Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sequoia National Park

After breakfast at the Black Bear Diner, we rolled up California 99 to Sequoia National Park.

Once off the state highway, the road to Sequoia NP is a paved rural road leading to the Ash Mountain Entrance to the park. Thanks to the "Old Fogey Pass," we got in for free. After stopping at the visitor's center, we headed up Generals Highway. This is one of the main roads in the park, heading us up to the "big trees."

We stopped at the Giant Forest Museum and wandered through it. While at the museum, we learned that during the 1920s, many visitor amenities were added near and in the sqquoia groves, including cabins, tent sites, restaurants and more. Unfortunately, it was later discovered that these damaged the ability of the forest to allow new sequoias to grow. Fire is a necessary part of the sequoia life cycle and fire had to be supressed where buildings are located. In recent years, most of these buildings, along with their requsite utilities, have been removed.

Aftwards, we hiked the trail to the meadow.

While in the meadow, we saw a female bear with three cubs. Single cubs are most common and twins happen sometimes. Triplets are unusual, however.

At the south end of the meadow, there is a pair of trees that started so close together, that as they grew, their bases fused into one base.

Sequoia NP has many, many hiking trails, most of them being backcountry trails. We wished we had more time to spend hiking the various trails.

Later, along Generals Highway, we saw the same mama bear with her three cubs.

We left the park on California 180 looking for a place to stay. Unlike some of the other national parks, there are virtually no accommidations between the park entrance and the nearby towns. We finally found food and lodging in Fresno, CA.

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