Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Yosemite, Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks


I visited California in September. Before getting there, my friend Manuela, who knows some of the kind of activities I would like, planned things. We visited three national parks – Yosemite National Park and Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. We started with Yosemite.

If nature, outdoors and hiking interest you, this would be something to do in California.
Yosemite National Park is known for its granite rocks, cliffs and waterfalls. The half dome and the El Capitan are two that were referred to frequently. To climb the half dome, a permit is required. That was not on our list, so we did not find out how to get the permit.
The park has a few vista points where everyone could get great views of things from.

The magnificent half dome







The view
People would hang from this glacier point in the past but it is now barricaded
We stayed at the curry village in Yosemite. There are tents that all looked the same to me, I would not know if there were smaller or bigger ones. Our tent had 3 beds, a queen-sized bed and two single beds. There were two blankets on each bed (it got quite cold at night) and the matrasses were comfortable. The village has shared bathrooms and toilets, a few metres from the tents depending on where your tent is located. All checked in guests are usually given the code to access the bathrooms and toilets. 
Parking lot, Curry village

The tents, they have adequate space inside

There is a common area with WiFi, a dining area where food is sold, then a bar. Around the camp, there are metal food storage containers just outside the tents. Everyone gets the warning not to leave food in cars or in the tents as that could attract bears.
On our first night, we went to watch the sun set on the rocks. We heard that the colours reflect differently on the rocks as the sun sets. Eager to see that, we found a spot along with others and watched the sun set. 


 The different stages of the sun set on the El Capitan.


The bridal veil waterfall was on our way, we had enough time before sunset so we stopped to see it. The waterfall rushes down like a bridal view hence its name. We were warned that in this season, the water level would be low. 
Bridal veil water fall
Seeing the bridal veil waterfall was underwhelming to me and I didn’t notice the effect of the veil like it should have shown. We were warned anyway...

The final but hiking up to Vernal waterfall
We headed out quite early the next morning to the Vernal waterfall as this was going to be a bit of a hike. At 7:30am, we were on our way up. It was an uphill climb and if you are anything like me, you would appreciate the good work out from this hike. It was a 2.2 mile/4.3KM hike and took us just over two hours back and forth including all the stops for photos. The fall is impressive and beautiful to look at, these photos do not do it justice.


We saw a lot of rock formations around Yosemite. There are many trails to go hiking and lots of things to see.

After checking out of the curry village, the Kings Canyon National Park was our next stop. 


General Grant
The Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks merge into each other somewhere. We started seeing the Sequoia tress from Kings Canyon where we saw General Grant and others. Each one has its story.
All for the perfect shot :-) I'm sorry but I had to post this one.

Me on the other end of the trunk


I used to think that I was 'tall' but I'm just a dot beside all these trees
The information centres in the parks are extremely useful. As there is a lot to see, the information they provide can help you narrow down and decide what activities you might like to do. I asked where we could watch the sun set and we found out that Moro rock was the spot. On our way, we saw a bear going across the road, we stopped to watch it for a few minutes then continued excitedly on our way. We have a video as evidence which I’m afraid I won’t post 😊 I was so excited that I got confused. In that moment, I forgot how to get to the camera on my phone. Manuela had to do it then I was winding down the glass to get the video and Manuela commanded me to wind up. We had a good laugh about this much later.
Sunset on Moro rock




Hiking up Moro rock was somewhat challenging. It had steep turns and curves, I remember getting dizzy at some point. Anyone afraid of heights would struggle here as you have no option than to look right down.  The view atop the rock was worth it so no complaints…

The extreme point of Moro rock


half way




We took the third day easy wandering through Sequoia park. The predominant thing there is sequoia trees, of all sizes.





Tunnel log was fascinating to drive through.



There are a few trails but we opted for the crescent meadow. We met someone just as we started the hike who mentioned to us that he had just seen a bear. That got me slightly uncomfortable especially as we were walking. It’s different if you are in a car, but we knew that they would not bother us as long as we did not bother them. The feeling of discomfort is probably mutual between bears and human beings.


We found General Sherman
The walk through crescent meadow was peaceful especially as we had a lot of shade.


Tharp's Log is basically a room/work space from a tree trunk, see photo above.

Just being Ene Abah


I had my wakanda moment
Manuela was not left out
Hugging a tree is easier said than done




At close reange, all these trees are massive!

We stayed in Visalia for two nights, from there we did the commute to the Kings Canyon and Sequoia National parks. That was the closest town. 
The cost of our 3 nights in curry village and Wyndam hotel in Visalia came to just over $240. Manuela has a card she pays for yearly, that grants her access to national parks so I was equally granted access with her card. I’m afraid I cannot provide information on how much it costs to get into the parks.

We noticed that there were not many people with brown skin like me around the parks. We had a few stares sometimes and at a point, Manuela would tease me saying that they were checking out the 'exotic girl'. We laughed about it the whole time, we laughed a lot!
I loved my time out there, it was nothing too strenuous and great to be out in nature.

4 comments:

  1. Hahahaha @ 'exotic girl'....reminds me of Isle of AranπŸ˜€
    Great cover on Yosemite....now I want to go.

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    Replies
    1. Please go if you have the chance, it was a really great trip.
      I'm sure you'll also have your exotic girl moments πŸ˜‰

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  2. Awesome trip! And everything about the parks so organised.

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