Tag Archives: Kings Canyon National Park

A Look Back at 2011

Is it just me, or did 2011 fly by? It certainly was a busy year, thanks to some great opportunities to travel. Here’s a little look back at some of my year’s highlights.

We completed our biggest renovation project in three years…

Before & After: Bonus Room Renovation

bathroom before after

Which was promptly ruined…

This Old House

We explored our land in the winter and snapped some pictures of our wild tenants…

Special Winter Photography & Peek-A-Boo Deer

Jason and I visited the Milwaukee County Zoo for the first time in ages…

Warmth Draws Me Outside

I entered photos into a photo competition, a first for me. I didn’t win, but it was a start…

Photo Contest!!

Fern Spring

After making it into the Yosemite High Sierra Camps for the 2011 season, Jason and I made preparations for our trip…

Working with My Strenghts

Which were promptly decimated…

Back to the Vacation Drawing Board


We kicked off summer by camping in the backyard with our niece, Reagan…

Great American Backyard Campout 2011

Happy Campers

July brought our revamped trip to California, where we visited three national parks – Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon – instead of the originally planned one.

Complete California Vacation 2011 Series

Lembert Dome

And thanks to a family wedding in Washington, DC, we were able to add a fourth national park to our itinerary this year, bringing our total to 4 of 58 national parks visited…

DC Road Trip and Shenandoah National Park Series

Shenandoah National Park

2011 was a pretty good year. Can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

Complete California Vacation 2011 Series

Lembert Dome

Well, I clearly took the whole vacation recap to a whole new level this summer  😉 My dinky posts from last summer’s Yosemite trip pale in comparison to the 17 full posts for this summer’s Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and San Francisco adventure. Whew!

In case you missed any of it – and to just make it easier to access the whole series of posts – here’s a recap of the recaps. Enjoy!

Yosemite Arrival

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Tour of Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Mono Lake

An Evening in Tuolumne Meadows

Hiking Lembert Dome

Exploring Tuolumne Meadows

Stop in Yosemite Valley

Onward to SEKI

First Taste of Sequoia National Park

No Room at the Inn

Kings Canyon

Tokopah Falls

The Giant Sequoias

Moro Rock Madness

Muir Woods

San Francisco in Pictures


California Vacation 2011: The Giant Sequoias

It obviously wouldn’t be a trip to Sequoia National Park without seeing the famed giant sequoias!

When Jason and I visited Yosemite last summer, we took the drive to the Mariposa Grove a Giant Sequoias. Honestly, the trees didn’t really do anything for us. They were just trees – big trees, but still just trees. I think both of us were ready to be underwhelmed once again. We were wrong.

The giant sequoias in Sequoia National Park are pretty incredible. We caught our first glimpse of these trees on our initial drive into the park. We continued beyond the construction into the Giant Forest. And there they were! It was indescribable to be driving in what looked like a normal forest and then BAM, there’s a massively huge tree right in front of you. To see these giant trees interspersed among “regular” trees was pretty cool (although the regular trees were not exactly small).

Before we made our stop to see Tokopah Falls, we visited the Grant Grove to see the General Grant Tree. The General Grant Tree is the third largest sequoia tree in the world and is estimated to be more than 3,000 years old. It is the Nation’s Christmas Tree, a designation bestowed upon it by President Coolidge in 1926.

General Grant Tree

General Grant Tree

General Grant Tree

The photos don’t come close to doing justice to the size of these trees.

As we entered the park for the last time on our final day, we once again drove through the Giant Forest on our way to the parking area for the Giant Forest Museum and Moro Rock.

Giant Forest

Giant Forest

Giant Forest

Giant Forest

I loved the Giant Forest!

After we checked out Moro Rock (I’ll share that fun story next time), we had one more thing to see before we were done with SEKI: the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree (by volume) in the world!

General Sherman Tree

General Sherman Tree

No wonder we were more impressed with the sequoias this time around. In SEKI, we saw the first and third largest trees (out of the 30 largest Giant Sequoias, 13 are in SEKI). The Grizzly Giant, which we saw in the Mariposa Grove, is #26 on the list. Yeah…

I am so glad that we visited Sequoia/Kings Canyon if for nothing more than to see these trees. They totally changed our impression of the giant sequoias, and they are something that everyone should see at some point in their lives.

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