Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kings Canyon National Park

Today was a very cold morning so I didn't really get started until around ten. I got into the park pretty quick since I had camped just outside the border. I stopped by the visitor center and asked for recommendations and info.

My first stop was the Grant grove, which contains one of the largest trees, the largest by width. There was also a cool dead tree that had been hollowed out sown the middle and fallen over. Part of the trail actually went right down the middle of the tree and out the other side. A bit like the tree in yosemite that had the road going through the base of the trunk, which fell over years ago.

The second stop was a viewpoint called Panoramic Viewpoint. There was a two and a half mile road that gained a thousand feet, and then a short hike to get up to the viewpoint. The viewpoint looked out over all of the major peaks and canyons, and it was a nice preview of the park.
After doing the climb up to the viewpoint I decided that I didn't feel like doing any of the other climbing in the park which would have amounted to more than a mile and a half. Instead I decided to just leave my bike at the visitor center and hitch out and back, since it was a dead end road anyways.

I got a ride from a Russian family that I had met in Grants Grove and at the viewpoint. I had mentioned I was going to hitch when I talked with them but they already had four people in their car so I didn't ask them. Instead they made room for me and we sat three in the back seat.

Greg and Anastasia were a younger couple, and Greg's parents, Alex and Kate had come to visit them for a vacation. The younger couple had actually just finished hitching across Canada, which is why they were extra accommodating to help me.

We went down into the park together and stopped at most of the major attractions to see them and take pictures. There were a couple of nice waterfalls and a lot of good views. They were staying at the end of the park in a campground, so they left me at the roadside to try to hitch back to the top. They promised me that if they saw me on the way back the next day they would pick me up.
I wasn't waiting more than half an hour before an older British couple picked me up. They had spent the day going further into the park towards a backcountry waterfall, and had only seen one other person on their trip. They took me back up to the bike, and I had enough light left to make it out of the park and most of the way down the mountain into warmer areas to camp.

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