Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and National Forest

Driving from Zion to a 1 night stop in Mojave, CA. >







This park is AWESOME, loved it so so so much! Driving through the forest full of giant trees was so breathtaking, and strange. There was a lot of “Good Lord that thing is HUGE!” and “Kee Yaw, that’s a biggun!”

Sequoia National Park is America’s 2nd oldest National Park, created in 1890. Sequoias are the largest trees on Earth by volume of wood. Sequoias grow naturally only on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, usually between 5,000 and 7,000 ft of elevation.


On our first day we drove to tunnel log which is a fallen sequoia that was tunneled through and is the only tree you can drive through in these parks. We didn’t think the truck would fit by looking at the opening, but it fit just fine with plenty of room to spare.

Then we walked to Crescent Meadow which is comparable to wetlands, but unlike wetlands back home these are surrounded by gigantic sequoias and it wasn’t very wet either. Walking through this park is like being on a different planet. Trees just shouldn’t grow this big, it’s unreal!

Then we walked to Tharp’s log, a house made out of a fallen sequoia, and Chimney Tree, a burned sequoia that was massive. We also drove to Auto Log to take pictures on top. This is a fallen sequoia they used to park on, back in the day.

Then we drove to Moro Rock to walk up to the top. It is a granite dome with a steep 1/4 mile staircase to the top. It is a 300 ft. elevation and a whole lotta stairs! The panoramic views from the top were spectacular!








Our second day was basically a day of driving, we drove about 7 hours total. We drove up to Kings Canyon National Park which was about 2 hours from our campground. First we stopped at the Visitors Center to get some information on the best things to see in one day. Grant Tree Trail was the 1st stop. This is a paved 1/3 mile trail to one of the world’s three largest trees and the Nation’s Christmas Tree since 1926, I had no clue there was an official Christmas Tree.

Then we drove to Panoramic Point Road which is a narrow road up to a Sierran vista. Then we drove to Grizzly Falls and Zumwalt Meadow. This is a 1.5 mile loop that passes high granite walls, lush meadows, and the Kings River.

Next stop was Roaring River Falls which is a very short, shaded walk from the parking lot to a powerful waterfall rushing through a granite chute.

Next stops where Canyon View and Knapp’s Cabin. Canyon View is a “U” shaped canyon that gets its shape from a glacier moving through creating a wide “U” shaped valley. Knapp’s Cabin is a very small storage cabin built by a rich California businessman in the 20’s to store his fishing gear. Not much to see inside, just some old cans, but the river below was worth the short hike down.

The final stop of the day was Hume Lake. This lake was formed by a rare, historic dam. The lake supplied water to a flume that floated lumber 67 miles to Sanger. An easy 2.5 mile trail circles it, but we chose to walk down to the beach. The beach was so cool there was a big log floating in the water that people were getting on top and floating. Also the sand was gold! There is an abundance of pyrite, fools gold, in the area so the beach is glittered in gold. It was so beautiful!
We really want to come back to this park and camp close to the lake.


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On the third day we went back to Sequoia to visit the Giant Forest Museum and General Sherman Tree and take a tour of the Crystal Cave. The Cave was first thing in the morning and I was so happy we had the option to go on the Adult only tour. I like to enjoy the inside of a cave without people yelling and talking the whole time, that drives me crazy! The tour was great, this is a living cave with active formations, and our guide was very knowledgable which always makes the experience better.

In the museum, I was expecting to see a movie at the museum, but there wasn’t one. There was a nice display of the sequoia’s life cycle and how fire is necessary for the ecosystem here. For a hundred years the parks have tried to stop and suppress fires thinking that they would damage the giant sequoias. After much research and observation they have found that with fire the trees can reproduce and grow more healthy due to less plants competing for nutrients as well as burning off the dead material covering the ground and blocking their roots.

After soaking up all the information in the museum we headed to the General Sherman Trail. This is 1/2 mile trail down to the tree it is a gradual elevation change that you will feel much on the way back up. The General Sherman is the world’s largest living tree. It is the Nation’s Christmas Tree and is a national shrine.

These parks have so much variety of ecosystems. They encompass a wide variety of elevation changes, from 1,500 to 14,500. There is so much to do and see that we didn’t even come close to getting everything in.





We’re having horrible luck with WiFi at all of our campgrounds, even though they claim to have great WiFi on their websites. It’s all good though, this is camping after all. Anyway, so far we’ve had to go to Starbucks to use their WiFi, it seems the most reliable thus far, knock on wood. So that’s where we are now, in a Starbucks in San Fransico. It takes a long time upload pictures, so I’m a few stops behind. And I desperately miss the wilderness after 1day here! If some of the media does not appear on here correctly, I can’t fix until I get home. WordPress and iPad doesn’t work well together.

Our west coast trip is planned and we’re leaving soon!

Once a again we are going on a long vacation.  Our planning is complete, all the campsites are booked, and I’m getting everything ready to hit the road again!  We are so fortunate to be able to take off and get out of town for 6 WEEKS, that’s crazy, right?

dr-seuss oh the places you'll go

Let me tell ya, planning a trip of this magnitude takes a lot of organized planning and budgeting.  We have a beautiful spreadsheet that includes, but is not limited to; dates, cities, states, campground, websites, travel time, distance, things to do, rates, accommodations, budget, and fuel cost.

Here is a list of all of our stops.


There are so many things to see and do in all of these places.  I want to make a separate trip to each, ahhh one day…. maybe with some kids 😀

Why would we be wasting time in Robert?  I actually messed up on the image, Tickfaw State Park is in Springfield, LA and I was too lazy to correct it.


This is pretty much the face I made when I typed that.


Jacob has some work to do in Robert and we are leaving as soon as he is finished. Sooooo to avoid him having to drive home after work we decided to just camp near by.  It’s a beautiful campground with boardwalk trails through the swampy forest.

Back to our journey west, I cannot describe to you how excited I am to see this side of the country.  I know the landscape will BLOW my mind!  I am going to take a ridiculous amount of pictures and savor every inch of scenery!   I have been pinning things to do like crazy on Pinterest, I know we won’t have time for most of it.  Of all the places on this list I have only been to Colorado, basically just Boulder.  I am so excited to be able to spend time with Jacob there because I absolutely adored being there.

When I was in college I decided to take a field course in Boulder.  It was such a wonderful experience and great adventure for me on my own.  My mom thought I was either crazy or really brave.  I flew, not only for the first time ever but also completely alone, to a place I had never been to meet people I had never met.  Honestly, looking back, it was a little bit crazy.  After arriving in the Denver airport, which is beautiful by the way, I had to take public transportation to Boulder.  This was a little scary, being from New Orleans I tender stay away from city buses.  I do enjoy streetcars though maybe because they have multiple exit points, but the buses freak me out!  Public Transportation is TOTALLY different in Denver/Boulder everything is clean and tons of people ride their bikes to work and use the bus system to travel long distances…it’s awesome!  There is a completely different lifestyle in Boulder and you can feel it.  There air is cleaner, more people walk or bike, and there is an appreciation for nature that is lost in so many places.  Not once did I feel like I needed a gun or clench my pepper-spray ready to take action.  I even stayed in a Hostel for a night, and even after seeing several movies that make you never want to come close to one of those I never felt like my life was in jeopardy.  Overall I cannot find one negative thing to say about Boulder it was a welcoming, beautifully scenic, place perfect for a wandering traveler looking a fun and adventurous destination.  This a place that is in tune with nature and the people at least try to minimize their global foot-print, I can really appreciate that way of life and wouldn’t mind living there….but I don’t do cold weather, so I’ll just stay put.


Me in Colorado holding the biggest dandelion I have ever seen.

I know there are not many people that see this blog, but if you have any ideas on “must-do activities” in one of our stops please give us a shout out!  I know even with all the pins on Pinterest I’ve probably missed a great deal of awesome things to do.  Also if you know of a blogger that is taking or has been on the same trip we would love to follow them too.

In closing, as I think about the wonderful things and people that have come into my life this song appeared in my thoughts.  And of course I can’t stop myself from singing it repeated!

oh the lord

Johnny Appleseed