Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Two Parks for the price of one!  Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park are jointly-administered, thanks to their close proximity to one-another.SequoiaKings (14)SequoiaKings (5) 

We arrived in the afternoon and were amazed by the beauty and size of the mighty Sequoias!  There just isn’t anything else like them: these are the largest and oldest living things on Earth.  Neither pictures nor words can convey their true majesty.  Even experiencing them in person, it’s difficult to comprehend their enormous magnitude.

After visiting “General Sherman”, the largest tree in the world with a height of 274.9 ft and volume of 52,584 cu.ft., we went looking for a campsite.  Wm’s and his family are fond of the “Lodgepole” campground in the heart of the park, but unfortunately this time of year it was under 3 feet of snow.  So, we headed to the lower altitudes of Kings Canyon and stayed in “Azalea”, which had less snow and happens to be near the second-largest tree: “General Grant”.

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The large amount of snow meant most of the Sequoia’s trails were closed, so we weren’t able to do much hiking.  But we did get to visit “Crystal Cave”, a spectacular marble-walled cavern tour:
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On our way out of the Parks, we encountered some wonderful luck!  A mama-bear and her two cubs were frolicking in a roadside meadow!  After watching them play and eat for a good long while, we resumed our drive to the exit when luck struck again: two larger cubs were coming down the hill toward the road!  Wm hopped out of the car to hurriedly take photos and had just begun to wonder where the mother was when he noticed a grunt right next to him from the other side of the road!  There she was, not ten feet away!  They locked eyes for a moment, and Wm, realizing he stood between a mom and her cubs, got back in the car as quickly as possible.  Fortunately the mother decided to leave, and along with her cubs, beat a hasty retreat.  It was a fantastic end to our day!
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