Second stop on our high-topped National Park tour is Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Since it is a hefty drive from Lassen area to our campground, Potwisha, in the southwest part of Sequoia, we stopped for two days in El Dorado Hills to visit with family and restock the shelves and refrigerator. Sequoia is fairly remote with the only access to gas and food being in the small town of Three Rivers, a drive we want to avoid making as much as possible.
After 4 miles of winding NPS road (which we read later does not recommend trailers over 24ft…ooops), we arrive at Potwisha to discover it is accurately described in its online reviews. The campground is quite hilly with lots of rocks and curves to maneuver around. Fortunately, Andrew takes it slow and handles it like a pro. Happy to have large pull-through spot, but the hills make the site so unlevel (front to back) that once put the leveling blocks in the Rosie sits so high off the ground that Ame and I must jump to reach the bottom step, always adventure entering and exiting the trailer (luckily no spills).
With reports of snow on the horizon, we decide to try the 80 mile drive through Sequoia and Kings Canyon. While the campground sits at about 2000ft, we have a quick elevation gain to 6720 feet , the road is narrow and winding up to the Giant Forest. Along our drive, we stop for a few quick photo ops and a hike down to the General Sherman Tree. We continue on until we arrive at the first overlook for Kings Canyon. Due to heavy fires this year, the road into Kings Canyon and its campgrounds have been closed. This overlook is the furtherest we can go without exiting the park, so with the SUV in low-gear we make our way back down our curvy road.
One thing we learn quick about Sequoia is that it is a driving park, meaning one must drive great distances in order to experience the true value of the park, including hikes, views and other activities. For our second trip into the park, we try the more remote and ever intensely curvy, Mineral King Road, which is not recommend for the faint-of-heart or height-phobic. The road starts in a Three Rivers neighborhood and quickly winds up to over 7000 feet, ending in the meadows full of trails for Crystal, Franklin, and Monarch Lakes– Towards the end of the road, many small residential cabins and Silver City village store can be found.
For our last day in this park, Andrew and I left Ame at home as we hit a few trails back up the winding Generals Highway. First stop, Crescent Meadow. This short trail loops around two meadows, Crescent and Log, which are intertwined with many old, massive sequoia. From Crescent Meadow, we want to stop at Moro Rock and climb the 400+ steps for the view; however, the clouds are low and no visibility. Instead, we drive back down to the Giant Forest Museum and Big Trees trail.
Another week quickly passes. Time to move onto Yosemite National Park.