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Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?

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avatar While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 27, 2017 04:39PM
My beloved's mother has delightfully offered to treat us to a trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon in May. She's rented a cabin on 198 close to the Sequoia entrance gate, and the only thing we have to bring is ourselves. Swanky right??

I've never ever ever been to Sequoia and have no idea what kind of day hiking is available in that area, although I understand it can be a lovely place to see big trees and wildflowers. We'll be there for the week prior to Memorial Day weekend, and I assume it's safe to expect the weather will be pretty typical, if a bit wet from snowmelt.

In your opinion, what's should be on our "must see" list. I assume we will be splitting our time between hiking with my MIL and her husband, who are fit septuagenarians who hike 3-5 miles periodically, and going out on our own for a day or two for longer hikes.



Friend of the Happy Rock.
avatar Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 27, 2017 05:19PM
- Marble Falls
- Hospital Rock (it's like a 10 minute jobber)
- Anything in Giant Forest
- Everything in Giant Forest
- Tokopah Falls
- Almost anything in Grant Grove
- Nearly everything in Grant Grove
- Everything in Redwood Canyon

I'm sure these are good... just haven't done yet:
- Muir Grove
- Big Baldy
- Buena Vista

I'd spend all my time in The Giant Forest probably ...
Unless you don't like big trees...
Moro Rock
Eagle View



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 27, 2017 05:59PM
I'd start with Giant Forest and Crystal Cave. Though if you've seen caves before, I'd spend more time with the big trees, depending on how much time you have. Hm. Panoramic Point above the Grant Village area might be a nice treat too! Grant Grove main loop is lovely walk all could enjoy.

So much goodness!
avatar Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 27, 2017 07:38PM
So, is Giant Forest worth visiting? winking smiley



Friend of the Happy Rock.
avatar Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 28, 2017 07:05AM
Quote
itchbay
So, is Giant Forest worth visiting? winking smiley

It's ok.

Yosemite is Better

(seriously though... I'd stick to Marble Falls, Hospital, and stuff around Giant Forest)
Moro Rock, Sunset Rock, Congress Grove, Round Meadow

You are staying in Three Rivers area from your 198 comment
You'll have too much to do there...

If you want to see some TRs.. you can poke thru blops TRs from this year
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/search.php?17,search=,author=5903,page=2,match_type=USER_ID,match_dates=0,match_forum=ALL,match_threads=

He didn't do all trips... so there's more... but...

Anyzoo

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 27, 2017 05:29PM
Crystal Cave should be open by then. I think it's worth the price of the tour. (You can only explore it on a guided tour.)

https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/crystal-cave.htm

https://www.recreation.gov/tourParkDetail.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=135840



Leave No Trace
avatar Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 27, 2017 07:39PM
I think my MIL would like this.

Unfortunately for her, caves and I do not do well together. I will suggest this to her for her "free day"though!



Friend of the Happy Rock.
avatar Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 31, 2017 04:59PM
I would definitely hike to Tokopah Falls. Its an easy 4.2 mile round trip with only 630 foot elevation gain.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc8q8Zno7ew
Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 27, 2017 06:33PM
I'll add a few of our favorites.

All time fave day hike in the Sierra is the one to Mitchell Peak. Stunning, stunning, stunning. About 7 miles round-trip.

We also really liked a longer one, up beyond Mist Falls to Paradise Valley. It's about 13 miles rt.

Twin Lakes from Lodgepole is nice, particularly if you add on a couple of miles to go up to Silliman Pass and enjoy the spectacular view of the whole Sierra and Kaweah Crests from there.

And yes, anything in Grant Grove is fun.



Balzaccom

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Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 27, 2017 07:36PM
I personally like Tokopah Falls and Muir Grove. Muir doesn't have the biggest trees but is generally less crowded compared to other areas of the park
Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 28, 2017 09:03AM
It's quite a while since I was in SEKI but I do recall that Muir also has one of the most perfect circles of mature sequoias Ive ever seen...far from the biggest trees you'll see (Grant Grove is much better for that) but in Muir, we're talking (IIRC) 16 very sizeable trees in a giant circle. Lay down on your back and stare up at that and it feels like you're ready to be teleported to a higher plane of existence!

The other thing I remember loving about MG is that you hike in 2 or 3 miles through an OK but far-from-spectacular wooded area (no sequoias) and then BOOM, all of a sudden there's a very sizeable one immediately to the left of the trail. And then, immediately ahead, is the circle I'm talking about.

It's a fairly easy hike although the TH's in a campground (can't recall the name) and if it's not open yet, you'll have an extra half-to-a mile (can't recall exactly) tacked on with a significant hill (down from the road into the CG) if the road into the CG is closed. That hill is probably more significant elevation gain than the hike from the TH to the grove.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2017 09:07AM by DavidK42.
Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
March 28, 2017 11:20AM
Yeap that circle is outright gorgeous! I believe the campground at the trailhead is Dorst
Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
April 04, 2017 06:08AM
I've not hiked an inch in SEKI but I'm planning to do day-hikes like you, itchbay. And I've done a lot of research. So this may help ...

Lots of other recommend the Giant Forest. I'm thinking of parking at the big museum parking lot and taking the shuttle to General Sherman (will it be running when you're there?), then walking back via the Congress Trail, Circle Meadow, Tharp's Log, Log Meadow, Eagle View, Bobcat Point, Moro Rock and Hanging Rock. That must be up to about 8 miles, maybe a little less? And packed full of giant trees, lush meadows, local history, great views, etc. If the legs permit, you can walk back to the Museum parking lot or just take the shuttle back from Moro Rock.

The Big Trees/Round Meadow trail is an easy one that I've not seen others mention. Oh no, wait, chick-on mentioned it. It's also accessible from the museum parking lot. Big trees, lush meadow, pretty flat, ~1.5 miles?

A lot of folks who know a whole lot more than me say that the best day hike in Sequoia is the trail to Heather and Pear Lakes, via The Watchtower (and above Tokopah Falls, which others have mentioned). I probably won't be doing that one because it's mostly an out and back and I have a personal prejudice against out and backs ... unless someone can persuade me it's possible to scramble above Tokopah Falls to Pear Lake. Then it would be a fabulous circular day hike, I think. Hmm, are they having a big snow winter out there? Maybe this one would be too snowy in May?

Between the Giant Forest and Grant Grove, there are plenty of random bumps with trails up 'em. Others have mentioned Big Baldy (longer trail but maybe you don't have to do the full length to get the views?) and Buena Vista Peak (apparently, can be easy to inadvertently leave trail and end up too far on the west side with a cliff between you and the summit) There's also Little Baldy closer to the Giant Forest.

Near the Montecito resort, between Giant & Grant, there's a paved forest road that heads east. After a while, a relatively good unpaved side road heads north to the Buck Rock lookout. Apparently, a short steep hike, including lots of steps, take you to a killer viewpoint. If you carry on along the paved forest road several miles, it becomes unpaved around Horse Corral Meadows. If you've got the vehicle for it, a couple of extra miles takes you to Summit Meadow from where a short steep trail/scramble takes you to the top of Lookout Peak and fabulous views over Kings Canyon and all around. Again, this is high up so it might be snowed in in May.

JustKeepWalking mentioned Panorama Point near Grant Grove. From there, the Park Ridge Trail heads south ~2.5 miles to another lookout with great views. You can go one way on the trail and return on the lookout access track for variety (well, that's my plan given my, er, prejudice).

If you can make the drive all the way to Kings Canyon for a day, the Zumwalt Meadows trail is apparently short, easy and very nice. And Roaring River Falls is also quick and easy. If you drive all the way to Road's End, you can do a flat easy scenic ~4 mile loop on the valley floor further east. It's on the way to Mist Falls, which others have mentioned, so you can zip up and down there, or go up the Bubbs zigzags a short way to get a view back down Kings Canyon.

If you do any of these, itchbay, could you report back and then I can benefit from your experience to modify my plans. Thanks.
avatar Re: While I'm asking for advice... SEKI day hikes?
April 28, 2017 09:06AM
Great info!

We aren't going until late May, so I'm just not starting to plan activities. And it'll all depend on weather and what my in-laws have planned.

I've never been there, so I am more inclined to hit the highlights throughout the park, and then save regional discovery hikes for another visit.



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