Giant Sequoia and Kings Canyon Trip
June 3 to 7, 2013

My panoramas of the Kings Canyon area in the Sierra Nevada were looking old and not good enough any more, so I made this trip to update them.

Sequoia is one of the oldest national parks, set up in 1890 by Act of Congress, along with Grant Grove. But Kings Canyon languished in limbo for another half century while the merits of damming the Kings River and flooding the canyons were debated. It finally became a national park in 1940 (Grant Grove was included in the new park).

Large areas of Sequoia forest were left out of these two national parks, and the Forest Service, with its addiction to logging, was coming increasingly under fire for clearcutting "whitewoods" in the regenerating Sequoia groves. Giant Sequoia National Monument was created by President Clinton in 2000 to remedy this situation.

Just a five day trip, but 86 panoramas, very productive, though many of the new panoramas were merely to replace older non-spherical versions.

(Click any picture to open a larger version.)


June 3, 2013

I spent the day driving dirt roads throughout Converse Basin in Giant Sequoia National Monument. This was the largest of all Sequoia groves until it was clearcut in the late nineteenth century. Only the Boole Tree, one of the world's largest, was left standing.


I camped with no campground, near the Chicago Stump in Giant Sequoia National Monument. I think one car drove by during the time I was there.

All panoramas taken this day (12)

Panoramas of the Chicago Stump area in Giant Sequoia National Monument

Panoramas of Converse Basin and the Boole Tree, Giant Sequoia National Monument


June 4, 2013

It's a short but spectacular drive from the Sequoia forests down into Kings Canyon - the canyon of the South Fork of the Kings River.


Camping at Cedar Grove, all prepared for a few drops of rain from an afternoon thunderstorm.

All panoramas taken this day (11)

Panoramas of the Kings Canyon Highway

Panoramas of Horseshoe Bend on the Kings Canyon Highway

Panoramas of the Windy Cliffs on the Kings River

Panoramas of the lower section of Kings Canyon, Kings Canyon National Park

Panoramas of the middle section of Kings Canyon


June 5, 2013

Most of this day was spent exploring Kings Canyon, a truly beautiful place, like a smaller and much less crowded Yosemite. In the afternoon I retraced my route out of the canyon and up into the Sequoia forest.


Princess Camp is located in the Indian Basin Grove of giant Sequoias. It was completely clearcut before 1900, now the huge stumps in the campground and meadow provide a reminder of what was lost.

All panoramas taken this day (31)

Panoramas of Zumwalt Meadow in Kings Canyon, Kings Canyon National Park, California

Panoramas of the road end area in Kings Canyon

Panoramas of the North Bank Road in Kings Canyon

Panoramas of Indian Basin Meadow and Sequoia Grove, Giant Sequoia National Monument


June 6, 2013

Redwood Mountain is the largest remaining giant Sequoia grove, slightly larger than the better known Giant Forest a few miles away. I have wanted to visit it for years, but was repeatedly thwarted by road closures, forest fires, or just lack of enough time.

This was my day to finally experience Redwood Mountain. I made a long loop hike along the ridgetop, down into the valley, and back up the creek, miles and miles of amazing forest. After the first hour or so I didn't see any people at all.

I didn't finish my Redwood Mountain hike until evening, and I was exhausted, so I camped in one of the developed campgrounds along the General's Highway.

All panoramas taken this day (20)

Panoramas of the ridgeline trail on Redwood Mountain, Kings Canyon National Park, California

Panoramas of the Sugar Bowl Sequoia Grove on Redwood Mountain

Panoramas of the forest on the east side of Redwood Mountain

Panoramas of the valley of Redwood Creek in the Redwood Mountain Grove


June 7, 2013

On my way out of the Sequoia forests I hiked around the Big Stump Grove taking pictures. It is a rapidly regenerating Sequoia grove with a lot of big stumps from the forest that once was.

All panoramas taken this day (12)

Panoramas of the Generals Highway

Panoramas of the Big Stump Grove, Kings Canyon National Park

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