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1 1/2 day SEKI hiking plan---what do you think?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2007 4:34 pm
by TNsoccer07
I'll be leaving for Las Vegas on May 21 and first going to Yosemite for three days. I'll arrive to Sequoia/Kings Canyon late on the evening of the 25th, spending all day on the 26th, and leaving in the early afternoon of the 27th. So, I've got 1 1/2 days. I'm planning to spend most of the time hiking. I can't change any reservations or dates, but I am open to suggestions for changing up my hiking itinerary. Here is what I have planned for my time in SEKI:

Day1 (May 26, 2007):
Head to KC NP. Along the way, stop to walk up Moro Rock and General Grant Tree. Drive to the end of the Kings Canyon Highway. Hike to Mist Falls and on to Paradise Valley and back. (How far past Mist Falls should I turn around? A mile or two?) After that hike, do the walk around Zumwalt Meadows. On the way back, do the hike to Eagle View.

Day 2 (May 27, 2007)
Head to the Congress Trail. Do quite a bit of walking through the trees. Then, do the walk to Crescent Meadow.

My major concerns are whether I should do the hike up to Cedar Grove Overlook and Little Baldy or possibly Pear Lake on the 26th instead of Paradise Valley. If any of you can add your input or have other suggestions, I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks in advance,


Posted: Fri May 04, 2007 5:04 pm
by maverick
Hello Sean

Moro Rock and GGT are in Sequioa and a couple hrs from Roads
End in Kings.
Mist Falls is nice but not a destination point IMO especially since
your just coming from Yosemite Valley!
Paradise Valley is nice especially in the Fall but again its a nice
place to spend a night if you got to the trailhead late.
The scenery gets better once you get to the JMT junction and head
south towards Rae Lakes or north towards Twin Lakes or Pinchot Pass.
The Don Cecil Trail out of Cedar Grove is a fun hike with some great
views from the top.
But since youll be going to Clouds I think the Watchtower and Heather
Lake would be a fine day hike. If you have the energy then go up
to Emerald or Pear Lake.
From the Wolverton Trailhead(7200ft) it is about 5 miles to
Heather(9200ft) and 7.4 miles one way to Pear Lake(9510ft).
SEKI is a backpackers park with some of the best backcountry in the
world but unlike Yosemite you have to sweat a little to see it but the
payoff is more than you can ever imagine!!

Posted: Fri May 04, 2007 7:17 pm
by TNsoccer07
Great! Thanks for the suggestions. I was actually glad to see that you don't recommend doing the Paradise Valley hike. I was beginning to wonder whether it would be worthwhile to see another valley when there seemed to be other good opportunities for day hikes. I have seen several photos along the Rae Lakes backcountry loop, and it does indeed look incredible. I remember seeing a photo of Rae Lakes for the first time in a book and knowing I must hike there during my trip. Then I did the research and saw that it was impossible for a day hike. Sequoia definitely is a backcountry hiker's paradise.

I think I am leaning towards the a hike from the Wolverton Trailhead. I'd really like to see some of the lakes in the park. Do you know of any good sites that have more info. and photos of Heather, Aster, Emerald and Pear Lakes? I am having a really difficult time researching SEKI. It just seems like there is not nearly as much information on the web about these parks as there are for the other parks I'm visiting.

Thanks once again,

Posted: Fri May 04, 2007 10:48 pm
by MountainMinstrel
Here are my pictures of the trail to Pear Lake. This is a great day hike. ... w?start=24


Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 6:16 am
by TNsoccer07
Thanks MountainMinstrel! Your pictures are great! Just to get an idea, because it is hard to tell from photos, how high above the lake would you estimate those mountains are? Also, would anyone suggest a day hike in Mineral King that would be better than Pear Lake? Pear Lake looks like a good idea, but if there is something I should consider in the Mineral King area instead, I'll check it out.


Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 11:48 am
by Shawn
Pear Lake is at about 9,500' and Alta Peak is a little more than 11,200. Here's the view of Pear Lake from above.


Mineral King has some great views too, not necessarily better or worse than Pear Lake. Here are a couple examples of the area.

White Chief


Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 6:51 pm
by TNsoccer07
Thanks for the shots and info. Shawn! I think I'll pass on Mineral King. It looks beautiful, but that drive would take up so much time. I really like the thought of Alta Peak, but I've heard it is extremely steep in the last 3 or so miles. Do you know how far and how much elevation gain is involved in a hike to Alta Meadow? I would think that wouldn't be nearly as strenuous, and it seems like it would have great views. Would you recommend Alta Meadow above Pear Lake? Can you see Pear Lake from the hike to Alta Meadow? I need to make one correction...on my Day 1 I said to end it with Eagle View. I'll add that to Crescent Meadow on Day 2. I forgot Eagle View was accessible from Crescent Meadow. Sorry for so many questions. I just can't decide what I should do on my full day.


Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 8:46 pm
by MountainMinstrel
Thanks Shawn. without my Topo's (I'm selling my house so everything is packed away in storage) I was going to guess that it was about 1500 ft. I wouldn't have been to far off, but it is better to know than to guess. I loved that view from Alta peak, it is on my to do list for this year.