Wednesday I planned to spend the day at Kings Canyon National Park. It shares a border with Sequoia National Park which I had visited on Monday and Tuesday. I was actually in the Park for only about 26 of the 220 miles I drove on Wednesday, yet I enjoyed a full day of incredible scenery. You may want to go online and print a map of the area (Google: NPS Sequoia map, then click on Driving Map).
Of the 220 miles I drove on Wednesday, 112 were just round trip getting there and back from Visalia. Only 26 miles were spent in Kings Canyon proper (14 miles round trip at the END of the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway and the rest entering and exiting near the Kings Canyon Visitor Center in the little finger which sticks up on the left side of the map). The remainder of the drive, 82 miles, was through the Sequoia National Forest, technically the Giant Sequoia National Monument – North Unit.
Sequoia National Park covers 631 square miles and Kings Canyon, 721 square miles. Combined, they are slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. You only get to see a small portion of either Park from the road. The eastern part of Sequoia and the northern part of Kings Canyon can only be enjoyed on foot or horseback (or the animal of your choice, assuming they are willing participants). There is much more to both Parks than you can see on the Driving Map (click on the Area Map to get the “bigger picture”).
The thing that I found very confusing on Wednesday was figuring out exactly what I was looking at. There are all kinds of peaks, but based on where I was and the direction I was looking it was difficult to figure out which peaks were which. I opted to just enjoy the views!!
Down below I could see the road I would be traveling on. I descended from up around 6,000 feet where these were taken, down to the valley below, then up again once I got in to Kings Canyon proper.
Once I got down in the valley I could see, and hear, 10-Mile Creek below: