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SeKi's Little Baldy or Buena Vista Peak?
Posted: Sat May 19, 2007 8:04 pm
I'm flying out to Vegas late afternoon on Monday, May 21. I've got 1 1/2 days in Sequoia/Kings Canyon and think I know all the hikes I want to do. The only thing I have to decide now is whether to do Little Baldy or Buena Vista Peak. I see that Buena Vista Peak is shorter, but I have heard more about Little Baldy. Would anyone suggest one or the other? I don't really care how difficult or lengthy they are. I'm mainly interested in which one will give the best view both from the destination and along the hike. If you could answer my question, please let me know. I don't have much time at all now, so any advice would be appreciated.
Posted: Sun May 20, 2007 11:15 am
Buena Vista is a short hike. 1.2 miles to the peaklet with a nice view of Redwood Canyon and the San Juaqin Valley. If you are entering the park from the Kings Canyon entrance (Hwy 180), you might want to consider Big Baldy. It is a much more impressive granite dome/peaklet and around 4 miles one way. The view is primarily due west towards the San Juaqin Valley. If your entering the park from the Sequoia side (hwy 198) You might want to consider the Tokapah Valley/Falls trail out of Lodgepole. Great alpine terrain and views, and there is still pretty good water at the falls. The Little Baldy trailhead is past Lodgepole on the Generals Hwy (198). 2.3 miles one way with an impressive view of both the valley and the Sierra crest.
Hope this helps with your plans,
Posted: Sun May 20, 2007 12:38 pm
Thanks skibum. Are you sure the hike to Big Baldy is 4 miles one-way? I had read somewhere that it was 4.5 miles roundtrip. I don't think I'm going to do Tokopah Falls/Valley. I will have been in Yosemite with all of those huge, beautiful waterfalls and valleys, so others have convinced me to not do that one. The day that I'm thinking of doing Buena Vista Peak, Little Baldy, or Big Baldy would be my full day. I am planning to drive from Tulare to Sequoia and do Moro Rock. Then, head to Kings Canyon and do General Grant before driving to the road's end where I will do Zumwalt Meadow. On the way back I'm trying to decide whether to do Little Baldy, Big Baldy, or Buena Vista Peak, all of which would be on the way since I'll drive through Sequoia on the way back. If the view from Big Baldy is primarily to the west, then I may not want to do that one. I'm really just looking for a hike that will provide great vistas to the east toward the Sierras. Maybe even Cedar Grove Overlook would be a good choice? Skibum (and anyone else out there): would you recommend Buena Vista Peak, Little Baldy, or Cedar Grove Overlook for the best view of the Sierras?
Posted: Sun May 20, 2007 1:40 pm
Yes! It is 4 miles ROUND trip, my bad. If you have the time to get to Cedar Grove definitly head there. The drive down the canyon is spectacular in itself. Boydon's Cave is a great stop to stretch your legs. The cave tour is good too. Zumwalt mdw is a short but nice hike. From Roads End the 4.6 mile ONE way hike to Mist Falls is probably the most popular day hike. There are really nice views all the way. You do not necessarily have to hike all the way to the falls to really appreciate this hike. Great views the whole way. The trail follows the kings River most of the way. Cedar Overlook has a great view of the valley. Very hot and dusty hike.
Posted: Sun May 20, 2007 2:05 pm
Thanks again Skibum. So many choices!!! We will probably make the decision that morning. Sometimes spur-of-the-moment decisions turn out okay. We will definitely be going all the way down to Cedar Grove. Your mentioning that Cedar Grove Overlook is hot and dusty kind of turned me away from doing that one (the forecast for that day right now is a high of 89). We'll still probably do the motor nature trail, though. I was thinking about doing a day hike to Paradise Valley or Pear Lake earlier in my trip planning process, but have since decided against it and to opt for several shorter hikes instead. This will be my first trip to SeKi, so I've decided to choose some shorter hikes that will at least give me a taste for what the parks have to offer. I wish I had more time in SeKi, but I guess 1 1/2 days is better than nothing! Thanks again for your much-appreciated advice! Now it's a little less than 27 hours until takeoff!!!