Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sequoia National Park Excursion - 6/ 20 thru 22/15

Group Photo at the General Sherman Tree

Maria Hugs a Tree
 Three days in June were a real treat for sixty club hikers. It was the long anticipated hiking excursion to Sequoia National Park coordinated by the totally organized and thorough Jerry Thomas. (There are, at least, sixty club members that thank you Jerry for your preparations and leadership. All accounts are that they had a fantastic time.)

On the day of arrival, all participating club members met in a meeting room at the Three Rivers Comfort Inn to talk about the upcoming days of hiking and photographing.

This entry contains photos from the hike that occurred on the next day; The Pillars of Hercules. Most of the hikers participated together on this moderate 5 mile hike among the Sequoias and a group photo was taken at the General Sherman Tree as seen at the top of the entry.

Tree hugging seemed to become a fun sport among some of the women.

Most of the largest trees had names like the grouping of Sequoias seen in the left photo.

(Since the writer is piecing this entry together on information received through several different email and photo submissions, please email her if there are any corrections to be made. Thanks. K)

The Sequoias are BIG!

Hiking Among the Sequoias

 Lakes Trail
Heather Lake

Setsuko in Wildfowers
 This entry contains photos from two hikes that occurred on the second day of hiking; The Lakes Trail and Alta Peak. Both hikes began at the same trailhead off of the side road called Wolverton Road and shared the first half of the hike on the same trail. There were a few wildflowers still in bloom but the report was that everything looked very dry. Still, upon reaching the lakes, they saw that there was enough water around to slake the thirst of local wildlife.

Hiking the Lakes Trail

On the Lakes Trail Heading Back with the Watchtower in the Background

Alta Peak

Alta Peak Summit Photo

View of Lakes Trail from Alta Peak

 Home & Wildlife
The Hotel where the Group Stayed in Three Rivers, CA
 There were several bear sightings but no attacks. It was reported that the bears were all busy eating berries and such, therefore, not interested in those silly annoying people. Other wildlife that was seen included many deer, marmots and grouse. One hiker saw a bear cub. Luckily, the mama bear was nowhere to be seen or things could have gotten ugly.

One day, two hikers could not resist a climb to Comfort Inn peak, as seen in the photo to the left!

Cub - Where's Mama?

Deer with Interesting Head-dress

Sneaky Marmot

Bear Lurking

 Prescribed Burn in the Area
Prescribed Burn Up Close
 Unfortunately, the air was not crystal clear due to a prescribed burn in the park. One hiker got close enough to take the photo to the left where a few flames can be seen. She also saw several firemen around. When other club members climbed to the peaks over the weekend, the smoke from this fire could be seen. (See the photo below.)

Two other hikes that occurred over the three days were Moro Rock and Paradise Peak. It is unclear if the group hiked the entire Moro Rock Loop or just climbed up from the nearby parking lot. But, it is clear that the Paradise Peak hike was definitely the most difficult hike of the excursion. See a photo below for a group of proud mountain climbers on Paradise Peak!

Smoke Rises from Prescribed Burn as seen from Paradise Peak

 Moro Rock
Moro Rock

View from Moro Rock

Climbing Moro Rock

 Watch Tower Rock & Paradise Peak; Tokopah Falls; Etc.
Hiking to Heather Lake

Tokopah Falls
 Joan added some commentary about the other groups of hikers.

Sixteen ABF hikers took a “moderately strenuous” hike to Heather Lake.  It was 10 miles with lots of elevation gain but shorter than the strenuous Alta Peak and Pear hikes that day.   Its trail was covered by the Pear Lake hikers who went on to several more lakes in a faster-paced group. The next day most of these hikers took a two-hike combination to Tokopah Falls and Muir Grove for a 9-mile hike.  (The easy hiking had done Tokopah Falls the day before.)  The scheduled hike had been to Sunset Rock.  However, there was a prescribed burn going on in the Sunset Rock area so an alternate hike/s was found.  

Anne on Tunnel Log

 Those who had hiked to Heather Lake the day before were treated to a view looking up to the Watchtower route to Heather Lake.  We could clearly see the Watchtower we had looked for the previous day.  We had been on top of it!  The flowers were beautiful along the lake and it was a very nice walk along the river to the falls where we saw a marmot.  Then the group traveled from the Lodgepole Campground area to the Muir Grove parking area at Dorst Campground.  On the way up to Muir Grove, we met the easy ABF hikers coming down.  They told us not to miss the walk-through tree in the grove.  

Hikers in Sequoia Grove
 This trail was much different that the Tokopah Trail.  It went through the forest with beautiful wildflower displays and lots of green.  Then it ended at the Muir Grove.  What a sight!  We had lunch in the circle of giant Sequoia trees as various hikers ventured out to the walk-through trees and other sights it the area.  What a magnificent place.  Then we headed back down the trail with some of us stopping at the dome—a flat rock with views in the distance and beautiful pink/purple flowers.  What a great trip to Sequoia that Jerry planned for us.

Watch Tower Rock

Mike above Tokopah Falls

The Gang on Paradise Peak with San Joaquin Valley in the Background

Steve Takes in the View from Paradise Peak - Prescribed Burn in the Distance

 Pillars of Hercules

 Lakes Trail

 Alta Peak

 Moro Rock Loop

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