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Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

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Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby abhijitaparadh » Mon May 05, 2014 1:27 am

Hi,

We are going to Sequoia and Kings canyon NP over memorial day weekend.

Can you please suggest a couple of day hikes which wont involve rock climbing and will have a well marked trail? Around 10-12 miles roundtrip will be great!

Thanks in advance!



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Re: Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby AlmostThere » Mon May 05, 2014 7:20 am

All the trails are well used and obvious.

If you are an early bird, go to Mist Falls and Paradise Valley - steady climb all the way, downhill most of the way back. The final two miles on flat open trail on the canyon floor are HOT but there is an alternate route on the other side of the Bubbs Creek bridge that adds 1/4 mile, but goes through the forest and provides shade.

By then the falls will not be misting, but it is a beautiful strenuous day hike. We saw deer, snakes (including a Mountain King - red, black and yellow), and there was a very large bear on the trail.

Go to the Giant Forest and hike among the Sequoias for a day. Shady, cool, and awe inspiring. You can do up to 9 miles.

Hike the Lakes trail to a series of alpine lake basins and enjoy the columbines.

There are plenty more. Get a map at the visitor center.

Not sure where you are from that day hikes involve rock climbing - or perhaps you mean something different than I would by rock climbing? Some trails do involve walking on rock steps or short segments going across granite slab. You will not likely find a lot of them that do not... the Sierra is one long granite edifice.
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Re: Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby balzaccom » Mon May 05, 2014 8:01 am

Yes to Mist Falls...although Paradise Valley is about 14 miles---beyond your stated limit.

In Sequoia you have a couple of options as well. My absolute favorite day hike in the SIerra is Mitchell Peak, out of Marvin Pass. It's about 7 miles round trip, and takes you to the top of an isolated peak over 10,000---with a view that just won't stop. The last 1/4 mile is clambering over boulders...nothing dangerous at all...but it might not meet your criteria for "no rock climbing."

And in the Jennie Lakes Wilderness you can hike up to Jennie Lake (near your limit for miles) but the JO pass area has lovely views even if you don't make it to the lake...and some wonderful hiking through open forest of huge trees.
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Re: Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby AlmostThere » Mon May 05, 2014 8:05 am

Mitchell Peak off the Marvin Pass trailhead is a very short 7 miles. I think it's more like 5, round trip. Just really steep for the last mile.... It will make you huff and puff for sure.

Big Baldy would be a great morning walk, a little hot in the afternoon.

Redwood Canyon - two 6 mile loops or one 10 mile loop. And not as crowded as Grant Grove or Giant Forest.
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Re: Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby LMBSGV » Mon May 05, 2014 9:18 am

Mist Falls this time of year will be great. It's possible to get away from the crowds in Giant Forest if you do a longer hike. You can take the shuttle to Crescent Meadow and then choose what trails you want to hike - there are a lot of choices. Once you get away from the people going back and forth to Tharp's Log, the crowd's disappear. The same is true for the Sherman Tree section. My wife and I spent a day each hiking the Crescent Meadow area trails and the longer loop of the Congress Trail down to Circle Meadow and enjoyed long periods of solitude - there's something mystical about hiking through that forest in solitude. Get the Giant Forest map from the SEKI Natural History Association to see all the different trails and how they interconnect.
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Re: Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby maverick » Mon May 05, 2014 9:58 am

Hi Abhijitaparadh,

Welcome to HST! Yes, Mist Falls is definetely a fun hike this time of the year, their are
several area's of SEKI that you can visit including Boyden Cavern, which is a cool cave
on the way down to the Cedar Groove area. Moro Rock in the Giant Forest area should
not be missed with its gorgeous views, and the Mineral King area which is a long, windy
ride that leads to beautiful peaks and lakes. Here is a list of day hikes that area available
in each area of SEKI. http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/dayhikes.htm
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby lambertiana » Mon May 05, 2014 8:10 pm

There are a number of good dayhikes out of Mineral King. My favorite would be Franklin Lake. It's about 12 miles round trip with about 2600' vertical from the trailhead.

Mitchell Peak is a good suggestion, it's a fairly light hike. Last time I went, a friend of mine brought his 7 and 10 year old sons. They especially loved the rocks at the top. The views from Mitchell are fantastic.

You could also dayhike to Emerald Lake, and push on to Pear Lake if you feel up to it. A very nice area.
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Re: Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby abhijitaparadh » Tue May 06, 2014 7:59 am

Thanks a lot for suggestions.

What I meant by not rock climbing is that no technical climbing. Walking over rocks should be fine :)
Also, we were initially planning to hike up the Lookout peak, but were discouraged after reading that the trail is not that interesting and last few yards require serious rock scrambling.

Mitchell peak looks great. Would probably end up going there. We have done hikes in Northern California Redwoods in Humboldt county, so not too interested in hikes which just involve tall trees.

Also, we would be interested in seeing a bear or two, have been going to Yosemite for years now, but havent spotted a single bear yet. Are there any specific areas in SEKI where the bears frequently visit ? :paranoid:
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Re: Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby EagleB » Thu May 08, 2014 8:35 pm

If you are going down to Cedar Grove, the Hotel Creek loop is a good option if you are looking for a great valley view. The trailhead is located adjacent to the Cedar Grove lodge. The total loop is about 8 miles, or you can do an out and back to the the lookout which is about 5 miles round trip. The climb to the top is only about 2 miles, but it is fairly strenuous and is sun exposed if you get a late start.

As far as seeing bears, you have a decent chance of spotting a bear almost anywhere in SEKI. I have spent a lot of time in Cedar Grove, and I have seen bears on every trail and recreation area.
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Re: Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby sparky » Thu May 08, 2014 9:21 pm

I just want chime in to agree on the Lakes Trail suggestion. Pear lake is spectacular, and is one of my favorite day hikes.

I have seen bears alot in SEKI as well, but not as often as yosemite. Usually close to the trailheads or off the side of the road. I saw a momma with 2 cubs in SEKI once, that was pretty cool and the only time I have seen babies. I don't remember what trail it was, just that I wasn't that far in....errrr out as I was on my way back out after an extended backpack. :bear:

Moro Rock is great too, but lots of scared tourists.
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Re: Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby AlmostThere » Fri May 09, 2014 6:13 am

We've seen bears fairly consistently on the Alta trail, on the Mist Falls trail, and crossing the road.

In Yosemite, just hang around in the parking lots. We saw a few bears on the way to trailheads from parking lots - as they were walking toward the parking lots. As a corollary, don't forget to clean out your car.
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Re: Day hikes in Sequoia/Kings canyon

Postby robow8 » Fri May 09, 2014 7:16 am

AlmostThere wrote:We've seen bears fairly consistently on the Alta trail, on the Mist Falls trail, and crossing the road.

In Yosemite, just hang around in the parking lots. We saw a few bears on the way to trailheads from parking lots - as they were walking toward the parking lots. As a corollary, don't forget to clean out your car.


About that corollary; what exactly do you have to do to clean out a car?
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