18 September: Into our second Kings Canyon for the year

Author: Mrs A

Location: Kings Canyon National Park, California, USA

When we were exploring Kings Canyon in central Australia just over a month ago we had no idea there was another one over the pond in the US awaiting our visit. California’s Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are somewhat entwined, you drive from one to the other almost without realising.

In contrast to Australia’s Kings Canyon’s weathered ancient sand dunes, California’s towers over us, its highest peak at 4,020 metres almost double Mount Kosciusko, Australia’s tallest summit.Our first glimpses left us again spellbound, as we left behind the tall sequoia trees and climbed into mountainous country. Kings Canyon has been described as a ‘close competitor to Yosemite’ – and being our destination for the next couple of days, we are almost beside ourselves with anticipation of what might be ahead!

We drove through twisty turning mountain roads as far as we could go, opting to attempt a hike at the end.We followed the Kings River for a couple of kilometres before we were stopped by a couple of National Parks officials about to detonate some fallen rocks. In interest of our health and making it safely beyond today, we retraced our steps to the car and drove on.

Our next destination was Roaring River Falls, where we chose to enjoy lunch – a sandwich and fruit prepared by our hotel. The falls were pretty impressive, and you could imagine how spectacular they would be in spring, after the snow melt.Not much further along the road was Grizzly Falls, plunging deep down into the valley.Despite the name, there are no Grizzly bears in these parts, only black bears. We have seen many warning signs about them but they are one furry critter we are yet to spot. Our eyes are regularly peeled and camera at the ready.

From here, we began climbing out of the valley and up back towards Sequoia, via many spectacular lookouts.Back in Sequoia National Park, it was hard to miss out yet more giant trees, helping us feel miniature in their presence.It is so hard to capture just how huge these trees are and the feeling you get walking here…you’ll just have to come and see for yourself!

We continued back to our hotel for the night, back to a hot shower, delicious cooked meal and some relaxation. Tomorrow – off to adventures new.

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