 2008 10:15AM
Just an observation, but one of my few gripes about driving in Yosemite is that the speed limit there is mostly 35 or below...but if you try to keep it reasonably close, say 40, there's always a yahoo or two that thinks it doesn't apply to them, and comes riding up your rear telling you to get out of the way, and acts as though YOU'RE the one who's doing something wrong. The most consistent offenders seem to be people working there, whether on construction or for DNC, but there are the usual others also, who think they're still on the LA freeway.

Getting there can be half the fun; the few seconds or minutes saved by thinking every road is a personal racetrack is often lost by accidents or tickets, or you see the guy standing there doing nothing when he does get there...so what is accomplished?

People going slower than posted speeds in National Parks (or anywhere) should pull over as soon as they can to let folks by, or speed up to the posted speed...and people who want to go faster should realize that they have no right to do so or to expect people to get out of their way. There's nothing up there that won't be there a few minutes later.
avatar Re: Kings Canyon story (LA Times)
April 04, 2008 09:01PM
Some more thoughts (in response to "ski" (I'm also a "ski"winking smiley

Rae Lakes Loop will be on the itinerary as soon as I have more than one week's vacation per year.

Copper Creek Trail is not hard, it's just hot and dry so lug extra water till you get to the meager outlets before lower tent. Then the temps are cooler. Haven't been as far as the pass yet, as I said above, haven't had the time to overnight up high, weekends only for now.

Hotel Creek trail also is very warm but the vista up there is, in my opinion, better than Glacier Point and Half Dome offer, south, east, west and north (especially north in April).

Warm showers for the public are offered at Cedar Grove. I don't shower when camping, so more for you. Usually the city-folks type amenities aren't available till May when they get around to it.

The switchbacks are more fun in a Mustang uphill than they are downhill, so you might want to start in Visalia first.
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