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Advice for first time trip to Sequoia National Park?

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Advice for first time trip to Sequoia National Park?
March 23, 2013 01:21PM
Sorry about the question about Sequoia, I don't know of any specific SEKI forums.
So I've been in Yosemite countless times, but never got around to visiting SEKI. I'm planning a brief trip into the park next weekend. We're driving in from Hwy 198 and planning on camping at Potwisha or South Fork campground on Friday and Saturday night.

I'm hoping to get some suggestions on day-trip hiking ideas for a group in average hiking shape. We'll probably hike to Moro Rock, and also visit the General Sherman Tree. But I'm looking for ideas on other longer hikes that are doable this time of year. We wanted to hike the Redwood Mountain Grove loop hike, but the road to the trailhead is closed, which turns it into approximately a 14 mile hike. It might be longer than what we're looking for.

Which activities would you recommend for first time visitors to SEKI?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2013 01:44PM by SonoraSierra.
Re: Advice for first time trip to Sequoia National Park?
March 23, 2013 07:55PM
I would pick Potwisha over South Fork--much closer to the GIant Forest area. Even then, maybe consider Lodgepole if you are OK with colder conditions and some snow.

I would definitely spend a day walking through the Giant Forest. A loop that I like: park near Beetle Rock, then follow the Crescent Meadow Road towards the meadow itself. You can check out Moro Rock along the way, but I suspect it will be too icy, especially without micro-spikes. From Crescent Meadow, head to Eagle View, especially if you didn't do Moro--nice views of the Great Western Divide. The trail to Eagle View (the High SIerra Trail) will probably be snow-free, but Eagle has the best views for several miles. Backtrack, then take the Trail of the Sequoias back to the Congress Grove/McKinley junction area. Follow the Alta Trail back to Round Meadow, then take the spur to Sunset Rock before returning to your car. You might be able to park at the roadside parking lot to see the Sherman Tree, depending on if the shuttle is running and/or the new parking lot is open.

I did this loop back in late-ish February and snowshoes were not needed. You will probably be able to follow the summer trails instead of the marked winter route. There is probably less snow now, although a storm is coming in later this week--but it looks like it will be dry.

Sledding in Wolverton is also fun, but I don't know how much snow will be left.

If you do stay at Potwisha, another good hike is to head up the Kaweah River from Hospital Rock or Buckeye Flat (if open). There is a nice creek/cascade right after the summer trailhead, and a few more miles in Panther Creek has a nice cascade and some good pools. I'd turn back here--Mehrten and Buck Creeks are not quite as nice. There will be no snow along this trail, but beware of poison oak and rattlesnakes.

As for the Redwood Canyon trail, I saw vehicle tracks heading along it, so I don't know if it's closed or just not plowed.
avatar Re: Advice for first time trip to Sequoia National Park?
March 23, 2013 08:41PM
Yes. Great views of the Great Western Divide on the High Sierra trail.
avatar Re: Advice for first time trip to Sequoia National Park?
May 04, 2013 01:32PM
This sounds like a nice plan for a first-timer. Anyone know which campsite areas (car camping) options I should look into there for this itinerary?
Re: Advice for first time trip to Sequoia National Park?
March 23, 2013 07:57PM
I haven't done much hiking in SEKI other than short ones that are in the grove areas so maybe someone else here can give some hints on longer hikes like in Mineral King. If you have kids in the group, do the Jr. Ranger Program. Adults can also do the Jr. Ranger Program and get a Senior Award. Our son has been doing the Jr. Ranger Programs since he was little when we go to parks and even though he is now older than 13, we still do them because it is a great way to learn about a park. They are also fun to do. We have Park Rangers tell us that when they go to a park they have not been before they do the Jr. Ranger Program and some of them don't have kids.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2013 07:58PM by parklover.
Re: Advice for first time trip to Sequoia National Park?
March 24, 2013 11:25AM
Thanks for all the suggestions. A loop around the Giant Forest looks like a great hike, lots of options in that area.
Hopefully with a early season hike like this there won't be many crowds.
avatar Re: Advice for first time trip to Sequoia National Park?
March 24, 2013 10:20PM
Quote
SonoraSierra

Hopefully with a early season hike like this there won't be many crowds.

Even in mid-season, crowds are rarely a problem at Sequoia and less so in Kings Canyon. wink

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avatar Re: Advice for first time trip to Sequoia National Park?
March 24, 2013 10:23PM
Quote
SonoraSierra

Sorry about the question about Sequoia...

No need to be sorry.

While the focus of this forum is Yosemite, any discussion about anywhere or anything related to the Sierra Nevada is 100% ON-TOPIC here. So post away!

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