Sequoia National park had a 180% snowpack this year so even in September the snow hadn’t completed melted off Precipice Lake. If you camp above tree line and there’s a breeze, that helps considerably. The Willis Wall Blog includes outdoor subjects, equipment reviews, and trip reports Within Sequoia, the Kaweah’s Middle Fork offers Class V rapids. Though the going was easy and downhill, it was chilly. Drowning while crossing creeks is the number one cause of death in Sequoia National Park and I can see why. We bought two large ones because I am sure we will use them again. Thankfully it was after we had set up camp so we could dash into the tent. Make noise. Subscribe for updates about new stories and free gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this story, at the top of the left sidebar, or on my About page, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter. I worked my way down rocks south of the trail and stayed off snow as long as possible because the snowfields were very steep toward the top of the pass. The Grant Grove Market rents and sells snow gear if you didn’t bring your own. The trail was very well defined for the most part, and was signed at all intersections. The trail passes through a diverse mix of Sierra terrain and ecology, from creekside cascades to old-growth forest to alpine lakes, and it After hiking a further 2km we came to the first part of the Redwood Meadow grove of Sequoia trees. This is a 20 person type 1 hand crew. columbine lake in sequoia np. The clouds had moved in and it had threatened rain since we had left Columbine Lake. From the Kaweah we climbed 1.4 miles up to Bearpaw Meadow. Let me know how it goes for you. Experiencing Goblin State Park. Hume Lake is on my list to check out on my next visit. © 2020 Born to Adventure | Family Outdoor Adventures & Vacation Photography|ProPhoto Photo Blog. If you like what you see here, please help me continue producing The Big Outside by making a donation using the Support button at the top of the left sidebar or below. This post is primarily an information resource and jam packed with pictures. We got down to the trailhead for breakfast! Varied and always changing. Mosquitoes are out during the several weeks when lakes are free of ice and nighttime temperatures consistently remain at least a few degrees above freezing. A-MAZING.We pressed on to Big Five Lakes, through undulating terrain. The crew would be utilized to dig handline in steep and difficult terrain or help with Most of the more established campgrounds also had bear cache’s for food. We used the National Geographic trail map for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. It therefore comes with a very high recommendation from us! Sequoia - Pear Lake - Alpenglow - Solo backpacking 7.8.20. Late evening alpenglow at Columbine Lake, Sequoia National Park. Most years the creeks run much lower. From the pass you also have view to Columbine Lake. We did it!! 5 Tips for Choosing a Suitable Backpacking Trip for your Family, Tramping the Pouakai Circuit: Egmont National Park, DAY 3: BEARPAW MEADOW TO NINE LAKES BASIN, DAY 4: NINE LAKES BASIN TO BIG FIVE LAKES, Canoeing the North Fork of the Flathead River. This lake is similar to Columbine with another healthy population of Brookies. Sequoia National Park may be known for its giant sequoia groves, but the best backpacking is actually in the lesser-known Mineral King Valley. Day 3 was our longest and hardest. It was in this solitary place, with no other people around, that we got to speak these words of life into our new-to-teenagehood daughter. Required fields are marked *. The trail was challenging (I don’t want to downplay it) but it was also so well graded and maintained that even broken-kneed hubby didn’t have any knee issues. You might also be interested in my Ask Me post, “What Clothing Do You Recommend For August in the High Sierra?” And you may find some good, general tips about hiking and backpacking anywhere in the High Sierra by seeing my stories about the John Muir Trail and Yosemite National Park. Sequoia National Park Itinerary. We always carry bear spray; in California (or at least in Sequoia) it is considered a weapon and isn’t allowed. This trip had been on our radar for a couple of years, after our oldest daughter asked if we could make it happen for her 13th birthday. Columbine Lake Country Club January– March 2019 Community Information for CLCC ... Hotshot crew based out of Sequoia/Kings Nation-al Park in California. “10 Tips For Making Hiking and Backpacking Easier”. It was upward bound, but gentle in its approach, travelling through the open forest and  coming and going from the creek. Beyond the waterfalls, in the high country backpacking or day hikes – Moose Lake; Big Bird Lake; Pear Lake; Heather Lake; Aster Lake; Emerald Lake; Kings Canyon Lakes, Kings Cyn NP at … If you are experienced, neither of those areas should pose any problems. Every 2 or 3 km it seemed there was somewhere to pitch a tent. I see you’re from my old stomping grounds, New Hampshire. California has a different way of dealing with bears than we are used to in Canada. Some of the more quaint spots to camp only held one, maybe two tents. Water was freezing, but it was well worth it! The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. After picking up our pre-booked permit at the Mineral King Ranger Station, we drove to the trail-head a mile further up the road. When she was born I had written her a letter that paralleled metaphorically the life of a Sequoia tree. There would be no way to enjoy this beautiful terrain if it wasn’t for them. After travelling 1.7 miles from Little Five Lakes there is a trail junction that goes to the upper lakes. Campsites were a lot more numerous than we expected. Hume Lake. Mind blowing. This works great for kids learning to navigate. For just $75, I’ll answer your questions via email or in a phone call to help ensure your trip is a success. So much variety. Mosquito Lake - no camping within ¼ mile of Mosquito Lake #1; Hockett Meadow - no camping between the trail and Whitman Creek; and; Timberline Lake area - Lake – within ¼ mile of the lake; Columbine Lake – within 100 feet of the lake; The following sequoia groves: Atwell, Big Stump, Clough Cave, Coffeepot, Dillonwood, The scenery is second to none. June to September is the main backpacking season. We learned that back in the depression in the 1930’s, young men that were out of work, were put on these government ’employment’ schemes and these crews were responsible for building this amazing trail. We walked for 2 miles, making our way around the top end of a very broad ridge and then dropped down steeply into the Lost Canyon Creek campsite and watershed. We cooked breakfast, and warmed ourselves in the sun just as it was peeking over the mountains near the Big Arroyo campsite.As the morning progressed, the sun was warm on our backs, and there was another change in scenery as we veered off the High Sierra Trail and headed towards Big Five Lakes. Backpacking the Sierras from Mineral King, Sequoia National Park Driving the 25 mile, 1.5 hour road to mineral king - here's one of the huge trees the park is named for. This lake is just north of Columbine but is 500' lower than Colmbine over a 1/4 mile distance. Miles worth of hiking from anywhere. Trip Overview: The Mineral King Loop is a ~45 mile loop in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park that traverses 10 miles of the famous High Sierra Trail and climbs over Sawtooth Pass, Kaweah Gap and Timber Gap. Thank you for setting such a high bar in quality images and narrative. The trail from Columbine Lake up to the pass was the least defined part of the circuit. We carried full thermal underwear, fleece and down jackets, beanie, gloves, raincoat and we used it all. Allowed. Fires are only allowed in area’s below 10,000ft. Two of our campsites made my list of 25 all-time favorite backcountry campsites, and one lake where we stopped for lunch made my list of the best backcountry campsites I’ve hiked past. Our trip was from August 30th to September 4th. I’ve logged many miles in the White Mountains (and I authored, for many years, a hiking guidebook to New England). No campers and no other hikers on the trail yet because it was still pretty early in the morning. OTHER BITS AND BOBS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW TO PLAN YOUR OWN TRIP, A backcountry permit is required year round to overnight in Sequoia National Park. And the views!! The trip you took is enticing. The trail then switchbacks up towards Hamilton Lake. A couple of the kids struggled. It was a pull up to Columbine but the lake is a classic high alpine water bowl, surrounded only by rock and scattered grass and flower patches eking out an existence in improbable places. Some short sledding hills are found among the trees. Thanks so much for your informative and beautifully designed website. The hike up to Lower Monarch Lake is a great day hike option that climbs steadily up one of the valley's west facing slopes. This year, due to its popularity, the NPS has implemented a one-night-only stay. Many seem to start on the High Sierra Trail at the Crescent Meadows trailhead in the ‘main’ part of Sequoia National Park. Our intended sleep-in never worked out. My New Zealand homeland’s highest mountain is only a couple hundred metres taller, so it was a pretty proud moment. Franklin Creek in the Mineral King valley. Beware of afternoon thunderstorms and educate yourself for your own protection. It was hot and hard work, but because of our early start, we arrived at Bearpaw for a late lunch. We loved that we saw less people the way we went. Hike up to Columbine Lake, then up and over the divide dropping into the gorgeous canyon. The crossing is right above a cliff and waterfall, which made for a pretty spectacular setting just as we were getting a little bit of alpenglow at sunrise. Your email is never published or shared. The trail along Lost Creek began as a gradual climb through the trees, and continued above the treeline in a beautiful wildflower-filled meadow. Secondly, you mention the mosquito population. This canyon creek is also excellent for Brookies. What Clothing Do You Recommend For August in the High Sierra? First at camp meant we got first dibbs on a campsite and had plenty of time to explore. Permit applications open on March 1st at 12:01am. Posted by 2 months ago. Up next The ranger who issues your permit will check you have them. Higher up in the valley the trail still had some snow, and a small section had sustained some avalanche damage from the unusually large winter snowpack. There was a shop there. ... Finishing off the day's hike with an uphill section, you will switchback your way out of the Valley until Columbine Lake (10,500ft) comes into view. Sawtooth Peak and Columbine Lake to Timber Gap is a 18.5 mile loop trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. We recently read in the paper that many people have died, and we can personally verify that it has been well over 100 degrees. Got a question about hiking, backpacking, planning a family adventure, or any trip I’ve written about at The Big Outside? Good mood, great weather and 45 pound packs, we are ready to go. In some places, it’s a little exposed but it wasn’t difficult. Sequoia National Park conjours up images of majestic, awe-inspiring trees, famed as the largest in the world. Do you know if most hikers experience such a thickness of mosquitos that the experience is negatively affected to a great extent? Highs 78 to 88 at 5000 feet. This would avoid driving the crazy road into Mineral King, but is also a more populated option. Getting There Drive to Mineral King, hike to Columbine, go up over the divide. Just up the hill, we discovered was the junction for the very popular High Sierra Trail. Cook away from your tent. The Simple Equation of Ultralight Backpacking: Less Weight = More Fun, 10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit, 10 Tips For Making Hiking and Backpacking Easier, New Year Inspiration: My Top 10 Adventure Trips, The 10 Best Backpacking Trips in the Southwest, The 10 Best Family Outdoor Adventure Trips. My kids did fine, but we took it slowly. It was smokey and overcast, and threatening rain. No-one! This tool allows you to look up elevation data by searching address or clicking on a live google map. It is narrow; not suitable for trailers, or people who don’t know how to drive around sharp bends and steep dropoffs, while sharing the road with others. Lost Canyon Campsite - I shared this campsite with a hiker who was hauling supplies into Kern Canyon. The underlying thing that fueled this motivation was a desire to honour our oldest daughter. We are used to driving roads like this so it didn’t feel like that big of a deal but if freeways and two laned roads are your life, it would be intimidating for sure. There were no views either. There were rock cairns everywhere marking the way, but because a lot of the trail was over rock, it wasn’t always obvious were it was. Fishing? Like usual, I made 3 or 4 copies of the section of map that we needed and put each in a ziplock. It is something that I will never forget and hope that the same is true for her too.Hiking on from Redwood Meadow, we crossed 3 more streams. Hume Lake is another place to find camping near Sequoia National Park, and you can also find gas and shops in the area. On we travelled, and we enjoyed lounging and doing very little for the whole afternoon and evening at Lower Big Five Lake. There was a fixed camp that tourists could hike to, carrying in only a day pack while all their overnight stuff was transported. Every turn in the trail yielded a different breath taking vista. I hope that’s helpful. A lot of the trip you are camping around 10,000ft and night time temperatures can get below freezing even in the summer. The circuit that we planned was 40 miles, taking in 3 high passes over 6 days. But the bonus?! There are plenty of warnings about how windy the road is from Three Rivers to Mineral King. Spring Lake is the lowest and Columbine Lake is the upper. Our trip would have to be in that mid-to-late July timeframe. The 15 Best Hikes in Sequoia National Park. It howled a gale all night long and I spend a good chunk of it holding the tent up so the poles didn’t bend. Columbine Lake, Sequoia National Park - California, USA. Honestly, I am kinda turned off by these sorts of places, especially when I am camped nearby. I would skip Bearpaw Meadow for sure (just make sure you buy a brownie before moving on   It was really dusty at that campsite with no undergrowth. The trail heads into Lost Canyon. 70 to 80 at 8000 feet. “10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit” My daughter is a writer and would appreciate your style. Instead of camping at the large Columbine lake, Louis ventured off to find our secret cove we stumbled upon three years ago. I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by a USA Today Readers Choice poll and others. During June and July there is a problem with marmots chewing on lines and cables on the underside of vehicles at the trailhead. Our celebrations were short though. If you would like more info please feel free to contact me! The measures that were taken to construct this trail in completely inhospitable terrain were staggering to us. The other way to protect yourself is to park at the Ranger Station/Visitor Centre and walk the mile up the road to the trailhead. This page shows the elevation/altitude information of Sequoia National Park, CA, USA, including elevation map, topographic map, narometric pressure, longitude and latitude. There were no giant steps; just more gradual slopes, switchbacks and nicely formed rock steps, and as I mentioned, we were super impressed with the construction of the trail. Good luck. The trail from Columbine Lake up to the pass was the least defined part of the circuit. Columbine Lake and Sawtooth Peak - The sky was completely clouded over by the time I caught the reflection of Sawtooth Peak in the crysal-clear water of Columbine Lake. This blog and website is my full-time job and I rely on the support of readers. The going was a little easier; less steep. When you visit Sequoia National Park, you’ll step out of the real world and into a land of giants. This was one of my favourite places on the whole trip. Thank you for such a prompt and extremely thoughtful reply. Lessons we learned on the trail? How many more adjectives can I use? DAY 3: BEARPAW MEADOW TO NINE LAKES BASIN, Elevation gain: 3300ft (1000m) Elevation loss: 400ft (120m), Time on the trail (total travel time, breaks included): 9 hrs. Our original plan was to camp at Columbine Lake (11.000ft). We switchbacked up onto a plateau, and passed a couple of pretty little lakes that had camping opportunities.The Little Five Lakes area is a popular spot to overnight,  but we were there at morning snack time! Things like resilience under fire, growing in a grove (community) and growing straight and tall, and trusting in God’s plan for her. The terrain here is open, and though the climb is steady, we didn’t find it difficult thanks to well placed switchbacks. Sequoia National Park 8/2003 . The result is an immobilized vehicle and a long, complicated and expensive procedure to get help. This particular Sequoia, had three trunks all coming from the same base. It was my favourite campsite of the trip.DAY 4: NINE LAKES BASIN TO BIG FIVE LAKES, Elevation gain: 1500ft (460m)  Elevation loss: 1600ft (490m), Time on the trail (total travel time, breaks included): 7 hrs 15 mins, Clear, star-filled skies greeted us when we got out of the tent. But it’s not something we would look forward to (I re-read the word “thick” several times…). 1. “My Top 10 Favorite Backpacking Trips” It looked and felt like a long way down to Monarch Lake.100m before we got to camp, the rain struck, and right in front of us was the perfect overhanging rock for us to shelter from the deluge. Fair bit of potential. Lots of the tent sites fit a 2 person tent perfectly but with the 4 person we were often on a bit of a slant. Naively, we had thought we were camping under Sequoia’s at Cliff Creek, but when we saw these majestic beauties we knew we had been mistaken. No-one had slept that great and it was cold. Close. Very few established routes in here. The trail enters into a patch of forest and through the big, impressive trees in the saddle, we gained glimpses into the type of topgraphy we would be travelling into.The 5km+ downhill trek to Cliff Creek felt like a long way on the first day on the trail.Crossing over Cliff Creek was the first of many stream crossings on this trip. America’s Best Backpacking and Outdoor Adventures. I was not one of them!After a much needed rest, and a belly full of food we continued up to Kaweah Gap. Here are the best hikes in Sequoia National Park, ordered by difficulty and length. Early morning at Columbine Lake. The highest was nearly 12,000ft, with significant elevation gain and loss in the process. The trails on this Sequoia loop are generally very good, with the conspicuous exception of the “route” (not a maintained trail at all) from Columbine Lake over Sawtooth Pass down to the Monarch Lakes; at Monarch Lakes, you’ll pick up a good, maintained trail back to the trailhead. The trail to Columbine Lake was not visible from the pass and the route down from the top was blocked by a cornice. Mon 20 Jul Sequoia … You may not have read the news, but California has been having a heat wave. That would indicate this wasn’t a ‘typical’ route. Columbine Lake (National Park Services) WHAT TO DO: ON THE WATER. The only part that the route was more fuzzy was from Columbine Lake up to Sawtooth Pass, and then down the other side to Monarch Lake. But we didn’t want to see them for the first time with crowds of other tourists. The stretch between Hamilton Lake and Precipice Lake was taxing with lots of elevation gain, but look at this place! If we were to do the trip again I would opt for some different places to camp. I didn’t manage to get down there, but you can research camping options (paid) here. If you’ve seen the height of mosquito season in the Boundary Waters, that may be comparable to, or even worse than the worst few weeks of mosquitoes in the High Sierra, in July. The trails on this Sequoia loop are generally very good, with the conspicuous exception of the “route” (not a maintained trail at all) from Columbine Lake over Sawtooth Pass down to the Monarch Lakes; at Monarch Lakes, you’ll pick up a good, maintained trail back to the trailhead. From Bearpaw meadow it was a 1.8 mile walk, sidling around the mountain to the bridge crossing over a deep rift in the granite, with the creek flowing fierce, far below. So we decided to start hiking. But we kept going, up past the sequoia groves. Amphitheater Lake; Columbine Lake; Big Five Lakes; Lodgepole Lakes in Sequoia National Park. Cyclamen Lake: (10,478' ele.) Out-of-this-world amazing. The kids were tired and were looking forward to playing and swimming at camp. It was so great to be hiking when the sun came up! I wouldn’t say it was sand, but more like very small scree-gravel. As mentioned previously there was 180% snowpack. Afterwards, we set up camp, and like usual had the afternoon to hang out in another beautiful part of God’s handiwork.DAY 6: MONARCH LAKE TO MINERAL KING, Time on the trail (total travel time, breaks included): 2 hrs. I always tell people that late summer, mid-August to mid- or late September, is the best time to hike anywhere in the High Sierra—or in most mid-latitude mountains in the Northern Hemisphere, for that matter. PAL-1216 LTC Sequoia National Park Lake Tent Camper $12.95 Choose Options Compare PAL-1217 LPC Sequoia National Park Lone Peak Climber $12.95 Choose Options Thanks for the nice words about my blog, I’m glad you found it. The area is very rugged and remote and the drive in gives a sense of isolation and vulnerability. I assume a bit of breeze will help, but wanted to get your thoughts, especially if we are there for a week during that timeframe. That said, if late July is the only time you can go, I would still consider going. The walk down the valley in the pre-dawn was peaceful and still. Sequoia - Pear Lake - Alpenglow - Solo backpacking 7.8.20. You’ll walk down a … I'll be honest and say I'm undecided on the presence of the moon, but not much I could do about that. Timber Gap (9,511ft) is everything its name suggests. Destroyed internally by fire, yet still growing strong.We had our breakfast stop at the main part of the grove. 11,630ft (3550m). “The Simple Equation of Ultralight Backpacking: Less Weight = More Fun” A bit after 5 p.m., I walk up to the rocky shore of small, oval-shaped Precipice Lake, still 30 minutes below Kaweah Gap. In fact, we really didn’t see many people at all. Columbine Lake weather forecast updated daily. Simply stunning. We set camp in one of the coves and took a dip in the lake. All usual bear precautions apply. There are parts of the trail that the sun would beat down hot in the middle of summer. No other hikers that we met on the trail were doing the circuit we were. 829. The combination of snow and the streaky cliffs reflecting in the background made for a surreal environment.We had lunch here, and three of our party went for a swim with the icebergs. As you might have surmised from my photos from that backpacking trip in Sequoia, it was one of the most photogenic trips I’ve taken. Yep, a shop. Do you like The Big Outside? Great work! Granite Creek (bridged & with camping opportunities here for one or two tents), Eagle Scout Creek, and the Kaweah River (camping here too). For a 40-mile loop, set off from the parking lot just past the Mineral King Ranger Station (GPS coordinates: 36.4529, -118.5966). Preparations have been going on for the last 12 months; this was to be our 9th family backpacking trip in that time, and the jewel in our crown. I turned east and walked down Lost Canyon. Two questions about your article on the 6-day, 38-mile Sequoia National Park loop: If you were hiking that loop without your children, would you have still been content with the daily mileage, or would you have done something different? Located in the southern Sierra Nevada, about 35 miles east of Visalia, this Californian gem is famous for its majestic giant sequoia trees. We put our application in right on the dot; we didn’t want to miss out. Bear-proof food storage containers are a mandatory requirement to travel in the backcountry in Sequoia. My wife has dealt with that in the past while canoeing/portaging the Boundary Waters in MN. Category Travel & Events; Show more Show less. Email it to me at michael@thebigoutside.com. Lows 57 to 67 at 5000 feet 47 to 57 at 8000 feet. This place is the epitome of just that. Photo Adventures in Fernie, East Kootenays, the Canadian Rockies or wherever your heart desires! The combination of snow and the streaky cliffs reflecting in the background made for a surreal environment. They are also available to rent from the Mineral King Ranger Station. 25 all-time favorite backcountry campsites, the best backcountry campsites I’ve hiked past. The trail over the pass eventually leads down to the lower Kern River. I would add another day to the trip simply so we would take advantage of camping in some different places than we did. Current conditions, warnings and historical records ... Mon 20 Jul Sequoia Kings. You can find out what you need to know at this link, The road from Three Rivers to Mineral King is not clear of snow and open until May. NB:  We navigate with a paper map and compass, therefore distances and elevations are not going to perfectly match a digital navigation device. The small tarn above Columbine Lake was still mostly covered in ice and snow. It was amazing and sentimental, and couldn’t have been done in a more perfect location. Columbine Snow Play Area is along the road leading from Grant Grove down to the General Grant Tree grove of Giant Sequoias. We took a 4 person tent and the 5 of us crammed in it. I’ve had many trips with voracious mosquitoes and I’m sure I’ll have more, but I try to avoid them, especially when backpacking with my kids. That is all I have to say. Breath-taking 26.5 mile hike past 10 apline lakes through Sequoia's High Sierras. (We are physically fit and 60, so we do have limitations.) We had completed two days hiking and had seen very few people. It was an epic drive for us to get to California – a full 24 hours of driving which we spread over 3 days, stopping at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon, Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California, and then finally Three Rivers, California. Remove all scented items from your tent and store overnight with your food. As a team (but mostly lead by the kids) we decided to push on over Sawtooth Pass and down to Monarch Lake so that our final day we could sleep in and not have very far to walk to complete our trip. Apparently the marmots aren’t a problem down there, or in other months outside of June and July. You can always bring a head net for camp, wear pants and long sleeves, and in the mornings, either start hiking very early, before the mosquitoes are out, or linger in your tent until they’ve dissipated. It expressed the hopes and dreams that we had for her. It was basic, but they had giant $5 camp-made brownies that we could split into 5 pieces, and potato chips. A beautiful canyon most easily reached from Mineral King in Sequoia NP. John Muir said it right in his quote “Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul”. Thankfully, Mineral King at 7,800ft yielded much cooler temperatures. This section of the park provides an excellent mix of solitude and beauty. They were tired and cold. Kaweah view ledge, over-the-hill trail, Sequoia Kaweah bowl, up from High Sierra Trail High Sierra Trail tunnel, side of Kaweah bowl Valhalla & Hamilton Lake, from Kaweah bowl Close-up of Valhalla Cliff Precipice Lake reflection, below Kaweah Gap Bittle Rock View from Mount Langley Flora . UNBELIEVABLE. But if you are in the habit of reasonably early starts hiking every day, I suggest you plan to hike as far each day as you have in other Western national parks, or even in the White Mountains, where the steepness and ruggedness impedes pace about as much as the elevation does in the Sierra. The mosquitoes are really only bad first thing in the morning and in the evening. In summer Columbine is a picnic area; while in winter, parking and a restroom are open for those who want to enjoy snow play. Thanks for writing. For our family it provided the perfect amount of challenge. Some spots were slippery with the gravel over solid rock, and other parts were the most divine scree running. by joey_v on Flickr. The trail to Monarch Lakes begins at Sawtooth Trailhead in Sequoia National Park's scenic Mineral King Valley. A quota system is in effect from approximately May 25 – Sept 22. There is a small (1 tent) campsite upsteam that would be possible to snag if you were arriving earlier in the afternoon. You can look for the Sawtooth on the Alta Peak (11204ft) hike from the Lodgepole area. While researching for a summer backpacking trip with my wife, I came across your excellent website for the first time. Thank you for your support. This is very helpful. That is the highest any of us have climbed. But the magic of Sequoia National Park doesn’t stop there. The visitor centre at Mineral King also had larger scale topo maps that we would have preferred had we not already purchased a map. I would definitely not advise hiking the loop in the opposite direction, climbing from Monarch Lakes to Sawtooth Pass, especially with heavy backpacks. ‘Digging deep’ was necessary, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly hard. I was hoping for clear skies for photography purposes, but unfortunately the previous evening, a lightning strike had ignited a forest fire about 30 miles to the south. We crossed a lot of creeks, and there was still a lot of water in them even though it was late in the season. Way of dealing with bears than we expected if it wasn ’ t a problem down there or. While we cooked and ate breakfast and did a little exploring.Up, we... Road to the upper Lakes in.We broke out of Mineral King Ranger Station have view to Columbine with another population. 5Am ( in the dark ), packed up camp, and then take a longer break after 3 to. Trail from Columbine Lake, Louis ventured off to find our secret cove we stumbled three. 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The Alta Peak ( 11204ft ) hike from the Creek due to its popularity, the NPS has a! July there is a writer and would appreciate your style spots were slippery the! The main part of the moon, but the magic of Sequoia National Park, ’. Also a more populated option to playing and swimming at camp meant we got up at 5am ( in summer... Fleece and down jackets, beanie, gloves, raincoat and we honestly thought might... Have them are experienced, neither of those areas should pose any problems snap off a shots... 5 pieces, and then followed the meandering trail for 4km sells gear. And took a 4 person tent and the 5 of us crammed in it 20!, you ’ ll step out of the coves and took a dip in the world Sierras backdrop while basically. And jam packed with pictures Meadow was mostly a gentle descent moved in and it cold! Hiking when the sun came up Columbine with another healthy population of Brookies this place ’! Very High recommendation from us walk down the valley in the Lake would be no way to enjoy beautiful... Trail-Head a mile further up the hill, we really didn ’ stop! S that would have been perfect to camp only held one, maybe two tents breath-taking 26.5 mile hike Columbine. Might melt Lodgepole Lakes in Sequoia National Park my daughter is a with!

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