Hi everyone! I hope you all have been enjoying these last few weeks of summer.
I just recently returned from a vacation to California! This was my first time traveling to these parts of of California and I wanted to share with you all the experiences I gained over the course of my trip!
The first part of my trip became quite spontaneous. My dad and I had planned to head to Yosemite National Park to go camping and hiking. A week before our departure we received an email; the road to our campground had been closed due to the extreme California wild fires. My dad and I needed to find plan B. Now my dad and I, both strong type A personalities, had to formulate a new plan. Something that does not necessarily come easily to us, especially on such a tight timeline.
Plan B became Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Park. This was a place not on the top of our lists of places to go when planning a vacation, but because of the diversion from Yosemite, we had the incredible opportunity to experience some place we more than likely would not have chosen to visit on our own.
Now lets get to the fun part! Here’s a brief summary of ours days out in the Sierras!
Our first day was primarily a travel day for my dad and I. After 2 flights and a long car ride we finally arrived at our first camp site in Sequoia, Dorst Creek. We set up our tent,and headed straight for bed after our long day of travel.
Our first actual day of adventure! After heading to our next campground, Lodgepole we decided to make this our tourist day around the park. This would allow our bodies to acclimate to the high altitude before doing any strenuous hiking.
Stop number one for the day was to General Sherman, the world’s largest tree! Yes, you heard it right, the world’s largest tree. My first thought was how in the world could they know this is THE largest tree? Did someone really go measure every tree in the world? Then you walk up to General Sherman, and there it stands towering above you and there is no doubt in my mind it’s the world’s largest tree.
Being able to stand amongst these “tree”-mendous Sequoia trees (I know you got a good laugh at that one) was an awe-dropping moment. It’s amazing how tall and wide these trees can grow to be. Many people think it’s just a tree, but standing next to them feeling the size of a tiny ant is an incredible experience.
Next we headed to the Meadows; the “gem of the Sierras” as John Muir would quote. Walking about these meadows within the valley was mesmerizing. The quiet and stillness left you at peace, truly feeling a strong connection with nature.
Our big hike for the day came with climbing Moro Rock. This was one of my favorite experiences. After climbing 400 steps to the top, we were greeted with a spectacular view out over the Sierra Nevada Mountains! At the top, overlooking the mountains we spotted a peak, which intrigued our inner adventurers. Little did we know, that very peak would be beneath us the very next day.
Remember the peak I had mentioned earlier? That is Alta Peak. She rises to 11,204 feet in the air. This was my dad and I’s obstacle for the day. We were going to tackle Alta. Now we did not prepare for any strenuous hikes prior to our trip, so we were both in for a surprise with this hike. 7 hours, 16 miles, and 42,000 steps later we had conquered Alta. This was a huge accomplishment for my dad and I, it was our first peak over 10,000 feet.
See if you can spot me climbing ahead of my dad!
The hike was tough, mentally and physically. The high altitude begins to take a toll on your body. You feel you are exerting every ounce of energy in your body with each step. The air is thick and the sun is beaming, but you continue to keep pushing through. This is what my dad and I did. Eventually having the glorious moment standing at the peak, looking out over the surrounding mountain ranges. The view and gratification you receive at the end, makes all the hard work worth it and more.
I am so very proud of my dad and I on this accomplishment, and it is one we would not have if it weren’t for being detoured to Sequoia to begin with!
This was our last day lost in the woods. We had every intention to complete another big hike, but our bodies were telling us the opposite after our long hike the day before. Rather than head back on the trails, we headed north to see King’s Canyon on our way out of the national park.
The views here were well worth the pit stop. I was shocked to learn King’s Canyon is actually deeper than the Grand Canyon making this stop quite the hidden gem. Although we only got the chance to overlook the canyon, we both agreed it’s a place we must return.
Not only did we have a chance to see the world’s the largest tree over in Sequoia, we also got to see the world’s second largest tree, General Grant here in King’s Canyon. You bet my dad and I are now on a mission to tackle the list of the world’s largest trees!
This concluded my dad and I’s portion of our trip, adventuring the great outdoors in our country’s national parks! Being lost in nature is one of my favorite things. It is so nice to spend time away from technology and escape all responsibilities that come with the real world. It was truly refreshing to spend time with my dad surrounded by only the beauty of nature. I am such a lucky girl to have a dad to adventure with across the country and I can’t wait to share our next adventure with you! Also, shout out to him for being an amazing photographer on our trip!
Next stop, San Francisco where we would then meet up with my mom! Look out for some more posts on our travels through fog city!
I want to give a shout out to our country’s National Park Service . It is truly incredible the work they put in to keeping our country’s beauties protected and giving people like my dad and I the opportunity to experience these wonders! Click the link and find a peak near you, the next adventure awaits!