Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2017 - California Day 7 (Sequoia National Park)

Friday September 15, 2017. Today, we leave Tulare and travel through Sequoia National Park for the day and we will be staying at the Montecito Sequoia Lodge.

Sequoia National Park - Yup, that's the trunk of a fallen tree
Quality Inn did have breakfast which was the usual breakfast that I expect from this chain.

Quality Inn Breakfast
Sequoia National Park is the park in California that has the famous Sequoia trees which are the species of trees that are the largest in the world. Prior to getting here, we noticed that there were a lot of farms here where I assume most of the fruits and vegetables we get are grown. It is really odd to see desert and then just vast greenery.

California orange trees?
We paid for the annual pass which cost us $80 for a year, good for all the national sites in USA and hopefully we make our money back. Going by the places we will visit, Sequoia & Kings Canyon costs $30, Yosemite costs $30, so we only had to visit one more place to make our money back. The card is good for a vehicle (admission is by vehicle, not by person at least for these parks).

Me in between Sequoias
We drove in and I was shocked when I saw the first Sequoia tree. Allison told me to calm down since there would be lots of them, but I still had to stop and take some pictures and she was right, there are lots of them here. Little did I know that the ones that I see at the beginning, aren't even the big ones!

Sequoia National Park - Tunnel Log
Sequoia National Park - Deer!
Tunnel Log is the first site (we saw Hospital Rock, but I don't think it is worth the stop) and it is a fallen Sequoia tree that is so large, you can actually drive through it! There were lots of people here waiting to take pictures of it and people to drive through and record it, so it did take some time. Your wait depends on what you want to do and how many people happen to be there.

Sequoia National Park - Moro Rock in the background
Sequoia National Park - Moro Rock Trail base
Sequoia National Park - Moro Rock top
Moro Rock is next and it is a good hike for a nice view that is just over 7,000 ft above sea level. It is a short 15 minute hike if you are worried.

Yup, that tree is bigger than the Statue of Liberty.
Stopped by the Giant Tree Museum which is home to the Sentinel, one of the largest sequoias that they have here. Inside the museum is a diagram that compares the size of the sequoia to things like a rocket ship and the Statue of Liberty to give you an idea of how large the trees are.

Sequoia National Park - General Sherman
Next up, the General Sherman! The largest living tree by volume in the world! Apparently there are trees that are taller, older, and wider than the Sherman, but it made it no less impressive. It is over 270 ft tall and 36 ft wide. When you see it, it is absolutely ridiculous that something this large could exist.

Sequoia National Park - Tokopah Falls
Tokopah Falls Trail is next and we started at 3:30pm, making it to the waterfall at 4:40pm, and finally finishing at 5:25pm. Meaning it too us roughly 2 hours round trip. Your duration is dependent on your speed and what you are interested in taking pictures in.

Tokopah was our final stop for the day, so we headed to the hotel next, Montecito Sequoia which we were both pretty excited for. Your stay includes a buffet dinner as well as a buffet breakfast. If you stay more than one day, buffet lunch is also included with your stay!

Montecito Sequoia Lodge - buffet dinner menu
Montecito Sequoia Lodge - buffet dinner
With dinner finished, we unloaded and called it a day. Tomorrow, we head through King's Canyon and drive to our hotel, Cedar Lodge, located just outside of Yosemite National Park.