We met up with our friends James and Louise from Oxford at the LAX Airport and from there we were making our way up the coast and then inland towards the Sequoia National Park. The first stop after leaving busy LA was Santa Barbara where we enjoyed the sunset and had a lovely pizza dinner with some excellent Pale Ales at the Lucky Penny. If you visit Santa Barbara make sure you check out this place. Afterwards, we made our way to the Gaviota State Park for an early night.
The next morning we let our friends sleep off their jet lag and after breakfast we made our way towards Sequoia National Park. After being on the road for six hours through basically no-man land we arrived at the park entrance and an hour later at the Lodgepole Campground. Before our research, for California we hadn’t heard about this National Forest, but we highly recommend paying a visit if you have the time. Especially the campsite we stayed in was probably one of the most beautiful we have ever seen.
Sequoia, despite being the USA’s second oldest National Park, isn’t nearly as popular as Yosemite or Yellowstone. However, it is an incredible place to visit. The name comes from theSequoia Tree, the most famous one is the 2.200 year old “General Sherman”. Its 275 foot height and 103 feet circumference makes it the world’s tallest tree. At least one tree species lives longer, one has a greater diameter, three grow taller, but none is larger. But not only the trees make this park so magical, it also has amazing rivers running through, beautiful mountaintops and a vast variety of wildlife to offer. The most popular would be the
Black Bear, Rattlesnakes and Cougars. We just had a very short time in the park, if you want to explore most of the countless hiking opportunities you should consider giving this park a week’s time and then you’ll probably have the chance to see some black bears – but hopefully from far. Also be aware that if you go in the holiday season, you should book your campsite in advance and prepare yourself to share the park with a lot of visitors. Getting here by car is really convenient, but you can also get here by bus from Fresno and shuttle buses in the park bring you to the main trails. In case you have a lot of time you can go on exploring the neighboring Kings Canyon Nationalpark.
After this first exciting national park we were hitting the road again to spend a couple of days in Yosemite Nationalpark.