Friday, June 24, 2016

RonnieAdventure #0209 - Sequoia National Park - Tulare County, Califorina

Several years ago in June we visited three of the National Parks located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and it was such an enjoyable vacation that I decided to include the trip as a RonnieAdventures! First stop - Sequoia National Park!

Most visitors to Sequoia do not make the trip to Mineral King because it is a long drive on a slow, winding, dead-end road; however, for those willing to take the time the views are spectacular!

In the 1960s Walt Disney Productions planned to build "Disney's Mineral King Ski Resort" in the Mineral King area, but the public outcry was so great that they cancelled their resort plans. To preserve the natural beauty of the area, the land became part of Sequoia National Park in 1978.

Shortly after passing through the Ash Mountain Entrance to Sequoia National Park, the road has been realigned around the old "Tunnel Rock" to allow clearance for today's larger vehicles. 

"Hospital Rock" is located just a short distance up the road and has been a center of human activity for at least the past one thousand years, leaving some interesting rock painting in the area that are believed to be from about 1350 A.D.

The Giant Forest Museum is the next stop along the Generals Highway (Highway 198) and a great place to learn about the giant Sequoia Trees and pick up information on the park, available activities, and maps of the various hiking trails. Since we were staying in the park for four days, I actually spent the money and purchased a book about hiking trails in Sequoia National Park and several other pamphlets about driving tours in the area!

The General Sherman Tree is the World's Largest Living thing with a diameter of 36 feet (113 feet circumference) and a height of 274 feet. The trunk alone contains 52,500 cubic feet of wood!

Since I had a book that described all of the hiking trails in the Park, and four days, we spent a lot of time exploring the area, walking among the giant Sequoia trees, enjoying rushing rivers and waterfalls, and watching wildlife that did not seem to have a fear of humans.

Trail to General Sherman Tree
General Sherman Tree
Root system of a fallen giant

"The Parker Group"

The hike to Tokopah Falls follows the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River and is a great place to stop for lunch. The only problem is that there are some large rodents living around the falls that will steal your lunch if you don't watch your backpack all of the time. There are also some small squirrels that like to pick up the crumbs!

No trip to Sequoia National Park would be complete without climbing Mono Rock. Views from top of the rock are spectacular!

Although most people visit the Park to see the trees and mountains, there is also a beautiful cave located by a stream not too far from the Ash Mountain Park Entrance. Just don't feed the squirrels!

One of the Rangers observed Kolohe giving a small morsel of bread to a squirrel and he went a little non-linear. To say he overreacted would be an understatement! He started screaming at the top of his voice that she was killing the squirrel and she could be arrested and put in jail for killing animals in a National Park. He finally let Kolohe off with a warning, but it could have turned out to be a really bad day.

Not in the Park