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Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Parks

Jun 23, 14 Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Parks

I am well on my way through my summer travels. For the next couple of weeks, I will be writing some travel blogs about the different places we visit. I have already written about Black River Lodge in Missouri, but now we are on the West Coast making our way from southern Cali up to Washington State. This year, we spent some time in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. One of the nice things about California is that there are numerous National Parks to experience. Back in winter I wrote about Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley National Park. Now, I would like to give redOrbit readers some information about Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

The first thing to know is that though these are two different parks, they are connected. The northern part is Kings Canyon, which leaves the southern part as Sequoia. Both parks have a surfeit of the big trees called Sequoias. These trees are the oldest and widest (in circumference). Redwoods are the tallest, but Sequoias have the largest bases. Most notably in Sequoia and Kings Canyon are the General Sherman tree in Sequoia and the General Grant Tree in Kings Canyon. Having seen both, let me tell you these trees are impressive. Sublime would be a more appropriate word, though.

If visitors go to these parks simply to explore the big trees, they will definitely enjoy themselves. But the park offers other activities as well. Obviously, hiking is a big activity for this park. Day hikes will provide visitors with views of the big trees, mountains, wildlife, and other vistas.

The park also offers cave tours for visitors interested in seeing what hides under the mountain as opposed to or in addition to what grows from it. Crystal Cave is the place to go for this.

The parks offer several campgrounds spattered all over. With 22 campgrounds to experience, visitors have much to see and do. And do not forget about backpacking in wilderness. Of course, backpackers need a wilderness permit, but there are many options for backpacking trails and camping.

Other activities to partake in while visiting these parks are snowshoeing and skiing in the winter, horseback riding, rock climbing, and just generally enjoying the Nature.

Another great benefit to the park is its wildlife. From bears to cats to chipmunks to birds to trout, wildlife lovers will see a great variety of birds, animals, and fish. In fact, bears often frequent campgrounds and backpackers, so it is important to have bear-proof canisters and other appropriate ways to protect food. And the flora compliments the wildlife to leave visitors with a serene experience.

What I found most incredible about Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is that they are only about an hour from Fresno and other highly populated areas of California. For a state that is so populated and so popular to have gems like Sequoia and Kings Canyon, which attract those who might not otherwise want to be so surrounded by populations, is pretty great. And for those who live in those populated areas, these parks provide opportunities to slow down and get away from the hustle of the big cities of Cali.

This was actually my second trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, but I was able to explore and experience much more this trip. My first visit consisted of us camping and enjoying mainly Sequoia National Park, but this time we focused more on Kings Canyon National Park. We stayed with friends who have a cabin in the community of Wilsonia. Each trip had its benefits and fun. And honestly, I can’t wait to go back for more of these parks!

Image Credit: Rayshell Clapper

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About 

Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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