Waterfalls and Big Trees

Our move to Three Rivers in the foothills of the Sierras happened to coincide with Spring Break and Easter Weekend. This meant camp spots were at a premium. We booked a spot at a private park 25 minutes from the south entrance of Sequoia NP. We arrived on a Thursday and by Friday this was our view.

But at the end of the weekend the park emptied out.

The appeal of this spot is its proximity to the southern entrance to Sequoia NP. The park is massive and includes Kings Canyon at the northern end. The park elevation ranges from 2080ft to around 7000ft. The southern entrance allows for easy access to some wonderful hiking in the foothills.

Spring is in full bloom with fast flowing rivers and flower filled hillsides. We enjoyed a couple of waterfall hikes. The first was along Paradise Creek.

With such an amazing display of wildflowers, you’d expect to see pollinators.There were lots of bees but these little blue butterflies stole the show.

We shared the trail with this guy.

The hike to Marble Falls came highly recommended from a Ranger working the Foothills Visitor Center. This is a 7 mile round trip hike along the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River. It’s an uphill hike that takes you high above the Marble Fork. You can hear the river roaring for the entire hike.

The trail is narrow and zig-zags it’s way up to the falls.

Wildflowers greeted us around every corner.

The trail passed through a fragrant grove of Bay Laurel.

The hike culminates at series of rapids at Marble Falls.

As we walked back down, the wildflowers continued to delight.

The draw for most people coming to Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP are the BIG trees and of course we wanted to walk among the Giant Sequoias. These trees grow at altitudes between 4000 and 7000ft. It was a very snowy winter and most of the campgrounds were still closed as well as many of the hiking trails. Route 198 through the park twists and winds up to the Sequoia Groves.

In spite of the snow the Park Service made it possible to hike and get to the big trees.

This is the General Sherman tree- the biggest tree in the world. This designation comes from the volume of its trunk. The tree is 109ft around at the ground. The top of the tree is dead and won’t get any taller but each year the trunk gets wider.

There are a lot of downed limbs and trees throughout the park. Some of these limbs are large and in their shattered state reveal the inner beauty of these trees.

The leaves of the Giant Sequoia

These Giants start life as seeds the size of a rolled oat that develop in cones like this.

The Tunnel Tree

Pat is always on the lookout for our next adventure.

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