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Re: recommended destinations for weekend SEKI visit

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recommended destinations for weekend SEKI visit
September 05, 2014 10:09PM
"Life" just lined up properly at the last moment, allowing me to take a quick weekend visit to Sequoia/Kings Canyon this weekend. I've visited Yosemite, Emigrant, Desolation, Ansel Adams, etc - but never SEKI.

I've reviewed the online NPS information; it looks like there are plenty of things to see. Too much for one weekend, of course. The question: are there any recommendations for how to begin exploring this park? Is it reasonable and enjoyable to attempt an overview, by car, of all 5 regions? Is it preferable to pick a section (which section) and just explore there? Or, are there "must do" places, so picking just one or two, and doing them "right" is the best bet?

Clearly this is very subjective, with no one right answer. Just looking for opinions from others with more knowledge and experience in this new-to-me area.

Of course, I'll have to visit the General Sherman tree, perhaps others. There are some old but still used fire lookout towers perched on rock features that look interesting. I'm not looking for overnight or long day hikes on this initial visit.

Thanks in advance for your opinions. I'll be checking in early Saturday to see what pops up here.
Re: recommended destinations for weekend SEKI visit
September 06, 2014 09:36AM
My highlights that you may want to look into:

Moro Rock, Crescent Meadow, Stony Creek below Stony Creek Lodge (water may be to low for this to be good but awesome if water is OK), White Wolf to Heather Lake (Atla Lakes if you want longer hike), Eli Meadow and Sunset Rock.

Note about Heather Lake hike... take Watchtower route. Watchtower is pretty awesome.

Note about Eli Meadow... Eli Meadow is on trail to Sunset Rock. On the north east side of meadow there is a very unique feature. There is a LARGE fallen Seqouia tree that has fallen and is like a springboard if you walk out on the end of tree and jump up and down. I believe few know about this tree.
Re: recommended destinations for weekend SEKI visit
September 06, 2014 06:48PM
Quote
Max
White Wolf to Heather Lake (Atla Lakes if you want longer hike), Eli Meadow and Sunset Rock.

I think you mean Wolverton, not White Wolf.... and Alta Meadow or Pear Lake (or just do both!), not Alta Lakes... but I agree with all your suggestions.
Re: recommended destinations for weekend SEKI visit
September 19, 2014 09:02AM
Quote
basilbop
Quote
Max
White Wolf to Heather Lake (Atla Lakes if you want longer hike), Eli Meadow and Sunset Rock.

I think you mean Wolverton, not White Wolf.... and Alta Meadow or Pear Lake (or just do both!), not Alta Lakes... but I agree with all your suggestions.

LOL! I was just thinking to myself, "White Wolf to Heather Lake? In a weekend? Man, that would be a BITCH!"
Re: recommended destinations for weekend SEKI visit
September 07, 2014 08:53PM
Thanks for the recommendations. Ended up visiting Moro Rock (great views - wish they kept the old wooden staircase, it looks more fun, though people would probably get "stuck" from fear and we'd end up with permit requirements like Half Dome), Crescent Meadow (too much to see and not enough time. Will certainly go back there) and Stony Creek (no water - but will return. There was water in Dorst Creek but it would be a challenge to follow downstream due to thick brush).

Did not have time for Wolverton to Heather Lake, Pear Lake or Alta Meadow. Is there a lookout tower (or defunct/previous site) on the Watchtower route?

I was not able to find Sunset Rock/Eli Meadow on the maps I had available.

I did also get to the lookout tower on Buck Rock. It's a lot like Moro Rock with an "A-4 Cab" on top. It was also a nice easy excursion.

On SEKI vs. YOSE: It may just be me, but it seems that YOSE gets all the attention - and visitation. While they are not at all the same, they are in the Sierra, and they are both beautiful. I can only guess that "most people" like the iconic sites like Half Dome, or the spectacular waterfalls. Still, SEKI has a lot of beauty, and it seems under-appreciated. From what I just saw, I'm thinking that the Mineral King region might be a great place for cross-country, granite back country hikes.

Thanks for the responses.
avatar Re: recommended destinations for weekend SEKI visit
September 18, 2014 02:41PM
Both Yosemite NP and Sequoia and Kings Canyon NP are amazing places, but in the entire world, there's only Yosemite Valley, period. It's unique. This sentiment was personally conveyed to me in a conversation I once had with Galen Rowell, who — unlike me — had travelled to just about all the wild places and major mountain ranges around the world before he passed away. He said he had been to many places, seen a lot of glacier carved valleys all over the world, but none of them compared to the sublime beauty of Yosemite Valley. It was one of a kind. And this is why Yosemite National Park is far more heavily visited compared to Sequoia and Kings Canyon.

Note that the vast majority of visitors to Yosemite only visit Yosemite Valley and nothing else. I think the difference in the backcountry visitation of the three parks is far less, though I would suspect more backcountry wilderness permits are issued for Yosemite than Sequoia and Kings Canyon. I wonder if there is publicly available information on how many wilderness permits are issued for Yosemite each year vs. how many are issued for Sequoia and Kings Canyon.
avatar Re: recommended destinations for weekend SEKI visit
September 18, 2014 12:05AM
I worked for the NPS in both parks - spent over 5 years in yosemite and for a while spent some time working in sequoia national park. I loved them both. Each park is unique and has many wonderful things to explore. Sequoia national park does have less visitors than yosemite does but I think it is still an amazing place
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