Archive for June 15, 2008

2nd Day in the CA Sierra

Waking up in the Sierra was very refreshing. We were greeted by the grazing deers that we could see from our room’s window. At first we saw one, then two, then three, and then four. Their party was such a pretty sight. I noticed that these wild deers are very lean, maybe from too much roaming in the field.

Our first activity for the day was taking the easy 3.4 miles round trip hike to Tokopah Falls. I would have wanted to do the Lakes trail ( ), but maybe we have to do that in our next trip.

 After lunch at Lodgepole Market, we drove to Kings Canyon National Park. The drive in Highway 180 to Kings Canyon is filled with amazing sights, truly spectacular. Vegetation changes, and so the type of rocks. By the river gorge, the rocks become shiny, jagged and metamorphic, very different from the smooth granite that is seen in most of the park.


Enjoying the Metamorphic Rocks by the River Gorge, Kings Canyon National Park

We made a stop at Boyden Cavern on our way to Kings Canyon. Outside the cave is already so pretty, that I wonder if the cave would be prettier than the sight outside. But then, I love getting inside caves too, I like seeing the intersting formation of stalactites, stalagmites and yes, more marbles.


Stalactites, Boyden Cavern

The trail to Boyden Cavern is along the scenic Kings River Canyon, the trail is short but climbs up on 30 degree slope.


Trail to Boyden Cavern and the Kings River Canyon

The cool breeze from the river and the roaring sound of the flowing water, make the short hike up Boyden Cave very relaxing. But once inside the cave, we no longer hear the river, but instead the joyful sound of the tour guide and some kids throwing the guide a lot of questions. It is always inspiring to see kids showing a thirst for learning. Here are some more formations from Boyden Cave.


Drapery Looking Stalagmite (taken by my cousin)


Drapery Up Close (taken by my cousin)


Wedding Cake Looking Stalagmite

Christmas Tree Stalagmite

After Boyden Cavern, we went to Kings Canyon Road’s End, where the road stops since it can not cross the Sierra anymore. The end is a narrow U-shaped canyon with towering granites, the floor of the canyon is covered with forest. We were standing in the middle of a glacial gorge with towering granite cliffs thousands of feet high. Unfortunately, we only have very little time to explore this place where the beauty lies behind the towering granite cliffs.


South Fork of the Kings River by Zumwalt Meadow, Kings Canyon National Park

After Road’s End, we head back to the hotel, but stopping at Grizzly Falls along the way. Grizzly Falls is probably the easiest access waterfalls in my whole life :). We did not have to hike to see the waterfalls, it is just a few steps from the parking lot and the picnic area.


Grizzly Falls, Cedar Grove, Kings Canyon

Grizzly Falls is only 70 ft tall, yet because we are so close to it, and the water falls straight down, the 70 ft drop seemed to be about the same height than the 1200 ft drop in Tokopah Falls.


Grizzly Falls, Cedar Grove, Kings Canyon

Though small compared to the other famous Sierra Nevada Falls, Grizlly falls is really pretty.

After enjoying Grizzly Falls for some time, we went back on the road to head back to the hotel, hopefully, before it gets dark because I did not want to catch darkness on a road that narrowly meanders in between sheer rocky walls of the Kings Canyon and the exposed ridges where we could fall several thousands feet below.

We were lucky this day that when the sun set, the road  has small turn-out for us to enjoy sunset. It is called MgGee View.


Sunset, Kings Canyon National Park

The sunset was so pretty, the sky slowly turning pink, purple, really lovely.


Sunset, Kings Canyon National Park

As the sun was setting over layers of mountains and pines, the full moon was rising on the opposite side. What a lovely night to end our very beautiful day at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Two great National Parks worth visiting, worth enjoying, and worth exploring!


June 15, 2008 at 1:15 pm 1 comment

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