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  • A four to five hour drive from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and just over an hour's drive from Fresno are California's Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

  • Established in 1890, Sequoia National Park is named after one of the largest tree species on the planet and is home to one of the USA's highest peaks.

  • Neighboring Kings Canyon lays just to the north, plunging 2000 ft deeper into the earth than Arizona's Grand Canyon,

  • yet despite their differences, these parks share much in common.

  • Their valleys have been shaped by the snow-fed cascades of the central Sierra Nevada,

  • while from their soils rise giant sequoias, some of which first put down roots 3000 years ago,

  • long before the rise of the Roman Empire.

  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks are living timelines that remind us that we have small parts in a story far greater than our own.

  • After passing sequoias' iconic entrance sign, follow Route 198 through the park's sunlit foothills into the dappled shadows of its conifer zone.

  • Pull over at Tunnel Rock, where generations of motorists left their mark before the road was rerouted in 1997.

  • Four miles on at Hospital Rock,

  • see the marks of even earlier travelers.

  • The Potwisha people who for centuries used this healing place as a winter encampment.

  • Follow the hairpins ever upwards for another eight miles,

  • then turn left and follow the gentle melody of Yucca Creek into the depths of Crystal Cave.

  • Discovered by two park employees while on a fishing trip in 1918,

  • these marble caves have been shaped and polished by snowmelt for over 100,000 years.

  • After exploring the park subterranean worlds, turn your gaze skyward at the Four Guardsmen.

  • A grove of 1000 year old sequoia's.

  • But these are mere adolescents compared to what lays just beyond in the giant forest.

  • Call into the giant forest museum to learn more about the sequoia tree,

  • named after the Cherokee scholar, who created the first alphabet for his people

  • and inspired the creation of writing systems for pre-literate languages all over the world,

  • which is somewhat ironic for as you walk beneath the 8000 sequoias of the giant forest, chances are you'll be lost for words.

  • From the museum, take the big trees trail, a wheelchair-friendly circuit, where you'll find favorites such as Ed by Ned, twin sequoias whose combined footprint is as large as a swimming pool.

  • Two miles on from the museum, pay your respects to one of the park's elder statesman, General Sherman, which rockets 16 stories into the sky and contains as much wood as an average 20-acre pine forest.

  • After straining your neck muscles looking up at one of the world's largest living beings,

  • take the 10-minute drive to Morro Rock.

  • Climb the 400 steps up the bald granite dome, which juts from the mountainside.

  • To the west, look down on Route 198, which zigzags up from the valley floor.

  • To the east, gaze out to the peaks of the Great Western Divide, piercing the clouds at over 13,000 ft.

  • While to the north, feel the call of even more adventure from Kings Canyon.

  • Just an hour's drive from Morro Rock is Grant Grove Village, the sole gateway to Kings Canyon National Park.

  • After learning more about the park's human and natural history at the visitor center,

  • explore the General Grant Tree Trail.

  • Peer into the Fallen Monarch used by the US cavalry a century ago to stable horses, and Gamlin Cabin, the oldest remaining structure in the park.

  • Then, stand before the General Grant, the world's second-largest tree.

  • Declared the nation's Christmas tree by President Coolidge in 1926 and a living shrine to those lost in war by President Eisenhower in 1956,

  • the roots of this giant run deep into America's consciousness.

  • After bathing in the forest fragrances of Grant Cove, buckle up and hit the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway.

  • Open from May to October, this incredible road snakes its way eastward, high above the Kings River.

  • As the road descends and your grip on the steering wheel relaxes,

  • take a breather by the cool mist of Grizzly Falls and Roaring River Falls.

  • After 30 wild rocky miles, the road nears its end, delivering you into the lush valley floor at Zumwalt Meadow.

  • Wander the boardwalk around this picture-perfect Sierra Meadow, filled with wildflowers, berries, and birdsong,

  • as the near-vertical granite giants, North Dome and Grand Sentinel, filled the sky.

  • Whether it's the vastness of Zumwalt Meadow or the giant sequoias, which reached toward the heavens,

  • no photograph, no video, no words can fully capture the sheer scale and spirit of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National parks.

  • This is a place that defies the limits of lens and language.

  • A place where, as John Mural wrote, "The snow melts into music and between every two trees is a door leading to a new life."

  • The only way to experience this place is to step through that door yourself.

A four to five hour drive from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and just over an hour's drive from Fresno are California's Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Vacation Travel Guide I Expedia

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/31
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